Review: Studio PROPER X Lock iPad Air Case and Accessories

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Change the case, and an iPad can be a different tool. The X Lock system from Studio Proper with interchangeable accessories gives your iPad the flexibility to be multiple tools with a quick twist.

Use Your iPad for Everything

The requirement for my client’s patiet-based business was simple, do everything with iPads — in both the treatment areas and at the front desk. There were a limited number of iPads, so each iPad would have to do double duty. I set out to find accessories that would be nimble enough to meet the business needs, look professional and modern, and also be tough enough to keep the iPads in good shape with heavy use.

The Problem with Everything

Handstraps are a must for industrial applications, when you are using your iPad to present, or when you just need a secure hold and and an extra hand. But what about when you don’t need the strap? Unwieldy. iPad is falls off table. iPad will not sit in stand or dock. And so on.

Stands are indispensable. Using the iPad to view a reference book. Or as a POS terminal. Stands that are secure are not easy to load (iPad in and out is a big production). Stands that are easy to load are not secure (bump and off they go). Try propping your iPad up against a backsplash while using a recipe app…. really, don’t try it. One olive oil spill later and you’ll regret it. Trust me on this.

When you’re not using your iPad, where does it go? Get a charging station and invest in yet another accessory? What if you want your  iPads to provide some visual stimulation to your guests when not in use? A wall mount is great for this. There are even some that claim to be easy-in easy-out. But after it’s out, it’s just another iPad case. Lay it down or clutch it.

You may want to use your iPad for many different applications, but how? Changing cases throughout the day isn’t practical. Neither is spending a fortune on a mountain of accessories.

Proper X Lock 7-in-1 iPad Case

Studio Proper X Lock System for iPad

Studio Proper has a simple concept for solving this conflict. Your iPad case can be 7 different cases, each with unique functionality, by swapping out an accessory. Very simple idea, but what makes this system special is it’s range. Nothing similar out there, with so many options. Perfect for my client’s needs — and also quite handy for my own business and personal use.

The Execution

Overall the execution is decent. The cases and accessories are sleek looking and lightweight. But kinks, there are a few.

  • The Pivot Stand we tested was slightly wobbly.
  • Out of the box, we found it almost impossible to swap the accessories. Took some real muscle. Loosening the screw in the middle of the X mount solved the problem, but it took us a while to get there.
  • The X Lock case itself sits off the iPad slightly, so expect a lovely culture of dust, crumbs and gunk to build up under it.
  • The bare X Lock case is not industrial strength. The first case I received was cracked in transit (Studio Proper customer service was excellent and shipped out a new one immediately, free of charge). The second case has been on for about 3 months and there is a small crack at one of the corners (no drops).
  • Clear is slightly opaque. Still nice, but does obscure the decorative skins underneath.
  • Hard to be sure that the accessory is “clicked” into place.

The Verdict

X Lock is a very flexible system that gives a single iPad much more utility. The idea is simple and elegant. It’s the only system of it’s kind out there. But it isn’t a home run. It doesn’t come cheap. Buy a case, hand strap, pivot stand and wall mount for a single iPad and it will set you back $135USD (this is still far cheaper than the equivalent set of standalone accessories to perform the same functions, however). And there are a few design and manufacturing problems to address. We didn’t test the new bumper add-on, this may be required for industrial level use. Overall, this system was a win for my client and will be a good fit for other similar businesses.

Want more in-depth, unsolicited reviews of accessories for your small business technology?  

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