Lord knows there's no shortage of iPod docks around, most of them utterly forgettable. However, though most will work with an iPhone, the handset must first be put into 'Airplane Mode' in order to enjoy music unimpeded by the interference from the mobile signal. Which, we think you'll agree, rather misses the point of having an iPhone. What good is being able to listen to music if it means missing calls? Enter the Altec Lansing inMotion Max, which is one of a small number of systems with the electromagnetic shielding necessary for uninterrupted iPhone playback without Airplane Mode.
In addition to this key feature, the inMotion Max also offers an FM radio and an internal battery good for 3.5 hours of use. Consequently the system can be used as a portable speaker system or radio, either around the house or perhaps further afield. This is a useful option to have, though if you don't need it then you're obviously paying for a feature you might not use all that often. Still, it also has the added benefit of providing a battery backup in the event of a power cut, which might come in useful if you choose to use the system as your alarm clock.
For this, though, you will need an iPhone or iPod plugged in, since the inMotion Max doesn't actually have a clock function of its own. Instead it will project the alarm chime produced by your iPhone/iPod when it goes off. Hardly a knock-out feature, but useful nonetheless, especially given your device will charge overnight when connected.
Given this alarm functionality, the inMotion Max is ideally suited to being a bedroom mini-stereo that could be moved around the house whenever the moment arises. However, while at first glance it looks as if it wouldn't take up too much space, with the stabilising plate extended at the back, docking mechanism at the front and the 310mm wide footprint, the inMotion Max might be a little large for said task. Some may not mind too much, but it rather depends on how large your bedside table is and how much space you're willing to relinquish.
Visually, it is attractive enough without really exciting. Its angular stance and minimalist fascia give it a contemporary look, but this classy appearance belies a slightly cheap feel to the device. Its plastics feel thin and cheap and the general fit and finish of the whole system could be tighter. So though the design does its best to promote a refined, stylish exterior, the reality is a little less exciting.