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Brodit iPad Mini holder review


Reviewed By

Mike Barrett Brodit iPad Mini retina holder review
Review Date

22nd June 2015

Manufacturer Brodit


£95.11 inc VAT



Brodit make some of the best device holders on the market. I took a look at the Brodit 521584 iPad Mini active holder with cig-plug. Putting it through its paces in both my personal car and in rental cars I wanted to see how transferrable it could be and of course how stable and secure the mounting solution would be.


I have a number of devices that I use regularly, and a larger number that I use occasionally. I also do a lot of travelling in rental cars so I need a mounting solution that is not only transportable between vehicles, but can easily be installed and removed quickly and easily. Of course the other main criteria are that my device is held firmly and it can be powered as well.


Brodit iPad Mini retina holder review


Having recently changed my tablet from the iPad2 to an iPad Mini with retina display I wanted something that I could use particularly on an upcoming trip to America where I was expecting to drive over 2000 miles. I have always been impressed with the Brodit holders, but they are mainly designed for permanent fixing in the car. I wanted to use a 'permanent' system in my personal car and a gooseneck with a wind screen sucker in the rental car.


Brodit iPad Mini retina holder review


The 'goto' manufacturer for gooseneck is Herbert Richter with their famous four prong modular connection system. This coupled with the Brodit iPad Mini active holder seemed to be the perfect solution. This left just one problem to overcome how to switch the systems quickly and reliably whilst ensuring that the whole assembly would be stable and secure. This could have been solved quite easily by using the Brodit female Richter adapter plate, but I had already standardised on the Brodit MoveClip in my personal car. The solution I ended up using was a female MoveClip on the Brodit holder and using a male MoveClip connected to the Herbert Richter 4 prong female adapter.


So having worked out the methods that I would possibly use the mounting system I started to put it through its paces. First to be tested was my personal car, a 2007 Mercedes CLS. This is quite an old car as far as connectivity goes, though it does have a SatNav Command system it does not support audio over bluetooth or via USB so I am unable to take advantage of the car stereo. I do have a standard 3.5mm auxiliary socket in the glovebox so I rigged up a Bluetooth audio gateway in there and transmit my audio via the BT on the iPad Mini.


Brodit iPad Mini retina holder review


The Brodit ProClip mount for the car I reviewed some time ago (click here for the review) which fits on the console next to the gearstick. I was unable to take advantage of the mount as it stood as the iPad was too wide. I had to use a small pedestal to raise it up a bit and give me more movement. As I mentioned in the review the mount costs £15.69 the pedestal mount I had in one of my bits and pieces draws. Brodit do make a complete range of adjustable pedestal mounts to suit most applications. I would advise only getting the shortest one for your needs.


Brodit iPad Mini retina holder review


The Brodit iPad mini holder comes with a tilt/swivel base which is connected using AMPS standard fitting holes. The tilt/swivel is attached to the ProClip mount using the same AMPS holes using self tapping screws. When that is done all that needs to be done is to route the cable to the cigar lighter socket. I have chosen to use the socket in the rear of my car as this makes it both easy to route and remove and does not leave a wire dangling off the dash (or the cover permanently open). I mentioned earlier that I wanted to make my installation portable so rather than screw the mount side of the tilt/swivel attachment to the ProClip and platform I decided to use the Brodit MoveClip adapter which allows for secure mounting, but easy and quick tool-less removal.


Brodit iPad Mini retina holder review


The iPad Mini needs to have any protective cover removed before using the holder. The iPad then simply slides into the mount and engages with the Apple lightning connector. Pushing home on the connector provides a stable and secure fit enabling the iPad to be used equally safely in both the portrait and landscape modes. During all my miles of driving there was never even a slight slip and I was always confident in the security of the iPad in the holder. As this is an active holder there are no cables to be messed around with, just dock and connect to the car.


So with the Mount and the holder in place it is off for a drive to test it. Well I actually drove a few thousand miles over a lot of differing road conditions and found that the mount holder and iPad were always very stable. On the Mercedes the mount position on the console is quite low meaning that the iPad is not easily visible, but then again you should not be reading as you drive anyway. The location is slightly lower than the built in SatNav, and for a quick glance at the nav directions is not too bad, but not recommended.


Having tested it in my 'permanent' location I then went over to Florida for an extended vacation. I like to use Navigon on my iPad whilst driving around over there. As I am not so familiar with the roads I also like a large screen sitting just off my line of sight from the driving position. This is where the Herbert Richter gooseneck mount came to the fore.


Brodit iPad Mini retina holder review


The iPad is somewhat more weighty than a normal phone and requires additional support. I found the best way to do this was to use the gooseneck attached to the windscreen with the iPad Mini in landscape orientation resting on the top of the dash board. This took a lot of strain away from the gooseneck whilst supporting the bulk of the weight of the holder and iPad Mini.


I was more fortunate with my rental car in as much as it had a very modern connected stereo unit. I was able to remove the cigar lighter adapter from the cable and plug the USB cable directly into the car. This gave me the option of using the USB as a source of media, or as the source of the audio. I chose the later to allow both my music and the SatNav instructions to be routed through the car stereo.


Once again I managed to rack up over 2000 miles in the 3 weeks I was out there and the whole system performed perfectly. With the active holder it was easy to slip the iPad in and out as I got in and out of the car. Once in the car and the iPad in the holder it was instantly available to provide entertainment and navigation.


Of course nothing is 100% perfect and this is true with the Brodit iPad Mini holder. It does offer the benefits of a stable, secure mounting solution, it also offers a simple powered connection to the iPad that works simply as soon as the iPad is placed in the holder. The only drawback is that it cannot be used with an iPad with a SmartCover, or any other protective case. Mine normally resides in an Apple SmartCover protecting both the screen and the rear shell, this needs to be popped out before it can slip into the holder. Not a great inconvenience but a minor irritation. This is not a design issue from Brodit, but reflects the compromise of having a securely held device against the benefit of having the iPad protected out of the mount.



Manufacturers Web site www.Brodit.se
UK Distributors www.NemesisGB.com
UK Retailers


US Distributors www.proclipusa.com
Pocket GPS Contributor

Mike Barrett

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