Review: Belkin Kitchen Cabinet Mount for iPad + 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.
Kitchen Cabinet Mount’s name is a great descriptor of what it does. It ships as two pieces that simply snap together; once they are assembled, they can be separated, but not very easily. The main body is silver metal, with black plastic and rubber components; an adjustable arm branches out from the back. There are two plastic brackets to hold the tablet in place—either generation of the iPad fit, in or out of a case. The top bracket slides up and down, allowing for easily insertion and removal, as well as compatibility with smaller devices. It does not, however, extend far enough for an iPad in portrait orientation.
What’s nice about Kitchen Cabinet Mount is that it’s not permanent at all; installation and removal is incredibly simple. The stationary bracket at the top of the unit rests on the inside of the cabinet, while the arm acts as a clamp, attaching to the underside. Some cabinets will be able to close all the way, while others will remain slightly open; it simply depends on the style of cabinet you have. The arm is also adjustable via a dial on the bottom, so you can change the angle rather significantly, freedom that’s certainly appreciated.
We liked the build quality of Belkin’s mount quite a bit, as well as the adjustability and compatibility. The fact that it’s not tall enough to support both orientations of the iPad is a minor issue, but not a deal breaker, and the overall design is attractive enough to make up for it. From our perspective, the price is the biggest drawback—while it’s not prohibitively high, it seems to cost just a bit more than something so straightforward should. Overall, Kitchen Cabinet Mount is a well-designed and practical solution for the kitchen, earning a general recommendation, and if you can find it at a discount, it’s certainly worthy of grabbing for your kitchen.