Shipping to customers this fall, Saguy Product Design’s Smarter Stand for iPad ($20) is the latest crowd-funded accessory idea that raised enough cash to become an actual product. Composed of two plastic clips and a non-slip pad — the package we received had a “free bonus” extra of each — the clips slide onto the top and bottom edges of Apple’s iPad Smart Cover or iPad Smart Case. They’re used to isolate and reinforce various combinations of the four columns to create additional stand angles depending on how they’re positioned.
From the neutral position with each clip resting over the column second from the left, sliding one back so that it’s straddling the first and second columns allows for a 33° viewing angle. Move the other down between the second and third and it creates a 45-degree position. If they’re both lined up in the middle, the lid can be used as a wall-assisted private typing stand.
While they’re attached, the clips don’t get in the way of the cover closing and staying magnetically locked. Regardless of the posture, the non-slip pad must be adhered to the iPad’s right edge to create a grip and prevent the tablet from sliding—once it’s attached, you’re not supposed to remove it.
Saguy’s adhesive material separated from the rubber when we went to remove it from the iPad, guaranteeing that it couldn’t be used again, but thankfully didn’t leave any residue behind.
Conceptually, we like Smarter Stand because it’s a practical solution that doesn’t add bulk or the need to carry anything separately: you just slide the clips on, use them when you need to, and ignore them when you don’t. As an accessory to existing accessories, Smarter Stand is only beneficial to users of Apple’s iPad Smart Cover and Smart Case, but quite a few people have purchased them and will appreciate the improvements. That said, we have two concerns: first is our hesitance to slap stickers on the iPad, particularly ones that can’t be reused. Second and more critical is the price—by every reasonable measure, Smarter Stand’s $20 retail cost is crazy for a few pieces of plastic and some rubber stickers. Saguy’s Kickstarter campaign snagged nearly 7,000 backers with $9 to $14 early bird specials, some of which will still be available for several weeks, though even those numbers seem high given how simple this accessory is.