updated 08:35 pm EST, Fri November 19, 2010
Easy headrest mounting and removal
Two different companies have taken very different approaches to the problem of mounting the iPad to the back of a car's headrest, providing an instant entertainment station for backseat passengers. Seattle's Chima Designs has released the Crucial Case, a five-in-one case for the iPad with a detachable headrest mount, while a new company called ViewSticks has come up with a same-named mounting system that foregos a case in favor of versatile mounting system for a variety of similar entertainment devices, from iPods to personal DVD players. Both feature easy installation, quick no-tools-required removal, and an affordable price.
The Crucial Case ($60) is a ballistic nylon, durable iPad-specific carrier that offers five modes of functionality; a protective folio design, an embedded pocket for essentials, a hand strap for grip-free use, an adjustable kickstand to position the iPad for typing or viewing, and the headrest mount for in-car entertainment. The mount wraps around the actual headrest, suspending the iPad in the case using velcro, and can even be used on airline seats. It is available now either from The Mac Store in Seattle, or the company's web site.
ViewSticks ($20), located in Trumbull, Connecticut, has created a headrest mounting system designed to accommodate a wide variety of devices -- not just iPads, but almost any sort of mobile entertainment devices a family might have, from a smartphone to a tablet computer. Comprise mainly of two curled hooks that wrap around the metal poles of an upraised headrest, the ViewSticks stick out providing an adjustable "shelf" that allows different-sized devices to sit upon them, secured with bands to keep the device held tight. Though secure, the hooks and bands can be easily disassembled and moved to another seat or stored in a matter of seconds, making them versatile enough to use in any car or van, including rental cars for vacation entertainment. ViewSticks are available directly from the company's web site.