The form factor of the iPad works well for many informal computing, such as surfing the web while sitting on the couch. But if you've ever tried watching a video in bed with an iPad, you know how hard it can be. Either you hold the iPad and your arms get worn out, or you back it up on your chest and risk getting a creak in your neck. Even then, you will probably have to hold your hand to keep it balanced, and the screen will fade with every breath and movement.
Fortunately, the iPad design allows for a variety of unusual racks. On a whim, I ordered the Tryone Gooseneck Tablet Stand on Amazon's Prime Day. It usually sells for $ 18.99, but I got it on sale for about $ 15. This particular stand is far from unique ̵
Tryone's Gooseneck Tablet Stand has three parts: a clamp to a table or other surface to which you want to attach the stand, a thick swan neck cable, and another clamp to hold the iPad in place, coupled with a ball joint for maximum flexibility. It can contain an iPhone (and it provides holes for access to buttons and the Lightning port) or an iPad up to 10.5 inches.
I was initially afraid that the Swan Neck would hang under the weight of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it works well as long as you don't have to touch the screen too much, causing the iPad to swing. It also helps to create a loop in the cable for extra stability.
The Gooseneck Tablet Stand provides a great deal of flexibility, both figuratively and literally. For example, you can pin it to your bedside table to watch bedtime TV on an iPad.
You can also clip it on a workout bike or treadmill so you can watch videos while exercising. Eat your heart, Peloton! I especially appreciate how the flexible cable allows me to position the iPad so that the movable arms of my exercise bike don't hit it.
You can even pin it to your desktop to use the iPad as another display for your Mac with an accessory like Luna Display (see "Luna Display makes an iPad a responsive Mac display," December 7, 2018) or with the upcoming Sidecar feature in macOS 10.15 Catalina (see “No Mac is an island with macOS Catalina,” June 3, 2019). (For a more portable solution, see "Connect an iPad to MacBook as Another Mountie Display," February 22, 2019.)
But that flexibility comes with some trade-offs. While the swan neck is flexible, it must also be stiff enough to support a heavy iPad, so it requires a good deal of hand strength to bend it. In addition, the surface clamp is cheap plastic, so be careful while adjusting the cable when it is clamped to a surface. As the manufacturer notes, probably through machine translation:
Bend with two hands and bend only the swan neck when adjusting the position because it is stiff. Pull device tightly when adjustment can damage nut.
Preferably, you will adjust the swan neck as much as possible before squeezing it. Also, be careful when clamping the stand to a surface, as the manufacturer warns that the plastic clamp may break if you tighten it too high.
Removing an iPad from the spring loaded device clip can also be difficult. You must force it to open while grasping the iPad so that it does not fall out, and you must be careful not to pinch your fingers.
If the Gooseneck Tablet Stand breaks, I can try something like the all-metal AboveTEK Heavy Duty Aluminum Gooseneck iPad Holder, which is more expensive at $ 35, but will probably be more sturdy. However, I could see the itch on the surface it is stuck to.
So far, Tryone Gooseneck Tablet Stand is an inexpensive solution for keeping an iPad that has worked well for me. Have you found another solution for mounting your iPad? Let us know in the comments.