There's a problem with most really usable iPad stands: they're too big to be portable. Sure, you could always use an iPad case that doubles as a stand, but it many situations that ends up being somewhat of a compromise. The team at Rain Design put their formidable minds to work on the problem and demonstrated their solution at Macworld/iWorld 2013. That solution is now shipping: the iSlider (US$49.90), a lightweight and portable iPad stand that adjusts over a 55° range to make your iPad more comfortable to use.
At first glance, the iSlider might be mistaken for an aluminum doorstop or a compact (5.5" deep by 3" wide by a maximum of 1" high) trackpad. Seriously, it doesn't look like any other iPad stand you've seen. But with a quick pull on one end of the device, a mechanism slides out of the half-pound aluminum body and you have your iPad stand.
iSlider is built to accomodate both "naked" iPads and iPad minis, and also those in cases that are less than 5/8" thick when installed on the device. A set of grooves on the back of a padded arm are used to provide precise and sturdy lift to your device. A folding foot at the bottom of the iSlider holds your device in place and also provides access for a charging cable.
The iSlider works equally well at holding your digital toy in either landscape or portrait orientation, and a set of non-skid feet on the bottom keep the iPad and iSlider from ... well, sliding.
Made out of brushed aluminum, iSlider is a nice match for your Apple devices and looks perfectly at home on a desk with your MacBook or iMac. One of the marketing images used by Rain shows an iSlider going into the front pocket of a pair of jeans, and I was surprised to see that I was actually able to plop it into a pocket without it looking too obvious.
I use a fun "Padintosh" case from ThinkGeek to protect the back of my iPad, with a standard Apple Smart Cover over the front. When I folded the Smart Cover over the back of the iPad and placed the entire handful onto the iSlider, it fit perfectly.
On the other hand, my iPad mini is unclothed at this time, so it is quite skinny. Unfortunately, that meant that there was plenty of space down in the foot at the bottom of the iSlider, so the iPad mini moves a little bit if you try typing on it or poke at icons. Fortunately, there's a solution right at your fingertips -- the iSlider comes with a small carrying bag, and I just put that behind the mini to keep it from moving. I suppose I really should just break down and order an iPad mini case, though...
Rain Design has solved the problem of carrying an adjustable iPad stand around by designing a unique folding mechanism for the iSlider. It looks good, it's built to last, and it provides both style and function in a pocketable design.
Rugged aluminum body should be able to survive drops and bumps
Eminently pocketable and adjustable over a wide range
Can accommodate iPads in a variety of cases and covers
Non-slip feet keep your iPad and iSlider from moving
Somewhat expensive, but worth every penny
Who is it for?
Anyone who needs a portable and sturdy iPad stand that looks ... mahvelous!