The Gadgeteer has reviewed a variety of mounting solutions for the iPad. Most of them were designed specifically to hold the original iPad, so there are a lot of redesigned accessories coming on the market after the iPad 2 was released. TouCoul makes accessories for both the original and the new iPads. They sent us a CoulVue iPad 2 Headrest Mounting System for review. Let’s give it a look.
The CoulVue iPad 2 Headrest Mounting System is made of black plastic. The interior of the iPad 2 snap-on holder is coated with a soft, rubbery layer that should prevent scratches to the back of the iPad 2. This holder is a very snug fit on the naked iPad 2. It won’t work if your device is in any cover. It did work with my iPad 2, which was covered with the ZAGG invisibleShield back skin. The photo on the box shows the Smart Cover is attached to the iPad 2, but I found it was difficult to snap the iPad 2 into the holder while the Smart Cover was on. The holder snaps over all four corners of the iPad and holds it very securely. All the ports and controls are uncovered and accessible.
You attach the CoulVue to the metal legs of the car’s front seat headrest. It will install on either the driver or passenger seat. Unlike a headrest mount I reviewed earlier, I didn’t have to remove the headrest from the seat to attach the mounting system. The CoulVue comes with an Allen wrench for installation. Use the Allen wrench to open the two screws on the mounting bar.
Simply sandwich the metal legs of the headrest between the two sides of the mounting bar, and then tighten the screws. The installation is probably best described as semi-permanent. You can easily remove the CoulVue with the Allen wrench, but it’s not something your kid will be able to quickly install/remove whenever he wants to watch a video or play a game as you’re driving down the road.
The arm has 4 ball-and-socket-type joints. It is very flexible and adjustable. The arm attaches to the back of the holder with a joint that that rotates 360 degrees. All these joints and the rotation point means you can put the iPad 2 into landscape or portrait orientation, and you can adjust it in a variety of angles and locations relative to the backseat passengers.
As you can see in the pictures, the CoulVue folds back against the headrest, but it doesn’t fold completely away or fit flush against the seat back. As some readers noted on an earlier headrest mount review, hard devices like this intruding in the passenger area can pose a danger.
It’s easy enough to snap the iPad 2 into the holder, even when the mount is installed in the car. Just make sure each corner snaps into place, and the iPad 2 will be held tightly enough that it won’t fall out even on bumpy roads.
Once the iPad 2 is in place, you can tilt it up and down to find the correct viewing angle. You can pull it close to you for playing games, surfing, or checking email. You can push it against the back of the front seat for watching movies.
If you have multiple backseat passengers who need to share an iPad 2, you’ll like the Share Mode. You can extend the flexible arm to position the iPad 2 near the midpoint between the two seats.
The CoulVue iPad 2 Headrest Mounting System is easy to install. Its adjustability makes it easy to use in a variety of ways for a single person or multiple people. Because it can’t be easily popped on and off the seat, it will always be intruding into the passenger area. You’ll have to make up your own mind about the safety risks, but you’ll find the CoulVue a convenient way to hold your iPad 2 for movies or for hands-free surfing/gaming in the car.