One of the neatest things we saw at last year’s CES was Ion Audio’s line of iPad-docking keyboards. This year, the company is displaying a new version on the CES showroom floor that looks like a big improvement; it was enough to take home a “CES Innovations Design & Engineering Showcase Honors 2012″ award.
Ion Audio Piano Apprentice, which costs just $99, runs on four AA batteries, and includes stereo speakers and a 25-note keyboard that lights up the notes you’re supposed to press. This keyboard works with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, and the companion app can also be used on their own with a touchscreen keyboard, but clearly, the optimal configuration would be an iPad and this glowing-keys keyboard. The glowing keyboard mimics other standalone models we’ve seen at cheesy electronics stores, but those lack iPads to show you sheet music, video tutorials, and other niceties.