This insane Slope iPad stand will win your heart

Techgasm. It happens when a product or products simply exceed your expectations. That's not a teeny iMac in the picture to the right. It's my iPad 2 resting on a new Slope iPad stand.

The Slope, which comes in versions for both iPad and iPad mini, finished a successful Kickstarter campaign last year and is now getting ready to ship starting November 5.

The stand consists of an aluminum base with a nanofoam front and bottom surface. It works using suction created by small air pockets within the nanofoam. You push your iPad onto the foam and... it stays there. The grip works far better than I initially expected, providing a surprisingly secure mount point. The bonding between the iPad and the stand feels amazingly "right."

The bottom foam enables you to anchor your tablet to the table, so it doesn't wander off during use. (A reusable plastic shield included with the packaging lets you choose between anchored and free-floating use.)

So what's the difference between the Slope and other nanofoam solutions? Design. The brushed aluminum looks gorgeous. It's basically the iPad accessory that Apple forgot to ship.

I found it easy both to mount and dismount my iPad although I first feared I'd hurt the Slope's nanofoam. My worries were unfounded. I will warn you in advance, however, that the psychological need to precisely and perfectly center your iPad is a mental hazard that many users will not be able to avoid. (If I were to use this full-time, I'd probably add some tiny guide marks on the back of my iPad.)

Curious about that foam? Slope creator Erik Kittlaus set up a "Show Me This Nano Foam Stuff" page to teach people how to understand, use and maintain their stand with its high-tech nanofoam. Hint: Keep your Slope out of hot cars and away from direct sunlight near windows in warmer climates.

Once attached, your iPad rests at the perfect height and slant for watching videos, playing games or just hanging nearby for easy recharging at your desk. If you're near another computer, however, why not use this tiny iMac-looking combination as an extra monitor?

I tested out my besloped iPad using Avatron's newly updated Air Display 2 (US$9.99), a utility that converts your iPad into an OS X display. (We first wrote about this app a few years ago.) You install a free Mac-based server utility and the iPad screen becomes a fully touch-input-ready extension of your desktop. The marriage between Slope and Air Display couldn't be more perfect.

Instead of just sitting around and charging, my iPad was transformed into an active part of my workday. With the Slope, the iPad really looks and feels like it belongs on my desktop. With Air Display 2, it functioned that way as well.

If you didn't pre-order a Slope during the Kickstarter campaign, you'll be able to order starting November 5 from the Dekke website. The price will be $69.99 $59.99 for the standard Slope stand (meant for 10-inch tablets) and $64.99 $54.99 for the Slope mini (engineered for 7-inch tablets).