iPad Accessory Review: ViewSticks iPad Car Mounting System

iPad Gear Car Gear

There are a growing number of us who want to use our iPads pretty much everywhere. And one of those places is in… the car. The iPad makes a great car entertainments system for kids in the backseat. The only thing is… you need a good, secure way to hold the iPad in place. ViewSticks offers one system for doing just that. Priced at just $19.95, the ViewSticks are a convenient, low profile way to hold your iPad in place behind the drivers or passenger seat for easy viewing. Here’s a look at them in action…

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From the Company:

Compatible with all iPad cases and quickly installed and removed without tools, the ViewSticks headrest mounting system is now shipping. Created with today’s mobile media consumer and family in mind, ViewSticks turn the backseat of your car into a media center or productivity lounge. Position and use your iPad to keep the kids entertained and make your Holiday driving easier.

Just in time for the Holidays, ViewSticks make great stocking stuffers. “This product was designed with the iPad user in mind” says Douglas Collins, founder of ViewSticks. “It attaches to the headrest and will hold and support the iPad to transform it into a Rear Seat Entertainment system.”

ViewSticks are compatible with cases and will install on any automotive headrest that has post style attachments. It will also hold and support the iPod touch, iPhone, all tablet computers and Smartphones as well as most DVD players. Installed or removed in under 30 seconds without tools, ViewSticks can quickly be switched from seat to seat or car to car. You can easily use them on vacation in your rental car.

“Parents will love it,” Collins said, “the kids can comfortably view their iPod touch, their DVD players or the iPad while sitting back and relaxing. It definitely helps make the driving easier.” They are the perfect accessory to expand the utility of electronic media players to your car and keep the kids entertained in the backseat.

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The ViewSticks themselves are simply metal rods shaped in a specific manner that easily holds them in place on the headrest rod.

They loop around the headrest support and go on, and come off, in seconds.

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Two suction cups are included. They attach to the ViewSticks and then grab the back of the iPad… assuming the back of the iPad is not covered by a porous case. If it is, this method for securing the iPad obviously won’t work.

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Here is the suction cup in place.

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There is a protective skin on this iPad and it holds just fine.

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With the iPad suction-cupped to the rods it sits in place unobstructed by anything else at a good viewing angle. At least… it is a good viewing angle for me. I’m not sure how good it would be for someone much smaller and, due to the design of the ViewSticks, the angle is not adjustable.

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When in use the iPad sits on the ViewSticks “leg”. I don’t love the idea of the iPad sitting right on the metal but… so be it.

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I don’t personally trust suction cups when it comes to holding my expensive electronics in a bumpy car. Thankfully there is another method for attaching the iPad to the ViewSticks.

The second method for securing the iPad is by using the included rubber bands. This method seems much more secure than the first.

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Using this method the iPad is held in place by the rubber bands once they are stretched around the corner of the device. It is quite similar to the method used by case that have elastic that grabs the corners of the iPad. It is not my prefered method for holding an iPad in place but it does seem to be much more secure than the suction cups. Ideally you would use both methods in conjunction with one another.

Overall this seems like an easy and inexpensive way to use the iPad as an entertainment system for those sitting in the backseat of a car. They attach easily and give two different options for holding the iPad in place. I would never trust suction cups with my iPad but the rubber bands seem to do a decent enough job that I likely would trust them. The ViewSticks are not the most elegant or finessed iPad accessory I have seen but they do work just fine and are a good option for someone looking to use their iPad in this manner.

The ViewSticks are available directly from the product website.

MSRP: $19.95 plus shipping and handling.

What I Like: Inexpensive; Easily installed and removed; lets you use the iPad with or without a case

What Needs Improvement: Inclusion of a suction cup attachment system suggests they are trustworthy… I have my doubts and think people who do not attach them properly may see some iPads come crashing down, so in other words — use the bands; Viewing angle is not adjustable.

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him.

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