Provides: Tablet display Developer:LapDawg Minimum Requirements: iPad or other tablet computer Price: $79.00 Availability: Out Now
The appearance of the Lapdawg o-Stand for iPad brings to mind a space alien from a science fiction movie.
The o-Stand mounts your iPad on up to four metallic “flexy” legs that can be bent into a vast range of shapes and configurations to suit your needs for holding the tablet hands-free.
The o-Stand is claimed to work with iPads 1,2, and new, all Android tablets, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Sony eReader, Nook, Kobo and more. Very versatile, it can position the device the way you want it and pretty much anywhere you need it. A 360° rotatable ball joint and bendable neck on the mounting head lets you choose landscape or portrait orientation and precise angle fine-tuning.
The LapDawg o-Stand’s central module is a high-gloss black globe-shaped hub (described as a “Yin-Yang spherical body” by its manufacturer) to which the four flexible legs can be fastened with Allen-head screws. An Allen key wrench is included. The o-Stand can be used with two, three, four or perhaps some instances even just one, of the flexy legs attached depending on circumstances.
The legs are easy and quick to attach and detach. The o-Stand assembly weighs 2.9 lb., but feels heavier, and I mean that in a good way. Maximum possible height as a floor stand is 31.5 inches to the top of holder. The smallest compact configuration is 6 inches wide and the height of the device.
The device mount is adjustable in width/height to accommodate a variety of tablet sizes. Compatible device size ranges from 7 inches to 11 inches. A quick-release clamp ostensibly holds the device securely in place through the 360°adjustment range. However, there is no physical retainer to secure my iPad 2 in place when it’s in portrait orientation, with traction from the rubber contact pads evidently expected to do the job. I was less than assured of their ability to do that reliably, as my iPad started to slip a couple of times when I was checking this out, although it thankfully never fell out. Not a big issue for me since I mostly use the iPad in landscape orientation, but definitely something to keep in mind if you’re a fan of portrait mode.
The LapDawg o-Stand’s marquee feature and main, somewhat idiosyncratic, distinguishing virtue is its extensive versatility. Pay a visit to the product image gallery on the LapDawg Website, and you’ll see that there are a vast number of potential configurations.
o-Stand is great for hands-free support of your iPad when reclining in bed, lounging on a sofa, cooking in the kitchen, using it in your workshop, various outdoor locations, at the office or home office desktop workstation beside a personal computer as a second screen, or even in your car.
The o-Stand’s main deficiency is one I’ve found common to hands-free tablet stands: a lack of torsional rigidity that defeats these stands as satisfactory typing platforms if you want to use the touchscreen’s virtual keyboard. To wit, the percussion of typing, even if you have a light touch, causes a bad case of the wobblies. You can see what I’m talking about if you watch carefully in the demo video on the Lapdawg o-Stand Web page. This is pretty much unavoidable with any tablet stand that mounts the device on a flexible or cantilevered arm or stalk.
Another impediment to comfortable typing on the o-Stand is that the lower device support pads protrude about an inch beyond the iPad’s thickness. You can jigger that a bit by stepping the device outward before clamping, but that’s not a particularly elegant solution. Another potential workaround of course is to use a Bluetooth keyboard, but that raises the conundrum of where the freestanding ‘board will perch—not a problem if you’re just using the o-Stand to support the iPad on a desk or tabletop, but a definite issue in bed or on a couch or easy chair.
If you use your tablet mainly for content consumption, the lack of rigidity will not likely prove much of a problem. But if you’re inclined to do longer form typing beyond dashing off brief emails, tweets, and the like, the oscillations become a major frustration.
However, for uses like e-reading, reading recipes while cooking, or reading task instructions in a workshop, which involve minimal screen input, adjustable hands-free tablet support has many benefits and advantages. For one thing it’s a lot better ergonomically, eliminating arm, hand and neck stress from holding the slate for long stretches. Positioning the screen at a comfortable angle also can substantially reduce associated eyestrain.
It’s certainly a unique iPad stand solution, and depending on circumstances could be exactly what you’re looking for.