Back in late January, I wrote a Quick Look on two new accessories from Satechi that I had the opportunity to try out. Their Slim X1 Keyboard and Aluminum Desktop Stand are both impressive iPad-compatible accessories that are great in their own right, but are even better when used together.
Spending an extended amount of time with this keyboard and stand has only reinforced the positive impression I had early on. I’ve been bringing both products on the road with me over the last three weeks and I still really enjoy using them well beyond what would be the normal review period.
The stand is basic in design and function, but it provides enough stability and freedom of positioning to make your tablet feel more like a monitor if that’s what you’re looking for. If you want to use your iPad as a more traditional computing device at a desk or on a hard, flat surface, the Aluminum Desktop Stand delivers. If you are just looking for a no-frills stand for your phone or tablet, it also handles that task just as well.
Another advantage of Satechi’s Aluminum Desktop Stand is that it isn’t just for iPads. It can be used to support any smartphone or tablet and it’s big enough to also accommodate devices in cases that aren’t too thick. I was also able to use this stand with my Surface Pro 7, so it isn’t limited to 12.9” tablets. Combined with the Slim X1 Keyboard, it’s a great way to use a Surface Pro without the constraints of its kickstand and super-thin keyboard.
The only drawback of the Aluminum Desktop Stand is that it’s a bit on the heavy side. However, that bulk and weight are also by design. They are the reason this stand is so stable even with holding a larger device like a Surface Pro.
It is small enough to be carried around and can be folded down as you can see above, but this accessory is going to be most at home on a desk, countertop, or other flat surface.
There’s not a lot that I can say to add to my comments on the Slim X1 Keyboard from my earlier Quick Look. It’s a high-quality, portable keyboard with all of the features that I typically look for. The key feedback and response are great. It can be paired with three Bluetooth devices at one time and switch between them with dedicated function keys, and can also be directly connected to a computer with a USB-C cable. It’s also thin and light, has an adjustable backlight and solid battery life. The Slim X1 checks all of the boxes.
As I said in the Quick Look, this keyboard feels like a much better version of Apple’s stand-alone Magic Keyboard. That keyboard is fine for what it is, but the lack of a backlight seems like a big oversight considering what a common feature that is today. The Slim X1 delivers a great backlight and direct connect capability at nearly the exact same size as Apple’s Magic Keyboard and just a tad more weight. Oh, and it’s also $30 cheaper. Picking the Slim X1 feels like a no-brainer to me.
Bluetooth keyboards and tablet stands have been staple accessories for Apple tablet users since the original iPad came out in 2010. Sometimes it can feel like they are a dime a dozen at this point, which makes it hard for a new devices to stand out from the crowd. However, I had a feeling about Satechi’s Slim X1 Keyboard and Aluminum Desktop Stand when I first saw them announced.
Getting my hands on them and using them for a while has only confirmed that feeling. In a sea of average portable keyboards and tablet stands, these two really do rise above the crowd and stand out. If you are looking to create a better desktop experience for your iPad or other tablet, Satechi’s Slim X1 Keyboard and Aluminum Desktop Stand will help you get there.
The Slim X1 Keyboard is available from Satechi for $69.99.
Aluminum Desktop Stand is available from Satechi for $44.99.
The Slim X1 Keyboard and Aluminum Desktop Stand were provided for review on iPad Insight by Satichi. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the About page.