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MP3 Players

Audio Pro Porto

The Audio Pro Porto is a leather-clad, portable iPod dock which offers the flexibility of battery operation and an additional FM tuner.

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.

Upside
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.

Downside
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.

Outlook
From what we heard, on a crowded floor at the CEDIA 2007 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.

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