Our never-ending quest for the perfect iPad kneeboard has turned up a new contender: the Slimline Rotating Kneeboard from Flight Gear. This simple, no-frills kneeboard is (as the name suggests) small and unobtrusive in the cockpit. It’s perfect for the pilot who’s worried about a kneeboard interfering with the yoke during takeoff and landing, or for someone who just wants a reliable way to keep an iPad from flying around the cockpit. At only $22.95, it’s also one of the least expensive iPad kneeboards we’ve seen.
In spite of the simplicity and low price, there are some pilot-friendly features that really pay off in flight. First, the kneeboard includes a low profile rotating mechanism, so it’s fast and easy to go from portrait to landscape orientation on your iPad. There are no locks or latches to operate, so it’s a one-handed maneuver, but there is enough friction to keep your iPad in place once it’s rotated.
The Slimline Rotating Kneeboard is also a universal design, compatible with a variety of tablet sizes and a variety of cases. The bottom features two sturdy ledges, which support the tablet but leave plenty of room to plug in a charging cable. The top left and right corners feature elastic straps to hold the tablet in place, but these are different from most other designs we’ve seen—they attach to the back of the kneeboard with velcro, so they are easily adjustable.
There are two scenarios where this comes in handy. First, if you’re using a larger case on your iPad, it’s easy to loosen up the elastic straps to fit. If you later remove the case, you can tighten them up to hold your naked iPad securely.
Secondly, depending on the specific model of iPad you fly with, elastic straps can block part of the screen or even push a button on the side of the tablet. The velcro attach point for the straps makes it easy to solve this problem: just move the strap until it’s out of the way, then push to hold it in place with the velcro. This also makes the kneeboard reasonably future-proof, as new models with even thinner bezels become available.