iMainGo XP brings a unique way to listen to and protect your iPad

The iPad® and iPad®2 are amazing devices that allow you to enjoy the web, play games, watch movies, and listen to music.  And while the display is incredible, the speakers are a little lacking and could use a little boost.  That is where the iMainGo XP Ultra-portable speaker system comes to the rescue.  It is a durable protective case for your iPad, with a built in amplifier and 4 high output speakers built right into the case.

Initially I was a little put off by additional weight of the iMainGo XP.  One of my favorite aspects of the iPad is its light weight.  The iMainGo XP easily doubled the weight of my iPad2.  Because of this, I avoided testing any gaming with the iMainGo XP.  I felt that it made the iPad too heavy for any extended periods of gaming.  So instead I focused on its ability to deliver superior sound for movies and music; although I suppose you could easily use this accessory to turn your average gaming session into strength training exercise.

It definitely can put out some serious sound; I found that it easily fills my living room with sound at about 25% speaker volume.  Also, the sound it delivers is much richer than that of the built in speakers on the iPad.  It definitely does a great job of enhancing the base without drowning out the higher frequency sounds.  It can also make the iPad very loud, which can be useful for listening at a distance or overpowering your neighbors’ music.

Let’s Talk About Specs

The product spec sheet boasts a full 8 hours of play on full volume.  In the past couple of weeks, I have watched a couple of movies and listened to a several hours of music with it, and I have not needed to recharge the battery.  The battery on my iPad2 also lasts about 8 hours during constant use.  So recharge schedules are fairly easy to sync.

Recharging the iMainGo XP is easy, although the charging plug is the same size and shape as the stereo headphone plug, also the charging jack is located next to the headphone jack.  I would have preferred the charging plug to be of a different size and type to avoid fumbling around with the plugs in the dark.  Recharging the iPad while in the case is a little more difficult.  The case adds some significant size to the iPad; because of this the iPad docking port is recessed in the case by about the size of the iPad charging plug.

I found it was much easier to remove the iPad from the case for charging rather than trying to plug the cable into the recessed docking port.  Plus I like to dock my iPad at night and use it as an alarm clock anyways.

The case is fairly sturdy and far more protective than the Smart Cover that Apple® sells for the iPad2.  Now I didn’t risk my iPad for any real durability testing, but I was comfortable handing my iPad protected by the iMainGo XP over to my 4 year old daughter so she could watch a movie on it.  When she was finished watching the movie, I even let her carry my iPad out to the car, after I closed the case and secured the iPad of course.

There are two sliding locks on the case that keep the cover shut and protect the iPad when not in use.  I was a little annoyed that I had to unlock two locks to get at the iPad when I wanted to use it.  Also, on more than one occasion I forgot to unlock one of the locks and it felt as if I could fairly easily break the remaining slide lock if I had continued to try and open the case without unlocking it first

Overall this product is a great way to entertain the kids on long car rides; assuming that they can agree on something to watch.  It also sports dual headphone jacks so you can quietly share the experience with a friend, or the kids can watch episodes of Dora the Explorer and Diego over and over again without driving you insane.  Finally it is excellent for providing room filling music for parties, or for listening to music outdoors at the beach, at a picnic, or on a job site.  As for enhancing your gaming experience, I find that it is too heavy and playability is far more important to me then the sound.

Pros

  • Rich Quality Sound
  • Decent Battery Life
  • Sturdy and durable casing
Cons
  • Hard to charge the iMain Go and iPad at the same time
  • A bit weighty
  • To many locks to get to the iPad and sometimes the locks felt flimsy

My findings

I put the iMainGo XP through a series of everyday tests to evaluate the performance of this product.  While it outperformed my expectations on quality of sound being delivered, there were a few things that I felt could have been done better in designing this product.  As usual products are graded on a sliding scale of 0 – 10 so without further ado let’s get to the score.

I give the iMainGo XP Ultra-portable speaker system a well-deserved 9.0 out of 10.  A solid Buy It! From the trusty Kyle Scientific Scale-o-Rama.

If they had worked on bringing the weight down and put a little more thought around charging the battery and the iPad, maybe with some type of induction charging system, this easily could have scored a 10.  It is a solid well-built product that delivers on the manufacturers claims.  It is available for about $120 on their website Portable Sound Labs  or check out their website iMainGo XP A huge thanks to my main man Agent D for helping me out in testing this.

Article first published as iMainGo XP Brings Unique Way to Listen to and Protect Your iPad on Technorati.

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