Product Review: VersaStand, the “First Folding iPad Desk Stand”

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A front view of the VersaStand

It was love at first sight. The moment Chris unpacked the Ergotech VersaStand from its packaging, I was a goner. At the time, this was an unfortunate development, as the desk stand had been sent for Chris to use and review, and I resigned myself to pining. Fortunately for me, Chris learned that his first edition iPad was too large for the stand (for use on the iPad 2, iPad mini, and soon the Galaxy), affecting his ability to review it. Would I, with my iPad 2, be interested in writing a review and keeping the stand? Well, do birds fly?

Full disclosure: I was predisposed toward liking the VersaStand, as I’ve been keeping a casual eye out for stands for the iPad for a fairly long time. I was looking for either a stand or a case with a good grip on it. I wanted versatility in how the iPad can be positioned. Much as I like the size and convenience of the iPad, I’m less enthused about hunching over it, or angling it on a knee.

I tried one competitor, the Meglio, which was ultimately disappointing. It was unable to provide the promised functionality and proved to be less than durable. It is perhaps not surprising that that product and company have disappeared now. The Meglio was more of a handle, yet also claimed to work as a stand, which it did with middling success. In many ways, the VersaStand is a superior product.

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The case and folded desk stand side by side

The VersaStand comes with a rubberized polycarbonate detachable case that fixes onto the back of the iPad, as well as a sleek aluminum, silver-finished desk stand. The stand boasts, with well-deserved pride, that it is the first and only foldable iPad desk stand, ideal for travel, and it connects and disconnects easily from the case.

Before I get into its much lauded versatility, I would like to emphasize one thing: its design. To put it simply, the VersaStand just looks cool. Whether from a friend visiting and noticing the VersaStand on my desk, or from student group members when I unpack the VersaStand from my backpack and set it swiftly up, the consensus is universally and overwhelmingly positive. Their appreciation only grows once they see what it can do.

Image taken from the VersaStand product .pdf

Image taken from the VersaStand product .pdf

The packaging and website promise a number of features, and after using the VersaStand for a couple of weeks, I can say with confidence that it delivers. It provides three articulating movement points, 180 degrees of visibility, 360 degree rotation of the iPad for landscape and portrait viewing, and possesses a fully articulating arm that lends to its portability. The stand folds with ease and folds slim, just over an inch thick, weighing a little more than half a pound. There are a couple of minor limitations to its flexibility, in that if you attempt to position the arm (with the iPad attached) all the way forward, or all the way back but for an inch or so, the weight of the iPad will cause the arm to tip. However, it’s unlikely you’d ever have much reason to use those particular positions.

According to Rated Gamer Gear, the VersaStand folds to a compact size and is lightweight, and as such, it might be an ideal travel companion, depending on what you prioritize when traveling. Although it folds so thin and is easily stowed, it will take up some room, so if you are a very light packer, it may be an issue. Furthermore, the stand weighs a little more than a half pound, but the case to which it attaches and that remains on the iPad (and is more difficult to remove once on it) also has some weight to it. If you’ll be on the move all day with both in your bag, you might eventually begin to feel it.

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Obviously, when you fold it the iPad won’t be attached

For myself, I absolutely would travel with the VersaStand. While I have not yet had the opportunity to try it on a plane, I can easily imagine how useful it would be. I am very fond of what the iPad provides for traveling entertainment, in that I can carry many books and videos with me wherever I go, but have mourned that even with the seat tray, I have to bend my neck quite a bit to use the iPad. The VersaStand would be a perfect fit for use on the tray, just as if you were using it on your desk. One possible drawback that I cannot yet clarify is whether or not a wireless keyboard would fit with the VersaStand on the seat tray. If you use your iPad for much typing, you probably already have a wireless keyboard, but with the VersaStand it would be almost essential. I say almost, as given the immense range of motion the stand provides, it is possible to bend the arm back and turn the iPad such that it’s angled just a little higher than if you were using the Smart Cover as a stand.

To summarize, it may not be possible to fully express how pleased I am with the VersaStand. My one concern is its limited availability, as Amazon no longer has it in stock at the moment, but I have been assured by Ergotech, the VersaStand’s maker, that the Amazon stock will soon be replenished. If you are in the market for a desk stand for your iPad, especially one good for travel, then I highly recommend that you pick up a VersaStand. It should shortly be available at this link on Amazon. In the meantime, do learn more at its feature website, http://ergofreedomline.com. Check out the provided videos while there. Needless to say, I would definitely buy it!

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by Juliette T

Juliette Todd is making her way, one setback at a time. She's moseying a slow path toward a Communication Studies degree, with aspirations to either law school or teaching in China.

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