Let’s get this out of the way right up front… at $129 ($139 for Black and Anodized Silver) the ElementCase Joule is an expensive stand for your iPad. It has a simple design, consists of just two pieces, and it serves one and only one purpose… it holds your iPad in either landscape or portrait.
So is it worth the money? Read on to find out…
Introducing the new “Joule” work stand for your iPad. Its stable solid base has a simple, clean, and elegant design that enhances your iPad and makes it easier to use. Unlike most stands, the Joule won’t tip over when using the iPad’s touch screen. This allows you to better utilize your iPad on your desktop or kitchen counter top.
CNC machined in the USA from solid aluminum, the Joule comes in a brilliant polished finish or a black anodized coating.
Magnetically attached tilt foot at the rear allows for quick and easy view angle adjustments.
Rubber pads at the bottom assure a firm grip on any surface.
A velvet lined recess holds the iPad comfortably and securely.
Designed and made in California.
Limited quantities available.
Designed With Both Landscape and Portrait Modes in mind
As you can see in the first two pictures, the Joule is basically a carved aluminum bar that has a “leg” that can be attached so that the recess for the iPad holds the device at one of three angles. The recess is lined with velvet to protect the iPad and it does so quite well. The velvet not only offers scratch protection. It also keeps the iPad from sliding to one side or the other. I should note, however, that the velvet stops a tiny bit from the top. This results in some of the aluminum being exposed. It isn’t a lot of exposed metal but it does make me a bit careful when I place the iPad inside lest iPad meets Joule and scratches result.
The three holes in the back of the Joule are precision cut and offer three different angles for the iPad. The leg fits inside perfectly and is held there by a strong magnet. This is a great feature as it lets you change the angle of the Joule in seconds. The leg is wrapped in a rubber gasket at one end to protect whatever surface it is on.
The name “ElementCase” is subtly etched into the Joule. I’m not a fan of products advertising themselves after my purchase but this is done quite tastefully. [Disclosure: this was a review unit that was sent to us, not a personal purchase.]
In the above image you can see just how precise the machining is on the aluminum. Rounded edges are nicely rounded and angular points are sharp and clean. The finish on the metal is gorgeous; the Joule looks like a fine piece of jewelry when examined up close.
Obviously this cutout is intended to leave the Home button exposed when the iPad is sitting in the Joule in portrait.
The other place where the precise machining is obvious is in the cutout for the speaker. It lets sound through when the iPad is sitting in the Joule without any loss of volume or clarity.
Here is the iPad in the Joule in landscape. And yes, I know it is time to replace my Clear-Coat screen protection. It has served me well but its time has come.
One of the things I love about the Joule is that the cutout in it is wide enough to allow my iPad to sit inside even with the HoverCoat carbon fiber protection on the back.
As you can see in this side view the iPad is held at a perfect viewing angle when in the Joule, and thanks to the design the iPad is totally stable when inside. It is held tightly and there is no chance of it slipping out until you consciously remove it.
Here is a view from the top.
So what do I think of the Joule? I love it. It is beautifully made and remarkably useful. It is simple yet functional. When the iPad is not inside its low profile means it won’t take up much space AND it looks good. The three angles provided by the various cuts in the back let you have your iPad at the perfect angle for whatever use you are making of the iPad at that moment. The fact that the leg is held in place by a magnet means that changing the angle takes two seconds and in each position the iPad is totally stable. When in portrait the iPad’s Home button is still accessible and the speaker is unblocked. When in landscape the iPad can be synched and charged.
So is the Joule worth $129,or $139 for the other finishes? That depends… Obviously this is not the right stand for someone looking to hold their iPad in the least expensive way possible. If, however, you want an iPad stand that is not only functional but also has the look and feel of fine jewelry… this is a great choice. As Elana has taught me… most of the time you get what you pay for. Yes, you will pay a good deal for this iPad stand, but what you get is awesome.
Personally I love this stand. I like the look… I like the feel… I like the functionality… a lot!
(And if you think it looks quite similar to another stand we recently reviewed… you are right! Stay tuned for a “Gear vs Gear” comparison!)
The ElementCase Joule for the Apple iPad can be ordered directly from ElementCase.
MSRP: $129 ($139 for black and anodized silver)
What I Like: Beautifully made; machined perfectly; holds the iPad in either landscape or portrait; holds the iPad securely at one of three different angles; low profile when not being used; Made in the USA
What Needs Improvement: Velvet lining does not come to the very top of the carved recess and leaves some metal exposed; pricey