When my fingers are covered in egg, or I want to use my iPad as a second-screen when working at my Mac, or when I’m performing computer surgery and I want to keep iFixIt in the corner of my eye, there’s a lot of situations in which I might want a stand for my iPad.
iOStand by iOMounts Category: iPhone/iPad Stand Works With: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch Price: $100
Unfortunately, of the few I’ve tried, I’ve found most of them only to be good in specific situations: great for, say, using your iPad as second monitor at your computer, but not good for cooking or doing computer surgery.
The iOStand by iOMounts is the first stand I’ve really liked, because sometimes simpler is better. But it’s not perfect.
All the components to the iOStand system.
The iOStand by iOMounts is about as simple a gadget as you can imagine. It’s essentially a pedestal for your iPad (or iPhone, or any other mobile tablet), made up of a couple of components: a weighted base, a long arm with a ball on it, and a powerful magnet poking itself out of the ball.
This magnet is called the iOCore, and because magnets are both simple and neat, it works exactly like you expect: you affix a small steel washer to the back of your device, and once it’s on, the magnet will stick to your iPad or iPhone (or, indeed, anything else made out of metal).
The iOStand isn’t so much clever as it is effective. Because the iOCore is concave, it can “roll” across the ball at the top of your iOstand at almost any angle you’d like. The iOStand, then, is more adjustable then most iPad stands: if the viewing angle isn’t convenient to you, you just need to nudge it to one that is.
You’ll have to stick one of these on any device you want to use with the iOStand.
The washer system isn’t the most elegant solution to docking your iPad with a stand, but given the alternatives, which usually require you to fit your iPad into some sort of holster so it’s secure on the end of the stand, it’s a pretty good one. The washers — which iOMounts calls “iOAdapts” but are, in fact, just steel rings with some sticky on the back — are only .025 inches thick, so they hardly make much of an impact upon your iPad’s profile.
In use, the iOStand is a very convenient and quick way to use your device with a stand. In fact, I found myself using it a lot more than I expected to, transfering my iOStand from room-to-room as I, say, moved from my work desk at the end of the day to the kitchen to cook dinner, or from dinner to the bedroom to watch a movie. As a stand, it’s just as good for, say, keeping your eye on Twitter throughout the day as it is for watching a movie or consulting a recipe.
So I really like the iOStand. But I have a couple caveats.
First of all, conceptually, the truth of the matter is that using an iOStand to hold your iPad about a foot above the surface of your desk, table or countertop, you’re making it vulnerable to falling over. The iOStand has a weighted bottom, and it’s quite solid and rugged, but it can be accidentally knocked over… if it is knocked over, it’s going to tip over, probably face first, with a heavy steel ball pressed against the back of your device, almost guaranteed to shatter your screen.
The same warning goes for accidentally jostling your iPad while it’s on the iOStand arm. It’s not going to be easy to knock your iPad off the magnet base, but it’s certainly possible. Magnets are a very convenient and easy way to dock an iPad to something like a stand, but they are going to inherently be less stable than, say, putting your iPad in a special case to connect it to a stand.
The iOAdapts can also be hit or miss. In my experience, they don’t work at all sticking them to anything that isn’t metal, so you can’t just affix one to the back of your iPad case. If your device isn’t going bareback, the iOAdapt might not stick, and since they cost $10 for three of them, that’s worth considering if you use a case.
Finally, this is a matter of subjective opinion, but the iOStand costs $100. This is a solidly constructed product, but that seems pricy to me for something that is essentally 100% analog, with no moving parts, proprietary systems or revolutionary industrial design.
I really like the iOStand. It’s pretty, it’s portable, it’s solidly constructed, and magnets are always super cool. But it’s also pretty expensive, it requires sticking washers to your device, and these washers make it hard to use a case. I can’t think of an iPad stand I’ve liked more, but there are certainly cheaper ways to prop up your iPad: if you want the iOStand’s elegance, you need to go in being well-aware of what it costs.
Product Name: iOStand
The Good: Magnets are cool! Solidly constructed. Infinitely adjustable. Portable around the house.
The Bad: Expensive. Washers don’t stick on some cases.
The Verdict: The best iPad stand we’ve used, but you pay for elegance.