Although the concept might seem simple, a truly impressive iPad stand can be hard for a company to actually deliver. It has to do more than just prop the tablet up: multiple angles, solid support, and nice design are all considerations. Developed by the same-named company, FlipStands ($20) is an attempt at achieving all of these goals, and while it may not be the prettiest or the smallest iPad stand, it is one of the most full-featured we’ve seen, and sells for a totally reasonable price.
Surprisingly capable given its form factor, FlipStands folds down to a simple 8” by 5” rounded rectangle that’s only 0.43” thick when closed—a slightly larger footprint than many stands, but thinner as well. Mainly made from black plastic, the stand has four rubber feet on the bottom that prevent it from moving around at all on flat surfaces; they work exactly as expected. To transform it into a stand, you simply press the “Push” button on the underside to separate the two halves.
Inside you’ll find a fold-out bar that can fit into any of 20 ridges for different viewing angles. Although there’s a little bit of wiggle room within each, the weight of the iPad—held in place by two rubber-lined shelves that pop out from the front—pushes the bar back into a secure position. Two additional strips of rubber on the front help to keep it stable in place as well. Thanks to the design, it’s fully compatible with all iPad generations and virtually any case. The stand also supports a single typing angle, courtesy of two small pieces of plastic that fold up from the bottom. This is the stand’s weakest component, as it may be somewhat uncomfortable to pivot your hands over the plastic holders to type, depending on where you’re accustomed to resting your hands during typing. It likely won’t inhibit your typing, but your thumbs may brush against the holders on occasion.
Given the $20 asking price, which is on the very low side for iPad stands, it’s hard to find any serious faults with FlipStands. Not only does it provide an good array of angles, but the compact size also makes it a smart travel option. The fact that it works with any iPad without having to strip it from its case is appreciated as well. Ideally, the design would look more polished, and there wouldn’t be any question as to hand comfort during typing, but these are modest issues for an entry-level stand. As it is, FlipStands is a smart, inexpensive option and earns our strong general recommendation; for the price, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.
Updated March 19, 2014: FlipStands has released a new version of its iPad stand, FlipStands 2 ($30). While the main concept is the same, the shape is slightly different—it’s a little less rounded at the corners—and there’s now a pass through slot underneath the arms for a charging cable. The main support leg, front, and rear supports have also been reinforced.
Company and Price
Compatible: All iPads