Tablets have traditionally been casual devices, used while seated or lying down, and for relatively sort periods. But as millions of people make these devices part of their everyday lives, additional uses are fleshed out; today and into the future, tablets are becoming tools used more frequently and for longer stretches. With extended use, though, the tablet can become uncomfortable – or even awkward – to hold.
What to do?
The Handstand Grip Case for the iPad is one of the more effective solutions I’ve seen, though the idea behind it isn’t exactly novel. The Handstand is an iPad case with a built-in handpad and handstrap to make it easier – and more comfortable - to hold the iPad with one hand for long periods of time. While not for every iPad user, those who get a lot of mileage out of the tablet will want to take a look, particularly if they use it for work.
The HandStand is essentially an iPad case; its primary shell is formed of a semi-rigid polyurethane (NOTE: I tested the HandStand for the original iPad, though a version of the case for the iPad 2 is coming May 1st). Cut-outs allow access to the Dock Connector port, the screen lock / mute switch, and speakers, while raised areas allow pass-through control of the volume rocker and lock switch.
In the center of the case’s polyurethane shell is the spinning handpad, which allows you to hold the iPad in one hand and turn the tablet 360-degrees in either direction for the purposes of both screen orientation and more comfortable viewing angles. The handpad is a solid thermoplastic and has a raised lip to curve your fingers around, both for added stability.
Attached to this pad is an elastic strap that keeps the HandStand and iPad seated against your hand.
The HandStand sells for $39-$49.
I’ve been using the HandStand with a 1st Gen iPad for a couple of weeks and have found it to be a fantastic product for extended use. Since the handstrap is keeping the tablet in place, and the ergonomic handpad allows your hand to rest comfortably against the back of the iPad, strain and discomfort are reduced dramatically. Even for my fatty-fat-fat hands, the strap keeps the iPad stable without cutting off circulation or digging into my skin.
The spinning action is solid and smooth, and doesn’t have that “use it and lose it” feel that so many hinged and rotating accessories have; the thing feels like it’ll last. The HandStand is also light and doesn’t add much weight at all.
The handpad’s ergonomic lip could be a bit more curved for additional comfort, but it’s effective – and also doubles as a shallow stand for typing on the iPad’s screen when the case is not in hand. In my testing, use as a stand was relatively stable, but requires a very flat surface.
I don’t think the infrequent iPad user would appreciate the HandStand over other, more traditional case alternatives; but as a heavy user, I love the thing, and particularly how it employs a no-brainer feature – a handstrap – to such great effect. If you read for long periods, use the iPad for work, or have some other use that keeps iPad in your hand for more than a few minutes at a time, I think you’ll enjoy the HandStand as much as I do.
Now we just have to wait for the iPad 2 version.
Matthew Nichols, Products Editor