You’re ordering a brand new iPad from Apple.com, and just as you head for checkout, an add-on option jumps out at you: free engraving. Maybe you don’t need to buy a neon green iPad Air 10.9 case to make your iPad say something about you. Even new out of the box, your iPad can be unique and one of a kind: a device that reflects you, your sense of humor, or maybe your phone number. It sounds tempting, and many iPad users are opting in to a two-line engraving of their choice. But should you actually be doing this, or will you regret it? Are there downsides to engraving your iPad?
Reasons Not To Engrave Your IPad
The chief reason you might not want to engrave our iPad is resale value. This is especially an issue if you’re the sort who enjoys keeping up to date and buying new devices as Apple rolls them out. What do you do with the old ones? If you’re turning them into Apple, no problem; they’ll take your engraved device and give you no hassle about it. If you’re selling on eBay, though, a mint condition non-personalized device will sell better than an almost-brand new device with your name and phone number written darkly in the back.
The other issue with engraving an iPad is that preferences change. We all go through phases, and a joke or short quip that seems incredibly funny to you right now might seem really stale when you look at it for the 1468th time sometime next year. If the words you thought about engraving on your iPad might not be able to stand the test of time, consider doing a vinyl sticker on the back of your device instead.
Are there any other reasons not to engrave an iPad? Your wait time might increase; after all, your device will have to be added to the engraving queue. Under most circumstances, a little bit of extra wait time should be a nonissue. If you’re in any special hurry, get an unpersonalized iPad.
Reasons To Engrave Your iPad
Then why engrave your iPad? If you intend to use your device till the end of its useful life, or turn it in to Apple when you’re done with it, an engraving is a fun way to make it yours. It’s also helpful if you’re living in a household (or working in an office) with multiple almost-identical iPads lying around. Sure, different colors of an iPad Air 10.9 Case (4th Gen) 2020 can do the same thing ( or, if you have an iPad Air 5th gen 10.9 inch 2022, a 2022 case) but sometimes you might like to be able to recognize your trusty side-kick even without the case on.
Engraving your name, phone number or email address on your iPad may also help you get your device back if it’s ever lost or misplaced. Of course, you can put a contact card on your device, and if you’re registered with Find My device you’ll have the option to have a message on the screen of your device should it ever get lost. But your iPad has to be turned on for that to work, and an engraving or etching can be seen even when the phone is turned off, or the battery run to zero.
If You Engrave Your iPad
Have you weighed the pros and cons, and decided to go with a free engraving? Good for you! Now it’s time to decide on exactly what you want engraved. Apple’s requirements are simple: no more than two lines, each with no more than 29 characters. Writing
This is John’s iPad
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if found
Will fit perfectly; your full home address, though, might not fit.
Though Apple’s engraving service is free, they don’t offer a free spellcheck. What you request is what you’re going to have on your iPad, so make sure you check and double check before pushing submit. There’s something extremely demoralizing about unboxing a shiny new device just to find there’s a spelling mistake on it.
Our advice: paste your desired wording in your favorite spellcheck app, and then, if it passes muster, screenshot and send it to two or three human checkers for a final check.
What To Engrave On Your iPad
Here are a few favorite options for iPad engravings:
Name & contact info
If you’re engraving your iPad to up the chance it’ll come back to you I it gets lost, engraving your name and contact info on the back is a great idea.
2. Instagram/Twitter handles
An alternative way to personalize your iPad is with your instagram or twitter handles. If you change your social media name regularly, though, the handle on your device may end up simply a nostalgic reminder of your former self.
3. An Inspiring Quote
Is there something you wish you could tell yourself every day, maybe even multiple times a day? Consider making that your engraving. If you use an iPad case you may not often see it— but it might turn out to be a wonderful reminder some day when you need a pick me up.
4. A Funny Joke
A funny joke that reflects your unique sense of humor is another great way to make that device really yours. Think of something short but succinct. Although it’s ultimately your call, we recommend you avoid bathroom humor or anything you might embarrassed by in the workplace— you never know who might see the back side of your tablet.
What words are you engraving on your iPad? We’d love to see them!