SMK-Link’s PadDock 10 is a desktop iPad stand, charging dock, and speaker system that’s available in two versions: The original PadDock 10 for the original iPad, and the PadDock 10v2 for the iPad 2. With an iPad in the plastic stand – you’ll need to take your iPad out of its case, or remove its Smart Cover, to get a good fit – the appearance is reminiscent of an aluminum iMac or Apple’s Thunderbolt Display. See also Group test: what's the best tablet PC accessory?
The PadDock rotates 360 degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise, locking in 90-degree intervals, to let you quickly and painlessly rotate your docked iPad into landscape or portrait orientation in either direction. The stand also offers 30 degrees of tilt adjustment, allowing you to angle your iPad up or down as desired. In my testing of both versions of the PadDock, the stand rotated easily, and the 30-degree-incline option made for a nice desktop viewing angle. The unit’s base employs an anti-stick pad that worked well at preventing the PadDock from scooting around my desk when I inserted, rotated, or removed my iPad. I also found the stand to be quite sturdy, even when tapping on the iPad’s screen.
As a speaker system, the PadDock 10 employs two 40mm by 55mm speakers, though because of their close proximity to each other, you won’t notice much, if any, stereo separation. (That’s even truer when you rotate your iPad in portrait orientation, positioning both speakers on the same side of the iPad.) You adjust volume using a dial on the speaker section of the stand. In terms of audio quality, the PadDock is nothing fancy – it’s louder than your iPad’s built-in speaker, but the audio quality sounds a bit tinny and lacks punch or bass presence.
If you’re content with your iPad’s built-in speakers, the PadDock 10’s audio quality will likely satisfy.
Audiophiles will want to look (or listen) elsewhere. As a desktop stand, though, the PadDock 10 looks nice, rotates and adjusts smoothly, and provides good angles for screen viewing.