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Cygnet CarGo review: Cygnet CarGo

Apple's iPad is a glorious addition to any in-car entertainment system, but getting one installed by a dealer can be a costly affair. Luckily, it's possible to save yourself a small fortune by opting for a third-party, do-it-yourself system, such as the Cygnet CarGo. It's a £28 iPad mount that allows you to safely strap your tablet to the back of almost any car's headrest.


Cygnet CarGo

The Good

Easy to fit; affordable; can be tilted.

The Bad

Wobbles quite badly; questionable build quality.

The Bottom Line

The Cygnet CarGo is an iPad mount for a car's headrest. It's not suitable for reading text, but it's perfect for watching movies in the back of the car and making kids shut their pie holes for an hour or two.

Cheap and easy

The CarGo's appearance doesn't inspire confidence. It looks fiddly, cheap and like it would break as soon as you touch it. It was with an air of trepidation that we entrusted it with cradling one of our beloved iPads.

Just like CNET UK, the CarGo shoves technology right in your mush.

Fortunately, installing the CarGo, which consists of two parts, is really easy. One section clips onto the adjustable metal supports of your car's headrest. The second component, which holds your iPad on its left and right sides to keep it in place, slots onto the protruding arm of the first.

I adjust myself

Once everything is hooked up -- a process that took us under five minutes -- it's possible to rotate the iPad into landscape or portrait orientations, although the mechanism for doing so isn't very quick or smooth. It's rather shoddy, in fact, and makes a disconcerting snapping noise. That made us worry we were about to snap the CarGo into pieces every time we tried to rotate it.

Shake and whack

Once you're settled on either the landscape or portrait orientation, the CarGo allows you to tilt the iPad in any direction, which is great for minimising reflections from the sun or other light sources. Sadly, touching your iPad to adjust it or interact with it, causes the screen to wobble quite violently, as it does whenever you drive over a rough patch of road.

If you want to enter text, switch between multiple apps or physically interact with your iPad in any other way, you'll be better off holding the device in your hands.

Movie magic

Although the CarGo wobbles too much to enable you to read text -- even on relatively smooth roads -- the level of shaking isn't enough to put you off when watching movies. We imagine solo passengers in the rear could quite happily watch the iPad for hours at a time.

Be warned, though, that multiple back-seat passengers will probably engage in hand-to-hand combat in a bid to have the iPad mounted on their side of the car. Fortunately, it's easy to remove and remount the CarGo, so swapping it between users at toilet stops is perfectly feasible.


On the whole, the Cygnet CarGo is a worthwhile investment. It's not ideal for reading or physically interacting with the iPad, but it's perfect for watching movies on long trips and generally making children shut their cake holes for an hour or two.

Edited by Charles Kloet