Hands On: Satechi Car Mounts and Accessories

Nothing can make you feel older than watching once revolutionary technology fade out of popular culture. The tape players in our cars gave way to the CD player, and now even that platform is fading from our newer cars as our compact discs pile up in storage bins. Just like how the tape deck hosted AUX input adapters, the CD player is now the in-car device to retrofit. New accessories from Satechi are some of the latest items available to help your old ride cruise though the modern era.

Satechi Universal Smartphone and Tablet CD Slot Mounts

Without CDs to take up residence inside your dash, there is now room to slot in something a bit more useful. Satechi has found an alternative to phone and tablet mounts that use strong adhesives or magnets and have now made use of your CD slot as a mounting point. If your car has about an inch above and below of free space around the CD slot, then you simply slip the rubber mount tabs inside and lock the bottom tab to ensure it is wedged inside. The kit includes rubber pads in various thickness to ensure a secure fit inside the slot and the mount is great at keeping your smartphone steady. The Universal Smartphone mount can hold devices from 3.5-5.5″ in width with no issues.

Their newer tablet mount tackles your devices from 5-11” just as securely and can be installed and removed within seconds to allow you to have convenient access to your device. The CD slot in most cars is in an ideal spot for reach and visibility and a mount for your device feels at home with this system. The smartphone and tablet mounting systems were removed without any noticeable damage or harm to the CD system and you can always throw your old mix CD back in with the mount removed. You can also play a disc that is already inside the slot with the mount inside in most systems but better safe than sorry as every system is unique.

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Satechi Bluetooth Media Button

Now that your tablet or smartphone sits where that old CD player once was, you’re going to need a way to control your device on the move. A bluetooth button that can pause and play your music, skip tracks, and control volume is a must-have to avoid sorting through your playlist at a stoplight. Satechi has slick aluminum buttons that you can mount in your car to keep your media controls at your fingertips. A steering wheel mount is what we used, but the kit also includes a string loop hanger to hang the button or adhesive 3M mount to adhere it to any part of your car, office, house, etc. A button on the back of the device pairs the aluminum button easily with most bluetooth devices and the internal CR2016 battery has a lifespan of around 2 years. We found it easy to setup and control your smartphone remotely.

There are also other buttons in the Satechi series to activate both the camera shutter and the home button on your device, so you can capture moments on the go and talk to Siri or Google Now without reaching for your phone.

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Satechi Aluminum Magnet Vent Mount and Universal Aluminum Magnetic Phone Mounts

In a similar style to the sleek aluminum media buttons from Satechi, there are also a few magnetic mounts to secure your device. We had the chance to look at a mount that slides on the air vent and a universal mount that can adhere to any surface inside or outside your car with 3M adhesive. Both versions of the magnetic mount can be purchased in colors like Space Gray, Silver, and Gold to match your device.

For more on the Satechi vent mount check out our extended hands-on review.

Each kit includes a couple metal discs that can be stuck to the back or your phone or inside of your phone case to allow it to attach to the magnetic mounts. With the metal plate attached, the magnet grabs the device tight and you should only have issues with heavier phones or through a thicker phone case. The rubber mounts to connect to the vents were secure, but can shake loose for heavier phones and depending on the size and shape of your air vents. Most of the time the mounts held secure and give a nice clean look to the cabin of your car.

Amazon (Vent Mount) Amazon (Magnetic Mount)

Satechi Ventie Adjustable Vent Phone Mount

If the idea of using a magnet to secure your device doesn’t thrill you, then Satechi has a new vent mount to try. The latest “Ventie” mount offers a better grip onto your car’s vents and allows for a range of movement to angle your device just right. The rubber grips hold your phone tight and the angle of the mount allows the air from the vent to escape without issue. Installation is simple as you hook the mount onto the vent and twist the large knob to tighten the mount secure. The swivel head at the end of the mount arm rotates 360 degrees and can hold devices as large as the iPhone 6 Plus. Initial impressions of the Ventie mount are largely positive as it may be the best accessory in recent memory for those looking to mount a device without the traditional suction cups or adhesives.

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Satechi Universal Headrest Tablet Mount

Now, we can’t forget about those passengers with ridding in the back seat. Most media consumption in your family car may come from tablets meant to entertain the kids on long drives. The Universal Headrest Tablet mounts from Satechi can tackle any device ranging from 3.5” smartphones up to 11” tablets depending on the model you choose. Our mid-level mount for 6.5″ – 8.9″ devices handles a Samsung Galaxy Tab with no problems and kept it secure while driving over even the roughest roads nearby.

The system is easy to attach and remove with a single clamp. It includes two different sized rubber inserts to adjust, depending on your headrest.

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Conclusion

We can now embrace the departure of old media as the accessory industry has found new ways to innovate. Your vacant CD slot can have a new lease on life and help secure your new smartphone or tablet – at least until the next popular medium arrives. Satechi has many great mounting options to give your car a premium feel with modern capabilities. We believe they are certainly a brand to watch as the aftermarket continues to advance to handle new trends and devices.

Highs

  • Innovative designs
  • Premium look and feel
  • Modern colors to match new devices

Lows

  • CD mounts limited to certain vehicles
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