Update: The Kickstarter has ended, so here’s a link to the official website, www.tstand.com.
I like watching TV in bed. But I don’t have a TV in my bedroom; I never have. What I do is use my iPad, holding it on a pillow on my chest. I watch Netflix and Amazon Prime video, or videos I’ve ripped or downloaded, that way when I want to relax.
But I need two hands to hold on to the iPad. And there’s always stress on my arms and shoulders, as well as on my neck, since I have to bunch my pillow up under my head to get everything at the right viewing angle.
I’d always thought there had to be a better way.
I got contacted a few days ago by Surface ID about TSTAND, an iPad stand that is about to complete a Kickstarter campaign (it’s funded about 15 times its goal). The people behind TSTAND sent me a prototype, and I have to say, I love this gadget.
TSTAND holds your iPad – or any other tablet with a screen size of 7 to 13 inches, so this includes the iPad mini, Air, and Pro – tightly between two spring-loaded grippers. You can set it up in two ways by rotating the part of the stand that grips the device. The first is to have the iPad leaning a bit forward, so you can place the stand on your chest, where you can adjust the viewing angle so you can look at your tablet hands-free. As you can see, it holds my iPad with the smart cover, though it squeezes the cover a bit. It’s probably best to remove any cover you have, unless you have a shell that won’t get compressed by the strong grippers.
If you rotate the gripper part around the back, you can use the stand on your desk, or on a table, with the device leaning back. When it’s in this mode, it’s not as stable as I’d like, with the front feet feeling a bit unstable.
The stand is made of ABS plastic with a steel inner frame, and silicone pads on the grippers. It feels fairly sturdy, though I’d prefer something like this to be made of aluminum for more robustness. It weighs 514 g, or about 1 lb 2 oz, so it’s light enough that you can toss it in a bag to take with you when you travel.
If, like me, you watch videos on your iPad in bed, you’ll probably find this one of the best additions to your gadget menagerie. If you want a stand to read on a desk or table, the TSTAND is adjustable, and raises the iPad enough so you don’t have to lean down to see the screen. And if you work with an iPad and a keyboard, this stand raises the iPad to an appropriate level to keep you ergonomically comfortable.
TSTAND will retail for $69, but if you commit to the Kickstarter campaign you can get one for as little as $37.