It’s not often that I am forced, forced I say, to lay on the couch and read from my iPad for an hour so that I can adequately review a product for TMO. But I do what I have to do to thoroughly test all products that come my way, and the Rain Design Inc. iRest is no exception.
Its purpose is to provide a balanced stand that allows users to recline or half recline while placing the iRest comfortably on their body to hold the iPad in place. It is designed for both reading and entering text. The stand has cutouts for the dock connector and speaker, and can accommodate regular iPad cases. The stand also features a torque hinge that allows users to adjust angle up to 60 degrees with only a minimum amount of pressure.
iRest lap stand in use
The iRest lap stand with an iPad
iRest back view
The iRest weighs 15 oz., is made from 1.5 mm thick aluminum, and folds flat when not in use. The MSRP is US$49.90. This product was introduced at Macworld 2011 where it received a Best of Show award.
Using the Product
There is a lot to like about this product. Indeed, I snuggled under my electric blanket and read until 5:30 in the morning during our recent cold weather snap simply because I did not have to hold my iPad in my hands. However, all is not perfect. For those of us with less than perfect bodies it takes some adjustment to keep the iRest in place. I found that the iPad fits better in iRest if the iPad is in a case because it creates a tighter fit. I also found that I needed to keep my iPad in landscape position so that it did not become top heavy and tip over, hitting me on my nose.
Even with these adjustments, the iRest was a pleasure to use. Although it is very light weight, it is sturdy and easy to use. If I felt the need to hold it in place at times, that was a small inconvenience compared to holding my iPad in both hands while trying to read in a reclined position. And, when placed on a desk or table top, the rubber feet, hold the iRest in place for either reading, typing, or game playing.
Do I recommend it?
I do. It is appropriately priced, well made, and does what it is designed to. I find it to be a wonderful thing to be able to read on my iPad while in a reclined position as it is one of my favorite pastimes. Just be aware that different body types may have to adjust as needed to get maximum benefit from the product.