Mobile Technology

Belkin's Thunderstorm transforms the iPad into a portable home theater

Belkin's Thunderstorm transfor...
Belkin's Thunderstorm wants the iPad's audio to catch up with its HD display
Belkin's Thunderstorm wants the iPad's audio to catch up with its HD display
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Belkin's Thunderstorm wants the iPad's audio to catch up with its HD display
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Belkin's Thunderstorm wants the iPad's audio to catch up with its HD display
Belkin put a lot of thought into improving the audio
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Belkin put a lot of thought into improving the audio
When you aren't using it, Thunderstorms soft cover folds over to protect the screen
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When you aren't using it, Thunderstorms soft cover folds over to protect the screen

If you wanted to watch a movie ten years ago, your choices were simple: drive to the movie theatre, or watch it at home on TV. How things have changed. Mobile devices have added second and third screens for us to enjoy the latest blockbusters. Belkin wants to make one of those smaller screens more like the big screen – by injecting the iPad with enhanced home theater audio.

Portable home theater

When you aren't using it, Thunderstorms soft cover folds over to protect the screen
When you aren't using it, Thunderstorms soft cover folds over to protect the screen

Meet the Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater. The iPad snaps directly into the portable dock, routing all of the tablet's audio through its front-facing speakers.

Though the iPad's built-in speakers are sufficient for most uses, the resulting audio isn't exactly stellar. Belkin says that the Thunderstorm dock delivers a "rich, powerful audio experience," with ported speakers. A companion app lets you tweak your home theater experience, with multiple presets for music, movies, and games.

Thunderstorm doubles as a case. Its magnetically-attached cover props up your iPad in multiple stand configurations. When the final credits roll, you can fold over its soft cover to protect the screen.

30-pin now, Lightning later

Belkin put a lot of thought into improving the audio
Belkin put a lot of thought into improving the audio

The Thunderstorm dock is MFi certified, having met Apple's standards. It launches in January with 30-pin support (for iPad 2 and 3rd-gen. iPad), but a Lightning-compatible version (for 4th-gen. iPad) will arrive several months later.

Source: Belkin

1 comment
Fahrenheit 451
A $200 USD it should come with a screen cover as I can see it being used for small conference rooms and other functions beyond the household. Most users will likely just keep in the holder so why not add the requisite screen cover and use this as a case too? No cover = no sale.