updated 06:30 pm EST, Wed February 22, 2012
Attach iPads to front or back seats
Minnesota-based Bracketron and California's Scosche Industries have both recently released new iPad accessories aimed at letting users mount their iPads inside their automobiles. Bracketron is offering both a cup-holder-based mount as well as a headrest mount that is compatible with a wide variety of tablets and e-readers, while Scosche has unveiled an iPad 2-based sequel, the Backstage Pro II mount.
Bracketron's Universal Cup Holder Mount ($50) installs in the seat-diving cup holders commonly found on many makes of cars, enabling drivers and front-seat passengers to swivel the iPad around to check maps, look up information and other hands-free uses. The mount lets the iPad be used in portrait or landscape mode and features extra storage for smartphones or other small items.
The mount can easily be installed or uninstalled from the cup holder so that it can be moved between vehicles. Though it should go without saying, drivers should use common sense when mounting an iPad in the front-seat area and primarily use it for the benefit of the front-seat passenger, as distracted driving can easily cause accidents.
Like the company's Universal Headrest Mount, the Cup Holder Mount can work with both the original and second-generation iPads. It can also be used with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Nook, the Kindle Fire or other tablets ranging from 4.5 to 7.75 inches wide and 5.5 to 11 inches tall.
The Universal Tablet Headrest Mount ($40) positions the iPad on the back of the front-seat headrests, a more popular option for entertaining passengers that offers 180-degree angle adjustment and 360-degree rotation. The portable mount allows full access to all device buttons and controls, but the mount can be easily removed and stowed when not in use or for transferring between vehicles.
Scosche Industries is making available a sequel to its original Backstage Pro headrest mount for the original iPad (and which is still available) called the Backstage Pro II ($150), designed for the iPad 2. The mount has been crash-tested and show to remain securely attached during an accident, while protecting the iPad 2 from harm.
A key difference in the design of the Backstage Pro II compared to others is in its multiple extra features. On top of being able to easily install and uninstall the iPad without having to disconnect the entire mount, the Backstage Pro II also features a built-in charger and cable to keep the iPad charged while in use, and also provides connections for wireless IR headphones and a USB port that supports showing DCIM images stored on flash drives.
The unit tilts for optimal viewing angles (but does not rotate) for optimal viewing angles, and is easily dismounted for stowing or transferring to other vehicles. Scosche supplies the tools needed with the kit but says installation or dismounting is easy and provides an illustrated guide.
Scosche's Backstage Pro II mount