Expanding beyond its line up of cases, bags, and power solutions, Incipio has released a new iPad-ready stand. Dubbed Fixie ($40) and pitched as a universal tablet stand, the unique design is made from a solid curved piece of aluminum with a detachable plastic leg, two pieces that can be connected together to create different positions for typing and viewing. Fixie currently comes in black, silver, red, and blue variations.
Fixie’s appeal comes form its ability to transform into a number of different angles, and collapse down to 5.39” x 3.95” x 1.34” when not in use by sliding the plastic leg onto the back of the metal frame. The curled shape may be awkward for travel—we prefer stands that are able to fold completely flat—but the design is nice. Rubber is used in a handful of ways for both it’s soft and grippy qualities. Not only does Incipio line the areas where the iPad touches the stand with it so the aluminum shell isn’t scratched, but Fixie also has a big piece of rubber on the back to prevent the plastic half from moving around.
By sliding the rounded edges of the plastic piece into corresponding grooves in the metal, users can create four different iPad usage angles. Three of them are best suited for viewing, while the deepest works well for typing. There’s just a little too much give in the latter position, which is especially noticeable when typing; you’ll feel the tablet bobbing up and down as you press on it. Notably, this design requires a little more desk space at its maximum iPad recline angles than its closest rivals, due to the wide arc that the metal and plastic pieces form when extended to their maximum extent.
Fixie offers just about the same amount of functionality as one of our favorite stands, Belkin’s FlipBlade Adjust, but at a higher price and with a thicker profile—criticisms that also apply to Choiix’s Wave, which sells for the same $40 price as Fixie and feels more substantial. Incipio used nice materials here, and we appreciate the choice of colors, as well as its relatively packable, lightweight design. The biggest drawbacks are the shape, which could potentially be problematic in slim bags or shallow desk/table surfaces, and the fact that you’re paying as much as Wave for something that doesn’t have the same heft or hinge elements to justify the price. Overall, Fixie is a good stand option, and worthy of our strong general recommendation, though it could stand to be a little less expensive given what it offers. Give it strong consideration if the colors really appeal to you.
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Compatible: All iPads