Review: Octa’s Monkey Kit

Want to hang your iPad from a tree limb?  Too far out? How about on your microphone so you can see your play list, or on the tripod of your camera? Octa has created the Monkey Kit, (69.99) a unique product that lets you safely hang your iPad anywhere you can wrap a heavy duty “tail” to hold it secure. Other uses include attaching it to exercise machines, putting it between cushions on a couch, securing it while working on your car, and using it as a desktop stand.

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The kit consists of two parts. There is a Vacuum Dock and a Monkey Tail. The two pieces can be taken apart for storage or travel. The Vacuum Dock is 1.95-in (4.953-cm) at it’s widest point. the Monkey Tail is 36-in (91.44-cm) long and together the pieces weigh 1.49 pounds. The outer surface of the Vacuum Dock is hard plastic and there is a soft rubber dome cap included to protect the connectors when storing or traveling with the dock. The tail is wrapped in soft, grippy silicon. The Vacuum Dock is interchangeable with other products sold by the company.

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There is a 30 day money back guarantee and a 90 day warranty.

Using the product

I have only one negative thing to say about this product so let me get this out of the way first. The written instructions that accompany the package are awful. The print is very tiny because they have instructions in several languages on a small sheet and then complicate it further by having color combinations that look good, but are impossible to read. As an example, pale green type on light green background. Fortunately, they have excellent written and video instructions on their website for every aspect of working with the Monkey Kit.

To use the Monkey Kit you attach the Vacuum Dock to the Tail. To do it you remove the protective dome cap, line up an arrow, an unlocked padlock image, and a dot and then turn.

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To attach the kit to an iPad (or iPad mini) you place the Vacuum Dock against the back of the iPad, making sure there are no air pockets anywhere, and pump the air pump five or six times. There is no reason to hold down the Vacuum Dock like you would ordinarily have to do with other vacuum seal products. When the pump handle remains all the way in, the seal is set. The instructions note that in some cases, it is wise to check the pump handle periodically to assure the seal is still set satisfactorily, but I did not experience any problems with that.

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To release the vacuum seal and remove the Monkey Kit from the back of the iPad you simply pull up on the sealed area or slide a card of some kind under it to release the seal. It will release instantly.

One outstanding feature of this product is that it will work with some iPad covers. The cover must be completely smooth and nonporous and, at least from my testing, have no front cover as the front cover seems to unbalance the vacuum seal. I had two covers available to test this feature, both were smooth, but only the hard plastic one worked. However, that one worked great and it was very nice to be able to use the stand without undressing the iPad.

Using the Monkey Kit as a table top stand works well as long as you follow the directions. You have to create a half or three-quarter circle on the table surface and then make sure the iPad’s center of gravity is lined up with the stand base you have created. It is a very logical formula and after trying it a couple of times it was easy. My son-in-law who has hands three times bigger than mine set it  up with one try and loved it.

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