by Dennis Burger on April 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm
The little Pocket-eAzl from Crimson AV is a curious little contraption—the sort of thing you see on the web and think “I need that!” then get it home, open it up, and think, “Okay, why did I need this?” and then, a few weeks later, realize it’s sort of wormed its way into your life such that you almost take it for granted.
And folded up, it’s such an itty bitty thing that, quite frankly, it’s easy to take for granted. That’s actually one of the Pocket-eAzl’s strongest selling points: it’s so compact, so durable, so easy to simply slip into your pocket, that even if you don’t find yourself needing it on a regular basis, it’s always there when you do.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. What, exactly, is this thing? Simply put (because it’s such a simple device that simply is the only way to put it), the Pocket-eAzl is a foldable, compact, easel for your iPad or other brand of tablet or reader.
This intro video pretty much sums it up, actually:
What the video doesn’t convey, though, is how incredibly well-built the Pocket-eAzl is. Its mix of metal and translucent rubber doesn’t necessarily mimic Apple’s aesthetic, but nonetheless fits well with it, in a sort of ultra-clean industrial way. It comes with a handy cloth carrying case for those time when you do stick it in your pocket (which is where it frankly spends most of its time with me). And even its littlest parts feel like they could stand up to just about any reasonable amount of wear and tear.
You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need an easel for my iPad (or other brand of tablet)?” You may not. For me, though, it’s come in really handy when sharing my photography with groups of friends on the iPad, as well as for sketching and gaming when I’m lying in bed on my tummy. I haven’t had the chance to use it on a plane yet (and I’m not looking forward to getting something that looks a bit like a Leatherman past TSA, to be honest), but I can see it being a benefit there, too.
The Pocket-eAzl’s joints are also very easy to manipulate, but provide enough resistance to stay in place in all sorts of positions in between the official two that Crimson touts. And I’ve found it to work just as well with my bulky leather iPad case as it claims to with the official Smart Cover. (And yes, said bulky leather case does come with a flippy-foldy built-in easel of sorts, but it only works in landscape mode, which gets frustrating at times, especially when I’m playing DrawSomething for long stretches.)
All in all, this little thing is kinda awesome. I won’t go so far it’ll change your life, or even necessarily the way you use you iPad. (Okay, maybe the latter, even if just a little.) But it’s there when I need it, it’s not when I don’t, and it feels so solidly built that I don’t see myself needing to replace it for at least another iPad or two. But if for some reason it ever goes kaput, I have a sneaking suspicion I will. Replace it, that is. Because I never would have thought I’d need it. But now I sort of don’t want to live without it.