Costing just £4.99, read our review of this dedicated tablet holder, to find out if it really is up to the job of supporting your device when out on tour
You might well be among the many people who no longer owns a separate sat-nav unit, but who instead relies on an app-based sat-nav that runs from your smartphone or tablet. It's an increasing and understandable trend. Why carry yet another device with you when you're likely to have your mobile and/or tablet with you on tour?
There are other advantages to using a phone/tablet based sat-nav. You can plug your device in when in transit, so you can keep it well charged. It's also easy to keep the maps on an app-based sat-nav up to date, as your tablet or phone will often be connected to the internet, meaning you know you're getting route information you can rely on (of course, you must beware of data roaming charges when on holiday abroad).
So there are all the reasons to use your smartphone or tablet as a sat-nav. One reason not to is that very few such devices are sold with an in-car mount to keep them secure on the road – but we at Practical Caravan are here to help.
We've conducted a mobile accessory mount group test, to help you find the best buy to add to your caravan accessories, so you can clearly see your sat-nav and you don't get lost on tour. And each product was tested in the same way, to ensure comparable results.
We measured each mount to find out what size range of device it can support, as well as assessing each to see how easy or difficult it was to insert or remove your phone or tablet from the holder.
The mounts themselves were tested in terms of how easy they were to position accurately, and we wanted to see if they could be mounted on the windscreen as well as the dashboard, as some people prefer not to leave telltale ring marks on their windscreen. Finally, we set up each mount with a device and went for a drive along a bumpy road, to ascertain the stability and security of each accessory holder – no product could receive a top rating without impressing in this last test.
So, here we're checking out the Sakura SS5185 Universal Windscreen Mounted Tablet Holder. The name and the massive size range of 15–25.5cm give the game away here: unlike many of the other products we tested, this is aimed firmly at tablets rather than smartphones – although some of the larger Nokia and Samsung so-called ‘phablets’ may just fit in.
Overall, this is a really good piece of kit for the money and the heavy-duty 9cm suction cup seems up to the job of supporting a tablet’s weight. There’s certainly no lack of positional adjustments, and although there’s a very limited-movement locking balljoint, horizontal and vertical pivots provide the main positioning options. Both feature natty push-to-adjust/release-to-lock buttons in place of fiddly little clamps. An impressive bit of kit.
But, before you make up your mind, and especially if you're looking for a mount for a smaller device such as a smartphone, be sure to check out our other accessory mount reviews. We also tested the Halfords Suction Mount PDA Holder, the Olixar CD Slot Mount, the Ram Mount X-Grip RAM-HOL-UN7B-KT and another product from Sakura, the Sakura Universal Mobile Phone Holder.
This Sakura SS5185 Universal Windscreen Mounted Tablet Holder represents great value for money. Our experts gave it a four-star rating.
- It's less than £5
- It truly is capable of supporting the weight of a tablet
- There is good positional adjustment
- It won't mount on your dashboard