Ion Audio iCade Arcade Cabinet
Ion's iCade Arcade Cabinet is a trip down memory lane, but it's overpriced and doesn't work with all games
- Looks like a mini arcade machine
- Works with all multiple iPad models
- Rubber feet prevent sliding
- Some games awkward to play
- Isn't compatible with all games
If you're stuck in the past or just desperately want to relive the Atari, then Ion's iCade Arcade Cabinet may be the perfect accessory for your iPad. However, the device is overpriced and there are some annoying issues that detract from its overall appeal.
Price$ 149.95 (AUD)
Ion Audio's iCade Arcade Cabinet for iPad actually started off as an April Fool's joke, but it's now a very real product. Attempting to recreate the feel of an 80's style arcade machine, the iCade Arcade Cabinet is a basic wooden box with a joystick and button combination that allows users to play Atari games on their iPad. Unfortunately, it's overpriced and there are a few annoying oversights.
Our review sample of the Ion Audio iCade Arcade Cabinet was already assembled when it arrived, but you won't get the same luxury when purchasing it. It requires manual assembly but the instructions look simple enough and the entire process shouldn't take any longer than around 20 minutes. The process looks similar to assembling a piece of Ikea furniture, complete with screws and an allen key.
The iCade is constructed from cheap timber, what looks to be MDF or particleboard. It's covered in large stickers that are a throwback to the arcade machines of the 80s, but we found the stickers quickly peel off from the corners and the edges of the timber are susceptible to chips. This shouldn't pose a problem, however, provided you leave the iCade in one spot. We also liked the four rubber feet on the bottom that prevent the cabinet sliding around while you're using it.
Once assembled, the Ion Audio iCade Arcade Cabinet forms a mini arcade machine that has a slot for your iPad. Conveniently, the slot that the iPad sits in is device agnostic so it works with most models of Apple's tablet including the iPad 2, the third generation iPad and the new fourth generation iPad with lightning connector. The dock is merely a rest for the iPad, but a charging cable can be run through the back of the iCade Arcade Cabinet if you're running low on battery.
The iCade uses a Bluetooth connection to pair with the iPad, but the initial connection process is a little awkward. It requires multiple button presses as well as the use of joystick. This only needs to be done once, though, and the pairing instructions are printed underneath the folding lid if you forget them (which you undoubtedly will). The iCade Arcade Cabinet is powered by two AA batteries hidden in a plastic slot on the bottom and there's a fake coin slot on the front that glows red when it's powered on.
Once paired with your iPad, the iCade registers as a Bluetooth keyboard. This means if you want to enter text while it is connected (like searching for the Atari Greatest Hits app on the App Store, as we did) you'll need to disconnect the iCade first. It quickly becomes an annoyance, especially when you need to enter your iTunes store password to confirm in-app purchases, for example.
The Atari experience
The Ion Audio iCade Arcade Cabinet works first and foremost with the Atari Greatest Hits app, which is a free download from the App Store. There are 99 games available but only Missile Command can be played for free. Other games can be played by using tokens (15 tokens for 99 cents), or you can purchase all 99 games for a one off price of $10.49. Various games are also sold in packs of four for 99 cents.
Games on offer include Centipede, Battle Zone and Pong and there's a mixture of Atari 2600 and traditional Atari arcade titles. The gameplay experience is largely satisfying, though many of the Atari 2600 games simply aren't suited to the iCade's joystick and button combination.
In addition to the Atari Greatest Hits app, the iCade Cabinet also works with a number of other third-party apps. The compatible list includes apps like Pac Man for iPad, Commodore 64 and Activision Anthology.
The controls on the iCade Arcade Cabinet work well enough, but the joystick isn't as smooth as we'd have liked and isn't the most accurate for small movements. The buttons are also very loud when pressed, though this only adds to the overall arcade experience. There are eight buttons in total, though most games in the app only use three of them.
All in all, the Ion Audio Arcade Cabinet is a cool accessory if you regularly play arcade style games on your iPad, but it's overpriced and does have some annoying issues.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Tech Timeline: The iPad first goes on sale
- New 9.7-inch iPad teardown reveals it's basically an original iPad Air with minor tweaks
- More iPad screen sizes unlikely to stop slump
- Samsung's Galaxy Tab S3 is like a giant Note7
- Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Tablet modules add features but limit functionality
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Jabra Elite Sport (2017) review
- How to download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update right now
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTest Analyst - Intermediate LevelNSW
- CCSenior Test Data Management ConsultantVIC
- CCFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTDigital Producer | High Profile Website | 6 Month ContractOther
- FTCloud Infrastructure Architect - Townsville Location - PermQLD
- CCIdentity & Access Management AnalystVIC
- FTSenior PMO AnalystOther
- CCTraining and Support LeadVIC
- FTSOA/OSB Integration ConsultantOther
- FTLevel 3 Desktop EngineerOther
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTSOE Systems EngineerOther
- FTLead Business AnalystVIC
- FTProject Manager - Software Development ProjectsOther
- FT.Net/Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTHealthcare Application Support Analyst role in MelbourneVIC
- FTChange ManagerOther
- CCUI DeveloperVIC
- CCOracle Identity and Access Management AdministratorNSW
- CCSAP Finance AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Change AnalystOther
- FTSolution architectOther
- FTTeam Lead, Asset Mgmt & OperationsOther
- CCSenior Java DeveloperQLD
- CCEnvironment Support Analyst with .NetQLD