iPod docks are multiplying at an alarming rate, and like the beer ad on TV at the moment, seemingly all you need now is a bit of hair and a sprinkle of lager and a whole new set springs up. Yet, despite the sheer number of choices available, Audio Pro appears to offer something a bit different with its Porto dock.
Firstly, the Audio Pro Porto is encased in leather -- and in a choice of colours ranging from white to red to black. And unlike many docks on the market, it's also designed to be portable -- with a large handle on top. Build quality also appears to be good, and the iPod is protected by sitting along the face of the machine -- and not perched on top like most others. Weight is also in the Audio Pro's favour -- it comes in at 2.1 kilograms -- which is less than a third of the heft of the iPod Hi-Fi.
The Porto is also packed with features. These include a separate FM tuner, two line inputs -- in the form of stereo 3.5mm jacks -- to connect non-iPod MP3 players and PCs, and an S-Video out to watch your converted movies on a bigger screen. To further boost the bottom end, the unit comes with a sub out to connect to a powered subwoofer.
For extended periods away from power, the Porto should be able to last most of a working day. Battery life is a claimed maximum of six hours.
At $599, the Audio Pro Porto is one of the pricier iPod docks, despite its many features.
The Porto claims to be a stereo unit with the inclusion of two tweeters, but its small size and single main woofer mean that any stereo effect -- if any -- will be minimal.
From what we heard, on a crowded floor at the show, the sound the Audio Pro Porto produces is quite good. It's a very flexible unit and comes in a hard-wearing leather case. We think it will appeal to users looking for a portable dock that's a little different.