TechnologyTell

iPevo PadPillow iPad support cushion review redux, and a look at the PadPillow Lite

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad

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I’ve discovered that one of my favorite iPad accessories is essentially a pillow; specifically, iPevo’s very cool PadPillow iPad support, which is a disarmingly simple concept in theory and a fantastically brilliant one in practice.

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Ergonomics are not the iPad’s long suit, especially for typing more than a paragraph or two. I’ve found that iPad portfolio cases whose protective cover flap folds to form a wedge that tilts the iPad toward you help somewhat for lap typing. The angle is still too shallow for comfortable screen viewing, but typing comfort is improved.

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Another advantage is that with folio-type iPad cases, you don’t need to remove the tablet from the case in order to mount it on the PadPillow. Examples are Acme Made’s Orikata “Origami” folio case, and  iPevo’s own Origami Folio case.

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When I reviewed the iPevo PadPillow here last summer, I liked it, and gave it a positive review. Ten months later, I like it even better. Over the past year I’ve been doing more and more composition on the iPad, and the PadPillow literally makes the difference between comfort and discomfort for lap typing. It supports the tablet at a relatively upright angle to for viewing with less neck strain, and typing on the virtual keyboard is not bad either.

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It’s not as correct as using a laptop on a stand with an external keyboard and mouse at a proper workstation, but one of the iPad’s marquee advantages is its unencumbered portability. One of the reasons I bought the iPad was to use it for more relaxed composition and editing activity than is possible when sitting at my office workstation. The PadPillow substantially enhances its practical usability, while adding very little extra complexity—although it is, necessarily, a lot more bulky than an iPad alone.

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Light, though. Being essentially a cotton fabric bag stuffed with foam padding, the PadPillow adds very little weight, and is soft and comfortable on your lap. The pillow is made in two triangular sections connected with a soft hinge. If you fold the sections out to the extended position, it works well on the floor (at least if you’re young enough to be into floor computing), when sitting in a lounge-style chair, or lying in bed. Resting the PadPillow and iPad on your legs allows you to you control the viewing angle with the bend of your knees.

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Folding the PadPillow’s sections together forms a compact pillow support, great for your lap, the couch arm, or the chair next to you. In this position, a raised leather label acts as a simple stopper for the iPad. I do, however, wish there was a Velcro strip of a snap fastener to secure the PadPillow in its folded configuration, and a carry handle loop of nylon webbing or some such for one-handed carriage would be great.

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After 10 months of daily use, the fabric cover in way of the palm rest areas is getting a tad grubby. Happily, the cover is machine-washable, and there’s a zipper-closure aperture hidden under a flap at the back through which the inner foam can be removed. I must get to doing that soon.

The PadPillow is available in six colors.

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The iPevo PadPillow is a well-designed product that has the virtues of excellent functionality combined with elegant simplicity and a reasonable price, and it’s stood the test of time. The price has even dropped from the original $34.95 to $28.90.

Or, even less. Building on the success of PadPillow, iPevo has expanded the PadPillow family with PadPillow Lite.

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Like the original, PadPillow Lite is a pillow stand for all generations of iPad, including the iPad mini and many varieties of other tablet computers and ebook readers such as Barnes and Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle. Like the full-size model, PadPillow Lite is made from a high-density foam with a removable 100% cotton fabric cover, but is available in just two colors: dark gray or pink.

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At 5.9 ounces (168g), PadPillow Lite is less than half as heavy as the original PadPillow (which is already very light at less than a pound). The Lite version measures 9.8 x 4.3 x 9.2 inches (25 x 11 x 23.5 centimeters), significantly more compact than its predecessor. As such, the company emphasizes PadPillow Lite’s travel-readiness and its featherlight weight.

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PadPillow Lite may be used in two different configurations, depending on application, body position and preference. Folded together, the stand provides a steeper viewing angle for the device, but the stand can also be laid flat out for a lower viewing angle. In the folded together position, two embedded magnets keep the pillow sections in place. A sewn tag provides a stopper for the device to prevent slippage.

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“We see room for both versions of PadPillow for iPad and eReader users,” said Royce Hong, CEO and big head of design for iPevo. “Those who prefer the original PadPillow will enjoy its multiple viewing angles and the comfort of a larger pillow, particularly when resting the stand on the body. PadPillow Lite users will appreciate the stand’s light weight and slim profile, particularly for transport and travel, which will make this stand a favorite for businesspeople and commuters. Regardless, both pillow stands deliver what we call ‘comfort computing,’ particularly for extended reading, gaming, or movie-watching sessions.”

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PadPillow Lite is now available at iPevo’s Online Store for the very friendly price of $12.99.

And finally, ya’ just gotta love a company that prepares and posts illustrated instructions on how to make their product yourself from scratch, noting that making a DIY PadPillow is great project for families or anyone who enjoys hands-on arts and crafts.

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Check out the full instructions at the iPevo blog.

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