Padprop is a portable stand for the iPad that offers something unique: it's perfectly designed to sit between your knees and offer a premium typing angle. Plus, it's very light, tough and even has a storage compartment for your earbuds. I've spent two weeks using one and can now share my experience. Best of all, we've got two to give away later this week. One is my test unit and the other is still new in the box. Read on for my review of the Padprop.
Inside the box you'll find he Padprop itself plus two cable covers. The Padprop is very lightweight (it's made of EVA foam) at 50 grammes, but it's tough. Just holding it you know that it's not easily damaged. I've been carrying mine around in my bag, which goes in and out of the car regularly, without incurring any damage.
On the back of the device is a clever storage compartment designed specifically for holding Apple's earbuds. The headphones wrap around a central point while the buds themselves and the jack are pushed into custom recesses. The cable cover rests flush against the back of the Padprop with the earbuds installed, and you don't even know they're there.
Here's a tip: press the earbuds into place first, and then wrap the cable. It's much easier that way.
One aspect of the iPad experience that needs improvement is typing. Not the software, mind you. I find that it's not always comfortable or convenient to type on an iPad that's flat on my lap. Glare, balance and other things often interfere. That's where the Padprop's unique design comes in.
To install the Padprop, simply slide it over either side of your iPad (landscape only). Its "rear," if you will, tapers to a letter V, minus the point. This shape fits perfectly between your knees, and sliding the iPad up or down once installed creates a wide range of angles. It's very easy to comfortably hold your iPad steady, still and at a comfortable typing angle with the Padprop. Best of all, your hands are free the whole time.
Of course, it's also a useful stand. I've used it in the kitchen to display recipes and movies. Again, the wide range of viewing angles is a boon. I've been teaching an iPad class to some local students, and the Padprop made for easy hands-free demonstrations.
I've got two complaints. The first is that it only supports landscape orientation. Yes, most apps will happily run in portrait or landscape, but sometimes landscape is not ideal.
Also, depending on how you've got it positioned, the Padprop can cover the iPad's home button. A simple nudge gets it out of the way, of course, as it's so soft, so it's not that big of a deal. You can also push down on the Padprop itself to press the home button, but it was still a mild annoyance after two weeks.
This is a fine iPad accessory that I'm sure you'd enjoy. Everyone I've shown it to has wanted one. The durability, light weight, clever storage compartment and hands-free prop make the Padprop useful indeed. It retails for £14.99 and is available in charcoal grey, with orange coming soon.