Review: Thought Out PED4 Coil IPM10 Pivoting Stand for iPad mini
What happens when you combine Thought Out's PED4 Planet IPM10 adjustable iPad mini desk stand with the gooseneck mount from the PED 4 Coil CH50 for iPhones? You get PED4 Coil IPM10 ($100), of course: an adjustable iPad mini holder with a gooseneck base. While it's hard to take issue with the concept, the end product is so expensive and niche that it's hard to broadly recommend -- the same issue that previously befell Octa's TabletTail: Monkey Kit and Twelve South's HoverBar.
The most familiar part of PED4 Coil IPM10 is Thought Out’s iPad mini holder, which is taken directly from PED4 Planet IPM10. Made mostly from plastic, it holds the iPad mini with six finger-like grips, each with a screw in the back and a rubber pad on the front. The grips expand outwards by roughly 0.3” each, adding around a half inch of give beyond a bare iPad mini’s footprint. One of two included hexagonal wrenches can be used to tighten the grips in your choice of positions, collectively providing enough tension to hold an encased iPad mini face downwards even when the stand is being shaken—or keep the grips in any looser position you might prefer. We had no problem using this holder with bare or encased iPad minis; it’s still not beautiful-looking, and the rubber tips could have been integrated more elegantly into a plastic holder, but everything worked as it should.
One small thing has changed in the iPad mini holder from Planet to Coil, and that’s the connection point between the holder and the base. Each comes with a large, tightly-grasped ball joint in the back, enabling you to have complete three-axis freedom of movement for the iPad mini’s viewing angle, as well as four divots that hold the tablet steady on your choice of landscape or portrait 90-degree angles. But in Coil, the ball joint ends with a short stem rather than continuing into Planet’s detachable tripod mount. That feature enabled Planet to go beyond just serving as a desk stand if you wanted to supply a camera tripod of your own; Coil’s iPad holder is permanently attached to its gooseneck. A second included wrench lets you tighten up the ball joint if it becomes loose during normal use.
Not surprisingly, PED4 Coil IPM10’s biggest change is that eponymous coil—a just over 54-inch-long, 5/8” thick metal gooseneck tube coated in slightly shiny rubber. This coil turns out to be fundamentally different from the thinner, 36-inch-long version included with the iPhone-ready PED4 Coil CH50 in that its size actually limits the places where it can be used. Although we were able to bend it to form a slightly less than 7” diameter circle, Thought Out’s instructions specifically advise against using it at any diameter smaller than 10”. This is such a large circle that users can’t take advantage of one of the classic supposed gooseneck advantages: wrapping around pipes and tubes to achieve unusual mounting angles. You’d have to go out of your way to find something large enough to wrap this coil around, the same general issue that made Octa’s 35.5”-long TabletTail: Monkey Kit gooseneck seem impractical. Contrast this with Twelve South’s shorter 22” gooseneck arm, which ended in a clamp to attach to a computer, and you’ll begin to get a sense of what Thought Out has done here: it gives you a really large gooseneck that’s similarly limited in practical applications.
That said, there are things that PED4 Coil IPM10 can do that traditional iPad stands can’t. With a single coil at the bottom, the rest of the gooseneck can hold an iPad mini at roughly chair arm height elevation. Similarly, you can coil it and still have enough neck left to elevate the iPad mini to eye or top-of-head level when placed on a desk—while remaining fairly stable in that position. There’s even enough coil to wrap PED4 Coil IPM10 fully around a body, though we can’t think of an actual reason to do that.
Overall, PED4 Coil IPM10 is a somewhat difficult stand to rate—the $100 asking price is considerably higher than the $70 PED4 Planet IPM10, despite the fact that Coil isn’t more practical or broadly appealing in any way. It’s not quite at the same general level of recommendability as Planet. On the other hand, the sheer quantity of gooseneck coil and the design of the iPad mini holder eclipse the same-priced but shorter TabletTail: Monkey Kit, which rated a C+. On balance, PED4 Coil IMP10 falls somewhere in the middle of those options, meriting our B- rating and limited recommendation. There may be specific applications such as custom car installations where users may be willing to pay a fairly steep $100 price for it, but most users will be equally or better served with traditional, less expensive desk stands. Consider PED4 Coil IMP10 if you really need the unusual positional versatility it offers.