Elephant Card evaluation: a intelligent and inexpensive iPhone Continuity Digital camera mount

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The Elephant Card is a transportable mount for Mac house owners who wish to use their iPhone as a webcam with macOS Ventura’s new Continuity Digital camera characteristic. Not solely does it fold flat for straightforward portability, nevertheless it additionally works with or with out iPhone circumstances in my testing and attaches to each my MacBook’s show and desktop monitor. 

Higher but, it truly resembles an elephant with its tusks and ears creating the mounting factors. That’s cute, made much more so by the mount’s tiny $7.99 / €7.49 price ticket, which returns to the common $9.99 / €9.90 listing worth after Monday, November twenty eighth.

To make use of the mount, you merely unfold the 2 “tusks” that maintain your iPhone, which sends the “ears” backward to create two small hooks that match over your Mac’s show. It’s a really intelligent design from the massive minds at TeamNobile, the design collective based mostly in Vienna, Austria, chargeable for the equally inventive AirBell.

The Elephant Card is designed for MacBooks which have lengthy suffered from notoriously unhealthy webcams built-in into their ultra-thin shows. Nevertheless it additionally matches the favored Dell UltraSharp U2720Q desktop monitor I’ve related to a Mac Mini. The Elephant Card’s ears are nowhere close to deep sufficient to grip your entire thickness of the Dell monitor, however they simply occur to slide securely into the air vents positioned all alongside the highest of the show. In case your desktop monitor lacks such elaborations, then it possible gained’t work with the Elephant Card mount.

The mount’s ears connected simply to my 12-inch MacBook, as anticipated. However similar to we found when testing the $29.95 Belkin mount, the MacBook’s hinges aren’t actually designed to carry heavy objects like iPhones. The hinge on my light-weight MacBook supported the mixed weight of my iPhone 11 Professional and case till the angle exceeded about 25–30 levels, after which gravity took management. On one event, the mounted cellphone induced the MacBook to tip over in order that the iPhone (frivolously) smacked the desk — I used to be glad I left it within the case. To its credit score, the Elephant Card saved maintain of the iPhone and MacBook at the same time as I reflexively snapped the show upright.

The “ears” don’t offer the most secure mount for your expensive iPhone. Care is needed to prevent an accident.

The “ears” don’t provide probably the most safe mount on your costly iPhone. Care is required to forestall an accident.

That being stated, the ear hooks that relaxation alongside the highest fringe of the MacBook show create a quite slim and flimsy mounting level. I managed to bump the iPhone as soon as, inflicting it to return free from the MacBook and fall onto the desk with the Elephant Card nonetheless connected. Utilizing the mount on Apple’s lightest MacBooks, particularly, requires some care to keep away from accidents. For instance, I wouldn’t advocate common use of the Elephant Card with a MacBook positioned in your lap whereas seated on a chair excessive above a concrete flooring — your iPhone is simply asking for hassle.

The mount holds the iPhone at a set angle, however that limitation didn’t current an issue in my testing. I might both regulate the MacBook’s show sufficient to be in body for Zoom calls, or I might depend upon Continuity Digital camera’s Heart Stage characteristic to routinely crop and middle my face when mounted on the upper Dell monitor. 

The Elephant Card is inside a brown leather wallet held in a hand. The elephant’s eye peaks out.

The Elephant Card folds up flat and matches simply into even compact wallets.

The Elephant Card shares the size and width of an ordinary bank card, nevertheless it’s twice as thick. It simply matches into even compact wallets, nevertheless it is likely to be too thick if you happen to’re pondering of compressing it into the house between your iPhone and the case. For my setup, it created sufficient of a bulge within the case to partially expose a few of the show’s edges to impacts.

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Not like the Logitech webcam, the Elephant Card can’t swivel. No worries, Apple’s Heart Stage characteristic routinely centered my face regardless of the iPhone’s excessive mounting place.

All in all, it’s laborious to search out any main faults with an adjunct that gives a lot utility to Apple customers for lower than $10. The present 20 % low cost makes it particularly compelling now that gift-giving season is upon us.

Elephant Card is accessible in blue or grey for the discounted worth of $7.99 / €7.49 by way of Cyber Monday, with 50 cents from each buy going on to SaveElephant.org to assist with the rescuing and care of Asian elephants.

All images by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

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