When I first caught wind of Revena’s ELEMENTS AXIS system for the iPad I was intrigued. Rather than having a case, a stand, a wall-mount and a car mount the system gives you all of them in a totally integrated package. You get one shell/case and then can use the iPad on a desk, on a wall or in the car. It looked neat and I was thrilled when the company sent one out for review.
You can buy each piece separately or buy a packaged system; so let’s take a look at each piece of the system and the way in which they integrate with one another.
The ELEMENTS AXIS Softshell Case
ELEMENTS AXIS, the lightweight protective case, fits securely around the back of the Apple® iPad™ and provides unobstructed access to all ports and controls. The AXIS case provides the ultimate protection for the iPad and enhances the user’s ability to hold it more securely while safeguarding their iPad investment.
The innovative feature of the AXIS is the integrated, patent-pending mounting system that offers the user the ability to “dial” their iPad up to 360 degrees for multiple viewing options when used with any one of the
ELEMENTS series of mounting solutions.
AXIS Soft-Shell case is offered in a contemporary smoky gray color and the professional grade TPU material provides the perfect fit and protection for the iPad.
The AXIS expands the usability of the iPad anywhere the user takes it.
As you can see from the first shot the shell is quite nice. It fits snugly around the iPad and gives protection to the back, top, bottom and sides in the manner familiar to anyone who has use a silicon shell for their iPad.
The materials used by Revena for the shell feels quite nice and I have every expectation that it would hold up well over time and use.
As you can see the cutouts for the Sleep/Awake button and the mic/headphone jack are precise.
The cutouts at the bottom are also precise and thick enough that the material won’t easily tear.
If you take a close look at the corners you will see some that there is some additional material to protect it from bumps and bruises.
The thing that makes this case, and this system, unique is the circular panel on the back of the case. It is built securely into the case itself rather than being an add-on that might pull out or off over time.
The double rectangle in the center is a receptacle for a clip that lets you attach a variety of accessories. This is what turns this case a “system”.
Here is a closeup of it from the inside. This is a serious piece of hardware. Thanks to the design it swivels a full 360 degrees.
As a case in and off itself it is quite nice although the “integrated, patent-pending mounting system” adds enough bulk that you would not want to use it if you weren’t planning on also using the other elements of the system.
The ELEMENTS AXIS Softshell Case has an MSRP of $59.99 but is currently available for $29.99.
A Hardshell version will be shipping in January.
ELEMENTS EASEL Kick Stand
The first add-on we’ll look at is the EASEL Kick Stand. It is simple, attaches securely and does just what the name implies.
A tabletop stand that quickly connects to the AXIS case, providing users with personalized viewing options. Placed on a flat surface such as a kitchen counter, desk, or airplane seat-back tray, EASEL’s compact, fold-up travel design provides users with a stable and secure platform to use their iPad™.
The stand attaches easily and securely. That’s the “secret sauce” of this system. It clicks in with ease and only comes out when you consciously click it free.
And it ratchets around a full 360.
It works just fine in landscape.
Here’s a top view.
And it works great in portrait too… With one caveat…
To use the stand in portrait you need to pull the interior piece out so that it looks like this and bend the “leg” out at an angle from the point where it clips to the iPad. The sliding out is easy but the bending of the stand so it is angled was difficult. It is a super tight fit and, at times, I feared I would snap the stand in two. I didn’t but it took a real effort to position properly.
That issue aside, the stand works great.
The ELEMENTS EASEL Kick Stand is available by itself for an MSRP of $39.99 but is currently $19.99.
It is also available as part of the ELEMENTS AXIS Mounting System which includes the softshell, the easel and a wall mount. The system has an MSRP of $199.99 but is currently $59.99.
ELEMENTS CLIP Wall Mount
Next up is the Wall mount. It comes in a two-pack or a single one in the combo-pack.
CLIP is a wall mount that enables users to mount their iPad to a flat solid surface quickly and with ease. With their iPad in the AXIS case, users can now securely place their iPad on the wall, providing them with convenient viewing positions and complete access to their device. The CLIP provides two types of hardware, mounting studs and wall anchors to make the installation as simple as 1-2-3. The small discreet design of the Clip, offered in basic white, blends with the décor of any room in your home when your iPad is not mounted.
The CLIP is quite simple. There is one piece that screws into the wall with the included screws and then the iPad mounting piece snaps securely on top and hides the screw heads.
Here it is in close-up. It is small and rather innocuous when on the wall. That’s a good thing and it means you can put numerous CLIPS around the house in strategic locations.
And here it is on the iPad. It is such a simple design but it does a great job of securing the iPad to any wall. The only downside is that it requires you putting holes in the wall and patching it if you remove the CLIP.
The CLIP is available in a two-pack for an MSRP of $39.99 but is currently $19.99 or as part of the ELEMENTS AXIS Mounting System.
Revena ELEMENTS JOURNEY Auto Mount System
The final piece of the system is the car mount. It is solid, flexible and quite impressive. If you want to turn your iPad into a backseat entertainment system it is an awesome option.
Keep your passengers entertained while traveling! The JOURNEY is an easy-to-install Auto Mount for the iPad™.
Designed to fit snugly and discreetly between the auto headrest and seat, the JOURNEY auto mount attaches directly to the AXIS case. The built-in viewing adjustments provide rear-seat passengers with secure personalized viewing and access positions for the iPad.
Universal design quickly attaches to most auto headrests.
This is a serious piece of iPad hardware. The key element is, of course, the connector for attaching to the AXIS case. The long pieces of plastic are rather heavy-duty and attach to the car headrest.
The narrow lengths of plastic connect to the care headrest. It is a simple and secure design.
Here’s the connection point extended. It flips out of the way when not used… As you will see in a second.
So here is the car headrest.
The two pieces screw apart and then go together securely, holding the brace on the headrest supports. The weight of the bracket and the number of rotations of the screws needed to open and close the two pieces made me quite confident in the ability of this unit to hold my iPad while driving on bumpy roads.
This is the brace in place but without the iPad secured. (Obviously) This is how things will look the majority of the time.
But when you are heading out on a trip and the kids will be in the backseat it is as simple as grabbing the iPad…
…and clipping it in place.
It works fine in portrait…
And here is a view from the side. We’ve reviewed other case systems for the iPad but this stands out as the most secure accessory I have seen.
If you already have the Elements Axis case the ELEMENTS JOURNEY Auto Mount is available for an MSRP of $99 but currently on sale for $49.99.
The ELEMENTS JOURNEY Auto Mount System includes both the mount and the AXIS soft shell case for an MSRP of $139.00 but is currently available for $69.99.
As noted in the beginning of this review, each element of the system can be purchased separately but you can also buy a combo kit. Don’t let the initial sticker price shock you too much. Pretty much everything I see on Revena’s site has a ridiculously high price but is marked down significantly. It doesn’t make this system cheap by any stretch of the imagination but quality costs and this is a quality iPad accessory system.
The materials used are excellent, the build-quality is great and the flexibility offered by the various pieces when they are used in conjunction with one another is impressive. At $199.99 for the case, easel and one wall mount I think this is a bit too pricey. At the current price of $59.99 I think it is more than reasonable, especially given what cases alone can sell for. Add in the auto mount for under $50 and you get a degree of flexibility with the iPad that makes the wonder device even more wonderful.
You can get more information and order from the Revena web site.
MSRP: Prices vary widely depending on the item and whether or not you purchase them separately or as part of a kit.
What I Like: Every aspect of the system is made from high quality materials and has excellent construction; The flexibility the system offers when various elements are all used is second to none; the case itself is quite nice
What Needs Improvement: The pricing structure is odd considering the fact that the MSRP is double or more than the company is actually selling them for; the system is for the iPad Gen 1, and there is no guarantee the system will be compatible with future generations