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Just Mobile's HeadStand, AluCup and AluFrame: Accessories that organize, protect

As the Northern Hemisphere of the planet wakes up from winter, accessory manufacturers are coming to life with some new or revised products. One of those companies, Just Mobile, has released a crop of accessories that can help to organize your workspace and protect your iPhone 5. There's the AluCup (a sturdy dock for your iPhone or iPad mini, US$29.95), the AluFrame iPhone 5 case ($69.95), and that place to neatly store your headphones -- the HeadStand ($49.95).

You'll have an opportunity to win one of these hardy aluminum accessories, so be sure to check them out and then enter the giveaway.

Design

The AluCup is a delightfully simple dock for your iPhone or iPad tha's made of a machined aluminum cylinder sliced at an angle, lined with a colorful rubberized material, and sliced and diced for cable passthroughs.

Just Mobile's HeadStand, AluCup, and AluFrame Accessories that organize, protect

Just drop an iPhone into the black, yellow, red, or blue-lined cup and it is propped up for easy viewing while it charges or just "relaxes." That iPhone (or an iPad mini) can also be placed on top of the AluCup to make an attractive reclining pedestal.

Moving on to the HeadStand, here's a product that was just waiting for someone to invent it. It answers the question of where to place your headphones when they're not on your head. For me, the answer was to wrap the cable around the headphones and then plant them on my Røde microphone stand, but a lot of people don't have that option.

Just Mobile's HeadStand, AluCup, and AluFrame Accessories that organize, protect

The HeadStand comes in either silver or black aluminum, requires some quick assembly, and not only has an arm on which to hang the headphones but a "cable tidy" in the circular base. It's a brilliant alternative to just laying headphones on a desktop.

Finally, the third Just Mobile product we're reviewing today is the AluFrame iPhone 5 shield. Made of silver or black aerospace-grade aluminum, the AluFrame is a minimalist bumper that uses an smartly-designed catch mechanism to lock onto your iPhone 5 without the need for screws and tiny hex drivers.

Just Mobile's HeadStand, AluCup, and AluFrame Accessories that organize, protect

There's no need to worry about the AluFrame scratching your iPhone 5, as it uses a rubberized material inside to gently cradle your device. For added protection, the AluFrame includes front and back clear protectors to keep your baby from being scratched.

Functionality

Let's start with the AluCup. I'm impressed with this little stand, not only for its minimalist good looks, but the fact that it will happily hold my iPhone 5 that is encased in a mophie juice pack helium case. When the phone is dropped into the AluCup, the screen is perfectly angled so that you can see notifications coming in. If you need a bit more access to the iPhone screen, just lay it on top of the angled "cut" and you can tap away without having to worry about the iPhone moving.

Things weren't quite as nice with the iPad mini; it kept sliding off of the angled top of the AluCup. Only when I encased the iPad mini in a silicone sleeve from Loop Attachment did it stay in one place atop the AluCup. Still, if you're just looking for a handy stand for your iPhone or if you do have a silicone sleeve protecting your iPad mini, then you'll find the AluCup to be a winner.

Moving on to the AluFrame, I found this aluminum bumper to be a cinch to install and remove. The latch mechanism keeps the frame locked on, but can be opened in a second should you decide to remove it. There's no need to search for a hex driver and no worry about dropping tiny screws.

There are passthrough buttons for the volume toggle and on/off/sleep/wake button, with an open spot for the mute lock switch. The entire bottom of the AluFrame is wide open, providing unencumbered access to the speakers and Lightning port.

Finally, the HeadStand assembles quickly with two regular Phillips-head screws and looks great. It works nicely, too -- my pair of V-Moda headphones sat comfortably on top and I was able to remove the headphone cable to wrap around the base of the HeadStand. It definitely looks like a lot better way to store headphones than the method I've been using.

Conclusion

Just Mobile has made a name for itself by creating good-looking and functional accessories for Apple products, imagined by talented European designers. With the HeadStand, AluFrame, and AluCup, the company has added three more products to a growing stable of reasonably-priced designer accessories.

Pros

  • HeadStand is a unique product that has been needed for a long time
  • Aluminum construction of Just Mobile's accessories guarantees that they'll hold up for a while
  • AluFrame latch mechanism makes the bumper fast and easy to install or remove
  • AluCup takes up very little desktop space and works with many iPhone 5 cases

Cons

  • iPad mini wouldn't sit on top of the AluCup as advertised unless it was in a silicone sleeve

Who are they for?

  • Anyone who appreciates good design and solid construction in Apple accessories

Giveaway

We have an AluCup with a red liner, a black anodized aluminum HeadStand, and a black AluFrame to give away. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before April 29, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Three winners will be selected. One will received a Just Mobile AluCup valued at $29.95, one will receive an AluFrame valued at $69.95, and one will receive a HeadStand valued at $49.95.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.