At this point, iPad peripherals exist for just about everything, but Belkin's Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater combines some of the most common features — speakers, cover, and extended battery — into a portable, albeit bulky, media system. With the removable cover closed, it looks like a fairly unremarkable case, but opening it reveals a speaker that adds a couple of inches to the iPad's side. The Thunderstorm's speaker is fairly powerful, with a complementary control app that includes presets for different media types and a slider that adjusts the spread of sound.
Though "handheld" is in the name, the case is uncomfortably thick and heavy, making the stand pretty much required. That might be justified by the extended battery life, which is pegged at ten hours, but it's not the sort of thing you're likely to leave on unless you absolutely need it. Fortunately, the iPad clips in firmly, and in the unlikely event that you'd want to take pictures with it on, the case doesn't block your camera. The Thunderstorm is set to be released in February with a price tag of $199.99; both a 30-pin and a Lightning-compatible model will be available.
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