Review: Mophie Powerstand for iPad
Mophie's take on an iPad stand shouldn't come as a surprise. The company is known for its charging accessories, so in addition to holding your tablet, Powerstand ($150) juices it up too. Made of metal and rubber, the collapsable holder is engineered to do more than most stands, but it comes at a much higher cost. The question comes down to this: is the integrated solution worth the price, or are iPad users better off with a less expensive solution and a Dock Connector cable?
Powerstand arrives folded down, measuring about eight square inches. Despite its size and aluminum construction, it’s surprisingly light. Attached to the rear of the base is metal arm; lifting it up reveals the attached T-shaped iPad cradle. Lined with rubber, there’s a Dock Connector plug at the bottom and wings to secure the sides of the iPad; Mophie includes a pair of replacement grips in case the ones that come attached wear out. It’s quite easy to insert and remove the tablet, and Powerstand supports all three generations of the iPad. Unfortunately it’s only compatible with bare devices, so cases and even Apple’s Smart Cover have to be removed.
The “power” in Powerstand comes via the type B USB port at the bottom right corner of the stand. Included in the package are a somewhat thick USB A to B cable and a collapsable wall charger. The cord can be plugged into either a computer or the charger for syncing and powering the iPad, with the charge flowing through cables hidden in the stand’s arm to the Dock Connector plug. White circles around the Mophie logos on either side of the base glow white to let you know it’s connected.
Once in place, the iPad floats a few inches above your desk and can be adjusted to a number of different viewing positions. We really like how well this feature is executed; it’s actually our favorite aspect of the whole thing. With two points of articulation—at the base itself, and where the arm meets the cradle—users have a lot of freedom. The stand can even be used for typing, with the highly tensile hinges holding the position firmly even with pressure against it. A rotating connection allows for both landscape and portrait orientations.
As both a stand and charging solution, we’re impressed with what Powerstand has to offer. It’s certainly more involved than most stands, offering a much great variety of positions. We also like that it raises the iPad up a bit, making it easier to actually use while docked. As for the power aspect, it’s very well integrated and we appreciate that the cable is included rather than Mophie making the user provide one. Were the price not an issue, we’d readily recommend Powerstand. The fact is, however, $150 is a really high price for a stand, regardless of its capabilities. We’ve seen plenty of really good stands in the $30-$40 range, and even factoring the cost of an iPad Power Adapter you’re looking at less than half the cost. For that reason, Powerstand earns a limited recommendation. It’s a really good stand and power solution that simply costs way too much.