In 2012, when we launched technotraveler.com, we reviewed M-Edge’s Executive Jacket for the Barnes & Noble nook touch. Six years later, we return to the realm of device cases and holders, but with products in an evolved form. Filofax USA, known worldwide for their modular organizers, presented their line of tablet stands and cases at the Sands Convention Center during CES 2018. The team shared with me some related products to give them the technotraveler.com treatment.
Video, from Filofax’s website:
We begin this round of reviews with the eniTAB360 Tablet Holders. The Filofax team provided three units for review: a “small” holder for tablets and e-readers under 8.4″ and two “large” holders, for tablets and e-readers between 8.5″ and 13″.
What first makes the holders special is that you can adhere and remove the holder, reposition, switch to other devices. You have many stand positions and angles: a steep portrait view, twirled to a landscape view, or plunged to a nearly-flat typing position.
I started my testing with the unboxing of the large black eniTAB360 tablet holder. The stand is quite sturdy ABS construction and more than handled my weeks of testing (moving about, putting it in one bag, using, repeating, etc.). A “tool” card, with the consistency of a credit card, accompanies the holder and a slim instruction pamphlet. The tool is used for the removal and the procedure for removal is printed on this tool/card.
A large circle or dot of sticky material is the magic that sticks the stand to your device. It is meant to be used over and over. To refresh its adhesive qualities, you just have to rinse it (see the instructions)!
A clear plastic disc covers the sticky dot with which you adhere the stand. It isn’t necessary to keep this disc as you may use the removal tool to cover the sticky dot when the holder is not in use, i.e. attached to a device.
Before you remove this clear protective disk and stick the holder to the back of your tablet or e-reader, you might wish to plan your positioning. Centering can be eyed or can be measured precisely. Precision will definitely be called for if you plan to use your eniTAB360-armed device with the related eniTAB360 Universal Tablet Cases.
Once you have plotted your positioning, remove the clear sticker and place the sticky-dot-side of the holder in your planned location on your device’s back panel. Press gently in the middle of the dot area (there is a gap) , press around the dot area, wiggle gently for maybe 10 to 15 seconds.
Once you feel that the holder is securely attached (these are really secure!), you can try the various stand positions:
Removing the holder is not without its initial tension. Using the removal tool, I slowly shoved it under the area where I thought the sticky dot met my Apple iPad Air 2. While it looks a mess, it was generally smoothed out and certainly did not affect later attachment. Again, keep the removal card or tool around as it is what the instructions state is the intended protected cover when you do not have the holder attached to a device.
Before I move on, I wish to emphasize that this product can really be used with multiple devices. If you don’t want to accumulate any more specialized accessories than necessary, these Universal Tablet stands can be combined with a variety of devices. Just note the actual dimensions of your tablet, not merely the diagonal screen display width.
More on this latter point later in the review.
A companion product, which depends on you already having a corresponding or matching eniTAB360 tablet holder, is the eniTAB360 Universal Tablet Case (the review model was a leather-look Saffiano Wrap Black). For the review, I was provided a large model, which is actually the middle size of the collection. The large model is intended for tablets which are more than 8.4″ but are less than 10.5″.
A pair of magnetic snaps secure the case when it is closed. A holder for a pen or a stylus is provided in the first flap/fold of the case (I tried two pens but then I couldn’t close the case). The large case offers an inside flap which can accommodate a small notepad or folded sheet of letter sized paper but it is quite the tight fit. The business card slot on the front flap was roomy and another pocket might hold tickets, parking stubs, etc.
To use the holder with the case, you slide the stand “arm” into the corresponding slot. A hook on the stand will catch on the opposite side of the slot to provide the tablet from escaping from the case. If you plan to use the case with the holder, please plan your position while the sticky dot is covered to ensure that you will not be surprised as to where everything ends up. If you don’t plan well, you can have one end of your e-reader or tablet extending beyond one side of the case when it’s closed. That’s really not much protection.
I used the small holder with my Amazon Fire tablet (2017 model).
I tried out the other large holder with my 10.1″ Android-based Insignia tablet (Best Buy).
While the Filofax website indicates that the large tablet case is intended for up-to-10.5″ tablets, I found that the large case just barely worked with this Android, the screen display size of which exactly measures 10.1″. The actual screen dimensions of the Insignia tablet are what may cause confusion. Filofax might augment their site or package instructions with some measurement suggestions because Android tablets will vary widely in screen display dimensions vs. full screen dimensions. Non-iOS tablet shoppers could, then, get a size that will more comfortably fit their device. While the large stand (there are only the two sizes of stand) worked perfectly with the Insignia, the sides of the tablet just barely clear the edges of the case.
If I happen to the drop the unit squarely on the exposed edge or side, it might not be good for the tablet. I might opt for the x-large case.
What redeems this form-factor for me, though, is that the case can accommodate left-handed as well as right-handed users, perfect for a southpaw like me. My left hand can be positioned with the tablet in the left side of the open case, which translates that I am not rubbing the inside of the case and/or contents as I am drawing and/or writing. Because the stand allows for this rotation and this positioning, this eniTAB360 combination of stand-and-case is what elevates the Filofax products beyond the usual “case-only vs. stand-only” options.
The Universal Tablet Case I give a 9.5 out of 10. The minor 0.5 point is related to the measurement closeness for the devices based on the sizes of the screens; some users may need to contact Filofax Support if they are unsure about the fit of certain select tablet shapes. I believe that it cuts it too close for comfort on the wider Insignia but just fine for an iPad Air 2. The rotation of the tablet while using the case as a stand and as a holder that can be used with more than one make of tablet makes this form-factor incredibly versatile.
I heartily give the eniTAB360 Tablet Holder a full 10 out of 10. The tablet holders did what they promised they would do. Elegantly and strongly. Brava!