Review: Polk miDock Portfolio makes travel suck less

If the airport security guy opens your carry-on and says, "What is this?" Just reply, "This is Polk Audio's miDock Portfolio. Go ahead, open the soft carry case. The speakers open on a hinge, see? The iPod goes onto that pluggy thing. This will make my hotel room suck less by giving me a reason to keep the TV off."

The miDock powers its quartet of 1-inch "metal micro drivers" with a wall-wart AC adapter or four AA batteries. You may despair when you see all the iPod adapters included with it, but they're numbered and the documentation includes a cheat sheet. The adapter fits behind the protruding docking plug and provides enough support so you can safely press the iPod controls without knocking the thing over (if you do it gently).

At the lowest end of the iPod-system size range, there isn't much that sounds good. Compared to the lame competition, the miDock's metal domes have a nice transparency. What they don't have — as you'd expect given their size — is any bass response whatever. The product is rated down to 145 Hertz, a decided bummer for bass players and the people who love them.

But the miDock Portfolio sounds a lot better than most laptops, partly because you can aim it where you want. And it takes up no more space than a trade paperback. Toss one into your travel kit and see if it doesn't become addictive.