Provides: Hands-free iPad support Developer: iPevo Compatibility: iPad Price: $34.00 Availability: Out now
If you like using your iPad for anything but very short form typing while seated in a comfortable chair or reclining on a sofa or your bed, you’ll need some sort of appropriate hands-free support. One-handed typing gets old pretty quick.
Over the past 15 months, I’ve tried a variety of typing support solutions. One of the reasons I bought the iPad is in order to use it for more relaxed composition and editing activity than is possible when sitting at my office workstation. A Laptop Laidback stand works well when lying down, but it’s fairly expensive, and its bulk and weight are overkill for use with an iPad. Acme Made’s Orikata “origami” folio case, and more recently iPevo’s Origami Folio case with their clever folding angled supports have proved surprisingly satisfactory for literal laptop typing on the iPad, although the angle is a bit more shallow than ideal.
However, iPevo also makes an iPad support called PadPillow, a versatile body pillow that is compatible with all three generations of the iPad, and provides comfortable hands-free support when lounging in bed, relaxing on the couch, or wherever.
The PadPillow’s shape is formed from soft foam, with an outer cover of 100 percent cotton in stonewashed blue denim, charcoal gray, light khaki, lemongrass, honeysuckle, and tangerine fabric.
If the fabric cover ever needs laundering, it is machine-washable, and has a zipper-closure aperture hidden under a flap at the back through which the inner foam can be removed.
Unlike the Laptop Laidback (which is a superb platform for relaxed laptop computer use), PadPillow is feather-light and conforms to your body. It works in either landscape or portrait mode at the optimal viewing angle that works for you. You can also fold PadPillow out to make room for a full Bluetooth keyboard with wrist support if you prefer to use that method of input instead of the iPad’s on-screen keyboard.
I can say without equivocation that PadPillow is the most comfortable alternative for laptop iPad typing I’ve yet encountered. The stonewashed blue denim fabric cover of the test unit puts me in mind of favorite pair of blue jeans, giving the support and contact surfaces a soft and friendly feel. The contact surface with your thighs is well-padded and also has a cushy, comfy feel.
The pillow is made in two triangular sections connected with a soft hinge. If you fold the sections out to the extended position, it works well on the floor (if you’re young enough to be into floor computing), when sitting in a lounge-style chair, or lying in bed. Resting the PadPillow and iPad on your legs allows you to you control the viewing angle with the bend of your knees.
Folding the PadPillow’s sections together forms a compact pillow support, great for your lap, the couch arm, or the chair next to you. In this position, a raised leather label acts as a simple stopper for the iPad.
Another cool thing about the PadPillow is that you don’t need to remove the iPad from folio-type cases like the aforementioned iPevo Origami Folio case, the Acme Made Orikata, or Apple’s own iPad Case order to use it on the PadPillow. Just flip the cover flap over the top of the PadPillow cushion, and you’re good to go. This mode even adds some extra stability to hold the iPad in place.
The iPevo PadPillow is a well-designed product that has the virtues of excellent functionality combined with elegant simplicity and a reasonable price. I can’t think of anything about it to criticize.