That’s the idea behind Striped Sail’s MiFrame, which docks, charges, and accentuates the iPad–and functions as a plain old picture frame when your tablet isn’t around.
As you probably know, your iPad already has a pretty awesome Picture Frame mode. But a docked iPad can also display stock updates, weather reports, your latest tweets, animated landscapes, and a lot more. (See our list of five killer apps for your docked iPad.)
The MiFrame provides a photo-frame-style home for your iPad, standing it upright and charging it via a standard dock connector. A 5-foot USB cable supplies AC power via your iPad wall wart. You can position it in either portrait or landscape orientation, though switching between them does require a bit more than just rotating the frame–you have to perform a bit of reassembly.
Indeed, just putting the iPad into the MiFrame or taking it out again requires you to remove the front panel (the frame part). It looks like a fairly easy operation, though I do think it would prove to be a hassle to carry out frequently.
But here’s where the MiFrame has an edge over other iPad photo-frame products: it keeps an ordinary 8×10 photo behind the iPad, so when you remove the latter, you’ve still got a nice, functional picture frame–rather than a weird-looking empty box.
The MiFrame is available in silver for the iPad 1 and silver or black for the iPad 2. Whichever version you choose, it’ll run you $79. That seems a little steep, but remember that you’re getting not only a stylish frame for your iPad, but also a dock, a stand, a charger, and an actual picture frame. This could make a nice gift item for the iPad owner in your life.