Nearly two years into the iPad era, and physical iPad keyboards are still finding their way, as are iPad stereo docks. The iPad keyboard-plus-stereo-dock concept has proven even trickier. We’ve seen some we liked, but none that we wanted sitting on our desks full time. That changes with the iHome iDM5, a unit which leaves behind the monster sizes of previous tries we’ve tested in favor of a slim wedge shaped design.
The audio on the iDM5 sounds good for what it is (night and day better than the iPad’s built in speaker), the keyboard mimics the chiclet design popular on Apple’s Mac laptop keyboards, and bluetooth allows the iPad to be used in portrait or landscape mode without a cable. Two USB ports on the left side mean you can charge not only your iPad but also your phone. The iDM5 isn’t truly a portable keyboard in the sense that it doesn’t run on batteries, but the lid-stand folds down to make the unit small enough that you can toss it into your suitcase if you like. But we expect this product to be more popular on the desks of home users, particularly those who are using their iPad for significant amounts of typing. Works with iPad and iPad 2.