Inventor Labs - Blog

Product Review: Brookstone 360º IPad Stand


Brookstone 360º iPad Stand

This is the first in a series of product reviews, from the point of view of a product design company (Inventor Labs), and from the point of view of a user/owner of the product (me).

I saw this stand in the Brookstone store and liked it, and later my daughter bought it for me for Christmas, so I got to use it firsthand at home.

My first two impressions were: cool, it really does turn 360º and tilt all the way over in both directions, and interesting, it's made of wood. It's unusual for high-tech products to be made of wood. I'm not sure much else in Brookstone is made of wood. I happen to like wood, and do a lot of woodworking myself, but still, it's an odd choice. I suspect it's a cost-reduction technique, rather than trying to machine the same stand out of aluminum or something similar. It certainly is inexpensive, at $29.95.

It works great. It holds the iPad securely, although it's a little tricky getting it in and out of the holder. The sides have curved grippers that are spring-loaded: you pull them apart slightly to slide the iPad in, or to take it out. Once it's in, it's secure, no matter which way you flip or rotate the iPad. It's secure enough that when you're pushing and tapping and dragging on the screen, it doesn't move on you. That's critical, and they got it right.

The best thing about this holder is that it truly will let you orient the iPad any way you want, at almost any viewing angle (the up/down tilt is limited slightly by the base, but you can get it past vertical in both directions). Because the iPad's screen is shiny and reflective, this makes a big difference. Many, many times I've been watching a movie and during a dark scene, where much of the content is dark or black, what I see instead of the movie is a reflection of myself, like a mirror! That's not a good movie-watching experience. Tilting or twisting the iPad to a slightly different angle -- easy with this Brookstone product -- mitigates that significantly.

If you're lying on the couch or in bed and the iPad is beside you, on a table or chair, tilting the screen at a 10º or 15º angle, to match the angle that your head is on the pillow, is a huge win. It's hard to do with almost any other iPad holder that I've seen.

One downside is that if you're actually trying to hold the iPad in your lap, or do the other things that you do with an iPad, you more or less have to take it out of the Brookstone stand. This is the biggest shortcoming of the product: it's a little bit of a pain getting it into and out of the stand. To be fair, however, it's even more of a pain to get the iPad into and out of the official Apple (rubbery) iPad case, and many other iPad cases and stands.

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars