Review: Standzout Standzfree Floor Stand for iPad
At first glance, it may not be obvious what Standzout's Standzfree Floor Stand for iPad ($100) is good for. It's a pretty straightforward mounting solution, with a heavy, V-shaped metal base, articulating stand, and a cradle to support all three generations of the iPad, unencased. Measuring 36" fully extended, it's too short for the average person to use in a standing position, which is what most kiosk-like solutions are designed for, though optional extenders are available for that sort of use. If you're sitting or laying down, though, it actually turns out to be pretty useful. While it's not without issue, Standzfree is pretty nicely done.
In order to ship Standzfree flat, Standzout requires you to assemble the parts on your own. Thankfully it’s pretty easy, and all the tools needed are included in the package. We found it a little awkward to hold the base and arm while inserting the screw and turning it with the Allen wrench, but once we got things moving, the hard part was over. A small wrench is included to hold a flattened portion at the end of the arm while you tighten it; from there, the plastic ball joint at the other end of the stand fits into the socket on the back of the frame, with a screw cap holding them together.
First-generation iPad users can stop there, but those with second- or third-generation iPads have one more step. Two small strips of foam fit into the curled edges of the cradle, and a foam ring adheres to the middle. It’s a simple way to allow compatibility between the existing models of the iPad without having to ship two different versions of the stand. The tablet snaps right in place, and can be removed as easily, a solution that doesn’t really offer protection; rather, it’s just a way to hold the iPad aloft.
Resting on four rubber pads, the base sits flat on the floor. During our testing, one of the pads did fall off, but two replacements are included for just such an occurrence. Moving up from there, the top two thirds of the stand is an adjustable gooseneck, while the bottom 12” is solid metal that doesn’t flex at all. We found it easy to reposition the stand to the desired height, and once in place, it stays where you want it. Adjusting the angle of the iPad is as easy as loosening the cap around the ball joint and maneuvering it to where you want it, and whichever orientation you prefer. The only real downside here is that the stand is a bit wobbly. We were never concerned about the setup falling over, but the jiggling is certainly distracting.
Standzfree is actually quite useful, especially for users sitting in a chair or on a couch. It’s nice to not have to hold the iPad, or sit differently to get it resting comfortably in the lap. And given the high build quality, the price strikes us as just about right. That having been said, Standzfree is far more of a luxury than a necessity; the only real benefit is a little less holding stress, offset by the need to take an uncased iPad in and out of the unit’s holder. That fact, combined with the wobbliness, earns Standzfree a limited recommendation. While it’s a very niche product, it’s a good solution for people who need it, and arguably worth paying for.