It’s the very definition of a first world problem: you’re lazing on the couch watching Netflix on your iPad, your arms get tired from holding it and your attempts to balance it on your knees have not been overly successful. It’s this issue that led industrial designer Sean Kieley to develop the TStand.
It’s a Kickstarter project, but has already tripled the modest $10k goal needed to hit bulk order requirements, so you should be able to be confident of receiving one if you back the project …
Look & feel
The TStand isn’t iPad-specific: it’s a generic tablet stand designed to accommodate most devices. I tested it with an iPad Air 2, but it contracts enough to hold an iPad mini too.
The TStand model I tested was a prototype, but one that should be pretty reflective of the production model. I generally greatly prefer metal to plastic, but this is one case where I’ll admit plastic is the better choice: as it’s designed to be something you rest on your body, the aim was to make it as light as possible. The silver version does, though, quite a good impersonation of anodised aluminum until you touch it (it’s also available in black).
The iPad is held in place by a strong spring mechanism. The slots that hold it have rubber coatings, to avoid risk of scratching it. The strength of the spring is such that there appears no risk at all of the iPad falling out.
In use, it works well. The curved leg sections wrap around your torso, making it stable when lying on a couch or bed. It does, of course, move as you breath, but didn’t ever feel like it was in any danger of falling over.
The angle is infinitely adjustable, so you can set it to your taste.
You can also use the TStand as a desktop stand, but while the set-back position is good for movies, it’s not so ideal for active use – which is why it’s designed to flip all the way around, bringing the iPad to the front.
It’s equally stable when used this way up, and the height means that it also works as a monitor stand with a Bluetooth keyboard. Personally, I prefer the compact form of my Brydge keyboard, but if you’re using the iPad in the office, I can see the benefit of the raised position.
Retail pricing is set to be $79 for black or $84 for silver, which I’d have to say is probably a little on the steep side for a little laziness. But at Kickstarter pricing, it’s a much better deal. Super early bird backers were able to pre-order for $32. Those were soon snapped up, but you can currently get the early bird deal of $37 for gloss black or $42 for matte silver. At that price, I’d say it’s worth it for the couch use alone.
Shipping is estimated for December. The company says that it has two weeks slack in its schedule, but admits that any delay could make it tough to deliver by the holidays, so you probably shouldn’t order one as a holiday gift. But if it’s just for you, and you’re as lazy as I am, the TStand is a nice little treat.
The TStand is a (fully-funded) Kickstarter project. At the time of writing, Early Bird deals were available from $37. Jeremy did a roundup of other stands earlier this year, and there are of course many more to choose from on Amazon.