Why Everyone Needs a Stand for Their iPad

You’ll wonder how you ever managed without one

Key Takeaways

  • The iPad is a modular wonder, and a stand can make it way more useful.
  • A sturdy desktop stand can turn the iPad into a TV, a mini iMac, a drawing board, and more.
  • Stands are cheap, but make sure you get one that doesn’t wobble or break.
iPad held in a HoverBar Duo stand while a person uses an apple pencil

Twelve South

If you own an iPad, then you need a stand. And not just the one built into the iPad’s case, either. A stand can totally transform your little tablet. 

The iPad is a unique device in that it’s so flexible. It’s a tablet for reading. Add an Apple Pencil and it’s a notepad or a sketchbook. Add Apple’s Magic Keyboard and it’s a laptop. Add a stand, a mouse, and any old keyboard, and it’s a miniature iMac. Or a TV. Or a games console. You get the point. And a stand is essential for many of these functions.

The Case For a Stand

Many iPad cases double as stands, and some are better than others. Apple’s own Smart Covers are expensive, but they last, and they do the job just fine. 

A better option is some kind of origami case, which folds in different directions to give several sturdy angles—like Moshi’s VersaCover. These cases are fine for quickly propping up an iPad, but if you actually want to use that iPad, then it will probably topple over as soon as you tap the screen.

A sturdy stand does more than just stop your iPad from falling over when you tap it too hard. It raises the iPad up off a desk or table, away from spills and other perils, and it will bring the screen up to your eye-line, which is essential for long-term ergonomic use.

Stand By

My current favorite stand is the AboveTech/Viozon iPad Pro stand. It’s an aluminum bracket with a spinning, tilting jaw that clamps the iPad into place. This one came with two interchangeable jaws, one for giant 12.9-inch iPads like mine, and one for everything else—including large phones. The stand is modeled on the foot of the current iMac, and it works just the same way, only you can also rotate the iPad between landscape and portrait orientations.

iPad held in an AboveTech/Viozon iPad Pro stand and resting on a stool

Charlie Sorrel / Lifewire

I’ve used mine daily for more than three years, and it’s still going strong. Even the plastic clamp is fine. 

If you use a laptop for work, then you really need to raise it up. Otherwise, you’ll hunch over it, ruining your back, neck, and more. The neat thing about the iPad is you can raise just the screen, and use it with a Bluetooth keyboard. This is way more ergonomic than using it in a keyboard case, although you’ll need a mouse (or trackpad), because reaching up to touch the screen is fatiguing.

If you really want to go this route, then consider TwelveSouth’s new HoverBar Duo, an articulated stand that has no problem coming up to your eye level, no matter how tall you are. It uses a weighted base, but can also clamp onto a desk edge. That highlights another advantage of an iPad stand—it clears the desktop, which is extremely handy for small, work-from-home setups where you may not have much space.

HoverBar Duo raising an iPad and paired with a wireless keyboard

Twelve South

Speaking of working from home, a stand also is essential for Zoom calls, unless you’re calling up the nostril-inspection doctor. Nobody else wants to see up your nose, or to contemplate pimples on your perspectively enlarged chin. In this case, even the Viozon case isn’t high enough. If I’m making a video call, I’ll raise the stand further with a stack of books.

iPad TV

If you use your iPad to watch TV and movies, then a stand is equally essential. In this case, all you need is something with a steady base that also can lift the screen to a comfortable viewing level. Once you get used to the iPad, the TV/movie experience is great. A small screen, close up, can be bigger than a huge TV on a far wall. Also, AirPlay keeps the audio from wireless speakers in sync with the movie.

I’d be tempted by TwelveSouth’s HoverBar Duo again here, because you easily can place the screen perfectly, even for two viewers. But if you’re in bed, you also can get away with one of those neat breakfast trays. I do this, with the iPad in its Magic Keyboard stand on top. It’s very stable, and if you find it to be too low, just lay down further into your pillow.

"A sturdy stand does more than just stop your iPad from falling over when you tap it too hard."

There are plenty of other great uses for iPad stands. In the kitchen, you avoid spills, and can tilt the iPad back to easily view it while standing. If you want to use the iPad as a cash register, then the same setup works well. For gaming with a friend and a pair of Bluetooth gamepads, a stand is essential.

If you have an iPad, then do yourself a favor: find a stand you like this weekend, buy it, and love it. You will not be disappointed.

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