The iPad is not the ultimate business tool. I use it every day, and every day I find another flaw in how it functions compared to a typical laptop. But every day there’s another great app that allows me to use the popular tablet more effectively than before. There isn’t a day that goes by where the iPad doesn’t become more powerful or useful.
To make the best of it, users have three choices: hold it and use it simultaneously; buy a case that doubles as a stand; or buy a standalone stand. The first option sucks; the iPad mini is light enough not to require a case, but the iPad is big, bulky, and needs one for everyday use. Most cases these days don’t function as a stand, and the few that do don’t do a great job. The bigger cases are too big for regular use, and the thin cases slip on a surface and don’t keep the iPad steady.
The final solution, a stand, is the best option. Stands that are any good however are next to impossible to find. The minimalist and build-it-yourself stands are cheap, flimsy, and a great way to waste money. And the more expensive ones are large, cumbersome, and expensive.
Ten 1 has a great middle ground that I’ve used for the past few months, the Magnus. The name belies the extreme nature of the stand, but it is excellent nonetheless. It’s slim, sleek, and very refined. Aluminum just like the iPad, the only discoloration comes from the brand on the back (which only onlookers will ever notice) and magnets that keep the iPad in place. No special holsters, pieces sticking out, or anything external that users will ever notice. Just put the iPad in and voila, it’s standing upright.
Magnus works very simply: the stand has eight magnets that hold the iPad in place so it doesn’t move about when tapping on the screen. A slight lip is on the front so the iPad doesn’t slip forward. Finally, the base is wide and has rubber feet to keep it in place. It requires the iPad not wear a case or cover, and is intended to hold the iPad across, not from the top/bottom.
It’s so simple that it doesn’t need anything else. The entire package is just what you see, nothing more, nothing less.
Magnus isn’t perfect. With the iPad (4), tapping on the screen may make the whole stand move back or lean backwards because the base doesn’t have enough grip and/or weight. I’ve also has the iPad slip out several times because the front lip isn’t quite large enough. When properly placed the iPad never slipped, but if you don’t put it in properly, you could end up with an broken iPad. Yet even then it rarely slips out of place.
I recommend the Magnus for an iPad stand. As someone who switches regularly between a PC, iPad, and a number of phones, the Magnus is the only kickstand I have used comfortably in a real work environment. It’s not perfect, and I can’t wait for version 2.0, but it’s pretty darn great right now. For $50, it’ll be the best hardware purchase for your iPad.