If the iPod has made CD playback in cars almost obsolete, then the iPad is doing the same thing for DVD rear-seat video systems. After all, why spend $1,000 or more on hardware that has to be professionally installed and lug discs into the car when you can just hand kids an iPad loaded with movies, TV shows, and games?
Well, for one thing, that expensive iPad can become a dangerous missile in an accident. Kids’ sticky hands will smear up the screen. And you’ll have to listen to kiddie-show dialogue and videogame blips and bloops for miles on end. The solution: Scosche’s Backstage Pro II mount for the iPad and iPad 2. The Backstage Pro II easily connects to the posts of almost any car-seat headrest, and it comes with a charging cable that plugs directly into a 12-volt cigarette lighter outlet to provide juice to the tablet. It also has a USB port for plugging in a flash drive to view content from it.
The Backstage Pro II can connect to wireless IR headphones (sold separately) so that backseat passengers can listen to content privately — and those in the front seat can enjoy some peace and quiet. While that feature will no doubt prove critical, a set of output jacks for wired headphones would have been a nice addition.
The mount tilts to change viewing angles, and the separate portion that holds the iPad easily detaches so that you can take it with you when you leave the car. (A soft pouch to store it with the iPad inside is included.) We found that installing the Backstage Pro II can initially take some time, but the measure of sanity it brings to long family road trips will make the effort well worth it.
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