With the debut of Apple’s second-generation iPad just around the corner, we wanted to revisit a number of stands for the first-generation model to see which have come closest to getting a “right” formula for design, materials, and pricing. As is always the case, it’s unclear as to whether these stands will be compatible with the revised shape and size of new iPad models, so our ratings are based solely on their suitability for use with the original iPad.
Though we’re generally not huge fans of DIY/assemble-it-yourself accessories, Heckler Design’s @Rest / AtRest for iPad ($59) is genuinely nice enough to merit the modest amount of set-up time that it initially requires. Heckler ships the curved steel base with four hard plastic iPad grips, four clear rubber feet, and two black foam adhesive pads to protect the tablet against scratches. Following graphical instructions printed on the sides of an efficiently designed, recyclable cardboard box, you choose one of two depths for the iPad grips—bare or encased iPad, as you prefer—and put the feet and pads in place for stability and anti-scratch protection. We were initially really concerned about whether we’d be able to get the centering of the pads correct, and felt relieved that we did, but some users might not be so lucky.
@Rest uses two of its sides to provide separate 30 and 60 degree reclining angles, both extremely well-supported by the heavy metal base so you can interact confidently with the touchscreen. Each side has a slot at the bottom for use of a Dock Connector cable if you want to supply one for charging or synchronization. Additionally, the stand feels substantial enough that, unlike aluminum, it’s not prone to moving accidentally once it’s placed on a flat surface.
Unlike most of the iPad stands out there, @Rest comes in four different colors, enabling you to choose something to match or accent your intended room’s decor. Normally, this wouldn’t be incredibly noteworthy—Logiix’s Launch Pad has even more color options—but Heckler chose some really nice paint: the red version we were sent for review looks like it came straight out of MOMA, and makes far more of a positive visual impression than many of the less expensive stands we’ve previously reviewed.
That said, @Rest has some significant potential issues that customers should be aware of. Most—not all—of the rival metal stands we’ve tested offer greater adjustability, rather than forcing you to rely upon only two set viewing angles. Few of them require as much space on a desktop as this design, or weigh as much. They require little to no self-assembly work, and commonly cost less. Heckler Design is charging a premium for more substantial-feeling materials and an atypically clean-looking implementation, but the art gallery/museum looks, size, and pricing won’t appeal to everyone. To the company’s credit, @Rest is manufactured in the United States, providing American customers with another Made in the U.S.A. option besides Thought Out’s Stabile.
Our flat B rating of @Rest recognizes it as a good, solid accessory for iPad users, more attractively designed and thoughtfully packaged than many of the stands we’ve reviewed, while possessing a few execution and pricing challenges that may limit its broader appeal. Heckler could improve a second-generation version by reducing the user-required assembly and footprint, though the latter may be challenging given the viewing angles supported by the present design. We’re extremely interested to see what this obviously talented design company comes up with next.
Company and Price
Company: Heckler Design
Model: @Rest / AtRest
Compatible: iPad (2010)