Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount Hardware Review

Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount Hardware Review

Jul 20, 2015

Summertime is travel time for my family. We love going places, and almost always enjoy ourselves.

Still, it’s the going that can be troublesome. Boredom is young person’s kryptonite, and backseat bickering is mine. Thus, for all concerned, having mobile technology is such a blessing, and the Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount helps harness that blessing.

The review package arrived in clear cellophane, just as it does in retail form; it contained 6 pieces, and involved a lit bit of onsite prep t get together. I wasn’t a fan of the diagrams, but to be fair, I was able to cobble it together in an intuitive manner. When set to go, it uses the 2-post system available on the headrest of most cars to attach itself, and then physically extends towards the middle, such that the tablet is held in a central position mostly between the two front seats. It works great for two heads, but can be effective with three in our hands-on testing.

In practice, it’s an interestingly effective solution. It extends out across the forefront of a conventional back row, and allows for occupants to consume tablet content from the central position. the setup allows for some movement as well, and as such, can be adjusted to fewer passengers. It was an effective holder for video and even controller-based gameplay

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It is pretty easy to set up, and works well with a large range of tablets, and as such is the perfect accessory for road trips of varying lengths. The assembled piece can be removed, and say, stored in the trunk when not in use (or used in another vehicle), which gives is a slight degree of mobility.

It’s another piece from Arkon that mostly adds functionality to larger mobile devices… but then again, what did we expect?

Arkon Travel Tablet Stand Hardware Review

Arkon Travel Tablet Stand Hardware Review

Jun 30, 2015

Easy does it.

Yep, that is my moto when it comes to accessories for electronics. You can the coolest high falutin’ helpers, but in the end, it just seem like the best accessories are easy to handle, move and implement. Why have a piece that is more complex than the smartdevice it is supposed to support?

The Arkon Tablet Stand is one that seems to fit this bill… at least, on the surface.

The retail unit Arkon sent us was simply packaged, and contained the unit for review and documentation. It possesses a unique design; at first glance, with the unit folded, one might be forgiven for not being impressed. At rest, it looks like a somewhat irregular piece of plastic. Closer inspection shows that it is actually made of three joiined pieces — arms, if you will — that can be pulled apart from an axis. The axis is intricately constructed, such that the arms move somewhat independently of each other, but are still able to form a shape. Two matching form the base, and the third arm, which is padded and jointed, becomes an adjustable support. It is simple, yes, but the way it is conceived allows it to be pretty sturdy in action.

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A strong point for this solution is the overall efficacy. because of it’s adjustable nature, it can be used with several devices of different sized in either orientation. The back support can be adjusted, and this allows the viewing angle to be tweaked, which can be invaluable; the base arms have grooves, which help with stability.

The uses are too many to list. It was used to create a “monitor” to type up this review. It can be used to take in media, videochat, or everyday browsing. It just works.

Obviously, the portability is a big benefit. Because it can be folded up, it easily fits in one’s go bag, or even pocket. I was even able to tuck it into a tablet sleeve with the tablet.

All the moving parts give me pause; the arms are a bit stiff, and the ratcheting system could be a point of weakness down the line. This is conjecture on my part, so I am willing to give the whole piece the benefit of the doubt.

For now, it’s on my favorites list.

Arkon Mobile Grip 2 Mount Hardware Review

Arkon Mobile Grip 2 Mount Hardware Review

Aug 11, 2014

I “discovered” smartphone-based GPS a while back; the ability to have mobile, ad-hoc voice directions, albeit reliant on cellular signal, was invaluable, and since I was frequently on the road headed to new locations, it became one of the most important features on my device. I have never had to rely on a standalone unit, and even when not driving, mobile GPS has been a lifesaver more than once.

Driving with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a phone isn’t especially safe or effective though, so — cue the “accessorize the ultimate accessory” music — we get to see potentially multidisciplinary tools like the Arkon Deluxe Mini Windshield/Dashboard Sticky Suction Mount (MG279) become prime players.

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We received the review unit in simple, mostly clear packaging that shows of the components: Mobile Grip 2 Universal Smartphone Holder, an optional Sticky Mounting piece, the swivel adjustment ring, an adhesive disk along with diagrammed paperwork. The core piece is made of hard plastic, with a spring mechanism at the bottom. It feels well crafted, is fairly durable and the diagrams show how easy it is to assemble.

In practice, the mount works well enough on smooth interiors and glass/windshields. The device holder portion provides a good grip, and the adjustable nature allows for a host of devices to be used with it; it can comfortably hold devices that are up to 3.6″ wide, which means it can even handle some of the more popular phablets. Shaking it vigorously did not dislodge the devices. The suction part works as most do, by pressing on the activating button to create a vacuum seal that works quite well. With some practice, I was able to manipulate the unit with one hand, which is a bonus.

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The mounting plate allows for the suction cup to be used on other surfaces; I let it cure for 48 hours to be safe, though it only asks for 24. The bond created is quite strong, and it pairs with the suction cup seamlessly. the swivel adjustment ring is a smart piece that helps tighten the angles, and the rotation of the holder is quite useful and well-thought out. The holder can also be used with standard tripods.

A longer (maybe adjustable?) neck could probably make it more effective, but to be fair, Arkon’s penchant for using common components across several solutions and the 2-yr warranty make this specific tool hard to pass up. I suspect a lot of folks would see the price ($19.99 via the Arkon website) and become even more enamored of this effective piece of kit that can be used on the road… and elsewhere.

Arkon Smartphone Flexible Tripod Hardware Review

Arkon Smartphone Flexible Tripod Hardware Review

Jun 26, 2014

As smartphones become even more adept at serving as everyday image capture tools, having the right accessories specific to camera and video is shifting from want to need. Bonus points, obviously, for portability; if I can slip a non-bulky piece in the go bag (or even a pocket), I’m a happy guy.

Thus, having a chance to have a formal look at Arkon’s Smartphone Flexible Tripod is sure to be a fun endeavor; Arkon sent us a review package and it was on.

The package contains the main tripod assembly, and some interesting extra pieces. There universal smartphone holder, a ball pattern adapter plate, and a tightening ring for 17mm pedestals. There is also a handy black drawstring carry pouch with blue company lettering. The pieces themselves are black/mostly black, and the core is crafted out of hard plastic with greay and blue accents, with some metal in there as well.

When all compact, the item is fairly slight, but still feels solid in hand. The three legs are ribbed with foamy material, and are connected to the main frame, which itself is jointed for flexible movement. The upper parts are stiff, but the mechanical form is very similar to what seems to be standard for tripods, with user screws for tightening and a male connector piece at the top of the holding platform.

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Functionally, the tripod excels, as-is and especially with the extra pieces; the phone holder screws in seamlessly to the tripod, and is adjustable all the way to phablet sizes. The ball joint allows for added flexibility along the axis. The flexible legs are simply wonderful, and allow for some atypical mounting styles. The tripod also works with other third-party thumbscrew adapters, and in every use scenario, the device felt very well secured, even during shake tests. As an added benefit, it works with smaller cameras that have the right end, and other Arkon pieces.

I would have liked some adjustability, even a little bit, in the legs; if I were picky, I’d also like the unit to be rated for one-handed device insertion.

In the end, it’s productivity that counts, and this accessory is one that can definitely contribute in a simple, portable way.

The Arkon Smartphone Tripod is available at the Arkon website for $19.95.