A few months ago we took a look at Vogel’s RingO system for the iPad 1. The accessory is a combination case/stand for the iPad that extends the utility of the iPad by offering various “modules” like a wall holder or car headrest bracket. It appeared toward the end of the original iPad’s “run” but with so many iPad “classics” in use and available as refurbs the timing, while late, wasn’t “too late”. Now Vogel has updated the system to work with the iPad 2. What’s great about the update is that the only thing that has changed is the iPad shell/holder which now accommodates the thinner, more tapered iPad 2 and its camera. That means that those who have the RingO system just need a new shell if they have updated to the iPad 2. It also suggests that investing in the RingO system now likely means the accessories will work with future iterations of the iPad as well as other tablets.
Not much has changed since our first review but let’s take a look at the update. Here’s a look at the various parts of the RingO system.
RingO allows users to mount their favorite tablet onto virtually any surface, as well as in the car, so they can enjoy watching movies, reading the latest news or using any app, hands free.
RingO’s beauty lies in its simplicity – the Holder clips onto the tablet, which snaps securely onto any of the range of available mounts: Wall Mount, Car Mount, Flexible Mount and others. Press to release, click quickly onto the next Mount, and your tablet is ready just where you need it.
Vogel’s introduced the universal mounting system for iPad at IFA in Berlin in September 2010, under the name Mount & Cover. At MacWorld San Francisco, in January 2011, the system was introduced to the USA, under the trademarked name RingO, which better captures the essence of the solution.
More about Ringo
RingO®, the Universal Tablet Mounting System from Vogel’s, lets you mount your iPad® or other tablet where you want it. RingO® gives you more opportunities to enjoy your tablet wherever, for whatever. Unlock the full power of your device – in one click enjoy movies in the car, show presentations on the wall, instructional videos while cooking or watch holiday photographs on the coffee table. The precision-engineered aluminum ring clips easily onto the available tablet mounts, and stays there. This European designed system is fast becoming the universal standard in tablet mounting systems worldwide. Allowing you to experience even more with your tablet.
Vogel wasn’t content with simply putting out a shell that would hold the iPad 2. No, as they explain, they went much further by way of adding enhancements that make the system better than ever.
The holder for iPad 2 is especially designed with the new iPad in mind. It fits the iPad perfectly and is even 15% thinner than the original holder for iPad. The iPad 2 with Holder is just 0,2 inch thicker than the original iPad alone. The smart design of the Holder brings out all the new iPad 2-functions, so you can use the HD-camera, connect the usb-connector or iPad Camera Connection Kit and you can easily attach Apple’s beautifully designed magnetic Smart Cover.
The updates shell is designed to work seamlessly with the Apple Smart Cover.
The camera cutout is designed to let you get as wide an angle view as possible. As they explain:
Vogel even set out to make the new shell work in such a way as to enhance the audio coming from the iPad 2.
While I’m not sure I would refer to the iPad 2′s sound as “stunning” I did notice that the new RingO shell does enhance the sound somewhat.
The soft touch feel mentioned here is actually quite nice to hold. Yes, the RingO shell does add thickness to the iPad 2, but the soft touch material and nice taper of the case make it pleasant to grab and hold for an extended period of time.
The shell grabs the iPad at each corner and holds on quite tightly. From the front the case is barely noticeable but the grip is “trustworthy”. The design is excellent in this regard.
The cut outs for all of the buttons and ports are precise and, as noted, the camera hole has a sharp taper that permits the camera to get as wide a view possible. For some reason the top is left pretty much entirely exposed however.
The entire side is also left exposed. This, however, serves a purpose since it makes the RingO Smart Cover-compatible.
So let’s take a look at some of the components that are part of this RingO system.
Table Stand: Stand your iPad on Any Surface
Simply click the TableStand onto the connector in the BaseCover, and rotate as required. As part of the Mount & Cover System, Vogel’s have also developed the TableStand, for free-standing support of the iPad. With the TableStand the iPad can be placed in either portrait or landscape position, on a table, bookshelf or desk, for viewing your favorite photos, movies or TV shows.
As with the first RingO, the Table Stand was the biggest area of disappointment. As I wrote in the earlier review,
It isn’t that the table stand doesn’t work well, it actually does. It holds the iPad in either portrait or landscape and it keeps the device at a good viewing angle. So what’s my issue with it? It just looks and feels cheap. It’s a simple piece of plastic that clicks into the center ring on the iPad shell. It’s a bit flimsy, lightweight, and it just doesn’t seem to even be part of the same system where the rest of the accessories are heavy-duty.
That still holds true.
Wall Mount: Mount Your Tablet on the Wall
The WallMount can be attached to any suitable wall. With just one screw, the WallMount is held securely in place. Vogel’s WallMount is part of the Mount & Cover System. It is a discrete and stylishly designed button that can be screwed onto almost any surface.
The wall mount is a simple disk that screws into the wall permanently. To use it with the iPad you simply place the RingO on the BackO and PressO into PlaceO.
The iPad will then be held securely until you choose to release it.
Car Mount: Watch your iPad in the Car
Car Mount Watch your tablet in the car For those on the move, look no further than the Car Mount. Adapted from Vogel’s successful DVDock, the Car Mount is the safest and most secure way to let your passengers use their tablet. No tools are needed to install a Car Mount, which is securely fixed to the front seat headrest (suitable for headrests from 10-20 cm). The tablet with Holder is then simply clicked into place for each journey. Now back seat travellers can enjoy all their content on the iPad or Galaxy Tab whilst on the move.
The Car Mount is no different from what we saw in the last review. There we wrote,
It is heavy-duty, easy to attach and remove and it does a great job of turning the iPad you already own into an in-car, “keep the kids happy” entertainment system. (I have to imagine the car companies are none-too-pleased since in-car entertainment was a nice add-on they could sell at a tidy profit. With a new iPad just $499 and a used one less why would anyone buy the stock system these days?)
One can’t help but feel badly for car dealers who have lost one of the biggest up-sells they had. Then again, in-car video is only one of a growing number of areas where the iPad is having a disruptive impact. Pretty impressive fora device that just over a year and a half ago was being referred to as “just a big iPod”.
The RingO is an interesting, flexible system that can grow as your tablet-use does. It has numerous accessories that making using your iPad more convenient than ever and while the initial investment in the system can add up, the fact that the main system can be used with a variety of tablets means it won’t become obsolete when the tablet’s product-cycle comes up for renewal. That point is driven home by the fact that the combo kit we were sent for review (and will be giving away shortly) was exactly the same as the previous one except for the new iPad 2 shell. I love that kind of cross-generational utility and wish more companies respected their consumers enough to do something similar.
You can check it all out on Vogel’s Tablet on the Wall website.
MSRP: Starter Pack for iPad 2 (Holder and wall mount) $69.99 (You can get it here through our Amazon affiliate store for $50.94
All in One Pack $199.99 (Get it HERE through our Affiliate Store for just $72.77)
What I Like: Flexible; Universal; Attention grabbing, usefulness adding; Even better design for the iPad 2 as compared to the iPad 1 case
What Needs Improvement: Table stand is cheap and flimsy; Complete system can be costly upfront