When it comes to propping up the iPad at versatile angles, nothing beats a dedicated stand. And when portability is an issue, it's hard to do better than the Arkon IPM-TAB, a fold-up stand that you can compact into a bundle the size of a pocket knife when not in use.
Measuring 7 x 1 x 1 inches when closed, the easel-type stand can easily slide into your pants pocket or any spare compartment in a bag. At 8 ounces, it barely registers any weight at all, making for one convenient accessory to have around.
During use, simply unfold the Arkon IPM-TAB1, adjust the legs and backrest, and throw your tablet onto the assembly. The grooves on the legs can work with iPads even with a case on, along with other brands of tablets (unless they're exceptionally thick like the Windows ones from early 2000s).
Since the separation of the legs and the angle of the backrest can be adjusted, you can set up your iPad at practically any angle in both portrait and landscape views. The only limitation is during charging -- since it's not that elevated, you won't be able to charge in portrait view (unless you orient it with the charging slot on top). It comes with non-skid traction material at the base, too, so the tablet doesn't slide around even when you type on it.
Whether it's for browsing with the free use of both hands, reading recipe instructions while cooking, or watching a movie you actually like on a plane, the Akron IMP-TAB1 should prove a helpful addition to your pocket stash. It's available from Amazon, priced at $10.
Need something to prop up the iPad for hands-free use without using table space? Yes, you likely do and nothing on the market seems to offer it. That is, until the iProp, a bendable floor stand that acts as a dedicated holding mount for your slate.
The idea behind this accessory is similar to a flexible lamp post. Instead of a lighting unit at the top end, though, you get a mounting area to hold the iPad. That means, there's no need to find a table to set the slate up on -- simply park the stand anywhere nearby and you can quickly reach out for it.
The iProp has a heavy-duty V-shaped base (weighs over 3 lbs. to guarantee stability), attached to a 36 inch pole (with the top 24 inches fully bendable). At the end of the articulated neck is a ball and socket joint that lets you rotate and swivel the connected hard plastic holder at practically any imaginable angle. Suffice to say, this standalone solution offers a heck of a lot more versatility, compared to every iPad stand and mount in the market today.
With the accessory, you can quickly set the slate up next to your desk during work, in front of a lounge chair for watching movies or right next to your bed for use as an alarm clock. This is really quite clever, so expect the copycats to follow shortly after this thing starts shipping.
Availability for the iProp is slated sometime in the Spring, priced at $79.95. It's currently on pre-order, with the offer of free shipping as an early buyer incentive.
A lot of iPad cases already come with an integrated stand, so getting a separate one isn't the cards for a lot of users. If you want limitless flexibility in your viewing angles, though, you need the LapWorks iPad Recliner.
More than a simple stand, the accessory is designed to allow use of your slate without having to set it down on its back. Set it up on a tabletop and use it to position the iPad at a whole host of angles, whether for viewing movies, typing or browsing.
The iPad Recliner behaves more like a chair than a stand. Just lay the slate on the platform (both portrait and landscape modes are supported) and adjust the incline (there's a knob in the back) in 32 possible positions from 4.25 inches above the surface (perfect for typing) to 8.25 inches (for viewing movies).
Designed for stability, it's made from heavy-duty hard ABS plastic, with a wide base for a steady hold. Billed as the "Lazy Boy of iPad loungers," it comes with a no-slip rubber cushion on the platform to keep the tablet comfy, as well as a soft rubber strip along the top as "headrest." It can accommodate other tablets and e-readers, so you can use it with a whole host of consumer gadgets, too.
Granted, the LapWorks iPad Recliner is a bit bulky. It's designed for home and office use, though, not portability, so it does it's job handily. Available in one two-tone color (silver and black), you can get it for as low as $29.95.
Those familiar with the Gorillapod know how its flexible legs allow for a near-limitless range of mounting options. We won't pretend that the iPad FlexStand is anywhere near the Gorillapod's level of cleverness, but it does offer a generous level of flexibility.
From the looks of it, you can use the fully-adjustable legs to mount the iPad on suspended hooks. The stand wasn't built for that, though, so you might be at risk of dropping the slate if you try to get too creative. Experiment at your own risk.
The FlexStand is made up of five lightweight, flexible and resilient steel legs - four are meant to attach to the corners of your iPad, with the fifth intended to provide leverage like a kick stand. Because of the fully-adjustable legs, you can set it up at practically any angle on most any type of surface, including flat, sloped and, even, irregular ones.
It measures 1 x 11.5 x 1.5 inches and weighs 5.2 ounces, making it easy to stow away on your bag when taking the iPad on the road. Since it's flexible, you can even twist it into whatever space is available in your bag. Plus, you can probably use it as a stand for other gadgets too (like cellphones and GPS), provided they can fit on the feet, which have been sized to hold Apple's tablet.
Frankly, I don’t think there's a single iPad stand that's as flexible in what it can do, while remaining extremely portable, as the iPad FlexStand. Thinkgeek has it on stock for an affordable $29.99.
Want an iPad stand that won't take up much space in your stash? You might be interested in the PadFoot, a truly minimalist stand that makes a case for matching "the iPad's simplicity and elegance."
Designed by Michiel Cornelissen, the accessory is just a single slab of polyamide material that can handle, pretty much, all the things you expect a stand to do. Whether propping up the iPad in landscape or portrait mode for viewing, or setting it at an angle for onscreen typing, it claims to get the job done.
The PadFoot is a 3D-printed polyamide stand that takes the shape of a horizontally-sliced hotdog, with a slanted opening where you're supposed to put the slate all the way through. As suspect as it looks (I mean, it holds the iPad on literally one corner), Michiel claims it makes for a strong and stable base for your tablet (personally, I'd probably try it with my hands ready to catch the device the first few times). Do note that it can only be used on a flat surface, so forget about setting up the iPad right on your bed for some late night YouTube viewing.
Its best use will likely be as an on-the-go stand, especially if you'd rather not burden your already overstuffed bag with more bulky accessories. At only 15 grams, it’s especially lightweight too, adding practically no heft to your mobile ensemble.
You can order the PadFoot from Shapeways, who builds each piece upon order. Price varies depending on color (white, black, magenta or green), starting at $25.