Tablet are cool, and tablets are awesome. They offer a degree of portability with computing that really hasn’t been seen before. Between 10 inch and 7 inch tabs, even something like an ultrabook seems super unwieldy these days.
But we get spoiled…sometimes very quickly. The novelty of a light, portable device such as a phone or tablet suddenly wears off, and we start complaining that tablets are suddenly too heavy, or something like a Galaxy Note is too big. While some examples are most certainly a bit on the extreme side, I will readily admit to being in situations where I am lying in bed or sitting on a couch, and suddenly becoming very aware of the weight of my tablet.
Tablet stands are a dime a dozen, but not too many of them can claim to be versatile. Typically you have a plastic or metal frame that props up on the table, and that’s about it. Some of them offer a few different viewing angles, but the common attribute between most of these stands is the fact that they are made for flat surfaces. Even the ones that are built into carrying cases are generally meant for flat surfaces.
Somewhere along the line, the developers of the iProp must have thought to themselves “Hey…why not design something based off of a beanbag chair?” At least that’s what I assume what was going through their minds as the moment you put your hands on the iProp, you will be reminded of a small beanbag chair masquerading as a tablet stand.
The way it works is quite simple; because it’s “squishy” like an actual beanbag, it can be molded into a variety of different “angles.” There’s a plastic holder that the tablet (or phone, I suppose) actually sits in, but the base that rests against the table or your leg is made of the beanbag material.
This gives the user quite a bit of freedom as to where they can now use the iProp. Unlike many other cases where a flat surface is almost always required, the iProp can now be used in bed, on the toilet (if you must), propped up on your leg while you’re watching TV, on a plane without the tray down, etc.
Between my wife and myself, she was the one who used the iProp the most. I own a Nexus 7, and while it will work in an iProp, it’s a fairly small device where a stand probably isn’t necessary. My wife, on the other hand, has a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1…perfect to try out with the iProp. At first she didn’t seem like she needed to use a stand. After all, having to carry the stand around and remember to set it up seemed like much more work than just pulling the tablet out and having at it.
As the weeks wore on, however, I started to notice her tablet ALWAYS set up in the iProp. Since the stand is small, light, and has a carrying handle on the top, taking it around the house from room to room didn’t seem to be an issue. Wherever she went, she simply plopped the iProp down, stuck the tablet in there, and she was ready to rock. It was a little more difficult to prop it on her leg; doing so requires a slight angle that’s difficult for her to do since she is currently pregnant.
A very cool feature of the iProp is the fact that the beanbag can be removed from inside the stand itself via a zipper. The compartment where the beanbag is stored also works quite well for putting charging cables, headphones, and other accessories inside for easy transport. While having a bunch of stuff jammed into the zipper makes it a less squishy (therefore affecting viewing angles), I found that it’s a pretty fair trade-off for having everything stashed within the device itself.
At the end of the day, however, the iProp is just another entry into the crowded tablet stand market, though it does get some bonus points for creativity and at least attempting something different. It currently retails for $29.95, is available in silver or black, and can pretty much fit any phone or tablet that you can think of.