Searching for a stand with a softer edge for your new iPad? Struggling to comfortably seat the iPad at the perfect viewing angle when you're curled up in your easy chair? The X-Doria Campfire may be just the right solution for you.
The Campfire is essentially a plastic backplate (sized to fit the iPad 2 or new iPad - sorry first generation iPad owners, the Campfire won't work for you) attached to a travel pillow. The back pillow is soft enough to conform to most surface contours, yet firm enough to stay in place once the pillow's deformed shape has been set. The backplate is specifically molded to clip onto the back of the iPad, so if you carry your iPad in a full case, you'll need to unsheathe the iPad first before you can seat it into the Campfire.
While the Campfire does make the viewing angle and placement of the enclosed iPad more comfortable, it can take awhile to set the pillow position without having the top-heavy iPad list to one side or another. And the bulky nature of the Campfire minimizes its portability. I see the ideal usage scenarios for the Campfire to be propped up against car and bus seats to watch videos on the iPad during long trips. And, of course, it could also be used around a real campfire at a campsite, though the pillow surface would likely need to sit on a plastic tarp in order to prevent it from getting dirty and soaking up water like a big sponge. As an added bonus, the pillow back can be curled around the front of the seated iPad when not in use, shielding the iPad from accidental bumps and low height drops. It even makes the iPad look like it's snuggled up, asleep in a comfortable sleeping bag.
In practice, I found that the real-life usage scenarios of the Campfire are fairly limited, at least in terms of my own lifestyle activities. It's a fun, child-friendly product that proves to be a conversation starter, but I found myself returning a more traditional metal iPad stand for my practical day-to-day needs. So if you're looking for stand with a playful, albeit limited, design aesthetic, the Campfire is certainly one of the more interesting iPad stands to come along in a while.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars