by Brent Dirks
February 14, 2014
Company: iPort Product: Charge Case and Stand Price: $119.95 Compatibility: iPad Air Website: www.iportproducts.com Date: Feb. 14, 2014
The ProductWireless charging systems for iOS devices are slowly, but surely, making their way into the mainstream. While we’ve seen a few nice options for the iPhone, the iPad has usually been left out in the cold. But iPort, a relatively new entry into the consumer market, is looking to change that with its new Charge Case and Stand for the iPad Air. As the name suggests, the system is composed of two different parts – a case that contains the charging contacts and the stand that does double duty as the charger. First up, the case is extremely well designed and thought out. Featuring a matte black finish, the case offers a moderate amount of protection. All ports, buttons, and the back camera are still accessible. The power and volume buttons are fully exposed, so this isn't a really rugged class of case. Composed of two pieces, the case quickly slips onto the back of the iPad Air. The larger, and lower, piece contains the built-in Lightning plug that is part of the wireless charging system. A raised lip on the front of the case helps protect the screen from scratches and allows users to place their tablet face down on a table. Even though the speakers are completely covered, there is no degradation of the sound quality. With the Wave Guide system, the sound is funneled out through a set of holes on the bottom of the case. For the most part, I thought the sound was louder and clearer with the case on. The stand is the centerpiece of the system. With two magnetic inductive charging contacts, simply line up the iPad Air in portrait or landscape position, and the tablet will quickly attach itself to the stand. And along with being able to dock the tablet in both positions, the stand offers three different mounting angles for the iPad Air. Simply press the two silver buttons on the bottom of the stand and then push or pull the tablet into the desired position. I preferred the middle angle of around 45 degrees, but the other two positions definitely came in handy for a number of other tasks. And as a bit of surprise, the system is even compatible with Apple’s own Smart Cover. Instead of attaching directly to the back of the tablet, the hinge of the cover is affixed to the side of the case. I used my Smart Cover for a few days, and I ran into no issues. While I definitely like the system, it’s not exactly designed to be portable. The stand is quite bulky and heavy, so I definitely wouldn’t want to travel with it. I’d also like to see iPort sell the stand separately so I could charge my iPad Air at home and the office. Thankfully, you won’t have to remove the entire case if you need to charge the tablet with an actual cable. The bottom connector can quickly and easily be removed from the case to expose the Lightning port. My only other reservation with the system is its price. You can easily purchase an official Lightning cable, 12W charger, stand, and case for somewhat less than the price of the Charge Case and Stand. But adding in the convenience factor, I’d still select iPort’s solution.
- Can wirelessly charge the iPad Air in both portrait and landscape orientation.
- Offers three different angles in either orientation.
- In keeping with the thin-and-light tablet itself, the case is lightweight and easy to hold.
- Even though the speakers are covered by the case, sound quality is still great.
- Compatible with Apple’s Smart Cover.
- Lightning port can be accessed without removing the case.
- Fairly expensive
- Charging stand is bulky and not portable.