Kensington iPad Charge & Sync Cabinet review - simple and secure iPad charging and syncing

As the iPad becomes ever more ubiquitous the tablet is taking over the corporate and educational world as well as our living rooms. Read our review of the Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet for iPad.

We all know that the iPad’s weak point in any environment is its battery life. Now imagine a classroom full of iPad-using students, or a sales team out and about using their iPads for presentations to clients.

Those tablets aren’t likely to last more than a day without a recharge, but you can’t expect to tie each to a laptop, PC or power socket and not end up with a bunch of drained tablets at the start of the next day. See iPad reviews.

These iPads will also often require a common sync at the start of each day.

Another problem with maintaining a fleet of iPads is security. By their mobile nature tablets are easy to steal, and instead of installing security safes in every room it makes sense for storage that’s smarter than a simple locked box.

There are a number of devices for charging multiple iPads, and we’ve taken a look at Kensington’s Charge & Sync Cabinet.

Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet open

The Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet can sync and charge up to ten iPads, as well as locking them away securely.

It is compatible with all models of Apple iPads.

Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet closed

The cabinet is a 35cm black box cube – Steve Jobs would approve. Kensington lists the RRP as £649.99, but we've seen them on sale for £550 (inc. VAT), £462 (exc. VAT).

You’ll need to add the required number of cables – either USB to 30-pin or USB to Lightning depending on the model of iPad. These cost £50 (£42 exc. VAT) for ten of the older 30-pin cables, and a heftier £160 (£134 exc. VAT) for the Lightning variety. I can see why these cables aren't included as it depends on the model of iPad being charged, but the cost of the Lightning cables adds significantly to the base cost of the cabinet. If you have mixed models of iPad you'll need both sets.

Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet cables

Attaching the iPads to the Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet is as easy as sliding them in to the slots and attaching the appropriate cable to the easy-access USB slot at the front. You control the sync with one laptop or PC. There's ample space on teh top to rest the syncing laptop.

Access is made even easier with the cabinet door being able to fold back into the cabinet chassis.

Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet side

The door can be locked by key (there are two included with each cabinet), and the cabinet itself secured using either the included mounting plate or by a cable lock (around £20).

Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet back

The cabinet features a built-in cooling fan.

Three units of the Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet can be stacked on top of each other, which should cover more class or department sizes in charging and syncing multiple iPads.

Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet

OUR VERDICT

The Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinet is a boon for corporations or educational establishments (or even very large households!) with its ability to sync, charge and secure multiple iPads. Its looks fit with Apple’s minimal aesthetic, and it doesn’t take up any more space than is necessary. At around £500 it’s not cheap but if it stops one iPad theft and saves an administrator valuable time at the start and end of every day that investment is clearly worthwhile.

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