The BookWedge inflated wedge is, well, a wedge. A wedge that inflates. At this point you know just about everything you need to know about the product, including its website. I’ll go ahead and prattle on for a few hundred more words anyway, because not only is this a wedge that inflates, it’s actually a great wedge that inflates. Since I’m sitting here in row 19 at 39,000 feet with one, let me walk you through the BookWedge.
Unboxing (or rather un-sleeveing) is amazingly simple. The wedge is sold in a clear hanger, deflated.
The wedge is covered in a felt-like material which will keep your various electronic devices (or if you go old school, a book) from getting scratched. Since it’s basically a wedge shaped inflated pillow, it doesn’t weigh much at all (3.5oz), and when deflated it, stuffs into your carry on bag with ease.
When you’re ready to use the BookWedge, you just blow it up. The inflation nipple has one of those backflow preventive flap things – it takes a little fiddling to inflate, but it’s worth it for the bulk/weight savings.
Once inflated, the BookWedge consists of the main wedge section (which is just a hair bigger on a side than an iPad) and a rounded cylinder attached to the wedge by about an inch long flap of material.
Your device of choice sits between the cylinder and the wedge, where it rests against the wedge. There’s no strap or other restraint for the device, but even with turbulence, things on the wedge tend to stay put.
Quick Recap: What’s the issue?
As I said before, this is an action review in mid-air. When I fly I have a tablet, an eBook reader, and a netbook. The first two, even though light enough on their own, are not things you want to try to balance or hold for several hours. Viewing anything with said devices dead flat is also not much fun:
Any wedge shaped thing will prop that up, but then you need something at the bottom to keep the tablet or whatever you’re propping up from just sliding off the bottom. So, most wedge things have some form of “stop” at the bottom. So too with the BookWedge:
And there you have it – more or less secure, hands-free viewing.
You can see in this second photo that another advantage of using air for the stuffing of the BookWedge:
You can deflate it somewhat for a less than 45-degree display angle, if you’d like.
I used the wedge around the house, tossed it in the backpack and pumped it up at work, and even had it get abducted for some couch surfing research from my kid, and in all cases it worked just fine. One really minor nitpick was discovered while bouncing across the country in the air: The felt material is on all sides of the BookWedge, including the bottom. It slides pretty easily on a smooth surface – including airplane tray tables. In normal use, tapping (for navigation) doesn’t move the BookWedge, but I did have to back it into the seatback to play a tap-happy game.
Wrap Up and Land
I’ve reviewed a few wedge things, and the BookWedge is by far the most travel friendly of the lot. It’s essentially weight- and bulk-free when deflated, and yet becomes a full-sized, adjustable device holder in a few hearty breaths. When you’re done, it deflates back to nothing in a few seconds, and away you go.