Our devices are getting bigger. Size, remains everything. We want 6” phones, 10” tablets and e-Readers that can rival a book sized page.
We also want to be able to use them one, or occasionally no-handed.
Trouble is, without a bulky case, there is no way these expensive electronics, wrapped in glass are standing up by themselves and lean them up against things at your peril!
Only Nintendo appear to have bothered to integrate a stand into their excellent Switch games console - but even that is rumoured to be a bit of a half hearted effort.
No, if you want your device to stand up for itself, you’re going to need to invest in a stand.
The eniTAB360 from the curiously-named ‘Filofax’ store (look it up, readers under 30) is an interesting effort. The design is all based around that green disc in the middle, which sticks like glue to your gadget, without any of the permanence or messiness that actually using glue would bring!
No, this is a micro-suction technology which grips on for dear life, but will come away without leaving any residue when you decide you wan to take it off.
More on the disc in a moment. The rest of the stand is made up of a durable, but perhaps slightly cheap looking plastic that has an adjustable friction hinge able to support an iPad up to 140 degrees. Which should be enough viewing angle options for anyone. The ‘foot’ of the stand is a silicon rubber that has been nicely merged with the rest of the supporting arm, so it’s hard to tell between the different materials are in use here. Anyway, it should stop your precious device from sliding around.
Now I must admit, I was initially a bit disappointed. The packaging is nice and smart and, given the list price, I was expecting something more expensive looking when I unboxed the contents. I’m not sure if I was hoping for a nice aluminum finish or whether it’s the 90’s beige (Filofax call it ‘Stone’) that the review unit came in - but it certainly seemed more functional than beautiful.
My second reason for not experiencing love at first sight, was the learning curve which came with taking the eniTab360 off of my iPad Pro. In the box, you get a plastic near ‘credit-card’ sized slice of tough plastic, which you use to prise the stand off the back. Boy does it stick hard! I had to use some real force and worried that I might damage the iPad! Once off, the green disc looked very sorry for itself. All peeled and rippled. I wondered if I should contact Filofax to see if I had a dud.
But then, the cleverness started to reveal itself. First, a few hours later when I came back to the eniTAB360, it miraculously looked like new again! Whatever that green stuff is, it’s got a memory and it was restored to a nice flat disc, ready to go again. Second, I learned to dig the plastic card further under the disc, before peeling it away. It’s easy now and I’m hugely impressed with the strength of that grip. I was never going to hurt the iPad.
Whilst I’m still not in love with the beige-like plastic, it is nice to have something to hand that is light enough to go unnoticed in a bag, but strong enough to hold up an iPad Pro 9.7 at any angle I need. I regularly watch YouTube videos in the kitchen whilst cooking, or use the iPad to follow recipes and this has become my go-to stand for that environment. The neat 360 mechanism means I can switch between portrait and landscape mode, without having to remove and reapply the stand.
With a young baby in the house, it also presents opportunities for hands-free reading, either to myself today on the Kindle app, or together in a few month’s time when my little one is ready for some children’s storytelling.
So, would I recommend the Filofax eniTAB360 universal tablet holder?
Yes, I would. It’s a clever solution for large tablets (a small one is also available) that gives you a stand that grips so tight, it’ll feel like it’s part of the device, but is easy to remove, once you’ve practiced!
I’m still not in love with the way it looks, it adds little to an iPad’s aesthetic, for example, but at the end of the day, you’re looking at the front, not the back and this makes a tablet really useful in those places where zero hands are required! Other tablets will likely suit it better.
In the future, I’d love to see it available in a range of colours and perhaps a premium material option. The technology they have in the green disc should not be restricted to just one choice. But otherwise, it makes for a good option.