The Pad Strap is something as simple as an elastic band with a leather pocket piece in each end that lets you literally strap your tablet to your hand. Read on for a review.
Tablets these days are light enough that you can run around with them as you would a notebook, one handed and without breaking your arm if you hold it up straight. The Pad Strap aims to make this even simpler by letting you strap your tablet to your hand, meaning you don’t have to physically grip it at all. This is very useful for any situation where you’re not using your tablet propped up on a stand or laying on a table, such as note taking while moving around, navigation, information lookup etc.
While there are many accessories out there that allows you to do this, the Pad Strap is one of few that isn’t part of a case of some sorts. It’s easy to fit in a bag, easy to put on, and somewhat universal. I say somewhat, because it’s clear that it was meant for the iPad 1. It works fine on the iPad 2, though you notice that the corner pieces were designed for a thicker device. It should also work on other tablets, as long as they’re diagonally large enough.
The Pad Strap is made by a small company, which clearly shows. It arrived in a box that was as generic as you can imagine, which I actually like- no need to waste material or money for printing logos and crap. It’s a very typical American company, as they don’t even list any information for international customers on the site, though it does ship internationally.
The design also leaves a bit to be desired, and it’s clearly designed to be as simple as possible to produce. There aren’t many products that you can imagine someone making in their own living room with a pair of scissors and a sowing machine, but this one could easily be made that way. The corner pieces are basically made of two leather pieces sown together, with no spacing in between the pieces. This means that when you put it on your tablet, the pieces won’t slide all the way on because you’re essentially trying to push a 9+ mm thick tablet into a leather pocket that has to bend to fit anything in there whatsoever. Some sort of silicone/rubber pocket piece that was actually shaped around the corner of a tablet would work much better and you wouldn’t have the pocket piece stick out 5-10 mm around the edges. I’m guessing that this overly simple design is because of the company’s size and lack of production capabilities.
Still, the Pad Strap does what it promises. I’ve been using it quite a bit since I got it and it’s definitely a no-nonsense way of strapping your tablet to your hand. It won’t fall off the tablet and your hand will fit securely into the strap. I’m not quite sure if it’s worth $40 though, especially not since it’s flimsy and under-designed to the point of looking like a DIY project (and you can make one yourself if you have a fitting elastic strap). On the plus side, shipping is only $2- which makes up for some of the price, especially if you’re an international customer, but it’s still expensive for what it is. $20 is really the maximum that something like this should cost in my opinion, as it’s an elastic strap and a few pieces of leather.
Overall, I think I’ll classify the Pad Strap as an accessory that you’ll either immediately realize you have to have or dismiss right away. There are definitely better designs for a strap-on solution out there though, it just depends on what you’re looking for (case, stand-alone strap etc). Personally I doubt mine will get used a lot once the iPad 2 version of the Meglio ships. If you want a Pad Strap, you can get one from their website.