Update: This post has been amended to indicate the M2 stand for iPhone is angled appropriately for video calling.
Elago is a design company based in California that makes accessories for mobile devices. Its P2 (US$49.99) and M2 ($29.99) stands are designed to accommodate the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.
Made from aluminum, the P2 (a slightly larger design for iPad) and M2 (for iPhone) are extremely solid and sturdy, though quite light. You'd be hard pressed to damage one in any way. I was actually a little more concerned that the stands themselves might scratch or damage a surface like a wooden table top if one of them was knocked over or dropped (or even my iDevice). However, the bases have rubber feet to prevent scratches, slipping and sliding.
Taking more than just a design cue from the tear-drop-like base of iMacs and Apple displays, both the P2 and M2 will fit right in with the rest of your Apple gear. Like you do with an iMac or Thunderbolt display, with an iPhone or iPad in place, you get the impression that your iDevice is floating in the air, except for the giveaway wrap-around feet that hold the device in place at the bottom, and the stands' base footprint.
On the rear of both stands are two cutaways, a small circle and vertical rectangle for cable management. The vertical rectangle is big enough to feed the USB end of an iOS device charger cable through as well as, of course, the Lightning connector variety. I'm not entirely sure what the circular cutaway is for, but the lightning connector fits through that too.
The available black and silver colors (the silver akin to an iMac or MacBook), reinforce the Apple-esque inspiration. I don't think this is a bad thing. The P2 and M2 are simple and minimal, yet functional. They look great, and when in use, take a back seat to the devices resting on them.
The M2 and P2, like most other stands, are really simple to use. You place one on a table top, counter, or desk etc and rest your iDevice on it (vertically or horizontally), fitting into the bottom-padded, wrap-around feet that provide plenty of support. There's also plenty of room in those feet to accommodate a bulky case, so no need to take your iDevice out of a case if you use one.
The P2 and M2 gives you 2 - 3 inches of height at an approximate 45-degree angle. The angle is not adjustable, but it's great for reading and typing, glancing at your device or even watching a film. I found it particularly useful in the kitchen when reading a recipe or just watching the news while preparing dinner. I really liked how my iPad in this instance was lifted entirely off the counter, out of the way of accidental spills. In that sense, it's much better than Apple's smart cover folded into a stand.
For video calling, the P2 stand is passable, but not ideal as the angling is a little too sharp. However, the M2 for iPhone is angled just right, You're able to have your phone at a reasonable distance when making video calls, not having to look down into the screen at close range.
As I mentioned above, both stands are extremely solid, but also easy to just pick up and move to a different location if you need to. The cable management is simple and effective too. Simply feed it through or pull it out depending on your needs.
It's important to note that the P2 and M2 are stands. They are not what I'd consider to be a dock. Your iPhone or iPad will not fit snugly and securely into the stand, like Apple's iPad dock or other third-party docks. I think of the P2 and M2 more as a place to rest your iDevice, giving you a handy and clutter-free solution, with a practical viewing angle.
My only concern with the P2 and M2 is that you might scratch or wear the back or base of your iPhone or iPad if you're not careful. The inner part of the wrap-around feet are padded, but the edges are not padded and only ever so slightly rounded off. I can't say I saw any new scratches on the aluminum side of my iPad, but the sound of aluminum rubbing and knocking against aluminum was unnerving and enough to keep me cautious. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but a little more padding and refinement in this area on the stand wouldn't go amiss.
I really like the P2 and M2 stands. They look fantastic, are simple and practical to use, and are extremely sturdy. The P2 is perfect for the iPad, but if you use an iPad mini, you can get away with the smaller M2 stand that's designed for iPhones.
Who's it for?
Anyone who needs to stand and raise their iDevice on a desk, counter, worktop etc. Remember, technically speaking, it's a stand, not a dock.
- Solid aluminum that's sturdy and strong
- Apple inspired design that looks great with iDevices
- Cable management
- Practical viewing angle (the M2 is angled well for video calling)
- Without care, the small possibility that your iDevice may get a scuff or scratch from the aluminum wrap-around feet.
- The P2 is passable, but Impractical for video calling