Logic3 LCD ProDock
The Logic3 LCD ProDock is a simple dock that lets you plant your iPod or iPhone onto the top of it and watch any video content on your TV, or play music though your TV or a Hi-Fi system.
It is constructed from plastic and there is little to the design. It is a rounded dock, with connections on the back offering Component and Composite video connections and stereo audio. A power connection means that your iPhone will charge when docked.
The only indicator on the front of the dock is a blue LED, which will let you know the status. Connection is as easy as plugging in the cables and docking your Apple device.
The likelihood is that your iPod or iPhone is full of videos appropriate for playback on the small screen, so the Composite video connection will handle the resolution of those videos. This will of course change with the arrival of iPhone 4 which will support 720p video, which technically would need the Component cable to carry the video at full resolution. We've asked Logic3 if it will handle HD content from the iPhone 4 and they are going to put it on trial once the new handset launches.
The choice of connections also means it is easy enough to connect to a screen and amp to get a better result for your music.
So far so simple, but the LCD in the title indicates there is something else going on. The LCD refers to the remote control. The problem with all docks is how you control them. The LCD remote has a simple display that offers up a menu, so you can leaf through different types of content - movies, TV shows, music, photos.
The remote is an RF remote, so you don't need line of sight to use it. This means that if you have a fancy home cinema set-up and you don't want the LCD ProDock in plain sight, you can hide it in a cupboard or whatever. It also means you can control the ProDock from another room - the range isn’t fantastic, we managed to control it from a neighbouring room and we can't really see you'd need much more than that.
The remote is a little small but the controls are easy enough. During a long programme it will tend to go into standby at which point the blue LED on the front of the dock will start flashing. The buttons offer playback, volume, menu and select with up and down to scroll through the text on the display. It solves that problem of never knowing what your iPod/iPhone is going to do and so it is a smart solution.
Video playback works well enough, playing through onto your TV. We hooked it up to a 40-inch Samsung TV when, naturally, the video looked a little soft because of the lack of resolution in the source material. However, it does mean that you can simply and easily play video with minimal fuss, which is the point here.
It doesn't just work with the default video app either. We tried running AirVideo, TVCatchUp and YouTube and found that although the remote didn't work, you still get the video output on your TV. Bear in mind, however, that the relatively poor quality of the latter two services mean that once it is on your TV it looks shocking.
Music works in a similar way to video, letting you browse your music on the remote, by album, artist, genre etc. You can also set shuffle and the great thing for music is that you can change the volume using the LCD remote, without having to use the TV remote, which is a nice touch and convenient for when you're carrying the remote in your pocket when entertaining.
Photos don't work in quite the same way. When you select photos on the remote, you'll be instructed to open the photo app and start the slideshow yourself - but at least you can easily get your photos on the big screen, so it isn't too much of a hardship. However, you can't run a slideshow and play music at the same time.
There is little to complain about with the Logic3 LCD ProDock. The use of Composite and Component connections means it will fit just about any television, but the question about HD content will mean those looking to upgrade to iPhone 4 might want to wait before diving in.
A simple and tidy solution, we like the RF remote and the fact that you can easily see what you are doing. The remote is small and won't wow with the quality of the build, but it gets the job done well enough.
The price might look a little high, as you can get an Apple video cable for half the price and there are various other solutions out there, but the LCD remote is a real benefit.
At £79 it might sound a little expensive for the simple task that it does, but we found it to be a useful accessory around the house, with the option of bringing video content to pretty much any television you might have.