Going on car trips with kids can be rough. Hearing “are we there yet” too many times can make the trip seem endless. Electronics companies, and even car manufacturers, recognize this and make a variety of entertainment devices to keep those little backseat passengers occupied and entertained. If your car doesn’t have the built-in DVD players and you don’t own a portable DVD player, you could just let your kids use your iPad for entertainment. Get yourself a Rear Seat Headrest Mount and Custom-Fit Protective Holder from Arkon first, though. Arkon Resources Inc. was kind enough to send the headrest mounting system to The Gadgeteer for review.
The iPad mounting system consists of two parts. There’s a universal headrest mounting pedestal and a protective cover for the iPad.
The protective cover is a black plastic back cover. The inside is flocked with a black velveteen-type fabric. The outside has a textured surface that looks like carbon fibers. There’s a black plastic mounting plate on the back of the cover.
Cutouts leave all controls and connectors completely accessible on the iPad. You can use this as your daily-use iPad case, but the mounting plate is raised and will prevent your iPad from laying flat.
The mounting pedestal is made of black plastic, and it attaches to the headrest posts. The two legs remind me of scissors handles. They are laterally adjustable to fit most any headrest. To install, simply pull the headrest off the car seat, slide the mounting pedestal onto the posts, and then replace the headrest. Use the adjustment knob on each leg to tighten the mount on the headrest posts.
The mounting head is a square with two raised, rectangular tabs. The tabs lock into the back of the protective cover to hold the iPad in place. To use, simply insert the dual tabs on the mounting pedestal into the openings on the mounting plate on the cover and slide until the tabs lock into place. After you attach the cover to the mounting head, adjust the lateral angle of the mounting head, then tighten the adjustment knob.
The mounting head is attached to the pedestal with a ball-and-socket joint. You can tilt the iPad up and down or side-to-side for best viewing. You can also rotate the iPad from horizontal to vertical orientation with the ball-and-socket joint. Unless the passenger in the front seat is virtually lying flat, you should be able to easily adjust the iPad for comfortable viewing.
Rachel was able to watch videos with her iPad mounted on the back of the passenger seat. She’s 15, so her arms were long enough to reach the iPad and make adjustments or use the controls. She could even read books on the iPad.
If you already have an iPad, the Arkon Headrest Mounting System for iPad is an economical way to provide your backseat passengers with entertainment during long car trips. My only concern is I wish you could fold the mounting pedestal out of the way when it’s not in use.