Review: iKit NuVu Rotating Stand for iPad 2
Next to cases and simple chargers, mounting solutions have become some of the most common and widely demanded iPad accessories over the past two years: virtually every major accessory maker has created at least one product designed to hold the iPad and/or iPad 2 upright. Today, we're looking at five new iPad mounts that use very different approaches; three are tabletop stands, and two others are cabinet and wall mounts. They are Choiix's Wave Aluminum Stand ($40), iKit's NuVu Rotating Stand for iPad 2 ($40), Just Mobile's Horizon ($50), Macally's MagStand 2 ($40), and Thought Out's Stabile Pro ($85-$100).
Considered in isolation from other options, iKit’s NuVu seems like a decent enough stand. It consists of three pieces: an X-shaped iPad 2-holding frame, a rear support for the frame with a ratcheting dial inside, and a weighted base that can be folded in for transport. NuVu is made almost entirely from hard white or black plastic coated with soft touch rubber; one glossy plastic circular accent and a brushed metal plate break up the otherwise mark-attracting matte surfaces.
In answer to the broad question, “does it hold an iPad 2 properly,” the answer is a qualified yes: your iPad 2 needs to be removed from any case to fit into the frame, which doesn’t leave quite enough room between the corner brackets to attach Apple’s iPad Smart Cover, either. With an iPad 2 popped into its hard plastic corner grips, the frame rotates all the way around, but does not tilt in a manner that’s safe to support the iPad 2 on various angles. NuVu doesn’t support a typing angle, either, which means that you’re just getting a way to hold an iPad 2 upright on a single recline in your choice of portrait or landscape orientations.
The limited adjustability and lack of support for encased iPads are just a couple of NuVu’s design miscues; there’s also the size and issue of portability. Unlike Choiix’s Wave and Belkin’s FlipBlade Adjust, NuVu is notably larger in every dimension than either model of the iPad, yet iKit believes that people will want to carry the stand around: it includes a black velvet drawstring carrying bag for the accessory, which folds down to 11” by 8” by 1.6”, occupying around 4” of depth and 8” of width when opened. Unless you’re carrying a pretty big bag around—and want to carry another one inside—you’re not going to tote this uneven-edged stand with you wherever you go.
While NuVu’s $40 asking price isn’t objectionable, the reality is that iKit’s design offers almost nothing that smaller, nicer-looking rivals have accomplished at the same or lower prices, with greater case and iPad model compatibility. NuVu does what it’s designed to do, but not in a particularly great or versatile fashion; it’s hard for us to recommend it as more than just a decent option.