Latest in Accessories

Image credit:

Taking a stand on iPad stands

Mel Martin

I love the iPad. I really do. Getting a good iPad stand, however, can be a daunting proposition. There are a lot of varieties, things you can buy, things you can convert. It's pretty clear to me that for a lot of iPad use, a stand is mandatory.

I don't think the iPad is a one-hander. It gets heavy, and eventually I want to put it down. If I lay it flat, it's hard to type on, because the curved back (what were they thinking?) makes it wobble if you touch it. So here's a report on what I have found:the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First, a Seattle company called Padded Spaces sent me their product called Prop it Up. It's a bit large, and I think it might have been originally designed for laptops and netbooks. It is wide enough for a MacBook Pro.

You put your iPad on the plush, wedge shaped base, and you can adjust the angle from very low to about 80 degrees. The iPad stays in place, and I enjoyed using it. It is a bit large to be hauling around outside the house. The company makes a model that also functions as a case, so you pop the iPad inside for travel.

Of all the things I tried, this was the nicest iPad stand for around the house, but I felt like I should have one for several rooms, rather than move the thing around. I think if this product was made to fit the width of the iPad and generally reduced in all dimensions it would be a perfect solution. Prop it Up is US$39.95 or $49.95 with the integrated carrying case.

Gallery: iPad stands | 4 Photos

I hit up my nearest Barnes and Noble and found a $7 study stand that works OK. It is thin, made of metal with rubber caps. It folds very flat, and would be good for travel. The only thing I worry about is the metal parts scratching the iPad case. I'm going to look into covering the contact points with some kind of rubberized material. The stand is not listed on the Barnes & Noble website, but if you ask someone at one of the stores they will point it out.

I then tried Target. After a lot of searching I found a little black easel, designed, I think, for displaying small pictures. It looks like wood, but it is really a coated plastic. It's five bucks, and worked OK, but the iPad makes it a bit top heavy. It is easy to carry from room to room.

Finally, I found a flexible stand enclosed with the neoprene Incase pouch I bought at my local Apple store. Many of the Incase models come with it. It's a piece of rubber you bend into a semi-circle, with slots for the iPad. It's not very sturdy, and my iPad tipped over more than once. I appreciate the Incase people thinking of putting it in as an extra benefit, but it really does not seem to have been designed by anyone who ever tested it with an iPad. (I do like the Incase pouches and various iPad cases, for the record).

One thing to keep in mind: The iPad can be rotated to any position, and in some positions, on some of the stands, the volume control might be pressed while it is sitting on the stand. Probably not good for the life of the switch, so keep a eye on the rotation when you set it down.

That's my brief survey. What solutions are you finding, or are you living without any kind of stand? Ideas, experiences, and brief reviews in comments will be appreciated by all.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr