TabStrap: rotating iPad hand holder tested

Here you can see the rear view of the TabStrap - still without the iPad attached.

Yesterday I received a package from "Pack & Smooch". Pack & Smooch? Not known? Neither have I so far, but that's changing now, because I've just done a little research and read interesting things about the company with the funny name. Behind Pack & Smooch are two Hamburg tinkerers who develop iPad cases, MacBook cases and various other accessories that impress with their design, simplicity and functionality.

The favorite materials of Clemens and Matthias (that's the name of the two) are clearly merino wool felt and environmentally friendly tanned leather. In addition, there are often well thought-out locking mechanisms with magnets and a good dose of attention to detail.

The Hamburg duo Pack & Smooch attaches great importance to environmental friendliness and attention to detail when developing their accessories (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

The Hamburg duo Pack & Smooch attaches great importance to environmental friendliness and attention to detail when developing their accessories (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

I digress ... let's start all over again: Yesterday I received a package from Pack & Smooch. Inside was a product sample from TabStrap - a special iPad holder that is currently also available on Kickstarter can support.

How does the TabStrap work?

The TabStrap basically consists of two elements: an "adhesive surface", which does not require glue and only holds the iPad with "suction", and a hand holder that has a connecting element to fix the iPad to the hand holder with the adhesive surface. The trick is that the iPad can still be rotated. You can turn it as often as you like without limitation and then hold it in place again with light pressure with your thumb and finger.

If you find my description a bit confusing, you should take a look at the product video in which Clemens explains what the TabStrap is all about. Even if you don't speak English, the demonstration of how it works is very clear.

The loop made of merino wool felt, which is slipped over the palm, can be adjusted in size with a Velcro fastener. Here you should make sure that you adjust it as tightly as possible so that the bracket sits well and has little play. This later relieves the fingers that press more or less firmly against the iPad from behind so that it does not wobble.

If you leave too much play here, your fingers and thumbs quickly cramp because they have to be permanently tense. If the wrist strap is set nice and tight, the iPad will hold by itself and you just gently place your fingers on the iPad from behind. That alone is enough to prevent unwanted rotation. If you stick your fingers a bit, you can turn the iPad as you like and realign it.

Unfortunately, "vegetable tanned leather" does not mean that it is vegetarian leather, but that the leather was tanned with vegetable materials. As a vegetarian, I would of course have been even more happy about "vegetarian leather". ;-)

Unfortunately, "vegetable tanned leather" does not mean that it is vegetarian leather, but that the leather was tanned with vegetable materials. As a vegetarian, I would of course have been even more happy about "vegetarian leather". ;-)

Processing of the TabStrap holder

The TabStrap hand restraint is mostly made of soft wool felt and leather. The leather itself has been tanned and processed with vegetable materials. The use of these two natural materials - leather and wool felt made of merino wool - makes the TabStrap a product that you will love to touch. It feels comfortable and there are no hard edges that would interfere with using it anywhere.

The adhesive pad of the hand holder is covered with a film that has to be peeled off before attaching it to the iPad.

The adhesive pad of the hand holder is covered with a film that has to be peeled off before attaching it to the iPad.

To attach the TabStrap to the iPad, a leather plate is included with an adhesive surface on one side. This works entirely without glue, but only through suction, so that no damage or residue occurs on the iPad.

The adhesion of the pad, which is attached to the back of the iPad, is very reliable and works for a long time. According to the developers, an iPad has been hanging from the ceiling on the adhesive pad in the Pack & Smooch workshop for over a year and it still doesn't look as if it will come off anytime soon. So you really don't have to worry about the iPad when using it. The holding force was also tested up to a weight of 8 kg, which is 11 times the weight of the large 12-inch iPad Pro. If you attach an iPad to it, there is still a large margin of safety.

I am relatively unsettled when it comes to handling sensitive devices. That's why I always have a case on both the iPhone and the iPad. I use a thin silicone cover on my iPad, but it is enough to protect the edges. The good thing about the TabStrap's adhesive pad is that it also works with cases if they have a smooth surface. It held wonderfully to my wobbly silicone case - but you should perhaps check in the first few days whether it might come off more easily than from the solid back of the iPad.

Here you can see the rear view of the TabStrap - still without the iPad attached.

Here you can see the rear view of the TabStrap - still without the iPad attached.

Coupling and uncoupling - fun with magnets

A very nice detail is the coupling mechanism that connects the adhesive pad to the hand holder. This coupling is supported by a magnet so that it locks into place by itself and sits securely. It doesn't matter in which direction you turn the iPad - you hold it over the recess, where it is immediately pulled into the correct position by the magnets until the small button on the adhesive pad clicks into place - with an audible click. You can hardly make a connection more beautiful. : D

Uncoupling is just as easy: you hold the hand with the iPad so that the iPad does not fall off when it is disconnected. Then you pull on the side of a small leather strap and the clasp is opened. For this procedure I stand the iPad upright but slightly inclined on my lap and then uncouple it. So you can easily move the hand with the holder away from the iPad without the iPad falling down.

Here you can see the TabStrap wrist strap and the Nupsi that snaps into the mechanism on the wrist strap. Built-in magnets help with meeting and safe snapping.

Here you can see the TabStrap wrist strap and the Nupsi that snaps into the mechanism on the wrist strap. Built-in magnets help with meeting and safe snapping.

Holder for the Apple Pencil

A nice detail on the TabStrap holder is the ability to stow the Apple Pencil. For this purpose, there is an elastic sleeve on the handpiece into which the Apple Pencil can be inserted. He holds there bombproof and certainly cannot fall off even when taking a walk.

The Apple Pencil sits securely in the attachment and does not come off even if you shake it vigorously.

The Apple Pencil sits securely in the attachment and does not come off even if you shake it vigorously.

In the video you can see at one point how the pencil is pulled out there and the cap, which hides the charging plug, gets stuck in the fabric when it is removed. It didn't work as elegantly for me as in the video, but at least the cap got stuck somewhere in this spout and was not lost.

Unfortunately not quite like in the video from Pack & Smooch, but somehow the cap of the Apple Pencil gets stuck in the attachment of the stylus.

Unfortunately not quite like in the video from Pack & Smooch, but somehow the cap of the Apple Pencil gets stuck in the attachment of the stylus.

If you like, you can also clip the charging adapter into this grommet, which you unfortunately lose too quickly otherwise. A 100% solution would still be if you still have a fixed place for the charging adapter, because you can no longer stow it in the elastic material if the pencil is already there. But you can see that there are always ideas for improvement - even if the product is already as well thought out as the TabStrap.

The elastic sleeve, which is actually intended to hold the Apple Pencil, can also be used for other purposes and the charging adapter and the cap of the stylus can be inserted. In an emergency, however, I would sink them further so that they definitely cannot fall out.

The elastic sleeve, which is actually intended to hold the Apple Pencil, can also be used for other purposes and the charging adapter and the cap of the stylus can be inserted. In an emergency, however, I would sink them further so that they definitely cannot fall out.

Practical: Can also be used as a table stand

What you don't see at first glance is the ability to use the TabStrap as a stand for the iPad. To do this, twist the outer area of ​​the felt tape inwards a little. This means that it is at right angles to the other part of the belt and you get a bit of strength in the construction. Now the iPad can be placed at a fixed angle on any surface and you can, for example, watch films or leaf through your works of art.

The TabStrap becomes an iPad stand by simply buckling the wrist strap - however, there is not much variation in the angle of inclination.

The TabStrap becomes an iPad stand by simply buckling the wrist strap - however, there is not much variation in the angle of inclination.

This standing option only works at a given angle and is not very flexible, but it also works on edge - at a flatter angle. This is useful if you watch films or like to type with an external Bluetooth keyboard on the iPad.

The inclination is absolutely ok for watching movies or typing with a keyboard. It should only be a little steeper if you sit further away.

The inclination is absolutely ok for watching movies or typing with a keyboard. It should only be a little steeper if you sit further away.

Who is the TabStrap suitable for?

The big question with such a - but quite special holder for the iPad - is the target group. I would say that in principle the TabStrap is suitable for everyone who often holds the iPad in their hands - standing or sitting. Even if artists are most likely to come to mind here, doctors, photographers, workers in a warehouse or other people can certainly achieve a more comfortable operation through the TabStrap.

I've tried the TabStrap while painting freehand with the Pencil - and it's a lot of fun. Even if my artistic abilities are still limited. ;-)

I've tried the TabStrap while painting freehand with the Pencil - and it's a lot of fun. Even if my artistic abilities are still limited. ;-)

I tried out the TabStrap holder while painting with the "Linea Sketch" app (also very great!) And found the possibility to rotate the iPad freely without it falling down particularly helpful. By the way: The Linea Sketch app is also a recommendation ... but I'll probably write a separate article about it.

[appbox app store id1094770251]

When drawing longer lines while painting, it is often easier if you can always paint them in one direction. For example, I always paint from "top right" to "bottom left", but I'm sure everyone has different preferences when it comes to direction. In any case, when drawing on a sheet of paper, one often tends to turn the sheet quickly back and forth while painting in order to use one's favorite painting direction.

But how is that supposed to work when painting with the iPad when you balance the iPad in one hand? Quite simple: With the TabStrap, because it is precisely with this hand holder that you can turn the iPad quickly without running the risk of dropping it out of your hand.

For a pleasant turning experience, you should activate the orientation lock in the control center of the iPad.

For a pleasant turning experience, you should activate the orientation lock in the control center of the iPad.

In practice, however, it is important to disable the "automatic alignment" function in the control center so that the display does not keep realigning itself and the image actually rotates with the iPad.

If you adjust the wrist strap nice and tight, you can hold the iPad relaxed with one hand in any position.

If you adjust the wrist strap nice and tight, you can hold the iPad relaxed with one hand in any position.

My conclusion

I have to say, I haven't had an iPad accessory that made me say a "wow" for a long time. But the TabStrap succeeded. Starting with the workmanship, which is beyond any doubt, to the incredibly simple and intuitive use, this iPad hand holder is a specialty in the iPad accessories market.

TabStrap is a great product. From the quality of the workmanship, which is beyond criticism, all the way to it's simple and intuitive usage: this iPad hand holder and stand is something very special in the arena of iPad accessories. - Sir Apfelot

If you want to paint with the iPad and like to stand, be out in nature or sit on the sofa, you should arm yourself with the TabStrap, the Apple Pencil and the drawing app of your choice. It's just really fun when you have the iPad in your hand like a sketch pad, turning it back and forth and sitting in the garden.

My praise goes to Matthias and Clemens, who really created a great accessory for the iPad. You can tell that someone has put their heart and soul into it. From my side, there is a clear buy recommendation.

Do you want one? Then off to Kickstarter... there you can support the project for 69 € and get a TabStrap after production.

 

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