Upgrade Your iPad Pro with the Kanex iAdapt Multiport Hub

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Upgrade Your iPad Pro with the Kanex iAdapt Multiport Hub

At B&H, we are firmly on record as being big fans of the iPad Pro. I’ve even gone so far as to call it one of my favorite pieces of tech. However, like any tablet, the iPad Pro does have its limitations—namely, connectivity options. With only the one USB Type-C port to facilitate your wired hookups, attaching peripheral gear and accessories can be a challenge, but the Kanex iAdapt USB Hub can hook you up. A 6-in-1 multiport docking station, the iAdapt promises to make the iPad Pro the perfect portable workstation. I tried it over the weekend to see if it could live up to that pledge, and was impressed both by its unobtrusiveness and how handy it was. Here’s my full review.

Design

The iAdapt was designed specifically for the 11- and 12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro. It isn’t the first multiport hub I’ve tried, but it’s probably the cleanest—both in terms of design and installation. It clips snugly to the outer edge of the iPad Pro and plugs into the USB Type-C port via a dedicated cable. I prefer this design over other hubs that either hang from the port like a dongle or plug directly into it, namely because the dongle design is too messy and the direct plug-in method seems likelier to damage the port accidentally.

The iAdapt gives you a total of 6 different ports: HDMI, USB Type-C, USB Type-A, SD, microSD, and a 3.5mm audio jack. That should cover just about every connection you could possibly need. Upload files, export your display to a separate monitor, listen to music on your wired headphones—all at the same time if you want. What’s better is that after iOS 13 drops, later this year, you’ll be able read files from an external drive via the iAdapt’s USB Type-A port. In short, all (or darn near most) of your connectivity concerns are now quelled.

One prohibitory note about the design: Kanex built the iAdapt to work with the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio. And on that front, it does so flawlessly. It attaches easily, sits nice and flush, and is relatively unobtrusive. However, because it was designed for the Apple Keyboard Folio, it likely won’t fit many other cases, especially those that are thicker than the Keyboard Folio. I don’t imagine that’s a deal breaker. After all, there are plenty of workarounds if the iAdapt doesn’t fit with your current iPad Pro cover (take the cover off, for example). But it’s worth mentioning, just in case.

In the Field

The iAdapt’s big sell is that it’s supposed to turn your iPad Pro into a more perfect mobile workstation. After a test run in the field, it’s tough to argue it doesn’t accomplish exactly that. I brought it along to my local coffee shop to write this review and was pleased with how streamlined it made the whole process. While I typed, I was listening to music through my wired headphones, had art files loaded from an SD card, all while the iPad was charging via USB Type-C. I didn’t bring an external monitor with me because that would, of course, be insane, but when I tried it at the office, it worked as intended. Thumbs up all around.

Verdict

When the iPad Pro first debuted, the biggest argument against it being a replacement for your laptop was its lack of connectivity options. Well, thanks to the iAdapt, that argument is essentially dead. What’s more, with the impending release of iOS 13, the iAdapt can very well be viewed as the missing link that helps convert the iPad Pro into a true stand-alone workstation.

For my part, I only spent a few days with the Kanex, but already see it as an indispensable tool. As someone who hates clutter, who gets annoyed at having to plug in and eject different accessories over and over, who wants as clean and simple a workstation as possible, the iAdapt was a blessing. And for users who need the most out of their portable workstation—external monitor and hard drives, etc.—it’s a must-own.

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