Experiment with the updated Kensington StudioDock for iPad Pro

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Kensington has updated its popular StudioDock with support for the latest iPad Pro. We tested it again to see if it was still worth the payment.

The Kensington StudioDock is a productivity device with little to no competition in the marketplace. It functions as a stand for your iPad Pro as well as a multi-purpose hub.

Soon after the initial release, Apple introduced new, slightly modified iPads, which caused Kensington to develop an updated StudioDock.

The dock that does everything

Many iPad Pro users end up with some type of iPad stand, USB-C hub, or both. The StudioDock is a composite device that doubles as a magnetic mount as well as a versatile USB-C hub.

StudioDock is still the most comprehensive solution we’ve seen for using the iPad Pro on your desk.

Kensington StudioDock Dual Wireless Chargers

StudioDock holds your iPad to a minimum capacity and charges via the built-in USB-C connector. The iPad can sit both horizontally and vertically, depending on your needs.

Underneath the iPad are a pair of Qi chargers, one for your iPhone and one for your AirPods. An optional Apple Watch dial is available for those who need it.

Mix of ports in Kensington StudioDock

A combination of ports on the back of the Kensington StudioDock

In total, there are four USB ports. One is a USB-C port with up to 15W of power output, accompanied by three USB-A ports.

It also has a Gigabit Ethernet jack and a 3.5mm headphone jack. For media professionals, a UHS-II SD 4.0 card reader is available.

clean your desk

The only thing Kensington has changed since our original review is the new support for the latest generation iPad Pro.

Kensington StudioDock USB-C

StudioDock connects via USB-C

The 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro slides into place, just as the original model did. The iPad is held in place by the USB-C connector but is also held in place by the iPad’s set of magnets.

StudioDock is based on the same magnetic matrix that Apple uses for the Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio built into the back of the iPad.

Going with StudioDock, you have one central hub on your desk. AirPods, iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad Pro can all be charged with the StudioDock, but it’s also a versatile hub for connecting solid state drives, Ethernet, SD cards, and more.

Connect our accessories

Connecting our accessories to Kensington StudioDock

Things have changed…

Although Kensington hasn’t changed much, a lot has changed in the iPad Pro scene.

Apple released iPadOS 15 which brought new productivity features. Widgets, multitasking improvements, Central App windows, QuickNote, physical keyboard shortcuts, App Shelf, Swift Playgrounds app creation, and – soon – Universal Control are available.

FaceTime in portrait orientation with StudioDock

FaceTime in portrait orientation with StudioDock

These improvements have given users more reasons than ever to invest in an iPad Pro docking station. Apple’s tablet quickly became a competent alternative to a laptop.

At the same time, the ecosystem evolved, not in favor of Kensington.

Apple released the Apple Watch Series 7 with fast charging. Kensington does not currently offer a StudioDock fast charging unit.

MagSafe has grown in popularity. It can provide twice the Qi charging power and help align your device properly. It would be great to have MagSafe built right into the base of StudioDock.

Kensington StudioDock with iPad Pro

Kensington StudioDock with iPad Pro 12.9-inch

Most of all, Apple has made the transition from USB-C to Thunderbolt on the iPad Pro. The Thunderbolt 3 port unlocks many new accessories that can be connected or chained together.

When you drop that much money on an accessory, you’d rather maximize its technology.

These don’t stop us from recommending StudioDock, because we still love the device. We’re even more excited about what the next release could look like.

Where do I buy?

At the time of publication, the Kensington StudioDock for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) is selling for $399.99 but is currently on sale at Kensington.com. CDW is accepting backorders at $458.99, with the company announcing that the berth is affected by supply chain shortages.

In the meantime, StudioDock for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2018/2020 is available directly from Kensington for $379.99.

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