DOET #11: iPad HDMI Adapter

Today I analyze my iPad HDMI Adapter:

tv remote

[first impression]

I bought this along with the VGA adapter back in March. It’s served its purpose of sending HD output to my TV very well- I’m actually using it right now in the background while I write this analysis. To be honest, it’s difficult for me to describe my first impression since I’ve used so many similar Apple adapters. Each of them have the same characteristics: a simple and clean white design, easy to use, and more expensive than off-brand counterparts. Something that I find intriguing is that all Apple adapters I’ve used follow the same overall structure: input, a connecting wire, and the output. Various other manufacturers will have no wire in between and often place the input and output together in the same unit. I can’t quite put into words why, but I prefer the unique design of Apple adapters. But maybe that’s why I prefer them- because they’re unique.


I love that, instead of exclusively being an adapter like its VGA dongle sibling, this adapter includes a plug for the charger. I assume this stems from one of the use cases being a user that enjoys watching long hours of media (like Netflix) that would often drain the battery. I do find it interesting that they didn’t include the same port on the VGA adapter, but my guess is that they had different use cases and subsequently different requirements.

While this isn’t necessarily a design feature of the adapter, I am amazed that the iPad instantly detects the adapter and outputs the media. Every computer I’ve used (laptop and desktop) takes at least a second or two to connect to an external display and begin outputting. The transition with this adapter is instantaneous. The time it takes from my transitioning from from watching Netflix on my iPad to watching it on my TV is limited only by how fast I can plug the adapter in.

[overall analysis]

I have always appreciated how optimally sized Apple adapters are. While I don’t necessary appreciate my need to purchase so many to support my various devices, I do appreciate how they are designed to play well with other peripherals and flexibly bend to accommodate any space. This adapter outputs excellent 1080p from my iPad and provides an enjoyable interface for a new way of enjoying media.

[about DOET]

Last year I read Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things. Inspired by Steve Jobs’ biography, I recently began thinking and reflecting on the beauty around me. There is a lot of design coverage and discussion about well-known and extraordinary things, such as a Retina Macbook Pro or a Lamborghini Aventador, but there is little towards better understanding the normal objects around us.

For the next 14 4 days, I will randomly choose an everyday household object and conduct a thorough analysis of its design in what I’m calling my Design Of Everyday Things, or DOET, project. My goal with this is to learn more about design through the careful scrutiny of products I would have otherwise overlooked. This is my refusal to take design for granted. Each analysis has three parts: first impression, usability, and overall analysis. I don’t consider this to be a review, but rather an exploration: there will be no numerical rating, purchasing recommendation, or a pro/con section.

Past DOETs: