One of the oddest-looking iPad accessories that I've ever reviewed showed up last month, and if wasn't so doggone useful, I would have written this review sooner. The CushPad (US$34.99) looks and feels like a pillow, but it's actually a soft, washable stand for the iPad 2.
The shape and size of the CushPad probably limits it to use around the house. I just can't see taking this with me on trips, even if I do need a pillow to prop my head on when I'm flying somewhere. I have enough stuff that I have to lug through security checks, and a truncated pyramid roughly the size of three loaves of bread isn't my idea of portable.
The CushPad currently comes in one color -- blue -- although the website shows green, gray, black and red as possible colors for the near future. Three sides are emblazoned with the word "CushPad" in bumper sticker-sized lettering, so I don't think anyone will be asking you what the name of the product is. The foam insert can be removed and the outside material is machine washable, which is helpful if you do use it as a pillow and wish to remove the drool stains from the outside.
Now, how does a blob of foam covered with a washable exterior turn into an iPad accessory? Easy -- it's an iPad stand! And that's why I had issues getting this thing reviewed. Viewers of the weekly TUAW TV Live show know that Mrs. Steve (AKA Bionic Barb) had a total knee replacement back in late October and has been on the mend ever since. During that time, she kept herself busy by using her iPad for countless hours during the days.
For part of the recovery, she was plagued by having to prop up the iPad on pillows in order to keep her arms and hands from aching after holding the device for hours. When the CushPad showed up, it was immediately placed into duty as a comfortable iPad stand that could sit in her lap while she was sitting with her leg raised in a recliner.
Now that she's back at work, I was able to steal the CushPad from Barb long enough to review it.
To make it short, the CushPad makes a very comfortable stand for propping up the iPad 2 (it doesn't work with the original iPad). It's perfect for holding your iPad 2 in your lap while sitting, and it works equally as well lying down. The beveled sides make it possible to position the iPad 2 in either landscape or portrait orientation.
Yeah, it's goofy-looking, but the CushPad works and it's comfortable when you're trying to hold an iPad 2 in your lap for hours on end. For that specific use case, the CushPad works like a champ. I won't vouch for its usefulness as a pillow.
This American-made product isn't as nearly as cheesy as the Forever Lazy adult sleepwear, and it actually serves a useful purpose without making the owner look too idiotic. The price is a bit steep at $35, but you can get five bucks off the price by Liking the CushPad on Facebook. And just think -- it won't leave a dent in the head of one of your children if they decide to whack each other with your iPad stand.
Goofy-looking? Yeah. Useful? Hell, yeah.