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Altec Lansing Octiv 450 gets your iPad all turned around

Crave's dear old mum once told us not to spend too much time hanging out by the docks, but we don't think she'd mind the Altec Lansing Octiv 450 iPad dock.

Crave's dear old mum once warned us not to spend too much time hanging out by the docks, but we don't think she'd mind the Altec Lansing Octiv 450. It's an audio dock that lets you use your Apple iPad any which-way up.

The Octiv 450 allows the iPad to be viewed in both portrait and landscape positions, by docking the tablet on a flexible arm. It can rotate to landscape view to watch films and video, and give you the more roomy versions of apps like your email and calendar.

The neck also angles up and down, giving you the right viewing angle and a flatter surface to type on if you want. You can dock any Apple device to the 30-pin connector, although your iPhone or iPod touch might look a bit daft.

The design recalls the legendary G4 iMac, although the blocky grey and black base and plasticky arm aren't as elegant as Apple's desktop design icon.

You also get a 3.5mm auxiliary jack to plug in other, non-fruit-related devices. There are basic play and pause controls on the base, as well as a remote control.

Now the iPad has become a roaring success, all kinds of accessories are available. The first iPad docks are hitting the streets, but many are simply iPod docks with bigger slots. The recently announced Philips Fidelio DS8550, for example, won't accomodate landscape viewing, although it will stream music from the tablet via the magic of Bluetooth.

As well as accessories, the iPad has spawned a legion of rivals -- here's our pick of the best Android tablets. If you're still not sure if you have room for a tablet in your life, check out our ten alternative uses for your Apple iPad -- if that doesn't convince you, heck, nothing will.

The Altec Lansing Octiv 450 iPad audio dock hits shop shelves on 1 December from Apple and all the usual suspects. It'll set you back £130.