Review: Ten One Design Magnus Air
As the sequel to Magnus, a metal iPad stand we covered two years ago, Ten One Design’s Magnus Air ($40) is a low-profile, sleek stand for the iPad Air. Following in its predecessor's footsteps, Magnus Air secures the iPad using a magnet that's hidden inside the stand. The concept is simple: you place the non-volume side of your iPad on the curve of the stand, and the magnet secures it very well. Simple design makes for a good user experience, though the lack of case compatibility and a substantial decrease in metal content make Magnus Air less appealing than top options we've tested.
Unlike the original Magnus, which was almost entirely made from iPad-matching metal, Magnus Air looks and feels substantially plastic—a reason that the price has dropped somewhat from the prior model. Beyond the plastic, Magnus Air also includes rubber, metal, magnets in the design. Although the list of materials could make for an awkward stand, Ten One Design has molded the components together pretty well.
Key to the design is a fairly powerful magnet: you’ll need a little bit of effort to disconnect the iPad from the stand, but that’s a better problem to have than the opposite alternative. On the other hand, you can only choose a single viewing angle, unlike top $30 metal iPad stands we’ve tested from companies such as Belkin, which offer angle adjustability.
In standard viewing orientation, Magnus Air situates an iPad at a 22-degree angle, which is great for video viewing on a tabletop. However, this angle is such that you won’t be able to do much work on your iPad in viewing orientation with the Magnus Air. It’s not a case of the iPad falling if you try to work in viewing orientation—it’s just an awkward typing angle. This time, Ten One Design has a simple solution for that: you can simply rotate your iPad Air with Magnus Air still attached. By doing so, the stand supports a typing orientation that’s reasonable for key-style interaction with your iPad. The orientation and angle would be great, but there’s a caveat: in this position, Magnus Air lacks a rubber table-facting surface, so slippage occurs during typing, and since your iPad can’t be in a case, you’ll be rubbing one of its metal edges against the table at the same time.
Magnus Air uses reasonably good materials to produce a quality product, though the $40 asking point is high for an iPad stand with limited angle support and no case compatibility. We appreciate the fact that the price dropped from the prior model, but so too has Magnus’s quantity of metal, which was the single biggest selling point of the original model. Overall, Magnus Air merits an “okay” rating from us; give it more serious consideration if you can find it for $10 or $15 less.