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

For the previous couple months, I’ve been undertaking a good deal of my day-to-day do the job jobs on my iPad Pro related to an exterior check. Using my iPad Pro for do the job just isn’t new, but including a check into the combine has been a new practical experience which is designed it sense even far more like a computer substitute, even however it would not offer genuine exterior screen guidance, but instead mirrors the iPad’s display screen (hopefully that adjustments quickly). 

For the initial couple months, I discovered myself frequently staring at the iPad’s screen instead of the bigger display screen in front of me considering the fact that they each demonstrate the very same issue. To break myself of this behavior, I switched from utilizing Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Trackpad as an input gadget, started out utilizing a Bluetooth keyboard and a Magic Trackpad 2, and moved the iPad off to the facet of the display screen, instead of right underneath it. 

This arrangement labored, but it continue to felt like a workaround, partly due to the fact just about every time I desired to use Confront ID to unlock the iPad, open up my password manager or signal into a protected application, I would have to decide up the iPad. I desired one thing that would place my iPad Pro off to the facet of the screen, but retain it at near eye level so that when I needed to use Confront ID all I would have to do is look above at the iPad’s display screen. 

Enter Kensington’s StudioDock, initial introduced throughout CES again in January. It truly is been offered for preorder considering the fact that then, but commencing Tuesday, March 16, it really is shipping.  

At initial look it really is quick to classify the StudioDock as an all-in-a single hub for the 11-inch or twelve.nine-inch iPad Pro and the fourth-era iPad Air, but it really is also a workstation that expands the capabilities of Apple’s tablet, whether you might be utilizing it with an excess check or merely as a stand to keep the iPad at eye level. 

I’ve been screening the StudioDock for a couple of months now. It truly is accurately the solution I needed, but it really is high-priced and I have some inquiries about its long run. 


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Style and design

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The StudioDock appears unlike any other accessory or docking station I’ve observed for the iPad, help save for possibly Square’s POS process, but which is a pretty distinct use case. 

On the base of the stand you may obtain two Qi wireless charging pads, each with an LED gentle just under them. The pad on the still left is able of 5W charging, when the suitable facet charges at a max of 7.5W. You will find a fabric material that handles each sides, with a black rubber outline that keeps your gadgets from sliding off. The still left facet has an excess rubber perimeter toward the center of the pad to suggest in which to spot your AirPods. The suitable facet is in which you might be supposed to place your Iphone. The lights switch blue when the pads are charging a gadget, or crimson when you can find one thing erroneous (normally incorrect alignment). 

On the suitable facet of the stand you may obtain a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones, together with an SD card reader. Likely to the again of the stand, there are even far more ports. From still left to suitable, you can find a gigabit Ethernet port, a few USB 3. ports, an HDMI 2. port with guidance for 4K at 60Hz and a port for the electrical power provide. 

On the still left facet of the stand is a USB-C port that will demand gadgets up to 18W. Just higher than that is a electrical power button that turns the dock on and off. 

All 4 USB ports (a few comprehensive measurement, a single USB-C) let you to hook up add-ons like a keyboard, mouse, camera or exterior mic to the iPad. You can also hook up exterior storage to the iPad to obtain or retailer paperwork and information utilizing the Information application. 


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There are far more than enough ports on the StudioDock to hook up every little thing you can at this time use with it. I would enjoy to see Apple add guidance for far more exterior gadgets, like an exterior camera. Even if I experienced a wired mouse and keyboard related to the dock, I continue to would have ports to hook up storage or one more accessory. 

There are two unique dimensions of the StudioDock. Just one for the 11-inch iPad Pro that also operates with the most up-to-date era iPad Air. The other measurement is for the most important iPad we have observed to day, the twelve.nine-inch iPad Pro. Pricing for the StudioDock is primarily based on the product, with the lesser model priced at $379, and the bigger product priced at $399. 

I’ve been utilizing the bigger model with my 2018 iPad Pro. The black pad helps make up the major of the dock, and has what feels like a ton of magnets to keep your iPad in spot. I discovered the best way to place the iPad into the stand is to rotate the mounting space to portrait orientation and slide the iPad down into the USB-C connector found at the bottom. As soon as it really is in spot, then press the iPad again and allow the magnets get keep. You will find a cutout so your iPad’s rear camera is continue to all set to be applied. Kensington is even establishing an attachment that connects to the mount bottom that will demand your Apple View, but that is not going to be offered right until afterwards this year. 

Overall, I like the structure of the StudioDock. At initial, I considered it looked mildly uncomfortable, despite the fact that useful. But immediately after a couple months of use and adjustment, I are not able to imagine of any structure tweaks I would have designed to the dock. 


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Every day use and total practical experience

I’ve switched concerning utilizing the StudioDock as a signifies to hook up my iPad Pro to an exterior check, as outlined higher than, and as an excess check for my MacBook Pro utilizing the MacOS Sidecar attribute. 

I have a one check on my desk, and can go concerning my MacBook Pro or iPad Pro merely by modifying inputs. And with my keyboard supporting numerous wireless connections, I will not have to do a good deal of switching all over add-ons (besides switching out a mouse for a trackpad). 

The USB-C link to the iPad Pro delivers 37.5W of electrical power to the iPad, charging it and preserving it there no matter of how you might be utilizing it. 

The display screen rotates 90-levels, heading from portrait to landscape method with small tension. You can also tilt the display screen vertically up to a hundred and twenty-levels, heading from absolutely vertical to laying absolutely flat, and then a very little bit further. 

On a couple events, I’ve experienced to tilt the display screen again to get it into a far more snug place when utilizing the Apple Pencil to edit pictures and screenshots. The dock’s hinge retains the iPad’s display screen in spot when writing or drawing, even with a average amount of tension becoming place on the display screen. 


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My frustrations with the StudioDock practical experience are rooted in the way iPadOS handles exterior screens, and have practically nothing to do with Kensington at all. There are two key places I get challenge with. Very first is the reality that any time the iPad is related to a check, iPadOS assumes that audio must be integrated with that link and the iPad’s speakers usually are not listed as an audio supply. So you either have to hook up a speaker to your check (assuming it has a single), use the 3.5mm headphone jack on the dock or hook up a pair of earbuds or headphones. 

I will not head the latter two alternatives, but I will not usually want to have some sort of headphones on. There are instances when I want to listen to new music on one more speaker, like the HomePod, but continue to hear alerts and appears from my iPad. 

The second challenge I have is the way iPadOS treats exterior screens. There are some apps that use the tools Apple delivers to supply a greater second-display screen practical experience. For instance, when editing a image in Apple’s Pictures application the exterior check will screen a bigger model of the image, but you may need to have to do all your editing on the iPad. It truly is puzzling and I am not confident in which I am actually supposed to be seeking most of the time. 

The only application I routinely use that I’ve discovered to supply a decent exterior check practical experience is Screens, which allows me to remotely hook up to other pcs and regulate them. When in use, the total display screen of the exterior check is applied instead of black bars on either facet of the current application which is open up, as is the common look of iPadOS’s display screen mirroring set up. 


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Who is the StudioDock for?

After a couple months of use, I continue to have a couple of inquiries pertaining to the long run of the StudioDock. The initial issue is how will Apple go the iPad ahead when it arrives to docks, add-ons and exterior displays? If performance and compatibility is enormously expanded, the StudioDocks versatility will expand and that $four hundred price tag place may not look so substantial. 

The second issue I have is this: What takes place if the subsequent iPad Pro adjustments magnet alignment, or the total structure, and it really is no longer equipped to do the job with the StudioDock? Try to remember, Apple is anticipated to announce new iPad Pro versions as quickly as March 23, and outside the house of a couple rumors about the screen, we will not actually know what to be expecting. 

The StudioDock successfully turns an iPad Pro or iPad Air into a miniature iMac. I notice viewing the iPad as a computer substitute is one thing you either get, or you battle to see the utility. If you might be in the latter camp, then the StudioDock obviously just isn’t for you. Nevertheless, for iPad lovers and creative pros who do a good deal, if not all, of their do the job on the iPad, then the StudioDock is one thing you must give a prolonged, hard look at. 

It truly is a dear accessory, you can find no denying that. I would enjoy to see it at all over 50 % of the $four hundred price tag tag, but I am not confident what corners would have experienced to been slice to make that happen.

Rosa G. Rose

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