Company: Cooler Master
Models: Duo Stand and Dock
Compatible: iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen), iPad mini, iPhone 4/4S/5
Cooler Master Duo Stand and Dock for iPad and iPhone
Available only at Apple Stores, Cooler Master's Duo Stand and Dock for iPad and iPhone ($50) has a pretty self-explanatory title. This set of nesting accessories is made from the aluminum, rubber, and plastic Cooler Master has mastered using together over the past few years. Both components are rather beautiful, but pretty basic; they do their jobs, but the iPad stand especially isn't as useful as the best we've seen.
That stand is a heavy piece of curled metal that can hold a tablet at only one angle, about 66°, but in either portrait or landscape orientation. Rubber coats the entire top edge of the metal to protect your iPad from scratch damage. There’s similar material on the bottom, providing a non-slip grip. We generally prefer iPad stands that offer a range of angles, and that have a smaller footprint. For one that’s made to be more stationary than portable though, it’s a nice looking design.
Made from matte-finished plastic, the dock is more involved. It slides into the stand when not in use, and a ridge system hold the pieces together. The 2.5-inch tall semicircle is 4 inches deep, and 4.75 inches wide. There’s a shelf built into the back to hold accessories, as well as a ledge in the front for an iPhone—it’s generation agnostic. While you can get the phone to balance on its own, the fit is somewhat precarious. It’s designed to be used with cables.
Underneath, the dock has channels to thread through self-supplied power and audio cables to the iPhone that sits on top. With these in place, the device will fit securely, and will be able to receive power at the same time. We were a bit surprised to find that case compatibly is an issue, though. While most docks with connectors built-in have to deal with Apple’s design guidelines that make cases unusable, we’d have thought one like this would allow for great compatibility.
Cooler Master’s Duo Stand and Dock is a nicely designed accessory, but its aesthetic appeal is greater than its functionality. The $50 price gets you a useful set for your desk, and is a reasonable price for the pair of stands. We just wish they were more finely tuned. Adjustably would make the iPad stand better, as would case compatibility for the dock. Taken as a whole, it’s a good setup, and worthy of our general recommendation.