Review: HumanToolz Mobile Stand for iPad –So Great but So Disappointing

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HumanToolz Mobile Stand for iPad

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The photo above says almost all you need to know about my time with the HumanToolz Mobile Stand for iPad – it’s broken. It’s the first iPad stand I’ve ever broken, and I’ve used quite a few and never even come close to breaking one before.

The HumanToolz Mobile Stand started off as a Kickstarter project. It was and still is touted as the most versatile mobile stand for iPad. I loved the look and idea of the stand and became a backer of the Kickstarter project. As an early backer of the project I received my Mobile Stand a little over 10 days ago.

My first impressions of the stand were all very good. I thought it looked sleek and attractive. I was pleasantly surprised at how minimal it is. My iPad 3 fit right into it with ease and felt extremely secure within the stand right away. What I didn’t realize right away is that it was actually far too secure within the stand.

There’s a lot to love about the Mobile Stand. It is very versatile. Adjusting the angle of it is incredibly easy and intuitive – you can switch is from a perfect movie viewing angle to an ideal typing angle in a flash. It supports the iPad well in both landscape and portrait mode.  Typing on the on-screen keyboard while in the stand feels great.

Check out HumanToolz’ demo video to see the versatility in action:

 

After my first 24 hours or so of using the stand it was rapidly becoming my new favorite iPad stand – and, again, I’ve owned and used quite a few excellent ones – so that’s really saying something.

Then I had my first couple of experiences with removing the iPad from the stand. It’s difficult. Very difficult. In fact, not just more difficult than any iPad stand I’ve ever used – but also more difficult than any iPad case I’ve ever tried.

At first I hoped this might improve over time, or that I would figure out some easier way to get the iPad out of the stand. That never happened. Even when I found a bit of a trick for getting the clasps at the two bottom sides of the iPad to come off a little more easily it was still hugely difficult to get the top of the iPad fully out of the stand.

More than 10 days into using the stand it was still an onerous exercise each time I tried to get the iPad out of it. Each time it felt more like I might damage the iPad or the stand, or both. And that’s exactly what ended up happening. I was struggling yet again to wedge the top of the iPad out of the stand and a piece at the top left of the stand broke off – as you can see in the photos in this post.

HumanToolz Mobile Stand for iPad

I even ended up dinging my fingers up a little bit just messing with efforts to take the stand off the iPad.

As I said, I was initially a big fan of this stand – but the difficulty of removing it was becoming a dealbreaker sort of issue for me even before the stand broke.

According to the makers of the Mobile Stand it is designed to go on and stay on your iPad – as per their Kickstarter page:

Secure, natural fit. The Mobile Stand attaches securely as though it was part of the iPad’s original design. It is designed to stay on once attached. You never need to remove it, though you easily can if needed.

The words ‘though you easily can if needed’ have not proved true for me at all, obviously.

HumanToolz has also shared some of their thoughts on this ‘feature’ of the stand:

In our research we found most people will be very comfortable leaving the Mobile Stand on their iPad all the time given how minimal its design is and the fact is does help protect the rear of the iPad. It can be used with a back cover screen protector.

I have to say I find that quite surprising. I know that I would never want, or expect, an iPad stand to be a permanent fixture for the iPad. I don’t even like that sort of approach with iPad cases, nevermind in a stand. I want to use the iPad in stand at my desk and perhaps, with a mobile stand like this, when I’m out at coffee shop working. But … there are plenty of other times where I do not want a stand like this attached to my iPad. Times where I prefer a full back cover case, or an all-in-one folio case, or to use the iPad ‘naked.

HumanToolz has said they’ll look at this issue as they explore further refinements to the stand’s design. I hope they do – because even if mine had not ended up broken I was done with using it, as it’s just too much of a pain in the neck (and the fingers) to ever get the iPad out of it.

To see more detail on the Mobile Stand for iPad or place a pre-order, visit the HumanToolz product page for it.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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