Belkin has unveiled what it says is the world’s first “handheld home theater” case for the iPad tablet.
The Thunderstorm is a form-fitting case that protects the iPad the same way other cases do but has a large stereo speaker along the side edges of the iPad.
Belkin displayed the $199.99 case at Unveiled, the first of CES’ sneak-peek events Sunday night. The loud crowd at the event at Mandalay Bay made it hard to gauge the sound quality of the Thunderstorm, but the speaker was so loud it shook the tablet computer.
Additionally, Belkin’s says air channels in the Thunderstorm’s case allow for bass sound. The case also has a corresponding app for the iPad that lets users adjust the sound and optimize it for different activities such as listening to music, watching movies or playing video games.
Although Belkin says the case adds “cinematic-quality sound” to the iPad, it also adds quite a bit of weight to the tablet. You won’t want to hold it for too long.
Fortunately, the Thunderstorm also features a magnetic cover that can be folded up and used as a stand, similar to Apple’s own iPad Smart Cover. The Thunderstorm’s cover, however, can be folded up in more ways and provides more viewing angles.
Belkin sells two versions of the Thunderstorm. One is for the fourth-generation iPad and fits its Lightning dock connector. The other is for the third-generation iPad and the iPad 2, which have the older Apple 30-pin connector.