The A10 Padimount works with all 10-inch iPads except the original iPad which is slightly too thick. (The iPad Air requires an optional adaptor.) The A7 works with all versions of the iPad Mini. Chances are you have sold dramatically fewer in-wall touchscreens since 2010. And it’s not because you’ve sold fewer systems or because touchscreens suddenly became less useful. It’s because that’s the year when the iPad hit the market. At half the cost of most touchscreens, there isn’t much not to love about the iPad. It’s great for surfing the Web and checking email, it can run apps interfacing with nearly every control and automation system, it can video chat, it has awesome battery life and it’s just frickin’ cool.
But integrators can’t sell or make money on iPads. And, as great as the iPad is, at some point owners will face the, “Hey! Where’s the iPad?!” scavenger hunt. With a seven-year-old daughter, my iPad may be in her room, our room, slipped between a couch cushion, or any other number of places. And when I do find it, odds are the battery will be borderline dead.
Traditional in-wall touchscreens solve these issues by having a permanent, fixed point of control that is always charged and ready to go. But what if you could combine these two things–the iPads people love, along with an in-wall touchscreen’s benefits–into something that actually made you money?
That’s the beauty of the Padimount In-Wall iPad mounting bracket, which is distributed by TruAudio. Now, admittedly, in-wall iPad mounts aren’t exactly new, but there are a few things about the Padimount that make it very cool. First, the mounting bracket offers several install-friendly tricks that make it retrofittable into virtually any wall. (There is an optional pre-installation bracket that can be used during new construction.) At 0.5-inches deep, the bracket is very thin. In fact, it’s no thicker than a sheet of half-inch sheetrock. From a practical standpoint, this means it can install directly on top of a stud, allowing you to locate the iPad exactly where a homeowner wants without trying to center between studs or fearing what may be located behind the wall once you start cutting.
To prove this, I purposely installed mine directly on top of a stud. Using the mounting template, I drew out the cutout and then cut the sheetrock with a stud bisecting the mount. Normally this would be the nightmare installation scenario, but, sure enough, the Padimount fit in with no problems.
The bracket clamps to the drywall using 10 swing-out tabs similar to in-wall speakers. Having that many tabs ensures a tight fit, snugly holding the frame to the wall even if the drywall installer was off his game. The dog ears are also easily removable using the included Allen wrench, letting me remove the two that were on top of the stud. If the frame is mounted directly next to a stud, the dog ears can be replaced with included wood screws.
The A10 Padimount works with all 10-inch iPads except the original iPad which is slightly too thick. (The iPad Air requires an optional adaptor.) The A7 works with all versions of the iPad Mini. It doesn’t matter whether the iPad uses the old 30-pin or new lightning connector for charging as the Padimount’s included power extender kit works with both. The iPad’s cable connects to the included power extender kit, which is basically a USB-over-Cat-5 extender, letting you connect to a power outlet up to 80-feet away.
The mount features a nice little foam cushion where the iPad rests, keeping the back of the iPad from getting scratched up. The mount also incorporates a slick “speaker wave guide” to help channel audio out into the room through the perforations in the faceplate. This kept the sound surprisingly decent once the Pad was tucked in the wall, delivering enough sound that I could listen to music with it located about 30 feet away.
While the mount is designed to be “easily removable from the dock” I found it not so easy in practice. Once it is in, it really clicks into place and I fear that taking it in and out of the wall repeatable might ultimately cause drywall issues. However, it can be removed for times when the iPad is needed on vacation or something. If the mount is being used in a location where theft of the iPad is a concern, the retaining ring can be screwed into the mount, more permanently locking the Pad into place.
There are four magnetic, fingerprint-resistant faceplate options: paintable white, gloss black, gloss white, and stainless steel. I opted for the stainless, and once it was cut into the wall, it really looked sharp, and fit in perfectly with our kitchen appliances. The frame is only 3.6 millimeters thick, giving it a really sleek profile that leaves the iPad’s home button and front-facing camera accessible.
The Padimount gives you an easy way to make some money integrating iPads into your projects. TruAudio is offering Residential Systems readers a 50-percent discount on their first Padimount model. At that price, there is absolutely no reason not to give it a try.
Mounts into practically any wall, looks really slick once installed, and offers a way to make money on iPad integration
Not so easily removed
• Supports all iPads except original iPad (iPad Air requires adapter, $20 MSRP)
• Available in paintable white, stainless steel, or gloss black/white
• Incredibly shallow depth and versatile mount allow it to be installed into virtually any wall
• Included power extender kit allows in-wall charging using Cat-cabling up to 80-feet
• Allows access to iPad’s front-facing camera and Home button
Micro Review: Nobel Fidelity's In-Wall Speaker Road Case
by Jeremy J. Glowacki
Faced with the challenge of how to offer a proper demo of his line of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, Nobel Fidelity founder Greg Ford came up with a creative solution. He designed and built wooden road cases for his network of independent sales reps. Each road case consists of two 34-inch high x 24-inch wide x 5-inch deep boxes with an 8-inch in-ceiling L-85 mk II speaker installed in the corner. Each box has reinforced steel corners and magnets and rubber feet to link them together, side-by-side, for carrying around. On the edge of each box is a standard left and right speaker connectors for linking the boxes to an existing system. The intent is to lay the boxes on the floor, face up, to simulate the effect of an in-ceiling installation. It’s a weird concept to wrap your brain around at first, but once you start listening to some demo material, you forget that the audio is emanating from the floor, and not the ceiling. Admittedly, I’m no Dennis Burger or John Sciacca when it comes to waxing poetic about the finer nuances of a speaker’s sonic signature, but I do have a fairly trained ear, and I know as well as the next guy how songs I’ve listened to for many years are supposed to sound. After wiring Noble Fidelity’s road case to my very pedestrian surround processor demo rig, which was fed by my runof- the mill Blu-ray player, I turned up the volume and listened to several familiar tracks. Vocals were accurate every time and bass, while not overpowering, was quite sufficient for an 8-inch woofer. There was not one time that I thought, “Not bad for in-ceilings…” They simply sounded good, and honestly I forgot the speakers were resting face up toward the ceiling.