Thursday, May 26, 2011
Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 10:00 AM
There are 15,873,213.5 iPad cases and stands, and dozens of iPad mounts. While that statement may not be completely accurate, it would be fair to say there are a lot. So what's with another review of the same old stuff? In a word, "System". A complete and comprehensive eco-system of compatible cases, stands and mounts for tablets. And as far as I can see, there may only be a few tablet "Systems" in existence. We're going to look at one - Vogel's RingO Universal Mounting System. Welcome to the Pros, my friend.
Vogel's isn't new to mounts. They make mounts for flat screen televisions, projectors, audio/visual equipment and loudspeakers used all over the world in airports, living rooms and commercial buildings. This experience has led to an innovative mounting system encompassing cases, stands and mounts for just about any environment. I was sent their All-In-One Pack (bundle) for the iPad, including a Wall Mount, Car Mount, and Table Stand. All of these items pair with their case, Vogel's "Holder", and can be easily taken from one environment to another with a quick release and a click. Let's take a look at how they work together to form a System.
First: The Holder - Or The Case
As with most cases, the Holder snaps onto the iPad and has a solid back and bezel-less front. Because of the innovative aluminum ring (the Ring in RingO), the case is deeper than most, perhaps by ¼ inch - ½ inch. The plastic used is also thicker than most but, overall, the case has a significant, if not upper-scale, feel to it. The Holder curves in a healthy arc from the bezel to the ring. This curvature and the smooth plastic makes handling the Holder sometimes awkward and uneasy. Reaching around the case allows for a couple of fingers to grip the case via the ring but, while that is handy for carrying the iPad around, it's not very convenient or comfortable for in-hand iPad use.
Figure 1: The Holder, and The Universal Wall Mount (images courtesy of Vogel's)
Second: The Wall Mount
This slick little device mounts to almost any surface via a long screw. It is small, cylindrical, high-tech looking, and minimalistic in its design. The patent pending design employs two unidirectional tines to snap into the Holder's ring and tightly hold the iPad on a wall. To release the iPad, you simply press the two tines in while securely grasping the iPad. The mount is intended for use in every room of your house encouraging you to bring the iPad/Tablet with you wherever you are. At $30 apiece, I am not sure the plan is well thought out, but the intention is solid; as long you don't like holding the iPad in your hands.
Figure 2: The Car Mount (images courtesy of Vogel's)
Third: The Car Mount
In the same vein as the Wall Mount, Vogel's car mount implores you to free your tablet from the confines of your home, and snap it into place in your vehicle. This mount is very cool! The two-piece tool-less design simply snaps around your first row seat head rests, allowing those in the second row to watch movies, play games or grab their email. The mount allows the iPad to be adjusted up and down helping to provide an optimal viewing angle. The Holder snaps onto the Car Mount just as it does the Wall Mount. Releasing the Holder is also the same - press in the two tines and securely grasp the Holder. It couldn't be quicker or more convenient to pop the iPad in and out of the car, or into a secure compartment away from prying eyes. It works, and works well. In my opinion it's the most compelling reason to purchase this system.
Figure 3: The Table Stand (images courtesy of Vogel's)