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    Review: Joule iPad stand by ElementCase


    The iPhone cases from ElementCase have always impressed me. Made to last from sturdy materials, they are beautifully designed and a joy to use. I've used a lot of iPhone cases and after so many wound up treating my phone badly, I felt the case we covered a while ago did possibly the best job of protecting the iPhone and providing a functional purpose as well (bigger handles for your phone when gaming). They also sell a car and boat mount for the iPhone cases... But then Apple introduced the iPad. ElementCase got right to work, building a gorgeous stand for the thing. As we reported last week, the stand is called the Joule.

    Hit the link below to read about the stand itself and find a discount code for your own purchase, and be sure to stay tuned -- we'll be giving some of these away on Monday of next week.

    Gallery: Joule iPad stand with TUAW logo | 15 Photos

    There's not much to review here, but the details are worth noting. There's a suede lining in the groove where the iPad will rest. The aluminum cylinder making up the bulk of the Joule's base is expertly crafted, with a slight bend in the back of the groove to perfectly cradle your iPad. It seems to fit better in portrait mode, but you can tell the stand is designed primarily for that mode: there's a hole in the base for the iPad speaker and a notch for the Home button. The Joule has 3 angles of adjustment, handled with a small pole that pops into one of 3 magnetic slots in the back of the base. A set of rubber feet keep things still on the base, and a small rubber grommet on the stabilizing pole secures the back arm. In all, it is sturdy and attractive. Even the case comes in an attractive plastic tube with real wood endings.

    I tried the Joule in a variety of situations, and I have to say it was very stable even when standing on some outdoor furniture (a couch cushion of sorts). While you can't charge the iPad in portrait mode, you can in landscape, if you don't mind having a big cable sticking out of the side. But that's not the purpose. I see the Joule as the sort of place you put your iPad when you need to use it away from your docking area: In the kitchen, or maybe on the porch or in a spare room. Even as a late-night bedside Netflix companion, it works well (and I can tell you that from experience).

    Check the gallery for pics, but the ElementCase site has pretty images as well. Stay tuned on Monday, when we'll be giving away four Joules: two in silver and two in anodized black. The black ones you can engrave with your own logo, and you see the TUAW logo on the stands in the gallery. Meanwhile, you can buy a Joule for $99 using the code K2597HV054.

    Update: You may ask if the Joule is worth the price (and some commenters are). Yes, you can prop up your iPad cheaper with books or some dried fungus or perhaps a crowbar and a jug of milk, but the Joule is a finely-crafted piece of aluminum with some very clever design and would be considered a "premium" stand for those who want one. If you feel it is too expensive, well, as the saying goes, "it's not for you."

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