Provides: iPad display and grip Developer: LapWorks Minimum Requirements: iPad 2 Price: $39.95 (currently only sale for $24.95) Availability: Now
I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time on my iPad gripping the device with one hand while I swipe, tap and type with the other. I’ve developed the skill of one-handed typing, and because I’m right-handed, my left paw bears the brunt of gripping duty.
I haven’t noticed any sign of cumulative stress injury setting in, but it’s something I’ve wondered about over the long-term, and by any reckoning, clutching the iPad for any but short lengths of time gets tedious. It also contributes to the accretion of fingerprints and smears on the screen surface.
Pro-actively addressing these iPad ergonomics issues is the LapWorks Handler iPad Strap and Desk Mount, a two-module, dual-purpose accessory that takes the stress out of holding your iPad…literally.
The Handler is a grip-less and stress-free bracket and handle that facilitates extended one-handed iPad operation with less strain and fatigue; a heavy gauge, high-strength plastic bracket that holds the iPad securely, incorporating a 360° rotation hub that allows instant switching from portrait to landscape orientation or anything in between without engaging in any hand contortions.
On the Handler bracket/hub assembly’s reverse side is an infinitely adjustable elastic-Velcro closure strap that works for either hand, allowing users to carry an iPad securely without having to grip it—much more comfortable than holding the computer “bare-back.”
The iPad can be installed or removed from the bracket in seconds thanks to a cleverly designed quick-release rotating retainer tab.
Using the Handler, I find that I tend to hold the iPad at a more ergonomically sound viewing height—that is, higher than I find I typically do when gripping the slate directly. This may have to do with palm orientation. With the Handler, you’re in a more relaxed, open-palm mode that encouruages holding the iPad higher and closer to eye level, especially when you’re lounging or reclining.
I also find it more comfortable and convenient when using the iPad with the very cool (and free; check it out) Dragon Dictation app, which I am doing right now composing this review.
Thanks to a couple of easy-to-attach spacer blocks, the Handler can accommodate not only the iPad, but also most other 9.7 inch to 10.1 inch tablet computers. It fits my iPad 2 like the proverbial glove.
This would all be cool enough, but there’s even more to the Handler, specifically a “Desk Mount” module that facilitates hands-free desktop viewing, perhaps while using an external keyboard, without removing the iPad from the Handler bracket. Instead, the bracket slots onto the Desk Mount module with the iPad loaded up.
Once slid on to to the Desk Mount, the Handler bracket retains its windmill-style rotation function, plus the Desk Mount itself allows infinite adjustment of viewing and/or typing angles within a range from 90° vertical to 165° reclined, and any angle in between. The Desk Mount’s base has a diameter of 8.5 inches, which is ample to assure stability.
The recliner mechanism is based on a friction clutch that allows instant angle adjustment without need of pressing any release buttons or controls. It’s completely slop-free, and engineered to support without shifting position the iPad’s weight plus any hand pressure you might apply while typing for gesturing.
Thanks to a handy cutout aperture in the Handler bracket, you can plug in the iPad’s 30-pin connector for charging or syncing without removing the computer from the Handler. This works both in handheld and Desktop Mount modes.
The Handler iPad strap and desk mount is initially available exclusively from the LapWorks website, and is currently offered at an introductory sale price of $24.95 (regular price $39.95), which seems quite reasonable considering what you get. I really found nothing to complain about, especially at that introductory price.