Kensington StudioDock for iPad review: The perfect accessory for iPad enthusiasts and creatives Review

For the earlier couple of months, I’ve been doing a large amount of my daily get the job done responsibilities on my iPad Professional connected to an external check. Utilizing my iPad Professional for get the job done is not new, but introducing a check into the combine has been a new practical experience which is produced it experience even additional like a computer system substitution, even while it isn’t going to present legitimate external display screen help, but in its place mirrors the iPad’s screen (ideally that adjustments before long). 

For the 1st couple of weeks, I found myself frequently staring at the iPad’s display screen in its place of the greater screen in front of me since they both of those demonstrate the exact same matter. To crack myself of this habit, I switched from applying Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Trackpad as an input gadget, began applying a Bluetooth keyboard and a Magic Trackpad two, and moved the iPad off to the facet of the screen, in its place of instantly underneath it. 

This arrangement labored, but it however felt like a workaround, partly for the reason that every time I needed to use Experience ID to unlock the iPad, open my password supervisor or indicator into a guarded application, I might have to pick up the iPad. I needed a little something that would put my iPad Professional off to the facet of the display screen, but continue to keep it at near eye amount so that when I required to use Experience ID all I would have to do is look around at the iPad’s screen. 

Enter Kensington’s StudioDock, 1st declared for the duration of CES back again in January. It is been accessible for preorder since then, but commencing Tuesday, March 16, it’s delivery.  

At 1st look it’s effortless to classify the StudioDock as an all-in-one hub for the eleven-inch or 12.nine-inch iPad Professional and the fourth-generation iPad Air, but it’s also a workstation that expands the capabilities of Apple’s pill, whether you are applying it with an excess check or basically as a stand to hold the iPad at eye amount. 

I’ve been screening the StudioDock for a couple of weeks now. It is precisely the answer I required, but it’s expensive and I have some thoughts about its future. 


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The StudioDock looks not like any other accent or docking station I’ve found for the iPad, help you save for possibly Square’s POS method, but which is a very certain use circumstance. 

On the foundation of the stand you can expect to obtain two Qi wi-fi charging pads, each and every with an LED gentle just beneath them. The pad on the left is able of 5W charging, even though the suitable facet rates at a max of 7.5W. You can find a fabric substance that addresses both of those sides, with a black rubber define that retains your equipment from sliding off. The left facet has an excess rubber perimeter in the direction of the middle of the pad to reveal where to put your AirPods. The suitable facet is where you are supposed to put your Iphone. The lights switch blue when the pads are charging a gadget, or pink when there’s a little something erroneous (commonly incorrect alignment). 

On the suitable facet of the stand you can expect to obtain a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones, alongside with an SD card reader. Heading to the back again of the stand, there are even additional ports. From left to suitable, there’s a gigabit Ethernet port, 3 USB 3. ports, an HDMI two. port with help for 4K at 60Hz and a port for the energy provide. 

On the left facet of the stand is a USB-C port that will cost equipment up to 18W. Just previously mentioned that is a energy button that turns the dock on and off. 

All 4 USB ports (3 total dimensions, one USB-C) enable you to link components like a keyboard, mouse, digital camera or external mic to the iPad. You can also link external storage to the iPad to entry or keep files and information applying the Data files application. 


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There are additional than adequate ports on the StudioDock to link almost everything you can currently use with it. I would appreciate to see Apple insert help for additional external equipment, like an external digital camera. Even if I had a wired mouse and keyboard connected to the dock, I however would have ports to link storage or yet another accent. 

There are two unique dimensions of the StudioDock. 1 for the eleven-inch iPad Professional that also performs with the most recent generation iPad Air. The other dimensions is for the biggest iPad we’ve found to date, the 12.nine-inch iPad Professional. Pricing for the StudioDock is based on the model, with the lesser edition priced at $379, and the more substantial model priced at $399. 

I’ve been applying the greater edition with my 2018 iPad Professional. The black pad can make up the top rated of the dock, and includes what feels like a ton of magnets to hold your iPad in put. I found the best way to put the iPad into the stand is to rotate the mounting spot to portrait orientation and slide the iPad down into the USB-C connector found at the base. Once it’s in put, then force the iPad back again and permit the magnets acquire hold. You can find a cutout so your iPad’s rear digital camera is however ready to be utilized. Kensington is even establishing an attachment that connects to the mount base that will cost your Apple Check out, but that would not be accessible right until later this year. 

General, I like the design of the StudioDock. At 1st, I assumed it seemed mildly awkward, although purposeful. But soon after a couple weeks of use and adjustment, I are unable to imagine of any design tweaks I would have produced to the dock. 


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Every day use and in general practical experience

I’ve switched amongst applying the StudioDock as a means to link my iPad Professional to an external check, as mentioned previously mentioned, and as an excess check for my MacBook Professional applying the MacOS Sidecar function. 

I have a one check on my desk, and can go amongst my MacBook Professional or iPad Professional basically by altering inputs. And with my keyboard supporting multiple wi-fi connections, I will not have to do a large amount of switching close to components (moreover switching out a mouse for a trackpad). 

The USB-C connection to the iPad Professional presents 37.5W of energy to the iPad, charging it and holding it there no matter of how you are applying it. 

The screen rotates ninety-levels, likely from portrait to landscape mode with nominal tension. You can also tilt the screen vertically up to 120-levels, likely from fully vertical to laying fully flat, and then a tiny bit more. 

On a couple of situations, I’ve had to tilt the screen back again to get it into a additional at ease place when applying the Apple Pencil to edit pics and screenshots. The dock’s hinge retains the iPad’s screen in put even though crafting or drawing, even with a average sum of tension getting put on the screen. 


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My frustrations with the StudioDock practical experience are rooted in the way iPadOS handles external displays, and have nothing to do with Kensington at all. There are two principal areas I acquire challenge with. Very first is the point that each time the iPad is connected to a check, iPadOS assumes that audio ought to be integrated with that connection and the iPad’s speakers are not detailed as an audio source. So you either have to hook up a speaker to your check (assuming it has one), use the 3.5mm headphone jack on the dock or link a pair of earbuds or headphones. 

I will not thoughts the latter two alternatives, but I will not generally want to have some form of headphones on. There are moments when I want to hear to songs on yet another speaker, like the HomePod, but however hear alerts and sounds from my iPad. 

The 2nd challenge I have is the way iPadOS treats external displays. There are some apps that use the tools Apple presents to provide a improved 2nd-screen practical experience. For illustration, when modifying a image in Apple’s Photographs application the external check will display screen a greater edition of the photo, but you can expect to need to have to do all your modifying on the iPad. It is complicated and I’m not guaranteed where I’m truly supposed to be seeking most of the time. 

The only application I routinely use that I’ve found to provide a good external check practical experience is Screens, which allows me to remotely link to other desktops and manage them. When in use, the entire screen of the external check is utilized in its place of black bars on either facet of the present application which is open, as is the usual seem of iPadOS’s screen mirroring set up. 


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Who is the StudioDock for?

After a couple of weeks of use, I however have a couple of thoughts pertaining to the future of the StudioDock. The 1st dilemma is how will Apple go the iPad forward when it will come to docks, components and external shows? If functionality and compatibility is tremendously expanded, the StudioDocks versatility will grow and that $four hundred price stage may possibly not seem so large. 

The 2nd dilemma I have is this: What occurs if the following iPad Professional adjustments magnet alignment, or the in general design, and it’s no for a longer time equipped to get the job done with the StudioDock? Recall, Apple is predicted to announce new iPad Professional products as before long as March 23, and outside the house of a couple of rumors about the display screen, we will not truly know what to assume. 

The StudioDock properly turns an iPad Professional or iPad Air into a miniature iMac. I understand viewing the iPad as a computer system substitution is a little something you either get, or you struggle to see the utility. If you are in the latter camp, then the StudioDock clearly is not for you. Nevertheless, for iPad lovers and resourceful industry experts who do a large amount, if not all, of their get the job done on the iPad, then the StudioDock is a little something you ought to give a extensive, hard seem at. 

It is a dear accent, there’s no denying that. I might appreciate to see it at close to half of the $four hundred price tag, but I’m not guaranteed what corners would have had to been slash to make that occur.