SanDisk iXpand Base: Easy iPhone Back Up and Charging- Review

 

What we love…

Foolproof backup that happens without having to think of it, easy to download backed up items to computer or restore onto phone or iPad

What we’d love to see…

Option to choose to remove select pictures/ videos after backup instead of just having option to remove all or none.

Summary

The iXpand Base from SanDisk is an easy way to keep your iPhone and iPad photos, videos and contacts backed up. It is very easy to set up and after the initial set up if you use it as your charging station it will back your phone up every time you charge without you needing to do anything except plug your phone in

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If you are looking for a fast, easy, foolproof way to back up your iPhone, the SanDisk iXpand Base is the perfect solution. It can hold up to 256GB of data and is a charging station and back up solution all in one.

Set Up

Set up is a breeze:

  • install the free iXpand Base app on your iPhone.
  • Plug the SanDisk iXpand Base into an outlet with the included (6ft) power cord, then connect your iPhone charging cable to the SanDisk iXpand Base (a lightning cable is not included you do need to supply your own). The cable can be left long or wrapped around the cord manager in the bottom of the iXpand Base.
  • Open the app and connect your phone via the cable and it will automatically start scanning your phone and backing up your photos and contacts.
  • The first time you use it you need to give permission to access your photos, videos and contacts, after that everything is automatic

In Use

SanDisk iXpand Base iPhone Back Up and Charging

 

The iXpand Base has a slightly angled, rubberized surface that works well to hold the iPhone whilst it charges. I keep the SanDisk iXpand Base on my desk and use it every time I want to charge my iPhone or iPad during the day. I never even have to think about backing up my iPhone and iPad photos, videos and contacts – it happens automatically every time I charge it.  The first time I used it the SanDisk iXpand Base it took about an hour to fully back up my photos, videos and contacts, but now as I back it up daily it only takes a couple of minutes to update each time. After the first time whenever you plug your phone in to the iXpand Base it will start charging and simultaneously scan your phone. It will then automatically back up any new items it finds.

Once it has successfully backed up for device your are given the option to delete the backed up items from your iPhone or iPad to create space. This is an “all or nothing” option – you touch one button to remove all the backed up files. If you just want to remove select photos or videos you do this in the usual way from within your photo library.

 

Accessing Backups and Restoring Photos, Videos and Contacts

It is simple to access your backed up files on your iPhone, iPad or computer.

When your iOS device is connected to the iXpand base you can view any of the photos, videos or contacts you have previously backed up from this or any other iOS device. In “Settings” you can see all your backups listed, and choose which one you wish to restore from. Once you have selected a backup file you can “select all” or individually choose which images or contacts you wish to restore onto your device. Once you have selected the items to restore simply tap “restore” and they will be downloaded into your device’s photos or contacts.

Transferring Backed up Items to Computer
The simplest way to move items from the iXpand to your computer is via the iXpand’s SD card. The iXpand has an SD card slot at the back of the unit, pressing on the SD card will eject it. The SD card can then be placed into the SD card slot on your computer where you can simply drag and drop files to download them. The files are in folders labelled by the device name each backup came from with sub-folders for photos and contacts.  If you need more storage you can also remove the full SD card from your iXpand Base and replace it with a new SD card.

If you don’t have an SD card reader on your computer you can also access the files by connecting the iXpand Base to your computer using a data transfer Micro USB – USB  cable (not included.)
 

Setting up a new iPhone
 

If you lose or damage your iPhone and need to get a new one, it is very simple to restore all your old contacts, photos and videos on to your device phone. Simply download the iXpand App onto the new phone, plug it into the iXpand Base, select your old phone’s back up and tap restore.
 

Summary
 

The iXpand Base from SanDisk is an easy way to keep your iPhone and iPad photos, videos and contacts backed up. It is very easy to set up and after the initial set up if you use it as your charging station it will back your phone up every time you charge without you needing to do anything except plug your phone in !
 

Price and Availability
 

The iXpand Base from SanDisk is available in 64GB, 128 GB or 256 GB versions, from AmazonSanDisk.com or other retailers from US$69.99
 
 
 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Stanley Stand by Distil Union – Review

What we love…

Stanley Stand is easy to use portable stand for your iPhone, iPad or other device

What we’d love to see…

better way to carry it around – I currently put it back in the box each time I use it although it can be flattened.

Summary

Overall, this is a great flexible stand which is perfect for anyone with tech in your life.  It’s held up very well during my testing and multiple uses.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Stanley StandThe Stanley Stand by Distil Union is a leather device that bends to hold your device and accessories while cooking, serving as a portable charging station, holding your tablet and more.  Stanley Stand is made of leather, merino wool felt and heavy steel.  The Stanley Stand is covered on the outside by leather in your choice of color (black, brown, gray, lime, aqua, red) and on the inside is Merino wool felt.  They cover up a piece of steel inside which bends to make the Stanley stand usable in so many situations.  Each stand has light grey Merino wool felt which has white stitching, and the darker stand (black) has darker grey felt with black stitching.  The stand features a small hole in the back designed to feed your cables through so they are not in the way of your device.

You can use it as a non-traditional dock on your desk at work, on your kitchen counter to hold your device while cooking, to act as a small typing stand or simply to get your device up from a flat spot.  It will hold phones and tablets up to 8″ tall and held my iPad Mini in a Griffin Survivor case quite comfortably.  You can bend the stand to your viewing angle (so you can watch movies while it is on a table or use it for cooking) or a low angle so you can use it as a typing stand.  Inside the box is the Stanley Stand in your choice of color and a USB extension cable which is six feet, this plugs into your lightening charger for your iOS device and works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device by giving it a bit more length.

When I got my Stanley Stand I started coming up with great ideas of using it.  The Stanley Stand is  small enough to toss in my backpack and bring with me when I’m out with my kids, so I can stream a Netflix movie while they are having an appointment or while I wait in the car for the time of the appointment.  I also brought it along as a portable charger – I like many have my iPhone go dead sometimes.  This can be frustrating – especially when you find a plug but it’s a little bit too far away or perhaps you don’t want to be limited by the length of your standard issue Apple cable.  Thankfully using the USB extension you can now comfortably sit in a char while having your device plugged in!  I also liked the Stanley Stand when cooking – I have lots of recipes on my device but I hate touching my iPhone with dirty hands to check the ingredients.  Now, I simply prop it on the Stanley Stand, turn off sleep mode and get cooking!  My husband also recently brought the Stanley Stand to a conference he attended where he had all of the slides on his iPad – instead of having to hold his device while listening to the lecture he simply propped it up and could easily follow along.  One of my favorite things was that I could adjust the Stanley Stand to almost any direction to make it suit my needs – it was nice that it was not molded plastic and static.

In terms of enhancements – right now I put the Stanley Stand back into the box each time I take it somewhere with me – and the box is getting a bit tattered.  I haven’t figured out a better solution – it’s pretty small and fits in tight spaces but I don’t want to mistakenly stretch it out.  It does fold flat – and I have done that a few times to slide it into a tight space in my bag – but I’m not sure if that is a good idea long term.

Overall, this is a great flexible stand which is perfect for anyone with tech in your life.  It’s perfect for kids who may be using a tablet to do reading and need to prop it up, adults who need a desktop charging stand or anything in between.  It’s held up very well during my testing and multiple uses.  In fact, if anything the leather has gotten a nice patina to it.  At a cost of $49.99 USD I feel the Stanley Stand is worth it and is a great gift for someone on your list who may be hard to buy for!  You can buy it direct from Distil Union for $49.99, Amazon and other retailers.

Product details

  • Compatibility: Phones and tablets up to 8″ tall
  • Bend to your viewing angle, or low angle for ergonomic typing
  • Premium materials, skilled craftsmanship, and 1-year warranty
  • Materials: Leather, Merino wool felt, and heavy steel
  • Included: USB extension cable (6ft) – Note: Cable is NOT an iPhone cable. Instead, it works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device.

 

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

You can see other stands and holders we have reviewed here.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Tablift Tablet Stand by nbryte – Review

Tablift

What we love…

Sturdy, well-made, works with a variety of tablets in portrait and landscape modes, works on soft uneven surfaces, keeps weight off you

Cons..

Will not work with most iPad Cases, limited viewing angles

Summary

If you like to use your iPad in bed to read or watch movies and don’t mind the iPad being without a case the Tablift is a stand worth considering. It feels sturdy and well-made and works well on soft, uneven surfaces.
recommended-by-the-imums
 

The Tablift is a tablet stand designed to fit the iPad (all generations), iPad Mini and Android tablets. It is designed to hold the tablet when you are using it on an uneven surface such as a bed or couch. I tested it with an iPad 2. iPad 3, iPad Mini and iPad Air 2.

The Tablift consists of a plastic centre console with 3 grooves in it for holding the the tablet at different viewing angles, 4 flexible metal legs and an elastic strap with a plastic clip.

Set Up

Set up is pretty simple:

a) Open the 4 legs to the outside

b) Spread the legs apart

c) Place the iPad in one of the grooves, it can be in landscape or portrait modes

d) Use the clip to hold the elastic on the upper edge of the iPad

The Tablift is designed for use with tablets without a case on. The slots that the tablet sits in are approximately 10 mm wide so the tablet must the thinner than that to fit. With the older iPad 2 & 3 I have not found any cases that will work with the Tablift. With the newer iPads that I tested- the iPad Mini and iPad Air 2 they could be used with a case if it was very slim such as the Impact Mesh iPad Mini case by Tech 21.

In Use

The Tablift is surprisingly stable on a bed, I found even when moving around a little to shift position in bed it stayed well in place. The legs are very flexible and can be placed at a variety of angles to fit different uneven surfaces, as long as you make sure the 4 feet are well spread apart is is pretty stable. I did like that it could be used in both landscape and portrait modes, and that it could accommodate a variety of 7″ and 10″ tablet models.

There is not a huge range of viewing angles, just 3 options- the centre slot is vertical, the rear slot puts the iPad screen a little tilted back and the front slot tilts it forward. The angle depends on the thickness of the iPad- the slimmer models (mini, Air) are more tilted than the older models. I did find, especially with the thinner iPads, you need to be careful using the front slot- before you have secured the iPad in place with the elastic strap it tends to fall out forward if you don’t hold it in place. I like that it keeps the weight of the tablet and stand off your legs or body, unlike many other stands designed for using your iPad in bed.

The Tablift worked fine when using it on the sofa, but doing so made me nervous. I felt that it would be very easy to accidentally knock the iPad and stand over, and potentially have it fall from the sofa to the floor. With the iPad without a case, or in a very slim not very protective one, this could have disastrous consequences. This may be less of a concern for some people, but with a household full of kids and animals, that are liable to make sudden movements and unwittingly knock it over, I wouldn’t use it on my sofa. On the bed it did not worry me the same way, because, as long as I wasn’t too close to the edge of the bed, it would fall onto a soft surface and unlikely to be damaged.

The Tablift weighs just over 2lb and folds down for storage to approximately 6″ x 11″ x 3″.

tablift2

Summary

If you like to use your iPad in bed to read or watch movies the Tablift is a stand worth considering. It feels sturdy and well-made and works well on soft, uneven surfaces. A downside is that it will not work with most cases, so if you use a case on your tablet you will probably need to remove it to use the stand. As this leaves the iPad unprotected I would be uncomfortable using it in situations where there was a risk of it falling onto a hard surface.

Available from Tablift.com and Amazon RRP $59.95

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Universal Car Mount from Kensington – Review

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When traveling by car I often use my cellphone as a GPS navigation system, and to do that I need it securely mounted where I can see it without taking my eyes off the road. The Universal Car Mount from Kensington is a great solution for this, and is really flexible, working with different vehicles and phones. This makes it a great accessory to take when traveling as you never know exactly what model rental car you will get.

It mounts in 2 ways- either via a 12 inch long flexible arm attached to a powerful suction cup, or via a vent clip.  The suction cup adheres really firmly to the windscreen, with a lever that adds extra suction, and a tab to pull when you need to release it. The arm is strong but can be gently bent to adjust the angle to work with different windscreen angles. It some states it is illegal to use a windshield mount, so it also includes a vent mount as an alternative. The vent mount is like a short cone with 4 slightly flexible petals, and I found it attached easily to my car’s heat/ air vent. The mount works in both portrait and landscape mode.

carmount

I love that it is really easy to adjust to fit different size phones, so my husband and I can use it interchangeably even though we have different model phones. It fits my iPhone 5 and my husbands iPhone 6 fine, and will even fit an iPhone6+! It will work with or without a phone case. Adjustment is really easy, you just touch a button to release the phone, this opens it fully and when you put a new phone in just squeeze the fits and it automatically adjusts to the correct size. It has a soft foam lining that grips the phone securely and releasing the phone just takes a simple touch of a button.

I highly recommend the Universal Car Mount from Kensington as a very simple, easy to use, secure, flexible smartphone mount that will fit a variety of  vehicles and a large range of Smartphone sizes. Available from Kensington.com , Amazon or other retailers for RRP US $29.99.

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NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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