While we wait for the ideal combination of an iPad case and stand — something that we expect will materialize later this year after the release of the second-generation iPad — we have continued to rely upon separate stand accessories for all of our tabletop iPad needs, and developers have continued to release new options in hopes of creating something truly great. Today, we’re looking at five of the most noteworthy stands that have been released in recent weeks: Amzer’s low-priced Foldo Stand ($17), Griffin’s similarly affordable Tablet Stand ($30), Just Mobile’s elegant portable Slide ($40) and desktop Encore ($60) stands, and the ultra-portable/novel Logiix Clipstand for iPad ($30). Each of the reviews is brief and separate, sharing only introductory comments.
One point that needs to be made up front is that the ideal iPad stand has three characteristics that few prior-generation options properly address. First, we find it hard to broadly recommend stands that will work only for unencased, first-generation iPads; ideally, a stand can accommodate both protected and unprotected devices, as well as offering the potential to adjust a little for the anticipated and slightly smaller second-generation iPad. Second, the stand’s aesthetic design and novelty are important considerations for many users. And third, the price needs to be reasonable. Some decent stands are included for free with or built directly into cases. Others sell for over $100. Neither approach has merited our high recommendation for various reasons, the latter mostly because such a price is excessive in the absence of included electronic hardware or precious metals. Good stands start in the $20 range and can go up to $50 before the question of actual value for the dollar becomes tricky.
While the Clipstand has a single knock against it—a price tag that seems almost crazy given how small and simple it is—we’re otherwise impressed by what Logiix has come up with this time. Clipstand consists of two identical plastic and rubber pieces that are joined together by an X made from elastic strings. Folded up, this accessory shrinks to become roughly a few inches long, an inch wide, and an inch thick; when expanded, it attaches to the portrait or landscape sides of the first-generation iPad, and is compatible with both bare iPads and some cases thanks to rubber padding inside.
The genius of Clipstand is that you can attach it wherever you prefer to change the iPad’s viewing angle. Place it low on the iPad and you get an upright position when the flip-out feet are opened; place it high or just turn the iPad around and you get a position that’s close to ideal for typing. While specific case compatibility isn’t guaranteed, and the rear elastic X strains a little when Clipstand is stretched to accommodate our 2010 iPad Cases of the Year, the fact that it works at all is great. On the other hand, you may struggle to connect a Dock Connector cable to the iPad when it’s being used in a highly upright, portrait position with the Home button at the bottom of the screen, as Clipstand doesn’t provide any clearance from the table’s surface. Flipping the iPad upside down is an option.
Our only real issue with Clipstand is the $30 asking price, $10 of which is extremely hard to justify on the basis of the materials used here—and the reason it falls just shy of our high recommendation. While Logiix has priced Clipstand towards the lower end of the iPad stand scale, and most users could justify spending that much without batting an eye, something as simple as this feels like it could and should be a pack-in with a $40 iPad case rather than a standalone product. Only in the Apple ecosystem would two plastic clips connected by rubber strings have the potential to sell for $30. Yet at $20, it would have been nearly the least expensive stand available, and easy to prefer to Amzer’s Foldo, the category’s low-cost leader. Clipstand ultimately merits a strong general recommendation because it works quite well, and will endear itself to almost anyone willing to make the purchase. Consider it a great pick for on-the-go use if portability and versatility are key virtues, less so if value for the dollar or fixed-position desktop use are your primary considerations.
Company and Price
Model: Clipstand for iPad
Price: $30 CA
Compatible: iPad (2010)