The iPad has long been described as a laptop replacement – but how about a desktop replacement?
That's the question accessory maker Kensington hopes to answer with its new StudioDock. Announced at the all-digital CES technology show this week, the StudioDock holds an iPad at eye level, while adding a range of ports and wireless charging for two devices.
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Designed for both sizes of iPad Pro, as well as the current-generation iPad Air, the Kensington StudioDock is reminiscent of Apple's infamous $1,000 stand for its Pro Display XDR.
The wall outlet-powered dock attaches to the iPad using magnets and connects to its USB-C port. The iPad can be held in portrait or landscape orientation, and there is a pair of wireless charging pads at the base, ready to power up your iPhone and AirPods. One of the pads charges at up to 7.5W, while the other is limited to 5W.
Kensington also says an optional Apple Watch charging dock, which attaches to where the StudioDock plugs into the iPad's USB-C port, will be available later in 2021. We are yet to try out the dock for ourselves, as CES is being held entirely online this year due to the pandemic, but is expected to return to its usual Las Vegas home in 2022.
The dock can be set to landscape or portraitKensington
As for ports, the StudioDock has a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port and an SD card reader on the side, plus three USB-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI 2.0 on the back.
We think this could be a must-have accessory for many iPad users, as it brings the tablet up to the same height as your existing computer monitor, can be adjusted between portrait and landscape, and has all of the ports necessary to use the iPad as a standalone computer. It even looks compact enough to slip into a backpack and use at a cafe or shared office space (once we can safely visit those again, of course).
The only question mark for now is the price, and a precise release date. Kensington has not revealed the former, while the latter looks to be the first half of 2021. We are basing this on Kensington saying how the optional Apple Watch charger is sold separately and is coming "mid-2021," suggesting the StudioDock itself will arrive before then.
Kensington iPad Docking Station - StudioDock for 12.9" iPad Pro (K34030WW)