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?

Gosin Car Mount Hardware Review

Gosin Car Mount Hardware Review

Jul 2, 2015

When it’s all said and done, I prefer accessories that help my mobile devices to be, well, more mobile. Let them roam… do what they are made to do.

One of the first draws to getting a smartphone way back when was the ability to derive GPS voice navigation with the help of software. Having readily available directions on hand is invaluable. So is being safe, so getting a helper piece to hold one’s phone securely — handsfree — is not only smart, it’s legally prudent.

And so we get the Gosin 360° Rotating Car Mount-Air Vent Universal Smartphone Holder.

It’s a mouthful, and the review package Gosin sent us shows why. It is relatively sizable, and comes in two pieces: a portion that ends in a suction piece, and the device holder. On the retail package, diagrams help one get it together, the one piece snaps into the other, and with that, it becomes a unique, multi-jointed unit. All together, it is pretty heavy-duty, but not too heavy, and is constructed with mostly black, hard plastic. Officially, it is under 10 ounces and is 6 x 4.9 x 3.7 inches. Plus, it does not weigh very much as it weighs 9.6 ounces

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It has several buttons set in which control bending and angling, such that when it is attached to the windshield with the suction control mechanism, it is possible to tweak the whole unit very precisely — and this is not an understatement. It can literally be moved around for the perfect fit/angle. With a little bit of usage, it is possible to place and release device one-handed.

In some aspects, it does feel a bit busy. The physical functionality of the unit also means that it has quite a few moving parts: nuts, buttons, ratchets and more. It also bis a bit bigger in profile than other items of of similar function, which can be an issue on sleeker cars because of the incline of the windshield. Some of the button usage might not feel intuitive at first, but to be fair, it does get easier to use with practice.

Still, it’s a pretty useful solution; it does what it sets out to do safely, and even more importantly, does it effectively. The potential for one-handed usage is invaluable, and the price (under $14.99 via Amazon) is to die for.

The Gosin 360° Rotating Car Mount Air Vent Universal Smartphone Holder has a $4 off coupon code. Applying the Code PM52CCP9 at checkout the price will $4 cheaper than its current price and Free Shipping w/ $35+ Purchase or Free 2-Day Shipping w/ Amazon Prime.

Kenu Airframe+ Hardware Review

Kenu Airframe+ Hardware Review

Apr 9, 2015

My mobile mantra is “simplicity is best.” Essentially, to be as productive as possible, I look to find solutions that are simple and effective. There are plenty of tools that are overly involved, or simply too much solution for a gentle problem. There are also complex solutions that go way beyond a simple use scenario. Technologically speaking, there can be too much of good thing.

As I have gotten older, I have started looking for the easy accessories… stuff that enhances the use of my mobile devices, is just as portable and — this one is a biggie — handily affordable.

Here’s to hoping that the Kenu Airframe+ Portable Car Mount hits on all three points.

The unit Kenu sent us highlights the Airframe+ in all its retail glory: simple packaging with an emphasis on the product itself. As noted, this is a car mount, and it is rated for larger phones and phablets of up to 6″ and is basically a more extensible version of the original Airframe, which worked with slightly smaller devices. The retail packaging also contains diagrammed documentation. We got the black one, but there is also a white version.

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In hand, the Airframe+ is strikingly light, and also pretty compact at 2.7 x 1.9 x 0.98 inches and under an ounce in weight. The exterior fels like a combination of synthetic materials, and there is also some metal: specifically zinc alloy and stainless steel. It looks a bit like a simple c-clamp without the screw part; instead, it hs a pyramidal part that sits on the back.

The small frame is a bit deceiving, because at first glance one might not catch the expandable grip. The one end can be pulled to create more area, and it naturally retracts to provide a tight fit. It all comes together quite intuitively, and works well. I tried it with both a Samsung Galaxy S5 and a note, and it come together nicely.

It promises o attach to all car vents, and certainly did on the ones I tried it on. It simply snaps into place, at which point one can insert and remove devices quite easily. As an added benefit, one can use a card to prop the Airframe+ as a standalone device stand.

Pretty nifty.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of vent holders for obvious reasons, but I do like the construction of the unit, and the extra usage. At $20.29 (via Amazon), it is quite affordable.

So, it seems the Airframe+ is able to hold it own in the functionality challenge.

Exomount Universal Car Mount Hardware Review

Exomount Universal Car Mount Hardware Review

Mar 14, 2013

I love my accessories. Like apps, I love anything that allows me to add functionality to my device. Thankfully, Android is in a place that with regards to the availability hardware accessories.

Unfortunately, finding device-specific pieces can be tough, as the range if specs varies widely. The market for generalized, universal aftermarket pieces is therefore quite robust. When it comes to car mounts, different wiring conventions muddy up the waters. Thus, universal mounts sometimes provide the best values. Exomount 2, from Exogear, definitely packs in utility.

First, it looked good. It came in bright white (black was the other option), with red and black accents. It looked sturdy enough, made out of hard nosed plastics, and seemed to possess a minimum of moving parts. I liked the compact feel of the item. The spring mechanism was responsive, and easily maneuverable with one hand. It used a ball joint to facilitate movement along an axis, and there were screws to adjust flexibility.

It was designed to grip multiple surfaces, and used a suction mechanism with a lock lever to effect this. In my real world tests, it worked proficiently on walls, glass and mirror. When applied diligently, it seemed to be very firm. The clip itself was strong without damaging the phone — I have seen that happen with other mounts. It worked well with three devices I tried, cased and uncased (another big test for me, as I prefer keeping my devices cased). It easily accomodated my EVO LTE (2.71 inches wide), and looked like it could EASILY do more.

The drop tests didn’t faze it. I dropped it from about 6 ft up several times, and it didn’t crack. To be fair, I didn’t pelt the ground with it, but I doubt most people will either.

The exposed spring might be an issue in the future, and I could seer where the white finish could get a bit dingy, but for the present, it was hard to focus on probabilities. It looked and felt quite good.

The universal car mount from Exogear was a fun, functional piece of kit that showed versatility and durability.