Tablik Adjustable Tablet Mount Review
The Tablik represents a new class of ergonomic adjustable arms, mounted on your desk and designed to set your tablet computer to an ergonomically sound height at your desk. With the Tablik, users are guaranteed comfortable tablet-viewing angles, while its removable magnetic puck allows easy attachment and detachment so you can still use it as a mobile computer. One caveat: don't expect to be able to easily remove its gel attachment puck from your tablet.
Lets you easily position your tablet computer over your desktop to let you use it like a computer monitor. Unique mounting/unmounting system lets you quickly remove the tablet from the mount.
Gel-adhered mounting puck may not remove easily.
Since their introduction just five years ago, tablet computers like the Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface have quickly evolved from personal entertainment and communication gadgets to viable workplace productivity tools. As they have grown more powerful and as productivity apps have made them more useful, new ergonomic accessories have emerged to cater to the new role of tablets in the work environment and to add even more functionality to them.
TAB-lyk, Not Tuh-BLEEK
One such accessory is the Tablik tablet mount, from Innovative Office Products. The Tablik first came to our attention when it won a “Best of NeoCon Award” at the 2014 office furniture industry trade show in the “Technology Support” category.
The Tablik is an adjustable monitor arm designed specifically for tablet computers. It lets you position your tablet almost anywhere above your desk surface and then easily tucks out of the way when you don’t need it. Apart from one or two design hiccups, the Tablik is worthy of its award-winning reputation.
Unboxing, Assembly, and Installation
The Tablik packaging is solid and sturdy. The box contains just a few components: the desk mount and clamp, the arm itself, and the faceplate and magnetic disc that secures the tablet to the arm. The visual assembly guide was easy to follow, and we had the unit assembled in just a few minutes.
We hit one roadblock as we tried to attach the Tablik to our desk. As we tried to mount the monitor-arm stand, we quickly realized that the bolt securing the clamp to the desk was too short to reach our ¾” thick desk top. The Tablik website mentions a maximum table top thickness of 1 5/8”, but they didn’t point out that their provided hardware requires a minimum top thickness of about 1”. We ended up swapping the included bolt with one we had on hand, and we were on our way. To avoid this potential hassle, measure your desktop before you buy your Tablik and make sure that it is at least 1” thick. If it’s less, plan to obtain a shorter bolt or a spacer to make the clamp work.
After we attached the Tablik arm to the desk, it was time to attach it to our tablet. The Tablik comes with two adhesive gel pads to stick the magnetic disc to the tablet or tablet case. This magnetic “puck” then slips easily into the recessed slot on the Tablik’s face plate. Once it’s installed, it’s easy to attach or remove the tablet from the arm with a single hand. We found this to be a much more user-friendly attachment method than other tablet arms we’ve seen, which typically require fiddling around with cumbersome brackets and frames.
Minimalist Design, Maximum Adjustability
When it’s not holding a tablet, the Tablik – with its 7” round faceplate and adjustable arm – looks a bit like a small satellite dish tucked away at the back of your desktop. The thin and unobtrusive arm retracts to a 14” height and the base attachment requires a very small footprint – about as much space as a half-dollar coin – so you won’t have to revamp your workspace to make room for it. The Tablik lets you position your tablet almost anywhere over your desktop. You can place it right in front of you for use as a screen display if you’re using an external keyboard, or you can position it next to or even underneath your main monitor if you’re using it as an adjunct to your desktop computer.
The Tablik’s wide range of adjustability all but guarantees proper viewing angles for nearly any workstation. The retractable arm can be used to extend the Tablik’s reach from 10”-21” and can be set at 16 different locking angles.
A tensioning bolt located near the base can be adjusted to tighten or loosen the Tablik’s height adjustment. The arm can rotate a full 360 degrees on its base, and the face plate can tilt about 45 degrees in any direction. A cable clip attached to the arm keeps your charging cord in place. Additionally, a VESA mount option is available, which allows you to set your tablet beside your monitor.
Despite its small profile, the Tablik is a strong lifter, with a weight capacity of 3 lbs. Most tablets weigh in at a pound or less, so the Tablik should work with any tablet on the market today.
The Tablik feels solid. Its components are all sturdy, and the arm is backed by a 10-year warranty against manufacturer defects.
As a supporting arm, the Tablik felt secure and stable when used for screen viewing, but it did shake and wobble when we tried to type or swipe on the display, so we wouldn’t recommend using the tablet as a keyboard while it’s mounted on the arm.
From an ergonomics perspective, you wouldn’t want to do this anyway. One of the main benefits of the Tablik is that it lets you position your tablet screen for optimal viewing. You’ll get the most ergonomic benefit from the Tablik by also positioning your external keyboard in an optimal typing position.
Just as a laptop computer compromises your ergonomic comfort with its fixed relationship between the keyboard and the screen, you are sure to experience discomfort if you simultaneously use your tablet as both a viewing screen a touch-screen input device. A fixed relationship between the screen and the keyboard means that you’ll either have to reach up with your hands to get them on an optimally positioned screen or to awkwardly crane your neck to see a screen that is positioned for typing and swiping.
The Tablik arm lets you break this fixed relationship and create a more ergonomic portable computing environment. With external tablet keyboards available for as little as $30, there is little reason to compromise on your tablet computing ergonomics.
Stuck on You
During testing, the Tablik worked as advertised. Adjusting its position and angle was easy, and it was never in the way or inconvenient to move around. The magnetic force was strong enough to keep our tablet in place, but light enough that we could remove it from its slot with one hand.
The only black mark we have against the Tablik came up when we tried to uninstall it. Setting up and adjusting the Tablik is easy. Detaching the puck from the tablet once it’s stuck on is much more difficult. The instructions tell you to simply pull the puck off with your fingers, which after 10 minutes of trying proved impossible. We resorted to prying the puck off with a flat blade, which got the job done but left some significant scratches on the back of our tablet. Afterwards, the adhesive pad was in no state to be reused (the Tablik does come with two). Users should know that the Tablik puck is more or less a permanent fixture on the back of your tablet. We recommend buying a separate tablet case to attach to the puck – that way when you don’t want a ¼”-thick puck stuck on the back of your tablet, you can just remove the tablet from its case. Apart from this one issue, the Tablik proved a valuable tool for adding the ability to use tablets and mobile devices in an office environment.
The modern office is changing. With the workplace expanding beyond the four walls of the office, into homes and on the go, more and more work can be done on nontraditional devices, like tablets and smartphones. With these new ways to work, new ways to improve work ergonomics inevitably follow. The Tablik is a fast and easy way to pair the versatility and portability of a tablet with the comfort and stability of an active office desk. Just as we recommend adjustable-height monitor arms for any desk configuration, we also recommend an adjustable arm like the Tablik to position your tablet in an ergonomically optimal level on your desk.