Altec Lansing Octiv 450 £129

4th Mar 2011 | 11:00

Altec Lansing Octiv 450

Give your iPad a home in your house with this purpose-built speaker dock

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Like:

Designed for the iPad; Adjustable; Good sound for movies

Dislike:

Not as robust as we'd have liked

Speaker docks for the iPhone are ten-a-penny, so it's great to see a product that's been built for the iPad, though you can dock an iPhone or iPod in the Altec Lansing Octiv 450 as well.

Designed largely to complement the iPad's video playing abilities, it's best used in landscape orientation, has stereo speakers, an adjustable holder and a remote control. This well-thought-out combination means you can pop the device on your coffee table, adjust the angle of the iPad to suit and then slump down on the sofa and enjoy your favourite movies or stream live TV without having to move.

The iPad slides firmly into the arm, sits snugly against the supports and is held in on three sides. The dock connector charges your device, but there's no USB port, so no syncing to iTunes unfortunately.

The angling arm is stiff, so once you've set it, your iPad will remain how you left it. The slight downside is that you need two hands to adjust it, especially to bring it towards you, or you'll flip the unit up.

As well as angling your iPad, you can rotate it through 180 degrees while it's mounted, so you can use it either way up in landscape or portrait.

The speakers, while small, have been engineered from the ground up with high-quality audio in mind, and they go loud enough for you to enjoy your movies as they were intended. They provide deep, punchy sound, at times at the expense of clearer treble.

This didn't bother us while watching video, and indeed provided an immersive experience, but we found the bass a little overpowering when listening to some styles of music, like acoustic or vocal-oriented tracks.

The unit's neat and small enough to take around the house, but we were concerned about transporting it further afield.

The arm folds down but still sticks off the top of the unit, and the supports seem vulnerable when there's no iPad attached. We wouldn't feel comfortable putting it in our luggage to go on holiday without a box.

While it's not meant as a travel dock, we'd have liked to be able to take it on the road without worry.

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