There is nothing too special about Apple’s official iPad Dock. It’s a dock that charges and syncs your iPad. The dock is all white (and Apple-y looking) with a rubber grip on the bottom. It does not come with a charging cable, so you will need to use your own. It mounts iPad at an upright angle and features an audio line output. It will only mount iPad vertically (portrait) and not horizontally (landscape). It’s a good accessory to use the iPad for browsing the web, using as a picture frame, or writing documents and emails with a bluetooth keyboard (sold separately). It’s mounted securely enough for light touch usage, but is not optimal for game play or moderate typing.
The iPad Dock offers a firm mount by giving iPad a nice back-support to rest on. The dock is rather minimalistic, and will not detract from iPad’s beauty; it actually enhances it. There is a 30 pin dock connector on the back of the dock for plugging in your charging/syncing cable. This dock connector will also work for iPad accessories such as the VGA adapter or camera connection kit. It will work for your iPod Nano or iPod Touch, though its clear its not made for them.
The Apple iPad Dock will only mount a naked iPad; no cases or shells allowed. It doesn’t even work with Apple’s official iPad case–weird! Also, you can’t adjust the tilt of the dock, nor the orientation of it (landscape vs portrait). Furthermore, the dock will not work for any iPhone, not even the iPhone 4 with its incredible thinness.
Apple’s iPad Dock costs $29.99/£14.95. We received our sample dock from Gearzap, whom sells an assortment of both official and non Apple accessories. $29.99 is a lot considering it doesn’t do a whole lot. For that price we should at least expect Apple to include a charging cable, let alone a plug adapter–but nope. For what it is, the iPad dock does a good job of mounting your iPad vertically and making iPad look very attractive. If you use a case or skin it’s a bit of a hassle to dress and undress your iPad when using the dock. If you’re using a sleeve, then maybe Apple’s iPad dock could be a good complement. There are a ton of Apple iPad Dock look-a-likes which appear to offer identical features for a price of $5 – $30. Personally, I can’t imagine they’re of much lower quality than the official iPad dock.
Good: Mounts iPad securely upright, charges and syncs iPad, has that signature Apple aesthetic going for it
Bad: Vertical mounts only, no included cable, won’t work with cases, pricey, won’t work with iPhones