Like so many smartphone and tablet accessory categories, stands have become exceedingly commoditized. If you don’t know what I mean, I dare you to search for “iPad Stand” on eBay or Amazon and see how long you can stand browsing the never ending list. Half of what you will find there probably comes out of no more than 5 factories in East Asia.
For all the difficulty in finding a good device stand that is versatile and stands out from the crowd, it’s an accessory we all find ourselves in need of at one time or another. I’ve had several over the years, but they all had flaws. They didn’t last. They would only work for certain devices, or in certain use conditions. Frankly, I had never owned one that I was really all that happy with. That changed when I got Lynktec’s 360 Gripstand.
iBeani Tablet and iPad Stands are very good products with very practical functionality. We’re a big fan of iBeani iPad stands. iBeani Tablet and iPad Stands are hand made in UK and sold online. My initial thought when I first saw it, “It doesn’t look all that impressive, it looks kind of simple”. However, I’ve discovered its simplicity is, among others, it’s strength.
I’ve been using the Compass 2 in lieu of a Smart Cover for a few weeks now, and I’m impressed with how versatile this metal stand has turned out to be. TwelveSouth’s take on an iPad stand offers the usual bag of tricks — portrait and landscape viewing, and a flatter angle for typing — but the difference is how this little stand stays so compact.
I imagine the term easel was likely thrown around during the marketing phase of this product. When the iPad sits back in this stand with the Paper app loaded up, it’s reminiscent of canvas on an easel. However, “Compass” is still a great name for this product, given the way it folds out like the mathematical instruments I used in high school: two legs swing out horizontally, and an extra leg folds backwards to help form a stable platform. Each leg on the Compass has a sort of foot, which folds out to help hold the iPad up.
This the HoverBar 3 is the accessorry that will save your iPad from falling on your face while you read in bed. It’s essentially a clamp for the iPad that’s attached a flexible metal arm that you can grip onto most desk, bed frames, or monitors.
There are a lot of use cases for this, but the ones that immediately come to mind are:
- using the iPad as a secondary mini monitor with an app like Air Display 2
- holding the iPad up in bed for Netflix or iBooks usage, so that you can dual wield a thumbs-up to salute how convenient your life has become
- a flexible, rotateable stand in messy areas where you might still want an iPad around (e.g. the kitchen…or the bathroom?!)
The HoverBar 3 also comes with a desk stand that you can attach to the Fit Clip, so you can use the HoverBar in lieu of a Smart Cover for certain tasks. I’m not sure how practical that would be for me as a Compass 2 and Smart Cover user, but it’s an interesting little extra.
There’s no question that this new HoverBar is free, but you may not feel like you can easily afford one. At $100, this is definitely a bit more of an investment than most other accessories, but the fact that TwelveSouth actively sells replacement Fit Clips for different iPad sizes means that the HoverBar should be useful for quite a while (and likely stay compatible with future generations of the iPad). However, I should be clear that the basic $100 purchase already covers all three current sizes of the iPad: iPad 4, iPad mini, and iPad Air.
If the HoverBar sounds intriguing, you can check out more details on the TwelveSouth website.
I am a notorious stickler when it comes to accessories for my beloved gadgets. I demand utility and versatility worthy of whatever price I am paying. After a few years of owning the various versions of the iPhone, I have developed a pretty strong feel for what I need and what I like as far as cases, chargers, car cradles, and the like go. However, when I got my iPad, I found myself on new and unsteady ground again. There are just so many cases, screen protectors, stands, and combinations of the three, that it is very easy to get lost in all of the reviews and ads. I was pretty lucky, as I ended up very happy with all but one of my purchases, and thankfully that one was fairly inexpensive. Here is a list of what I got:
The Joule, from Element Case, is a one hell of a good looking iPad stand – the handsomest I’ve seen so far. Here’s a little detail on it:
The Joule is made from solid aluminum. Its base rests on rubberized feet making the stand sturdy and slip-resistant. A magnetically-attached foot supports the iPad so that it will not tip over when the touch screen is being used. The foot can be inserted three ways for different viewing angles, and the highest insertion point positions the iPad perfectly for typing. The iPad itself fits, either vertically or horizontally, into a velvet-lined recess in the base. A notch in the front of the base allows easy access to the home button when the iPad is vertical.