I’m a fan of working on my iPad. It’s fun, portable, and flexible enough that I can use it in most situations to get things done. While the jury is still out on whether or not it’s easier or more effective to do work on an iPad, it’s not stoping people like Federico Viticci or CGP Grey from doing as much as possible on Apple’s tablet.
Somewhat surprisingly, the one setting I find myself having a hard time using an iPad for doing “real work” is at my desk. With keyboard cases, the iPad sits very low, and the keyboard doesn’t give much freedom. Alternatively, the Smart Cover, when coupled with a bluetooth keyboard, allows you to move your typing to your lap or elsewhere on the desk, but it still doesn’t solve the problem of the iPad’s display being low on the desk. Enter the iQunix Zand.
The Zand ($39.99 on Amazon) is a simple, aluminum desktop stand for your iPad (all sizes and generations), iPhone, or other tablet/smartphone. Using “nano-micro suction” technology, it holds your device without any clamps or hooks, and there’s no gunky adhesive or special attachments needed to prop your device up into place.
What makes the Zand stand out, to me, is it’s smartly designed base, which lifts your iPad two or three inches from the desk. This means that it sits slightly higher, for a better viewing position, and gives it a great Apple-esque look.
Much to my surprise, using the iPad when it’s mounted on the Zand feels very solid. When I initially starting using the Zand, I was very cautious about the force I used when tapping and swiping on my iPad’s screen, but the nano-micro suction technology is truly solid. Typing on the iPad’s screen wasn’t particularly pleasant while mounted on the Zand, but for me, this is a setup that works best with a Bluetooth keyboard.
For typing on the iPad’s display, the Zand can be tipped onto it’s back, and act as a nice 30º typing stand, lifted just slightly from the desk. This was nice, as it felt more solid than the Smart Cover, but offered the same typing angle.
What really made the Zand great for me was pairing it with Duet Display and my MacBook Pro. Because of the lift that the stand provides, the iPad looks like a tiny Apple Thunderbolt Display, and acted as a beautifully placed secondary monitor – not too big or too small, and at just the right height.
The only flaw I found with the Zand was that it’s not exactly portable. Because the stand is made of a single piece of aluminum, there is no way to collapse or minimize it’s form factor to comfortably fit in a bag. This makes the Zand more of a fixed accessory for an office, counter, or desk setting. Personally, I was nervous to transport it, regardless, for fear that something would damage or mess with the nano-micro suction surface and make it less capable of holding my iPad.
Small concerns about portability aside, I really enjoyed the Zand, and found it to be a perfect desktop companion for my iPad at work. I can keep the tablet up off my desktop, while still having access to everything at the touch of a finger. Whether you’re using your iPad as a Netflix machine, or running Duet to make it a secondary display for your Mac, the Zand is an awesome accessory at a fairly unbeatable price!
Portability might be a concern
If you’re in the market for a desktop stand for your iPad, I would encourage you to consider the $39.99 Zand, from iQunix.