Review: Belkin Fridge Mount for iPad 2
We have to give Belkin credit for recognizing and acting on the growing use of iPads in the kitchen. Since the tablet's introduction, it has quickly become a cooking mainstay, used for everything from displaying recipes to simply playing back content while cooking. To capitalize on this, the company has introduced three new products in the "Kitchen Accessories" category: Chef Stand + Stylus ($40), Kitchen Cabinet Mount ($50), and Fridge Mount for iPad 2 ($40). Each serves the same general purpose -- hold the tablet so you don't have to -- but goes about the task in a different way.
Unlike Woodford Design’s FridgePad—the only other fridge mounting solution we’ve tested for Apple’s tablet—Belkin’s Fridge Mount for iPad 2 includes 3M Command Strips to attach to your refrigerator, rather than magnets. The white frame has a removable back plate, which is the piece that actually attaches to the fridge. Once it’s in place, there’s no way to reposition it without starting with fresh adhesive strips.
A strong magnet embedded in the top lip holds the iPad 2 in place, but this means that there’s only one main orientation—landscape, with the Home button on the left. While the magnet is powerful enough to grip your iPad 2 even if the Mount is installed on its side, you probably won’t want to do this, as there’s nothing save magnetic attraction to keep it in place when mounted vertically. It’s worth noting that you can’t use Fridge Mount with a case or even a Smart Cover; it requires a totally bare device, which is a less than ideal accessory design assumption.
Of there three Kitchen Accessories Belkin has released, Fridge Mount is the only one that we’d definitely pass on. It’s prohibitive in which version of Apple’s tablets it can be used with, which orientation, and even case compatibility. Practically speaking, the refrigerator is probably not the best location in most kitchens if the iPad will be used for recipes and the like; if you seriously screw something up during installation, it’s the most difficult to fix. While it looks pretty nice and has a clean execution, it’s just not as valuable as the others in the lineup. Fridge Mount is worthy of a C+ rating.