The sound on an Apple iPad isn't bad and we've found the tablet ideal for watching BBC iPlayer programmes and listening to podcasts, but the fact remains that the screen is just a fancy screen. It doesn't stand up on its own.

The £249 Philips Fidelio DS8550 iPad docking speaker provides a smart support stand for the iPad while also of course boosting its audio output and allowing you to crank up the volume to entertain the whole room.

Apple iPad docks are still few and far between (the speaker design is gorgeous but we're still getting used to seeing an iPad sticking out the top of one). However, if you intend to spend a lot of time playing video and music on your iPad and using it as a static device rather than touting it on your travels, this accessory makes a lot of sense.

Philips says "Careful consideration has been given to ensure that the cabinet and the bass pipes are of an optimised volume for the two 3in full range drivers to ensure deep and tight bass reproduction". The Fidelio DS8550 also works with iPods and iPhones, so committed Apple fans can charge up multiple devices using it. Both ‘nude’ iPads and iPhones and those in cases or fitted with an iPhone 4 bumper can be docked.

The dock has a 30 Watt RMS amplifier and works with a dedicated Fidelio control app including a five-band equaliser and battery checker. The Fidelio speaker dock is able to mimic some clock functions and provides a choice of alarms. It can be set to display your favourite photo onscreen. 

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