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Get a universal smartphone dashboard mount for $12.95

If you're using your phone as a GPS or just want to make it more visible and accessible while you're behind the wheel, here's an inexpensive solution.

The Arkon MG178 is a universal dashboard mount for smartphones.
The Arkon MG178 is a universal dashboard mount for smartphones. Meritline

Recently I asked if it still made sense to buy a GPS, what with smartphones more than capable of navigating folks from point A to point B.

Many readers commented that, yep, their phone gets the job done. Of course, there's one small challenge to using it for this purpose: smartphones don't come with car mounts. You need a way to position it at eye level so you can see your maps.

There are countless universal-mount options out there, many of which use suction cups to adhere to your windshield and gooseneck arms to hold the phone. Not a fan.

In my experience, those mounts bounce around like crazy, and adjusting them frequently causes the suction cup to pop loose. That's why I prefer a dashboard mount.

Like this one: Meritline has the Arkon MG178 Sticky Dash Mount for $12.95 shipped. That's after applying coupon code MLC504CN at checkout. (Note: this code expires after a certain number of uses, and there's no way to tell when that number gets hit. As of this writing, it was still valid. But even if you miss out, the regular price of $15.95 is still attractive, and still lower than you'll find elsewhere.)

As you can see in the promo video below, the MG178 is a universal mount that should accommodate most smartphones, even those in cases.

It adheres to your dashboard using a sticky adhesive that Arkon promises will leave behind no residue. (Gotta love what scientists have managed to accomplish with glue. Go science!) The only catch is that you need a reasonably flat section of dashboard for the mount to adhere to.

Couple things I particularly like about this mount: there's no gooseneck arm, so your phone shouldn't wobble in the slightest, and the holder can rotate 360 degrees, making it easy to switch your phone between landscape and portrait view.

Obviously a mount like this is a boon for GPS activity, but it's also great for keeping your phone at eye level for other purposes, like quickly glancing at caller ID when a call comes in, or interacting with Car Mode in an app like TuneIn Radio. (That said, whenever possible, please let a passenger do the heavy lifting -- er, tapping -- when you're behind the wheel.)

Like I said, there are countless universal mounts out there. If you've found one you like better, be sure to talk it up in the comments.

Bonus deal: Hoping to use your iPad as your mobile workstation? You'll definitely want a physical keyboard. While supplies last, IceMonkey has a Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPad 2 and 3 for $24.99 shipped. This folio-style case doubles as a stand and includes a padded wrist-rest. I've seen similar iPad keyboards selling for twice the price.

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

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