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10-25-2010, 06:40 PM #1iWallmount Review and Giveaway
There are two types of people in this world. Those who watch TV in the bathtub, and those who are thinking about how they can watch TV in the bathtub. Maybe that’s overstating it but I’ve had it on my list for a while, to wall-mount a flat-panel so we can relax with the jacuzzi jets while enjoying an episode of The Office. Seriously, you’ve never thought about this?
Actually, you’ve probably never thought about how many places you’d love to hang a TV show or movie on a wall, until getting the iPad. Netflix, Hulu Plus, ABC… there’s no shortage of stuff to watch but that iPad just gets heavy holding it in your hand for an entire episode of LOST.
So what if you could just put your iPad in a frame on the wall?
That’s what the iPad wall and desk mount from Keith Logan Woodworking is all about. Solid style and function, hand-crafted in Batlic birch, with the ability to enjoy media in places where an entertainment center is impractical. Since Keith’s ‘iPad wall and desk mount’ is available at i-wallmount.com, we’ll refer to it as the i-wallmount for this review.
More Than Just a Picture Frame
The first thing you’ll notice when you unpack the i-wallmount, is that it looks very much like a wooden picture frame without the glass. On the front is a notch for the iPad Home Button, and another notch to allow you to grip the iPad for removal. The back of the frame is mostly open and contains 4 drop-in style eyelet holes (2 in each orientation) for the mounting screws. The package comes complete with all mounting hardware and even a custom-made level pre-marked for correct screw placement! Together with the great instructions, you’re sure to get this up on your wall easily without a lot of drama.
Rounding out the iwallmount package is a small matching wood standing-mount for use on a desk or counter. It’s basically another hunk of wood with an angled notch that the frame fits into. What’s cool is that it sits easily in the desk mount in either direction – portrait or landscape. Be careful in portrait orientation since the angled stand makes it easy to push over due to the iPad’s weight, especially if you’re operating the touchscreen. Not a major problem, just something to be aware of… when you’re cooking.
Build Quality and Craftsmanship
This is an area where the i-wallmount really shines. I’m not sure what Keith Logan does to the finish of the wood (he calls it a “clear catalyzed lacquer finish”) but I can assure you it’s smooth, durable and really shows off that natural woodgrain. To say the finish is ‘furniture-grade’ is an understatement. The Baltic birch is definitely some fine wood and it is crafted with very cool layered details at every corner.
On the inside front edge, facing the iPad glass is a green felt lining. This protects your iPad from scratches while sliding in or out, and also makes a snug fit. My iPad is sealed and protected with the iWrap (which we’ve previously reviewed). This didn’t present any problems with inserting the iPad at all. Along the bottom edge are cutouts for the speaker and dock connector. This makes it convenient to have the world’s most expensive picture frame sitting on your desk – and still charge and sync it! (Albeit only in the landscape orientation).
While there’s no cutout for the side volume buttons, this seems like a good choice since volume controls are usually available on-screen anyway and more holes really would spoil the wonderful look of the wood.
When I asked Keith Logan about the availability of other colors (read: wood stain), he responded like Henry Ford: “you can get the iwallmount in any color you like… as long as it’s natural unstained wood.” No, actually what he said was that he doesn’t like to stain or “hide the natural beauty of the wood,” but realizes that people may want other colors as this product evolves.
“As such I am not averse to staining. Right now it would add more time to what is already a difficult production process. These are still hand made in a one man shop.” And therein lies the beauty – these are hand made, one at a time, and it shows! While there is only one color available today, Keith isn’t ruling out the possibility in the future if the demand is there.
What I Like
There’s just something really fun about the contrast between the high-tech iPad and the simple low-tech elegance of wood. A great bonus in the screw mounts is that they’re evenly spaced on the back of the frame so you can easily switch from landscape to portrait orientation at any point, based on how you’re using the iPad. Vertical for apps or viewing traditional portraits, horizontal for viewing movies or landscape photos. Just lift the i-wallmount and re-hang in the other direction.
The idea of the i-wallmount works so nicely that you could easily hang additional screws in other rooms around the house where you might occasionally hang the iPad. The kitchen, laundry room, garage – places where it’s not as convenient to have an iPad sitting in exposed where it could get washed(!) or damaged. And if that empty space or screws bother you while your iPad is ‘away,’ just hang another picture in it’s place by the same screws. Your wife or girlfriend will thank you.
Yes, the iwallmount is on the high-end price-wise for iPad stands/cases, but has something other products lack: uniqueness. So many iDevice accessories are mass-produced, stamped out of plastic molds in China, rolling off endless assembly lines wrapped in pleather, all to grace the wanting shelves of your local Wal-Mart. Here’s something unique, made by a real person, that’s a real conversation piece for your home!
The i-Wallmount retails for $79.95 (actually not bad for this piece) and is currently only available through the creator’s website, i-wallmount.com. Just like we always do, though – we’ve also got one available from Keith Logan for giveaway! Leave a comment on how you’d use this… and we’ll pick a winner Wednesday.
Review by Larry Wiezycki. Larry works in TV and media production as part of an Investigative Team for a consumer advocacy law firm, James-Hoyer. He’s received 4 Emmy awards and has been an avid iOS and OS X user for years.