Apple has been gradually improving its iPad Pro with monitor support, USB-C, and even the ability to use a mouse with the tablet. All of these improvements have led to more of a need for a docking solution, if you want to attempt to use the iPad Pro as a desktop-like PC. MagicDock has appeared on Kickstarter, and it looks like one of the better iPad Pro docks we’ve seen so far.
A note on crowdfunding:
Crowdfunding is a chaotic field by nature: companies looking for funding tend to make big promises. According to a study run by Kickstarter in 2015, roughly 1 in 10 “successful” products that reach their funding goals fail to actually deliver rewards. Of the ones that do deliver, delays, missed deadlines, or overpromised ideas mean that there’s often disappointment in store for those products that do get done.
The best defense is to use your best judgment. Ask yourself: does the product look legitimate? Is the company making outlandish claims? Is there a working prototype? Does the company mention existing plans to manufacture and ship finished products? Has it completed a Kickstarter before?
And remember: you’re not necessarily buying a product when you back it on a crowdfunding site.
It’s surprisingly similar to Kingston’s Surface Dock, and looks like it was at least based on the hinge design for Microsoft’s Surface Studio. Either way, MagicDock has some slight improvements over what is available on the Surface side. You can slot an iPad Pro in thanks to magnets, and it even rotates in place to allow you to use it in portrait orientation. It all charges via the iPad Pro’s USB-C port, which acts as the primary connection as the tablet slots into the dock.
As you’d expect from a dock, there are ports at the rear to connect up accessories or a monitor. There’s a HDMI port, a single USB-C port, a regular USB 3.0 port, and even a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones or speakers. The MagicDock will be compatible with the 11-inch and 12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro models, but you’ll obviously have to pick the right one to match your iPad.
The dock is made from anodized aluminum and it looks relatively sturdy in the Kickstarter video, but like anything from Kickstarter you never know the true quality until the project is completed. The dock’s creator, Steve Warren, has considered most aspects of a modern docking solution, though. There’s even a microfiber cover where you attach your iPad Pro to protect the back of the device.
MagicDock has already reached way past its funding goal on Kickstarter after just 24 hours, but there’s still a few spots left to grab an 11-inch model for $99 or the 12.9-inch version for $109. As with anything on Kickstarter, it may never arrive or look very different in its final form, so be warned before backing it with your cash.