Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

Summary: Several companies at this week's Macworld/iWorld Expo in San Francisco will release docks that can charge and sync multiple iPads. The docks automatically sync the iPads and let managers avoid individual cables and syncing.

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Several companies at this week's Macworld/iWorld Expo in San Francisco will release docks that can charge and sync multiple iPads. The docks automatically sync the iPads and let managers avoid individual cables and syncing.

Longtime Mac-market vendor Newer Technology will introduce its GripStand Station, which can charge up to 8 iPads simultaneously. Syncing is done via wireless connection. The iPads must be mounted in the company's GripStand cases, sold separately. The 499.95 Station appears to be aimed primarily at the education market, with options for mounting the Station on a desk or table as well as a stainless-steel anti-theft bar.

The company has tested the units in an educational setting and provided some feedback:

Morgan O'Connor, Social Studies Teacher at Lakes Community High School described her experience with GripStand products.  "We spent precious funds to purchase 15 Apple iPad 2's that are shared by 240 students each day, so protecting the iPads during student use is a top priority. The GripStand products have definitely prevented accidental damage to the iPads, and I no longer have to worry about iPads sliding off the table. The cases are durable, easy to label and they securely hold and protect the iPad from occasional 'rough use.'"

Another vendor, Parat, will launch its PARASYNC for iPad, which can charge as well as sync content to 10 iPads from one host computer. The company has not announced the pricing, however, the system price will include a set of 10 cases.

I saw a prototype of this system last year and the cases are needed to hold the iPads securely in the charger as well as to prevent the dock connector from being damaged. The system has LED lights that show the status of charging and syncing.

Parat has already shipped PARASYNC for iPhone and iPod Touch. I found an interesting note in its product FAQ. The company suggests that customers use a Mac for syncing not a PC.

Because PARASYNC uses its own UL-listed power supply it  does not need to be tethered to a host computer to charge all 20 docked devices.  It charges all 20 docked devices regardless if you use it with a Mac or PC .

However, syncing is a different story. We recommend using PARASYNC with a Mac running OS 10.4 or higher. Here's why:

On a Mac, iTunes recognizes and syncs content to all 20 docked devices.  With a Mac iTunes can even recognize and sync to multiple PARASYNC docks (with over 100  iPod or iPhone devices showing up in iTunes at once)! We do this with museums, tourist destinations and resorts all around the world.

On a PC,  iTunes is only able to sync to 6 - 8 devices at once.  This holds true regardless of the system or product that you might use to connect the devices to your PC running iTunes. With that said, there are PC users that absolutely love PARASYNC because they can conveniently charge all 20 docked devices at a time and sync with the PARASYNC populated with 8 devices at a time.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPad, Mobility

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13 comments
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  • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

    Cool... like a gun rack... for your iPads!
    dsf3g
    • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

      @dsf3g +100
      Champ_Kind
  • Too little, too late.

    With Windows 8 tablets poised to strike this year, iJunk pads will become irrelevant. Within 6months from launch date Windows 8 tablets will be the dominant tablet platform. We're getting new onesat work as soon as they're releeased. This way we can show customers the value Windows 8 tablets offer that consumer toys, iJunk pad2, can't offer. The integration between the Windows 8 desktops, and tablets, is going to be legendary. Thiswill blow every other tablet out of the water. I'm hoping to see sales numbers of at least 2 million on launch day.
    Stephen-B
    • Two million on launch day is guaranteed...

      @Stephen-B
      as all the Apple haters will buy one. But the real test comes with time. What's the staying power? What was the staying power of Windows Mobile, the Zune, the Kin, Vista?

      I think Microsoft is so late to this party that they'll get the MS fanboys to buy them, but the majority of tablet purchasers are going with iPads. Xoom, Playbook, etc. etc. have all failed miserably (I'm talking a full featured tablet, not the Kindle Fire)
      ShazAmerica
      • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

        @ShazAmerica Wake Up!!! Windows 8 will introduce a bunch of new form factors including tablets with docks that will make these hacks look antiquated.!!
        jatbains
      • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

        @ShazAmerica No Windows 8 will have the elegancy of Metro (Windows Phone) with the consumer appeal of the Xbox and the staying power of Windows itself!
        jatbains
    • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

      @Stephen-B <br>Too Little Too Late indeed for Windows 8 Tablets. Do you honestly think there is that much pent up demand for Windows 8 tablets? Apple struck first, then second with the iPad 2, iPad 3 is coming soon. Android was supposed to kill the iPhone. Didn't happen, even with 4g. Too many software variations. Most consumers want easy to use, not complicated. I wouldn't bet the ranch on Windows 8 tablets.
      smithrg
    • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

      @Stephen-B.... Wake up. You're dreaming.
      mattmuir
    • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

      @Stephen-B Thanks for the much-needed laugh.

      BTW, how are Ultrabook sales doing?
      Champ_Kind
  • You can buy one with dock, keyboard integrated

    Well, that is called laptop?
    ZenithY
  • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

    <i>On a Mac, iTunes recognizes and syncs content to all 20 docked devices. With a Mac iTunes can even recognize and sync to multiple PARASYNC docks (with over 100 iPod or iPhone devices showing up in iTunes at once)! We do this with museums, tourist destinations and resorts all around the world.<br><br>On a PC, iTunes is only able to sync to 6 - 8 devices at once. This holds true regardless of the system or product that you might use to connect the devices to your PC running iTunes.</i><br><br>This says one of three things about iOS and iTunes -<br>1) Apple hardware really is made for each other, to the tune of 120 iOS devices syncing with a single Mac at one time...<br>2) Apple didn't really try too hard when writing their mobile device driver and the syncing portions of iTunes for Windows. (PS - you CAN sync a supposedly USB 2-only iOS device with Windows XP and USB 1.1 ports in some cases. That BSOD is software-triggered.)<br>3) Microsoft's USB HAL sucks in comparison to everything else out there. If anyone has access to more than 8 iOS devices and enough USB ports to support plugging them in, check Device Manager and see how many of them are recognized by Windows. (PS - use USB hubs because I'm pretty sure that more than 8 iPhones into your computer would be bad for your motherboard, especially if it's a name-brand unit with a stock power supply.)<br><br>Personally, my money's on number 2.
    Champ_Kind
  • RE: Docks for mass quantities of iPad due for Macworld/iWorld Expo launch

    There are many products available that sync and charge iPads on the market today. Our school purchased a few different iPad cabinets and carts from Datamation Systems, who offers a comprehensive suite of iPad solutions, including one board that can even sync 49 iPads at one time. Check out www.ipadcarts.com
    Adam5040
  • Other ways to do it

    The new ParaSync looks like a terrific way to do this, especially if you need to just drop the iPads in a slot to dock them, either for docking or syncing.

    We are not syncing all that often and we have decided, after our initial pilot, to centralize syncing in our tech center, using the kind of thing Adam5040 describes above. Not only does that let us keep better control of our licenses and iPad content, it lets us put less expensive and more secure carts in the rooms. Sometimes, we don't even need carts. We can use cabinets or even old notebook carts. It is going to save us a ton of money as we move forward.
    DanMayhew