To store and charge our Library’s set of 20 iPads, we have a Bretford Mobility Cart purchased in the fall of 2010. Had we but waited a few months, we would have bought the Bretford Powersync Cart which stores, charges, and syncs the iPads to a designated computer.
To rig our Mobility Cart for syncing as well as charging the iPads, David Waterbury (one of our extraordinary techies) followed steps listed in this site (thankfully shared to our NYCIST listserv by Tammi Williams, Technology Operations Manager at The Berkeley Carroll School of Brooklyn).
After three hours of tedium (a.k.a. David’s time), we now have two color-coordinated cables available for each iPad in the cart – red is for charging and white is for syncing.
Note: Instead of using multiple daisychained D-Link hubs, David purchased one 24-port hub. Also, David said that the Apple iPad cables run a bit short when stringing them from the 24-port hub on the top of the cart to the bottom shelf of the cart.
Now I’m just wondering when Parat will come out with something awesome for storing and syncing iPads too…
The School at Columbia University (http://theschool.columbia.edu) recently purchased two docking/syncing stations for our iPod Touch collection. One is the PARASYNC tray by Parat Solutions (http://www.paratsolutions.com/parasync.html) and the other is the Bretford ParaSync Case for iPod (http://apple.bretford.com/products/powersynccase).
The Parat PARASYNC is a $995 lightweight tray that docks and syncs 20 iPod Touches (each tray is designed for a specific model and the slots are customized accordingly). The new iPod Touch is .3″ inches thinner than the last generation of iPod Touches, so Parat is selling decals to affix to the back of your new iPod Touch so they’ll fit into the former iPod Touch slot without without breaking the pins inside. They have yet to design a tray for iPads, but we would totally be interested in it if/when they do.
The Bretford PowerSync Case for iPod is $1200 and allows us to sync, dock, and carry multiple generations of iPods. While this device was made to travel, it is heavy, clunky, and looks like a terrorist’s checked baggage. However, the beauty of this case is that it houses a variety of different iPods and devices rather than only one model.
So far, it’s a win-win.
UPDATE: Peter Jauss of Parat Solutions just wrote me about the $198 Parat PARASYNC Transport Roller that was made to store, protect, and transport a laptop, 20 iPod devices, and power supplies: www.paratsolutions.com/parasync-transport