Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter Review

iPad VGA adapter

This is what it looks like hooked to your iPad

Having moved recently into my new place, a decision was made not to get cable TV. I’d hardly watched any programs anymore, and most of the shows that I do watch is available to me online the next day.

One thing I didn’t get rid of is the internet. In this case,  I own an iPad and I like using it alot and in many ways it has replaced my laptop when it comes to quick browsing. When I need more heavy lifting, like Photoshop, application development, or whatever, I stick with my trusty laptop, but when I’m on the couch laying lazily, the iPad is perfect.

I watch videos on it all the time, particularly Youtube, Netflix, and ABC’s application with their shows in it. Since I have no cable anymore I thought it’d be a great idea to buy the Apple iPad Dock connector to VGA adapter, which I can use to hook the iPad into my 47inch Vizio TV. I used to do this with my laptop and loved it, so why not use the iPad? It’s easier to use, cooler on my coffee table, and it’s not as clunky and clumsy as my laptop when I haul it around.

I was so excited buying the connector for $29. An amazing price for something that I can do so much with. But I was so disappointed when I got home. Here are the reasons why:

  1. It doesn’t switch the display. When you connect your iPad to the TV or monitor, it doesn’t switch the display. You remain on your iPad. You can’t switch between the iPad screen and the monitor. The monitor just sits there… blank until you play a video.
  2. It doesn’t play all videos on the TV. When browsing the YouTube app and you press play on a clip, the iPad switches to monitor mode. Once the clip is done, you’re back in your iPad. The same thing happens to Netflix. It’s weird having to go back and forth like this. In Netflix though, the monitor plays your movie while the iPad shows you your volume, and pause button. Not bad I guess. It’s like a controller of some sorts.
  3. The resolution sucks. Yes, it sucks. You have no control over it, and when you’re using a larger TV, it’s even worse. I’m talking about regular streaming here though, not high quality movies stored on your iPad.
  4. It doesn’t play movies you downloaded from iTunes. Yup, that’s right. Due to copyright reasons, if you attempt to that , you’ll get an error. I don’t buy much from it anyway, and mostly stick with streaming.
  5. Not all video applications work with it. I have the ABC app (which is freaking awesome by the way), but when you play any shows on it, it doesn’t show on your monitor? Why? Turns out, the applications have to specifically be programmed to display their videos on another monitor or else it just won’t recognize it. That’s not cool, right?
Adapter on it's own.

They got the wording right, you can only watch movies and slideshows. Not switch monitors.

These all bring out a few concerns, and even then I’m willing to ignore the low resolution and limited programming that I can watch in exchange for not using my clunky laptop. I’m a little worried though that apps in the future won’t really care about this feature and won’t spend the time and money in development to include this video compatibility in their applications. Hulu Plus is coming out which I’m very excited about and would pay the $10/month for it, but if it ends up that I can’t watch it on my monitor or TV, I’ll just have to say that this was the worst $29 I’ve spent in my entire life. No purpose, no enjoyment, and just plain annoying.

In the end, I wouldn’t recommend buying this connector unless you’ll enjoy watching low quality and limited programming on your TV/Monitor.

4 Responses to Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter Review

  1. evologynow says:

    That’s a huge bummer.

    On a different note, this blog is awesome. I was drawn in by the blog name when I was browsing wordpress tags : )

  2. LM says:

    I went to bestbuy to buy this thing base on reading the description
    apple has for such as watching movies, ah they left out..u just can’t
    watch the legally bought movies from iTunes that u have. The crap does
    not work like the standard VGA adapter for PCs.
    They make the choice of what can use or see, even though u pad such
    outrages prices for there crap. There was a Apple rep in the store and
    I tired to get some help and answers from him, but he calms up tighter
    than a u know what. He was more afraid of losing his job than giving
    info. Which tells u, he knows this thing SUCs. Well Thanks Apple for
    screwing me, u guys use be someone u could believe when advertise a
    product. I will be doing my research more detail when buying Apple

    • intercrap says:

      I think this is one of the worst things that you can buy from the Apple store. Very misleading due to the lack of information on their website. I also went back to two stores and the Apple geniuses weren’t able to give me any additional input on what you can or can’t do with it. I do not recommend this to anyone.

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