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SmartDock for Sony Xperia Ion gives an extra jolt

The Xperia Ion is months away, but take a look at this sweet little base station that gives the 4G smartphone some added flair.

The SmartDock lands in 2Q 2012. Photo by Christopher MacManus/CNET

LAS VEGAS--The 4G LTE-equipped Sony Xperia Ion is a nice handset, but what makes it truly powerful is the little known SmartDock accessory.

Aside from the usual role of charging the Ion, it also has several features worth looking at.

For example, like with several other Android smartphone docks out there, an HDMI port mirrors your phone's display on the TV. You can see in our hands-on picture that there's a simple interface for browsing among content and features. Certain TV remotes will also be able to control media playback, presumably through HDMI-CEC.

Perhaps what's most interesting is the ability to plug up to two USB devices into the SmartDock, which can support a mouse and keyboard. That certainly could be a nice backup solution if your regular computer calls it quits.

With its looks, the ability to run any app through the dock, and support for input devices, the SmartDock could be a hard to resist item for Ion owners later this year.

The Sony Xperia Ion as seen on a TV. Photo by Christopher MacManus/CNET