For many, the $149 (direct) Kanex Sydnee will seem like a superfluous item—who needs to be able to charge three iPads or other tablets simultaneously? Well, as Apple made clear in its latest iPad event, tablets are finding their way into more and more classrooms and businesses. That means multiple iPads in a single location, all of which will need regular juicing. For those applications, the Sydnee makes sense, with a clean design that makes it easy to cradle and charge up to four devices, eliminating the mess of cables and lack of available power outlets. And though it’s designed with iDevices in mind, the bring-your-own-cable design means it’ll work with just about any USB powered device. It’s a little pricey, but if organization is a key concern, the Sydnee is a good solution.
Like many Apple-centric accessories, the Sydnee, available in black or white, adheres to a clean and modern design aesthetic. The smooth lines and glossy finish are attractive, but the stand is constructed from all plastic, so there’s a little flex and rattle when you’re swapping tablets in and out, but overall, it feels sturdy. There’s a small lip on the front of the stand and an interior space that’s separated into two compartments by a clear plastic divider. The stand can easily cradle three iPads, even in moderately bulky cases, and there’s some rubber padding in the cradle spots, but not enough to fully protect your iPad if the stand gets jostled.
Around back are four USB ports, each delivering 2.1 amps of power, which is sufficient for all iPads, iPhones, and pretty much any USB-powered tablet or smartphone. Kanex includes three 16-inch 30-pin Apple cables, which, of course, won’t be compatible with the 4th-generation iPad or the iPad mini without adapters. Fortunately, since the cables aren’t built in, you can bring your own cable or add an adapter as necessary. There’s a plastic arm on the back of the stand to wrap lengthy cords around, while a slotted rubber piece up top lets you thread and organize all the cables. A power cord extends from the back of the stand, which occupy a single power outlet.
In my tests, the Sydnee was able to charge three iPads simultaneously, with the fourth USB port open for, say, an iPhone or another USB-powered device. It also worked with various Android powered tablets. You’ll only be able to use the outermost tablet while docked, and only in landscape orientation, since there is no cutout for the power adapter on the front lip.
At $150, the Kanex Sydnee does seem somewhat overpriced since it’s essentially a 4-port USB hub (which you can get for about $20 online), married to a simple plastic tablet cradle. Still, you get three 30-pin cables in the box, and if you have multiple iPads or other tablets in a single location, the Sydnee will make storing and charging them an easy and organized affair. Otherwise, the appeal is, admittedly, a bit limited.
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Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc