Checking out the Kensington StudioDock: Working with the iPad
If you treat yourself to an expensive iPad Pro or iPad Air, you probably want to exhaust its power. With the StudioDock, Kensington offers a solution that turns the Apple tablet into a desktop workstation.
Available in three versions
In terms of price, the StudioDock fits into the Apple cosmos without hesitation: depending on the model, between 300 and almost 400 euros are due – you can swallow a little bit. Kensington offers three versions of the StudioDock for USB-C iPads:
- the iPad Pro 11″ and the iPad Air
- the iPad Pro 12.9″ in 2018 and 2020
- the iPad Pro 12.9″ in 2018-2021
For all that money, you get an iPad holder that is absolutely stable thanks to the heavy base and non-slip rubber feet: We have the dock for the 11″ iPad, which weighs around 2720 grams without the tablet. We had to use both when setting it up grab hands.
A large part is made of aluminum, the rest (mainly the back) is made of black polycarbonate. The design has style and is quite impressive in the Apple environment.
The operating instructions, on the other hand, are light and extremely meager: a thin leaflet in the Ikea style that uses drawings instead of words – there’s nothing more
The power supply consists of two cables that take a massive transformer in the middle. With a total output of 135 W, the StudioDock offers powerful power to supply all the connected devices with energy. The central element is of course the iPad. The is placed on a bracket that can be rotated by 90 degrees, which places it either in portrait or landscape format. The back behind the camera is beveled so that it remains free.
iPad sits securely
What we initially did wrong: In order for the iPad to actually be connected to the dock, you have to press it down very firmly onto the USB-C connector. Another rookie mistake: you have to press the power button on the dock too…
In return, the good piece sits securely in the magnetic holder, which can also be widely adjusted in the horizontal angle of inclination. So you can not only adjust the viewing angle,. but also work great with the Apple Pencil.
Lots of charging power
Not only is the iPad charged with a super-fast 37.5 W. There are also two Qi pads at the bottom of the stand, which deliver 7.5 and 5 W. Here you can recharge your smartphone, in-ear headphones and other things. An optional pluggable charging module for the Apple Watch has been announced but is not yet available.
Many connection options
Those who work with memory cards will be happy about the SD slot on the right (UHS-II SD 4.0). Below that is a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones or speakers. A USB-C socket is emblazoned on the left, which integrates storage media and can also be charged. At the back are three USB-A ports for keyboard, mouse, hard drives, etc., a 4K HDMI 2.0 port for an external monitor and a Gigabit Ethernet socket.
However, the screen content of the iPad is only mirrored, and the tablet cannot be used as a monitor extension. The display is also in 3:2 format, 16:9 is not supported. Kensington can’t do anything about that, this restriction comes from Apple. Contents of storage media can be called up via “Files” on the iPad.
Conclusion: Expensive, but good
The Kensington StudioDock significantly expands the iPad’s possibilities and convinces with good material quality. Once the monitor and keyboard are plugged in, working is very comfortable. You can also load the equipment park. However, the price is steep.