Company: Elago Design
Compatible: iPad (2010), iPhone Family
Elago Design M2 Stand for iPhone + P2 Stand for iPad
There are times when less design is more, and others when less just feels like less. Elago Design's new M2 Stand for iPhone ($30) and P2 Stand for iPad ($50) are both in the latter category, overly simplistic aluminum holders that bring little to a product genre that has rapidly expanded over the past couple of years.
Unlike rival products from companies such as Luxa2, Just Mobile, JaDu Industries and Griffin, the M2 and P2 are just non-positionable aluminum device holders that are designed to passively hold whatever fits into their U-shaped arms. Based on the shapes of recent Apple iMac and Cinema Display legs, both M2 and P2 use a single piece of metal that has been bent to form a foot, a leg, and a two-fingered device cradle, with two holes in the leg for USB and audio cable pass-through purposes. Elago offers each stand in silver and black variants, their bottoms with rubber feet, and their cradles with a very minimal level of padding to prevent device-on-metal contact—just one sticker in the case of M2, and three stickers for P2.
It’s worth a brief note that one of the M2 stands we received arrived with a scratch on the back, while the other had a small imperfection in the machining of the metal, and the P2 was a little underwhelming due to a few small dings around the edges. That said, each unit was within the general range of manufacturing quality we’ve seen from third-party aluminum products recently.
Strictly speaking, there’s nothing wrong about these designs save for those nicks and the lack of padding, which should give scratch- and scuff-conscious users of unencased devices reason to pause—virtually every competing stand we’ve seen does a better job of using protective rubber than these. On a semi-positive note, Elago has built M2 and P2 with enough space for iPads and iPhones inside of common cases; if you don’t mind their fixed viewing angles—atypically reclined but very desk-friendly on the M2, while slightly less reclined and comparable to the 55-degree angle of Thought Out’s Stabile on the P2—they both do what they’re supposed to do. M2 has holes for the iPhone’s bottom speakerphone features cut into its fingers; P2 doesn’t, but similarly allows enough room to connect an Apple Dock Connector cable between them. Only thicker 30-pin connectors may have an issue fitting inside.
To the extent that M2’s and P2’s MSRPs put them in the same general territory as better-developed competitors, there’s not much to recommend these options instead. The only real reason to consider them is Elago’s web site sale pricing, which is lower than their listed MSRPs, bringing M2 down to $25 and P2 to $30, the latter considerably more aggressive than most of the aluminum iPad stands we’ve previously reviewed—even when a $5 shipping charge is added to the price. Therefore, if you’re looking for a budget option with budget-quality design, M2 and P2 may be worth considering; we’d lean towards more versatile and better padded options, though.