Review: Twelve South Compass 2 for iPad
Compass 2 ($40) is the latest in Twelve South's string of sequels to earlier products, this time a revamp of the great Compass Mobile Stand for iPad. At first glance, the steel tablet stands look very similar to one another, but small tweaks to the revised edition make it more suitable for use with all iPads, including iPad minis, and offer other little improvements for an overall better experience. Thankfully, the "fidget factor" we spoke to remains.
Side by side with the original, Compass 2 is only 0.2” wider, 0.1” thicker, and a hair taller. It’s noticeably heavier though, weighing 8.2 ounces, compared to 6.8 ounces. The steel is still augmented with rubber segments, although they’re almost all bigger or taller than before, and a darker shade of gray. Compass 2’s texture has a slightly less glossy texture than before, but it still feels really, really nice. There is one material change: instead of a velvet carrying bag, this one now comes with a nylon sleeve.
The three-legged easel shape has been maintained, yet optimized. To start, the rear leg now locks into place when opened, helping to hold its position; there’s a satisfying click whenever it’s moved into or out of place. The two front legs stand about 1.4” closer together, which makes iPad mini use more practical; before, the smaller tablet just barely fit on the the arms in portrait orientation. Compass 2’s viewing angle is about the same as before, roughly 55 degrees off the ground, but the tablet stands more than half an inch taller off the ground, at about 1.1”. This allows a Lightning cable to be connected more easily in landscape orientation. A typing angle is still supported as well. Even though it’s slightly higher than before, it’s still comfortable and incredibly solid; the stand doesn’t wobble at all.
In the time since Compass was released, truly great multi-angle stands have come out, including Belkin’s FlipBlade Adjust, and more recently, Cooler Master’s JAS mini Portable Aluminum Stand, both at $10 less than Twelve South’s option. Compared to those, Compass 2 is still more portable thanks to its tall, narrow body, but it also offers fewer viewing angles. For someone content with just two positions — one for videos and FaceTime, the other for typing — it’s still a great option though, worthy of maintaining our high recommendation.