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Steve Jobs first showed off the iPad (s aapl) on stage using a chair and crossing one leg across the other to provide a decent platform from which to use it. Surely we can do better. That’s the idea behind PadPivot, a Kickstarter-funded project that recently began shipping units to backers, and will soon be accepting pre-orders from the general public. I was lucky enough to take an early look at the PadPivot, and it’s a prime example of everything that’s right with Kickstarter-funded projects.
The stand for anywhere
The PadPivot is a small, foldable stand that features a rotating pad (hence the name) that has both a slip-resistant dust cover, and a no-slip sticky covered surface under said dust cover, called the Grip Plate. You can either use it with the cover, or remove it and stick the pad to the back of the iPad, which guarantees it isn’t going anywhere. This comes in handy when you’re using the PadPivot for what it was primarily designed for: resting your iPad on your thigh at a comfortable angle for viewing.
It does so thanks to a concave base with rubberized grips that should fit comfortably on most legs. Once you rotate the pad to the desired angle (and tighten it into place) you can prop up the iPad for movie viewing, browsing or typing, leaving both hands free and not requiring that you cross your legs at a possibly uncomfortable angle. If you’re in a car or somewhere where you’re worried the iPad might slip off, just take off the dust cover and make use of the reusable, non-marking adhesive underneath.
But the PadPivot doesn’t stop there. You can also flip the pad around to use it as a desktop stand with an angle more akin to what you’d get from stand offerings like the Griffin A-Frame, and it works with either portrait or landscape orientations.
The stand that goes everywhere
Thanks to very clever design work, the PadPivot isn’t only adaptable to a variety of situations, but also convenient to carry pretty much wherever you happen to be headed. Once you unscrew the pad and screw it back in on the bottom of the device, you can fold up the PadPivot’s leg-straddling wings and either toss it in a pocket or in a bag. It weighs next to nothing and takes up very little space. It is a bit annoying that you have to remove a part and reassemble it every time you use it, bur for me, that’s a small price to pay for a lot of added convenience.
The PadPivot was conceived as an iPad accessory, but it works equally well with other tablets and e-reader devices like the Kindle (s amzn) and Nook (s bks). Using the Grip Plate, it can even keep smaller devices like the iPhone firmly mounted on rocky car or bus rides. Bottom line, the PadPivot may be the last iPad stand I buy, and is definitely the one designed with the most ingenuity that I’ve ever encountered.