There are plenty of ways to encase an iPad with protection, but so few of them make the iPad any different. Enter the Thunderstorm, a new type of case that turns the iPad into a handheld theatre you can take with you.

Designed to work with the second and third generation iPad only (sorry iPad 4 users), the Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theatre has a name that requires a deep breath to say in one sitting and features a unique case design that features some built-in audio processing, tiny amplifier, speakers, and power.

One of the first cases we’ve seen that requires you to plug your iPad in using the 30-pin iPod Dock Connector, the Thunderstorm takes the sound through the connector and, with the help of a freely available Thunderstorm app, allows you to push the audio out with more volume.

“We wanted the audio quality to match the brilliant, high definition visual experience that the iPad’s Retina display is known for, and provide an immersive powerful audio solution so you can experience content the way it was meant to be,” said Belkin’s Head of Marketing and Product Management for the region, Brendan Sparks.

Designed by mobile sound maker Audifi, the Thunderstorm can be calibrated for various effects, while front-facing speakers push more sound out than what the iPad’s small rear speaker can normally accomplish.

“Through the design of core circuits, sound processing, custom speakers and a surprisingly thin acoustic enclosure, Audifi engineered a level of sonic depth and precision that was, until now, impossible to achieve in mobile devices,” said Audifi’s Vice President, Bruce Lancaster.

The Thunderstorm case has also been designed to make it possible to use an iPad with all regular parts available, such as the rear camera, headset jack, microphone, with even the volume rocker and mute switches available to use.

A magnetic soft cover is also here to protect the iPad in the Thunderstorm case, while also being foldable at the back for use as a stand.

It’s worth noting that the Thunderstorm isn’t a cheap case, with the Belkin speaker-enhanced case arriving in stores now for $249.95, compatible with the iPad 2 and iPad 3 only. Those of you with a new iPad (iPad 4, the type with the new Lightning port) will have to wait, however, with Belkin saying only that this version will be available in the near future.