Review: The BakBone tablet ring is easy to love

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

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The AppleTell crew got to meet the inventor of the BakBone, Dr. Paul Webber, at this year’s Macworld / iWorld Expo, where this nifty little gadget was on display and selling briskly. Fast forward a couple months after several long plane trips and some quality time with the BakBone on my hand, and I have to admit I find it to be second only to the Smart Cover in terms of usefulness.


Whether I used it to hold an iPad during a six hour flight or as a desktop stand to catch a quick FaceTime call with family once I’ve reached my destination, the BakBone’s design and utility made it an indispensable extension of my iPad.

Permanent Magnet

The BakBone consists of a thin, permeant magnetic disc that attaches to your iPad via 3M adhesive, and the actual ring itself. There’s a magnet inside the base of the ring that’s attracted to the magnetic disc, then you simply slide the ring onto a finger and you’ve got your iPad in an unshakable, one-handed hold. You can rotate the ring 360º to find the perfect angle, and the magnets allow you to easily detach the BakBone when it’s not needed. The magnetic disc is only a few millimeters thick, so it doesn’t get in the way of sliding the tablet into a bag or sleeve. If you like to keep your iPad in a case, you can attach the magnetic disc to the back of your case, then use the BakBone normally, provided the case is rigid and has a smooth surface.

Ring Around

I found the BakBone to be most useful where Apple’s Smart Cover fell short on the iPad Mini. Due to its 3-fold instead of 4-fold design, the Mini’s Smart Cover makes a pretty horrible stand. It has a tendency to fall apart when you’re using it even lightly, so I appreciated the BakBone’s secret skill of being an iPad stand. If you place the magnetic ring directly on the center of the iPad’s back case, you can use it to prop your iPad at a comfortable angle in both landscape and portrait orientation. You’ll just need to make sure you rotate the ring so the flattest surface is facing down, and you’ve got a stable stand that’s strong enough for you to type on.

BakBone iPad Stand

The BakBone was initially designed by an ER doctor as a way to facilitate bedside data entry, so its primary purpose is to give you an easy, one handed way to hold an iPad. The 360º of rotation ensure that you can find a comfortable holding/viewing position, whether you’re reading, playing a game, or watching a movie. The soft-but-solid clear padding on the BakBone is comfortable to hold for even extended periods, and I found its high friction surface provided excellent grippability even after using it for long periods (like layovers during flights across the country).

Bonus Features

Because its was designed by an ER doctor, the BakBone has one killer feature missing from most other iPad accessories: it’s easily disinfected. The surface is a smooth, clear plastic that you can rub down with an alcohol wipe to remove grime and other nastiness. Underneath that plastic is also great for marketing purposes, as the BakBone folks are happy to print a custom logo onto your BakBone. This makes it a great tool for a mobile salesforce or customer interaction agents, as you can showcase your brand and give your tablet users a free hand.


The BakBone itself is available in 10 colors ranging from white to red to purple to graphite. The magnetic disc is removable, though you’ll have to order additional 3M adhesive pads ($3 for 2) if you want to stick it to another device. You can also order additional magnetic disks if you have several devices, and then use one BakBone across all your devices.

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Buy the BakBone Tablet Ring

Provides: One-handed iPad grip and portrait- or landscape-oriented display for all iPads
Developer: BakBone
Price: $29.95
Availability: Now

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