capsule review

Rain Design iRest Lap Stand for ipad

At a Glance
  • Rain Design iRest Lap Stand for iPad

    Macworld Rating

    The iRest Lap Stand is flexible, comfy, and easy to pack and carry (if a bit bulky for portable use). Once you get used to using it, you won’t want to be without it. At $50, it’s not inexpensive, but its...

Some things are ridiculously simple and easy and appealing—they just work. One such thing is Rain Design’s iRest Lap Stand for iPad, a stand for either incarnation of Apple’s iPad—and, not coincidentally, a 2011 Macworld Best of Show winner. Designed to be used on your desk or a table, or on your lap while kicking back on the couch or in bed, the iRest lets you view your iPad’s screen in comfort with excellent stability.

The stand itself is fairly compact and has no rough edges to scratch its precious cargo (or your furniture) or to snag your clothing—the edges of the stand's aluminum body are rounded; there are rubber pads in places where your iPad might come in contact with the stand; and the base is cushioned with thick, smooth, foam pads that look like handgrips. The stand raises your iPad about three inches above whatever surface the iRest is sitting on, and the transparent-plastic hinge on the back of the stand lets you adjust the viewing angle through a wide range—approximately 60 degrees—of angles.

The cushioned groove at the bottom of the iRest's cradle accommodates an iPad in either landscape or portrait orientation, and a convenient cut-out in the middle of the cradle lets you connect your iPad's dock-connector cable for charging and syncing in portrait orientation. There are similarly clever cutouts for pressing the Home button and to accommodate the iPad’s bottom-mounted speaker. (Of course, in landscape orientation, these features are all unobstructed.)

The iRest also fits an iPad 2 wearing Apple's Smart Cover or any other iPad case that adds less than a half-inch to the iPad's thickness. You can also use the stand with your Kindle or Nook tablet.

Right out of the box, the iRest works great as a desktop stand. But for lap use, be sure to install the aforementioned foam cushions, two of which screw into the rear support leg. These not only make the iRest more comfortable, but also add stability thanks to their wide girth. They're a must for using the iPad on the couch or in bed.

The iRest feels surprisingly light, though it weighs nearly a pound with the cushions attached. At the same time, it's sturdy—you can tap onscreen links and your iPad won't even wobble—and durable. And despite its bulk—the iRest measures 6.8 inches wide, 8.6 inches tall, and 2 inches thick when folded up without the back cushions, with the cushions expanding its width to 13.5 inches—the iRest is so comfortable to use that it’s likely you’ll want to make some room for it when traveling. (Replacement cushions are available if you lose one or rip its foam.)

The iRest Lap Stand is flexible, comfy, and easy to pack and carry. Once you get used to using it, you won’t want to be without it. At $50, it’s not inexpensive, but its overall utility and fine qualities make it well worth the investment.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    The iRest Lap Stand is flexible, comfy, and easy to pack and carry (if a bit bulky for portable use). Once you get used to using it, you won’t want to be without it. At $50, it’s not inexpensive, but its overall utility makes it well worth the investment.

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