By Mike Riley on Thu, 11/03/2011
With the rapid ascent of tablet popularity, headrest mounts are quickly becoming a means to convert a tablet into an inexpensive, high-end in-car entertainment system. Getting a bracket that is durable, reasonably priced and firmly holds the tablet in place can be a challenge. Do Bracketron's two headrest mount products exceed these baseline expectations? Read on to find out.
Bracketron is a company that has been at the in-car mounting solutions business for a long time, and they have poured this experience into their latest headrest mount designs. The first, currently available today, is their Universal Tablet Headrest Mount. This bulky yet sturdy assembly sandwiches a headrest's posts. The stabilizing bars are large and long enough, the tablet that mounts to it is satisfyingly held in place. Attachment and removal of the tablet is done via a hook and clip locking mechanism. The mounting arms can be expanded and contracted to match the width of the tablet, making it ideal not only for 10" tablets like the iPad but even for smaller 7" Android tablets. So unlike other headrest mounts that are specifically molded around the iPad's frame and form factor, Bracketron's Universal Headrest Mount is, you guessed it, universal.
Universal Tablet Headrest Mount
However, it does have a few shortcomings that keep me from giving it a perfect 5 star rating. While I appreciate the fact that it keeps the tablet highly stable, it doesn't offer much in the way of repositioning the mounted tablet. If the sun happens to be hitting the glass at a distracting angle, there's a limited range of positioning to alleviate the annoyance. The other problem is that the arms that attach to the tablet don't do much on their own, so assembly often requires two steps - clamp on the arms, then snap the arms into the mounted headrest bracket's locking clips.
Fortunately, Bracketron's Twist360 fixes the shortcomings of the Universal Tablet Headrest Mount in several ways. Most notably, the Twist360 offers much more flexible viewing angles, almost as far as 90 degrees from the incline of the seat. This can allow passengers to use it as a keyboard without having to hyperextend their wrists in a carpal tunnel syndrome inducing state. Second, the Twist360 can be easily removed from a headrest and double as an iPad stand. So if you use your iPad in stationary mode most of the time, you can leave the Twist360 attached most of the time and use it as a prop to set the iPad at just the right angle on the table. The Twist360 also costs the same as the Universal Tablet Headrest Mount while offering the same amount of universal support for tablets of different sizes. About the only thing that the Twist360 lacks compared to the Universal Tablet Headrest Mount is a firm hook and lock mechanism. Once hooked in, the Universal Tablet mount was rock solid, even when the car drove along bumpy roads. The Twist360 tended to bounce a bit more and had to be occasionally repositioned during the ride. This stability trade-off is understandable given the Universal Headrest Mount's larger, longer mounting bar that kept the iPad locked firmly in place.
If you need an in-car headrest mounting solution today, Bracketron's Universal Tablet Headrest Mount will more than satisfy, but if you prefer the idea of a multi-purpose mount and stand and you're willing to hold out a little while longer for a more complete package, the Twist360 is definitely worth the wait.
Product: Universal Tablet Headrest Mount
Rating: 4/5 stars
Rating: 5/5 stars