You know what this is? It’s an enabler.
I really feel like these things are really only facilitating my love of a) staying up late watching Netflix in bed and b) getting out of bed mid-afternoon after spending the morning watching Netflix.
Fortunately that leaves me with very little in-between time in which to feel any encroaching pangs of remorse due to stilted productivity, so it mostly balances out (…mostly), at least until I run out of episodes of The Walking Dead or Farscape (yeah, don’t you judge me when you’ve clearly just googled for reviews of an object that will help you angle in on an even lazier way of doing basically nothing). But none of this is really very relevant in turns of assessing a product’s usability, so let’s cut to the chase.
- Folds to: 11”/28-cm wide, 6”/15-cm tall
- Legs: 35-cm tall
- Four bendy legs
- Works with virtually anything tablet shaped and not too fat (<1 cm. Tablet cases may have to be removed before use)
- Price: $59.95
- Website: www.tablift.com
I have previously reviewed the Octa TabletTail Monkey Kit and it was immediately apparent that the tablift was the more stable of the two – obvious, given that it has four legs instead of just the one. It is easier to set up as you just need to splay its legs out around it and you’re good to go, although, amusingly, when I was sent the tablift for review it came with a helpful list of FAQs, one of which runs as follows:
Q: Why does my tablift topple forward or backward?
A: The tablift is very stable when all legs are separated; imagine four table legs. If the legs are too close together, as in step 3, it will not be stable.
I’m sorry, but if you’re emailing in to ask why the stand is toppling backwards/forwards, it’s because you’re an idiot. Seriously, if you’re incapable of figuring this out for yourself then the tablift should probably be considered a choking hazard and quietly taken away from you.
Anyway, as I was saying, the big plus with the tablift is how straightforward and un-fiddly it is to set up. It balances easily and, unlike the TabletTail, doesn’t need re-adjusting every few hours to stay level. Of course it doesn’t have the advantage of the TabletTail’s ability to hook onto shelves and things, but it wasn’t designed to. So first you need to decide on how and where you’ll be wanting to use your stand – if you’re mainly going to be using it in bed or sitting on the sofa or at a table, or even in the bath, then the tablift is the most obvious choice – if you’re hankering after something that will suspend your tab-thing from a ledge or branch, then go for the TabletTail.
The first time I used the tablift, the legs did strike me as being a little short. It actually proved to be fine after a bit of repositioning, but all the same this is something worth keeping in mind. Each leg is 35-cm long and the middle bit that holds your tab-thing is around 15-cm long, so make sure this is long enough to arch over whatever you want it to arch over.
Another plus with the tablift is how easily and firmly it secures your tab-thing (iPad, Kindle, Nexus – whatever). Its middle section (or thorax, if you will) has three 1 cm-wide angled notches built into it: one leaning towards you, one central and one leaning away. Just slot your tab-thing into whichever one catches your fancy and use the elasticated attachment to grapple onto the top of the tab-thing and hey presto, you’re good to go. It even has a satisfyingly efficient way of accommodating tab-things of different sizes – all you need to do it loop the elastic through the hole in the centre of the thorax to shorten it.
When you aren’t using it, it is inevitably a little bulky, but still easy enough to store away under the bed or sofa. I’m not sure how convenient it would be to lug around with you on a daytrip – it isn’t heavy but would likely prove to be a bit annoying over the course of the day. You could probably bend the legs to fashion it into some sort of new-age backpack – I don’t know, I’m not a scientist. It’s doable, but probably best kept for home use.
I’m not sure what else to say, really, other than: it works. It does exactly what it says on the tin (box) without any hiccups. If you want something to hold your tablet for you in bed/on sofa/with table and are happy to spend $59.95 for the pleasure, then I don’t think you can do better than this.
Special call out to nbrite for providing me with a review sample of the tablift! All views are my own