For tablet owners (or more specifically iPad users) who cherish their mobile devices, Veyl Products has released a new accessory that will certainly provide tablets with more comfortable lodgings, but not much else.
BUILD & DESIGN
Dubbed “the ePillow”, Veyl spent just as little time on a creative name for this as it did on the ePillow’s functionality. The new iPad extra is an 18 x 11-inch chocolate-brown, polyester cushion equipped with a vinyl ledge to keep your slate secure. Unfortunately, the ePillow doesn’t do a very good job of protecting the iPad. The ledge protrudes enough to offer the iPad a relaxed sitting position, in either landscape or portrait mode, but a sudden shift forward causes the device to tip over the ridge. While in a stationary position, the ePillow’s cushiony accommodations fit the iPad 2 snugly, especially in the landscape state, and props the tablet up nicely, offering users a comfortable viewing experience while sitting or laying down. However, the vinyl ledge that’s intended to secure your iPad doubles as a hindrance when typing. I found it nearly impossible to type productively on the iPad while stationed on the ePillow, particularly in portrait mode, and it was especially difficult to access the space bar, number and symbol icons and the home screen button.
In addition to an awkward typing experience, the ePillow is not ideal for video chatting needs, as the iPad’s front camera is tilted upwards due to the angle the pillow provides. Depending on the position of your iPad, certain ports may be unattainable. The volume control and orientation lock-switch are inaccessible when the iPad is placed horizontally on the pillow, with the home button facing left. The charging slot is also blocked when the iPad sits vertically in the ePillow, with the camera on top. While the iPad can be maneuvered to reach these ports, I find this to be another bothersome flaw in the ePillow’s design.
From my time with the accessory, I believe the ePillow was designed with the lounging user in mind, as the dock allows minimal device interaction. The perfect addition for a day of watching movies on the couch, the ePillow provides users with an enjoyable alternative to holding the iPad. I don’t find the carrier suitable for power users on the go, as the ePillow offers limited to no protection to the iPad while travelling. Though I was unable to bring the ePillow on an airplane during the time of this review, I do think the pillow would fit perfectly on the tray table, and could double as an actual pillow when not housing the iPad. Yet, I am still not convinced the ePillow is worthy of its $30 price tag.
While the ePillow is not the most fashionable accessory, with its chocolate-brown shell and black pleather ledge, I do suppose its generic colors would blend with many home decors. The ePillow is also available in a black shell with brown accents, though from the pictures, I didn’t find this combination too appealing either. The ePillow also dons a 3-inch pocket on its upper, right side. I’m not entirely sure what this pocket is meant for – perhaps to stow away some loose change as the iPad’s charger barely squeezes into the pocket, creating an unattractive bulge. In addition to this resourceful pocket, the ePillow features a nifty carrying component along its backside. The handle supplies users with an easy outlet for transporting the pillow. Though this accessory it not the most aesthetically pleasing iPad dock on the market, the pillow is soft and well-built. Unless your dog gets a hold of the ePillow, it will certainly last a long time.
The ePillow is sold exclusively with the iPad 2 in mind. As I tested the pillow’s usefulness with the smaller BlackBerry PlayBook, this became more obvious to me as the pillow practically suffocated the compact slate. I suppose tablets such as the 10.1-inch Lenovo K1, with a slightly larger build, could squeeze into this pillow.
Overall, I am not convinced the ePillow is worth $30 for performing a service that any common couch pillow could provide. For iPad owners looking for a lazy day accessory to store your tablet in while laying on the couch, order the ePillow now. However, those looking for a more functional dock and design, there are plenty of other, more efficient, options out there.