Trying to keep everyone entertained during long car journeys is no easy feat, but one simple way to do so is to let them watch something on a tablet. Gone are the days when you had to strap bulky portable DVD players to the back of the headrest – now there are neat tablet holders that allow people to experience their favourite films, shows and videos in a much more compact form.
Entertainment isn't the only use for these holders, though – as well behind or between the seats, they can also set your tablet on the dashboard for use as a navigation device. We've looked at Argos, Amazon and eBay to find a range of universal tablet-mounting tools that will suit your needs, whether you want to occupy the kids in the backseats or keep you on track in the front.
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Table of Contents
With the huge selection of brands now making all sorts of different tablets, they really do come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. So, the first thing you need to do is find a tablet holder that can adapt.
Most holders do have a huge amount of adjustability, often being able to hold everything from a small smartphone to a large tablet, but even still it is worth checking your tablet size and whether it fits into the range offered by a holder. Tablet sizes are measured diagonally across the screen, so that's the figure you need to be looking at.
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Where you decide to put your holder will depend largely on what you want to use it for. If you want to use it as a way of giving your backseat passengers something to watch, then you should look for a holder that can be attached to the back of the front seat headrests.
If, however, you want to use your tablet as a sat nav or as a helper while you're driving, you need to make sure you get a holder that can attach to your dashboard, either by attaching itself to the top or by clipping into the air vents.
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Clips are the most popular mechanism used in tablet holders to attach them to your car. If they are headrest holders, they usually clip on to the poles that hold up the headrest, whereas if they are for the front, they might instead clip onto the air vent.
Other methods of attachment you might see for headrest holders are wrap-around setups, either clipping together on either side of the chair or as a Velcro sleeve around the headrest itself.
As far as dashboard holders go, the most popular way of attaching them is using a suction pad. These grip to the top of the dashboard by using a vacuum cup to secure them in place, although these aren't as set in place as those that use clips.
In addition to the method used to attach your holder to the car, it is also important to check how you attach your tablet to the holder – after all, it's not much use if the holder stays in place but the tablet falls out at the first bump in the road.
The most common way that holders use to fix your tablet in place is by having arms – either two or four – with a spring system that squeezes your tablet in place. The best arms will have added support in the form of hooks that come slightly over the front of the screen.
Having the ability to turn your screen completely will allow you to find the best angle for looking at what you need to see. This is ideal for keeping little ones entertained on long drives, as you'll need the tablet to be set up in a way that keeps them engaged.
Make sure to look for holders that have the capacity to turn a full 360°, which will give you as many options as you could possibly need for lining up your screen perfectly.
Everyone sits at slightly different heights in the car, which is why is makes complete sense when a tablet holder can be adjusted to suit the person who's using it. While the ability to rotate your tablet will go some way in tailoring it to your individual needs, it's best when this can be done alongside tilting the screen upwards and downwards.
It means that you not only get a better direct view of the screen, but it will also help you to avoid glare and keep your tablet from getting in the way. This is especially important if you intend to use a front-seat holder that enables you to use your tablet for GPS while driving.
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Stretchable Tablet Headrest Mount
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A Protective, Cushioned Dashboard Holder
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A Sleek Setup With Adaptable Features
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This holder has everything you could need from a headrest-compatible tablet mount. In addition to its shafts and spherical joint that give it its 360° rotation abilities, it also has a telescopic support arm that can be extended to 27 cm.
This extended arm might sound like it would be unstable in a car, but that problem has been solved with its anti-vibration technology, so you can watch your shows without it bouncing around. It also has a rubber pad that cushions your tablet and adds friction to stop it from sliding out of place. As you can see, everything has been thought of, and that's why this is our number one.
This holder says it can be installed with just one hand and in less than 2 seconds, and while this might not be completely true for everyone, it is undoubtedly an easy one to get set up. Once in place, you'll be able to adjust it to your heart's content with its full rotation, tilt and extendable arm.
The arm itself can be extended up to nearly 30 cm, giving you or your child the option of bringing the tablet closer to them. This will be particularly handy if you or they are doing something interactive that requires a lot of screen tapping.
Most headrest tablet holders tend to sit behind one of the front two chairs, meaning only one passenger can get a good view. But what if you all want to enjoy watching something together? This is where this holder's clever design comes in. It has an extendable arm that allows you to position the tablet in the middle of two seats.
If you want to have your tablet just for yourself then that is an option too, and you can retract the extendable arm easily. In addition, the whole holder is covered with a super soft fabric that cushions your device throughout your journeys.
With this holder, you have two options when it comes to how you'd like to attach your tablet. If you have well-placed air vents, then you can clip it on one of them, but if you don't – or your tablet is on the heavier side – there's a suction cup that you can use to attach it to the dashboard.
With more sections than other dashboard holders, you have more control over exactly where you'd like your tablet to sit. Each section is adjustable in its own way, so you can achieve the perfect positioning without too many complicated adjustments.
Lots of car tablet holders have incorporated a level of adjustability in the form of rotation and tilt, but what many ignore is the ability to move your device closer to you or further away. This holder doesn't make that mistake, with its three-section extendable design that allows you to bring what you're looking at up to your face.
To protect your device and your car, anti-slip rubber is everywhere on this mount, both on the tablet grip and the headrest clips. This will reassuringly reduce the chances of anything falling off or out when driving along bumpy or winding roads.
With its vice-like clip-on system, there's no chance that this tablet holder will fall off, no matter how treacherous the roads are. And, once you have it in place, you can also have faith in OHMOTOR's holder to keep your tablet from budging thanks to the use of anti-slide silicone and four high-tension springs.
Once you're done with your tablet, you can press a button and the arm section of the holder will neatly pack away in the headrest area, which helps because this option is on the bulkier side. It also doesn't have the flexibility to bring your tablet closer to you, which again could be a no-no for some.
This tablet holder is designed to sit front and centre, the perfect way to safely display your device when you're on the move. Where the tablet sits on the dashboard can be adjusted so you can choose a place that is visible but doesn't get in the way of your view of the road.
If you're worried about scratches, the cushioning will do an excellent job in stopping your tablet from being marked by the hard plastic frame. The drawbacks of this holder are its lack of length and the fact that it has a relatively small range of compatible tablet sizes, preventing its use with some models.
Not just limited to tablets, the two-armed spring mechanism of this holder means that it can hold all sorts of tech, from your phone to your child's Nintendo Switch. This is thanks to how extendable this product is, and its adjustability is featured in other areas too, like with the 360-degree rotation.
The clip-on car attachment can be installed immediately, and the fact it is so small allows you to put it in a bag when you're on the go. The only thing this holder doesn't have is the option of bringing your tablet closer to your face, which might sometimes be necessary if the positioning of the front seat isn't quite right.
All tablets that are under 25 cm in diameter and 35 mm in depth are compatible with this holder. It is very streamlined and won't look too bulky in the car, even when you don't have an tablet set up. The clip system makes it quick to install and, once you have, you'll get complete control over your viewing experience with rotation and tilt.
Being so compact does mean that is might not be as secure as other holders on this list. And, while a tablet that measures in at 25 cm is large, it is not as large as the size that some holders can support.
This tablet holder is quite unique in the way it attaches to the car and how it holds a tablet in place. Instead of a complicated clip mechanism, it uses a Velcro strap over the headrest. The hooks that keep the tablet in place are very easily adjustable too, so you'll have no worries about little fingers getting stuck in any moving parts.
It is not, unfortunately, as adjustable when it comes to changing the angle of the holder. The way the holder is designed doesn't allow for any tilt or rotation, and this holder's intended use is with Kindle Fires, which might mean that your tablet is not compatible.
Written and researched by Emma Cramp
No. 1：SOYUKI｜Stretchable Tablet Headrest Mount
No. 2：Tryone｜Car Headrest Holder
No. 3：iKross｜Tablet Mount Holder
No. 4：PLDHPRO｜Universal Dashboard Windshield Suction
No. 5：Viden｜Car Headrest Mount
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