How to: Put an iPad to work, in the car

Location, Location, Location

Where you put the iPad is as key a decision to make as whether to bring it along on a road trip. There are several prime locations in a car, but none that satisfies all of its uses.

I plan on using my car pad as a GPS device so one possibility is to mount it using Satechi’s $30 SCH-121 Cup Holder Mount. The black plastic device slides into a standard cup holder to give the pad a sturdy home between the front two seats. It actually works with other slates, including many Android tablets as well as Motorola’s Xoom or even a Kindle; it comes with a snap-on holder for use with a smartphone as well.

To set it up, slide the cylindrical base into an empty cup holder and twist it to expand its diameter enough to snugly fit into the cup holder. The best part is that once it’s in, the whole thing can be rotated so that either the driver or passengers can see the screen.

By contrast, RAM Mounts’s RAM Twist Lock Suction Cup Mount for the Apple iPad & iPad 2 is meant to be put in one place and stay put. The $59.75 kit consists of three parts: a sturdy suction cup for the windshield or side window, an aluminum connecting rod and a snap in base for the pad; it works only with iPads, though.

Unlike the Satechi mounting hardware, you’ll need to screw the various parts together, but it takes only a couple of minutes. Once I put the suction cup on the windshield and locked it in place, the mount provided a good view of the screen for the passenger. Unlike many suction cup mounts, which pop off the window after as little as 10 or 20 minutes, the RAM Mount stayed solidly in place, even over rough terrain.

Brian Nadel

Brian Nadel is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in technology reporting and reviewing. He works out of the suburban New York City area and has covered topics from nuclear power plants and Wi-Fi routers to cars and tablets. The former editor-in-chief of Mobile Computing and Communications, Nadel is the recipient of the TransPacific Writing Award.

  • xxplosiv88
    Goodbye wholesome family roadtrips. BUT, also goodbye to "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?". Something I'm sure I'll appreciate when I have kids
  • ...or you can leave the damn thing in the trunk, until you have arrived at your destination.
  • Hey its really fantastic idea to carry ipad in cars.