GeekDad Review: Bracketron JamSpot Portable Tablet Stand/Bluetooth Speaker

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JamSpot by Bracketron
Image copyright Bracketron

When it comes to supporting your mobile electronics — as in physically holding them — few accessory makers offer the number of options that Bracketron does. If you want to use a tablet, smartphone or other mobile device in a car or you need a desktop stand to hold it securely in the perfect position, there’s a pretty good chance Bracketron offers a solution. I recently put one of the company’s newest products through its paces. The JamSpot is a folding tablet stand that does double duty as a Bluetooth speaker system.

As a tablet stand (it also works with smartphones, e-readers, iPods and virtually any other electronics in a “slate” form factor), the JamSpot offers a wide range of adjustments for securing the device at an optimal viewing angle. You can tweak pretty much anything, from how high the articulated support arm is set to how wide the base is. Soft rubber pads help to grip both the electronics and the surface the JamSpot is sitting on.

JamSpot in action
The JamSpot deployed (photo by Brad Moon)

And once you have your tablet in the ideal position, a simple Bluetooth pairing connects the two wireless speakers for enhanced audio. So far as Bluetooth speakers go, the JamSpot is not particularly powerful, but the sound quality and volume is a definite improvement over built-in speakers, and when the base is fully extended, there is better stereo separation as well. The drivers point virtually straight up, so long distance isn’t the goal, but those in sitting within viewing range will appreciate the upgrade. The battery (rechargeable via USB cable) is rated at 10 hours and my experience was in that range.

When it’s time to go, the JamSpot folds up tightly into a single, compact package.

JamSpot is compact
JamSpot folded up and ready for travel (Photo by Brad Moon)

The JamSpot made the recent list of gear I put through extended stress testing while on a two-week camping trip. In the case of the JamSpot, it actually helped to reduce my stress.

We always bring an old iPad that’s wiped clean — with every available MB of storage used for video — and use that as the TV stand-in for those times when the weather is inclement or people are just worn out and looking to watch a movie while they wind down. Even in the great outdoors, it happens, especially if you’re there for several weeks. On its own the iPad’s audio isn’t loud enough for everyone to hear and much as I would appreciate the silence, headphone splitters aren’t a practical option with three kids sprawled across the trailer bunks. The JamSpot was able to pump up the audio enough for everyone to hear (and add a little bit of “oomph” compared to the tinny built-in speakers), while holding the iPad securely in a position where everyone could see it.

As I mentioned in that camping post, you can accomplish the same thing using whatever iPad stand you happen to have handy and a Bluetooth speaker — although few stand-style iPad cases offer this degree of adjustability. But it’s awfully handy to have the complete package in a single device that folds up for easy carrying. That’s the JamSpot’s value proposition and if you frequently use a tablet or smartphone on a stand (for watching video or video conferencing), the JamSpot is well worth considering.

The JamSpot retails for $79.99 and can be purchased online through Bracketron.

Disclosure: Bracketron provided a JamSpot tablet stand for the purposes of this review.

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