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Computerized Investing > June 4, 2011

Breffo Spiderpodium Grip and Docking Station

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Every once in a while you come across a piece of gadgetry that is amazingly “low tech,” yet incredibly practical and useful. Such is the case with the Spiderpodium from Breffo. This unique gadget grip and docking station for smartphones, GPS devices and other handheld devices offers a number of solutions in the office or when travelling. The Spiderpodium I have been testing was given to me by the company.

The Look

If you have arachnophobia, the Spiderpodium isn’t for you. As the name suggests, it looks very much like a spider with its eight legs protruding from its center. The legs are flexible and coated in rubber, allowing you to bend and pose them in almost any direction and holding that position.

Uses

The uses of the Spiderpodium are really only bounded by your imagination. Whenever I am taking a road trip, I make sure to bring along my Spiderpodium to mount my cell phone, which doubles as my GPS navigator, to the dashboard of my rental car. I bend four of the legs around my phone and insert two others into the vents. Depending on the model of car you drive, the ease of installation will vary. However, I have yet to run across a car where I couldn’t mount the Spiderpodium. Most importantly, my phone has yet to take a tumble: The Spiderpodium never detaches from the vents. The rubber coating on the legs, along with the ability to position the legs in many different directions, ensures a snug fit.

Having reviewed a couple GPS devices in this column, one of my biggest complaints is having to attach and re-attach the suction cup mounting units. If you have a device that you use in multiple vehicles, the Spiderpodium may be something to think about, since it is much more portable and easy to install or detach.

The Breffo website has a photo gallery to give you an idea of the Spiderpodium’s uses. Among them is functioning as a podium stand for viewing video from a smartphone; mounting devices to a bike or to exercise equipment at the gym; or hanging devices from a headrest in a car, plane, or train.

About the only real limitation the Spiderpodium faces is its load-bearing capabilities. If you are trying to mount a bulky GPS device into the vents of a car, you may run into some problems. If you are looking to mount or grip larger devices, Breffo does have a SpiderpodiumTablet version, but I have not tried it.

Overall

As I said earlier, it is nice to come across a useful piece of gadgetry that is functional without having to be high-tech. Whenever I am packing for a road trip, I make sure my Spiderpodium goes into my travel bag. It is an easy alternative to bulky mounting brackets. You can use it to grip or mount almost any handheld device practically anywhere. Also, at under $20, this must-have gadget won’t break the bank!

Breffo Spiderpodium grip and docking station

www.breffo.com

$19.99 (currently $19.25 from Amazon.com)

Pros

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Grip portable devices without having to remove them from their cases
  • Easy-to-install alternative to bulky mounting brackets

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is the author of "Gadget Corner." All reviews are based on firsthand experience of the product or service. No third-party compensation is received for opinions on products, services, websites or topics. However, sometimes the author is not required by the manufacturer or their PR firm to return the product under review. In such instances, it is our policy to convey this within the review. The views and opinions expressed in these reviews are strictly those of the author. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA is a vice president and senior financial analyst at AAII and editor of Computerized Investing. Follow him on Twitter at @WayneTAAII.


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