It’s fairly large. It’s kind of klutzy. It’s not pretty. Yet I’ve had my iPad parked in iPhome Products’s $40 iPhome 2 for months, despite the fact that I’ve had my choice of over a dozen other, more elegant-looking, iPad stands at my disposal. Why? Because for home use, the iPhome 2 keeps my tablet safe and secure. I can set it on the table propped up while I eat, or on my lap on the couch or in bed, and it sits securely. Its design holds the iPad tightly as I transport it from room to room—instead of my usual hyper-vigilance while toting around this marvel of glass and aluminum, I can carry it around like any other normal cargo. And when I’m done using the iPad, I just flip it over and put it back in the iPhome, screen down, for extra protection—no need for a cover.
The iPhome holds your bare iPad (second generation or later) in place with precision cutouts in the foam—the tablet fits perfectly into the unit—and it’s easy to switch iPad positions without straining your fingers or nails. The case leaves easy access to the iPad’s dock-connector or Lightning-connector port, Home button, Sleep/Wake button, headphone jack, and volume buttons. There are no hard pieces or sharp edges to damage your tablet, and while you can’t use the iPhome with another case, it provides a good amount of protection.
Given this description, it should come as no surprise that the iPhome is targeted at schools and classroom use. Indeed, it’s great for such use, but it’s also a capable case and stand for the home. In fact, while its shape and size might make you think it’s only for kids, it’s more versatile than many of the cases and stands I’ve tested.
The iPhome has three basic positions: Web, Stand-up, and Tabloid. The first two hold the iPad in landscape orientation: The Web view is for typing and browsing the Web—the iPad sits at a slight angle (the rear slightly elevated) on your lap or desk. To get the Stand-up position, you set the iPhome on its shortest edge; this orientation holds your iPad up at an almost-vertical angle for easy photo or video viewing. To use the Tabloid view, you remove the iPad from the iPhome, turn the case over, and stick the tablet back in—the iPad opening on this side is oriented such that the iPad sits in portrait orientation.
Because of its bulk (12 inches wide, 9.5 inches deep, and 4.5 inches thick when in Web position), I wouldn’t consider the iPhome to be easily transportable, but it’s actually fairly light, and the company offers a nifty carrying bag in either white with black piping or black with white piping—a surprising bit of style for a product so distinctly plain. The bag includes an extra pocket for other accessories, and if you order it with the iPhome, the entire package is $60.
My biggest complaint about the iPhome 2 is that the foam does wear over time. After a few months of constant, but relatively low-impact, use around my house, the foam on my review model is starting to dry out and chip a little. But right now, that’s a purely cosmetic issue, as the case is still working fine.
If you have kids, or you just want to keep your iPad safe without having to use kid gloves, the iPhome 2 is both convenient and versatile. While it likely won’t match your decor (unless you’re in a kindergarten classroom), it tends to blend in wherever it is, and it does its job—keeping your iPad safe—very well.
Jackie Dove is an insomniac tech writer and editor in northern California. A wildlife advocate, cat fan, and photo app fanatic, her specialties include Mac hardware and software, art, design, photography, video, and a wide range of creative and productivity apps and systems. Jackie now writes for a variety of consumer tech publications.