As I written before, this Macworld 2011 could more appropriately been called “iPadworld” with all of the emphasis on portable Apple devices. The incredible variety of accessories for iPads was stunning, overwhelming and intriguing.
The HandStand from Hub International is an excellent example of the new generation of versatile and useful cases. This iPad case is designed to be an extension of my arm with the flexibility of 360° rotation around my palm. For only $49.99 (http://thehandstand.com), this case feels good, protects well, and is very functional . . . a good buy.
I've been testing this case for awhile, and have made the following observations:
- Simple and straight-forward in its design and functionality;
- Rugged construction with durable matte finish and pliable mounting frames;
- Comfortable holding position with a firm elastic cross-band and border ridges;
- Sufficient thickness and weight to protect back and corners from abuse;
- Nice safety-grip for secure handhold and good table rest angle for typing and viewing;
- 360°rotation with tactile stops is a versatile and delightful feature, with many practical applications;
- The case openings for most ports and switches are good, except the 30-pin bottom connector that should be bigger for external batteries and cables;
- The color selections should be expanded beyond black, white and pink (colors to match the new Apple covers would be nice), and the addition of a velvet carrying bag for transport would be a real plus;
- Although designed for handheld use, it begs for the ability to stand upright (I suggest a 3" wide angled plexiglass insert under the elastic strap which stops against the grip in vertical position, and slides over the grip in horizontal position); and
- The Handstand 2 pre-order price of $39.99 will get a lot of attention.
All in all, this is a good concept that should be great in the iPad2 version, particularly if it includes a stand insert and a carry bag, accommodates the new Apple cover, and provides a way to secure that cover when upside-down (like a long elastic strap across the side opposite the hinge that would lay across the back when not in use). This case would be excellent if children are using it, or in any other heavy use environment where it might be subject to bumping and jostling.
Another rotational approach is the Hand-e-holder from Burns Computer Services. Technically, its not a case, but rather an attachable rotating handle with a number of optional enhancements. With a price of $39.99 (www.handeholder.com), this device will fit the original iPad, the iPad2 (to which I’ve attached it), or any other tablet.
As my friends have pointed out, it is initially a little unsettling to attach an adhesive ring around the apple logo on the back of the iPad, but it is very secure (it can also be attached to a variety of hard shell iPad cases). The basic unit includes the velcro adjustable padded hand-strap, patented 3M Dual Lock adhesive ring, and an acrylic Mini-Stand for vertical or horizontal viewing. Although the hand-strap is rather difficult to attach and remove (admittedly a feature since you don’t want the iPad to fall off), the rotation works well, and the stand works pretty well.
What makes this product particularly unique is the range of accessories available including:
- Leg Strap Kit ($39.99) which works well in aviation knee-board use;
- Adaptor Plate ($19.99) which is an acrylic wall or other flat surface mount (two holes);
- Mini Tri-pod ($39.99) includes acrylic mount and collapsible non-skid legs;
- Spring Clamp ($39.99) includes acrylic mount to clamp on an edge like a desk;
- C-Clamp 1.5 or 2.5 ($39.99) includes acrylic mount to fit on flat or round edges;
- Rectangular Stand ($45.99) includes acrylic mount on clear vertical stand attached to a polished black base grooved for wireless keyboard;
- Tear-Drop Stand ($39.99) includes acrylic mount on clear stand with polished black base; and
- Extra Dual Lock Rings ($6.00) includes two rings for additional devices.
Although the extra accessories seem a bit pricey, they certainly do expand the number of environments where the iPad can be safely secured for additional functionality. Interestingly, none of these accessories included mounts in automobiles such as on headrests. In summary, this concept puts a new “spin” on where iPads could be used effectively.