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Lunch » Tags » All Electronics » Reviews » Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter (MC552ZM/A) » User review

Works Great For Presentations, OK at Best For Everything Else

  • Jan 1, 2011
  • by
I bought this adapter fully aware of all the limitations that the iPad-to-VGA entails. However, my primary need of this cable was for the purpose of running presentations from my iPad using Apple's Keynote app, and in that regard it performs as well as one could imagine. Keynote is a very convenient and accessible way of creating presentations, especially if they don't require some more sophisticated effects. In the past I've presented PowerPoint presentation from every computer imaginable (laptop, desktop, PC, tablet PC, MacBook, etc.) and almost always I had to deal with some glitches and unforeseen setbacks. Running your presentation from an iPad makes the whole process as smooth, convenient and straightforward as any other function that you can use iPad for, not to mention the portability that you gain.

Aside from Keynote, I've tried using this adapter cable with a few other apps with mixed results. YouTube videos ran smoothly for the most part. I was able to use it with Netflix, and it ran pretty smoothly. I was able to watch most of the videos, but some of the movies that I purchased through iTunes had the video-out functionality disabled. (This is yet another annoying feature of copyright over-protectiveness.) At first I thought that you were also not able to view the photos on an external monitor or projector, but it turns out that you need to play them as a slideshow before they can be viewed (another annoying restriction). Overall, I found that the number of applications that you could use external monitor with is rather limited, and even within those applications there are various restrictions.

One big pleasant surprise about this cable was that it can be used with iPhone 4 pretty much the same way as with the iPad. Playing Netflix movies from your Phone on a big screen was a really cool experience, even though the signal was choppy and the image quality left a lot to be desired. It would be great if Apple would release some kind of Keynote player app for iPhone, in which case it would be possible to just use your phone for presentations.

I am somewhat skeptical that Apple will release a full external mirroring feature for iPad for a couple of reasons. First, I think that kind of functionality might be a big drain on the image processing capabilities of the first generation iPad, and Apple doesn't like to have their products "look bad." Second, as already mentioned, there seem to be a lot of restrictions within apps for what sorts of content various media companies like to have used outside of the strictly controlled settings, and allowing for full mirroring would automatically render all those restrictions moot. That may still happen at some point in the future, but for now I don't see full mirroring being enabled any time soon. Consequently, if you are considering purchasing this adapter I would strongly advise you to be fully aware of what sort of content you will be able to see projected out onto the VGA screen and decide accordingly.

The cable itself is very well made and functional, with both ends firmly and securely attaching to their corresponding plugs. It is the same all-white design that all other Apple adapter cable share, and although it is well designed and functional, I would have liked if Apple had decided to revamp this particular cable and make it more compatible with the current design standards of its portable devices (iPhone/iPod/iPad). Not a major concern, just something that would make this cable look more contemporary.

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Bojan Tunguz ()
Ranked #50
I am a benevolent rascal. I love lounging in bed on a Sunday morning. Rainy days make me melancholy, but in a good kind of way. I am an incorrigible chocoholic. I hate Mondays, but I get over it by Wednesday. … more
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Watch slideshows and movies on the big screen by connecting your iPad to a TV, monitor, projector, or LCD display that uses a VGA connector.
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