Griffin’s CinemaSeat2 Provides Car Backseat Viewing For iPads

| Quick Look Review

The Griffin CinemaSeat attaches to your car seat's headrest to perfectly position an iPad for backseat riders. This new version, called the CinemaSeat 2, is compatible with iPad 2, 3, or 4.  It has a hole for the front-facing camera, access to all ports including the headphone jack, and accommodates both the 30-pin and lightning connectors.

Image credit: Griffin

When I was a child and my family made a trip from Texas to Georgia, my siblings and I passed the time singing things like “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”. We also whined a lot. I rather expect that my parents heard “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” in their heads for the rest of their lives. This must have been particularly painful to my dad who was a musician.

I remembered those trips when I first saw the CinemaSeat2. How much more fun it must be for kids today if they can have access to an iPad and watch a movie or even read while in the car. I think about my little grandson who, like other children in the U.S., is strapped in a safety seat for the duration of any trip and how cross he can get without anything to do and the inability to move around. Thank goodness for the iPad and for a safe way to utilize it in the car.

The CinemaSeat 2 is available in gray or white. It is composed of faux leather and fabric and has a long opening running all the way down on the right side.

Color choices for CinemaSeat 2

It fastens to the metal poles of a car seat's head rest with a foldable, adjustable Velcro strap and includes a pocket on the back where headphones or charging cables can be kept. For owners of large cars with wide back seats, it will probably be necessary to add an extension to headphone cables before they can be used by kids sitting in safety seats.

Back view

Using the Product

The iPad slips easily into and out of the case, but the opening should be oriented towards the top so that the tablet remains secure. Once put in place and securely fastened around the poles of the head rest, it remains in place without sagging or slipping. I particularly like the ease with which the iPad can be removed from the case when necessary without unfastening the case from the seat back.

The opening for the connectors, either 30-pin or lightening is large and will easily accommodate either style of connector. This opening also assures that the sound is not muffled.

View of opening for connector and sound.

The MSRP for the CinemaSeat 2 is US$39.99, and it is available from the Griffin web site. However, I also found it on Amazon  for US$25.39. There is a one year limited warranty for the product.

Do I Recommend it?

I do. I think this is a cool accessory and useful to anyone who routinely carries kids or other passengers in their car's back seat. It is easy to use and is quite sturdy.

I particularly like the ability to quickly remove the iPad without disturbing the case, when leaving the car. The strap is designed to fit around the seat poles and, at least for my car, will not fit around a head rest that is a solid construction rather than one with poles. That is actually not an issue for me because I don’t have a back seat in my car either.

Product: CinemaSeat 2

Company: Griffin Technology

List Price: US$39.99

Pros:

Easy to use, sturdy, and reasonably priced case fastens around car's headrest poles to hold an iPad 2, 3, or 4 for backseat viewing. Easy to remove iPad, leaving CinemaSeat in place.

Cons:

Requires headrest with metal poles.

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Comments

FlipFriddle

I have the first iteration of this. I wonder if they improved how the strap fits on the headrest. It works fairly well, but it really depends on the size of your headrest. I ended up wrapping it around the headrest itself instead of the poles; when my son was in his first car seat he could kick the iPad (and did) when it was hung from the poles. Now that he is in a booster seat, he’s low enough that it can’t happen again. This was in a 2013 Honda CRV. For me 3 stars.

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