A few months ago I was in NYC checking out all the latest gadgets and accessories at a tech conference. A small company called inNuevo caught my eye. It is the sister company (and product arm) of architectural and interior design firm Marshall Moya Design (MMD) whose recent work included the beautiful renovation of Washington, DC’s historic Howard Theater. The company is now using all its years of architectural design knowledge to dabble in the iPad accessory market.
inNuevo’s first product, DOCKr, is an interesting take on the iPad keyboard docking station. Even though it is targeting the lucrative iPad accessory market, the DOCKr is theoretically compatible with pretty much any 10-inch tablet. It has both full-sized USB and MicroUSB ports that can be used for external power.
The iPad is a device that frustrates me to no end, especially since I have an iPad 2. The camera on it is lousy, but more than that I always feel a bit stymied by it whenever I want to do real work, which for me is writing and creating content. It is a great tool for research and consuming information, but not for creating. So the idea of a case with a keyboard holds a lot of appeal. The problem is that most of these solutions add a lot of weight to the iPad and when you flip them over to read, my fingers always end up hitting the keyboard.
The DOCKr approaches this problem a bit differently. It is a 6-in-1 docking station that includes a built-in power charger capable of charging your iPad. The station has its own set of speakers and a keyboard, and comes in a hard plastic carrying case. It’s for people who want to park themselves somewhere and just work on their iPads instead of lugging around a laptop.
It comes in several colors including Pearl White, Red, Green, and Blue. It is fairly simple to slide the iPad into the holding slot. Once the iPad is locked in you can slide the screen forward to reveal the back speakers, and there are several different ways to set the viewing angle.
You can use brackets to set it up in portrait mode. Because of the bottom holder, I was able to easily set an iPad Mini and iPad air into it, but without the brackets the smaller tablets slide around while carrying the case. The station is fairly rigid and stable once you properly set it up.
The built-in battery provides up to an additional four hours of power and will charge your iPad as well. This means with a DOCKr you can probably run an iPad on a charge for well over 15 hours.
I wasn’t as enamored with the included Bluetooth keyboard. It was a bit clicky, slow and jumpy, making typing on it frustrating at times. Luckily you can order a version of the DOCKr without the keyboard and just use whatever standard sized keyboard you want to.
This device doesn’t solve my issue with the iPad being just difficult to use as a real work tool, but for those who already do use it in that capacity the DOCKr could be the solution you are looking for. Just don’t think of it as a truly portable case because it does add a lot of extra weight and size to your device, along with a lot more productive functionality.
The DOCKr can be purchased at the inNuevo website. $100 gets you a DOCKr and $149 gets you a DOCKr with a Bluetooth keyboard.
This article originally appeared on Blogcritics.com. You can view it here.