We've seen a nonstop parade of cases, docks, and stands for Apple's iPad tablet, but one configuration we would have thought would be a natural is mounting it on a wall.
Dan AckermanEditorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications.
"Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
ExpertiseI've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever.Credentials
Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
We've seen a nonstop parade of cases, docks, and stands for Apple's iPad tablet, but one configuration we would have thought would be a natural is mounting it on a wall. After all, the iPad offers many useful widget-like apps, requires no separate keyboard or mouse, has a large bright screen that can be seen across the room, connects to data wirelessly, and--most importantly--has a long-running battery that can display useful info all day long without recharging.
We trekked down to our local hole-in-the-wall hardware store and picked up a handful of plastic hooks from the 3M Command line (total cost, about $10). They stick to almost any surface with an adhesive strip, but can be easily removed by pulling a tab on the back. The medium plastic hooks we tried were rated to support 3 pounds of weight; the iPad itself weighs 1.5 pounds.
Largely eyeballing the measurements, we attached four hooks to a wall-mounted cabinet and slid our iPad in from the side. The fit was snug enough to be secure, and to make sure the iPad would not slide back out without deliberate pressure. The plastic hooks themselves only made contact with the iPad's metal frame, not the glass itself, so there's little chance of damaging the display. Once everything was set up, the end result was reasonably attractive (although we might be able to find some nicer-looking hooks), and the iPad's bright screen stood out nicely, even from across the hall.
Firing up the Accuweather app, we turned the iPad into a permanent weather station (after setting the display to never turn off). From our anecdotal tests, the battery should be able to run an app like this all day without recharging, and we also managed to dig up a black charging cable that looked less conspicuous than the standard white cable, should one want to route power through a cabinet or along a wall to the iPad.
Is this most useful thing one could do with an iPad? Perhaps not, but we could see wall-mounted touch-screen tablets being handy in specific circumstances (a kitchen family message center, creating an impromptu kiosk, displaying promotional photos or videos), especially once tablet prices come down a bit.
Though we were never overly concerned about the 3M hooks holding the iPad securely, several of our co-workers gave the setup a worried look, and naturally, your mileage may vary. If you're planning on wall-mounting your iPad, we'd suggest leaving something soft or padded below it at first.