So, you’ve finally decided to purchase that shiny new iPad you’ve always dreamed of. However, after using for a while — and perhaps more than a few hours of some Flappy Bird ripoff — you’ve begun to realize it’s more of an overweight burden than you once expected. Thankfully, your precious arms won’t have to lift the unbearably heavy 1lb iPad for long thanks to one of the best inventions around: stands. From basic cradles used for little more than holding Apple’s flagship device to keyboard-equipped contraptions for typing, there’s a bevy of quality products designed to meet your specific needs, desires, and budget. After all, one of the greatest things about the iPad is the sheer amount of ways you can use it.
Here’s our favorite iPad stands. Keep in mind that, although some are compatible with all current and past iPad models, some are exclusively tailored for the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini, respectively. While you’re at it, check out our top picks for the best iPad apps, the best iPad accessories, and the best best iPad cases.
Elago P2 Stand for iPad ($30)
Elago’s P2 Stand can easily transform your iPad in to an iMac knockoff with it’s sleek, silver-clad design. Compatible in both portrait and landscape modes, the P2 Stand is perfectly designed for for robust keyboard use, with easy cable management on hand to ensure your iPad remains charged at all times while docked. Downside? The stand does not support use with most iPad cases or sleeves when worn.
Visually akin to it’s namesake, the Twelve South Compass is a versatile stand that props up the iPad like an easel, allowing you to view the tablet in either portrait or landscape mode. The adjustable second leg additionally allows you to switch the iPad orientation from easel mode to lying flat, providing an easier means for typing in the process. The stand becomes incredibly compact once folded for users constantly using their iPad on the go, with a profile measuring no bigger than typical candy bar. This Compass is currently available in three colors (red, black, and silver), and remains compatible with all versions of the iPad.
Ten Magnus iPad Stand ($45)
The Magnus iPad Stand from Ten is relatively low-profile stand, but don’t let the lack of bells and whistles trump the necessities it does tout. The aluminum design is equipped with rubber feet and customized magnets to ensure your iPad remains stationary once placed, and the device even remains compatible with protective sleeves and the like. Measuring 6.3 by 2.9-inches, it’s not the most compact of stands, but it’s not large enough to become a daunting task to carry with you on the go, either. The Ten Magnus is compatible with all versions of the iPad, and though it does offer portrait-mode functionality, it functions best while cradling your iPad in the horizontal, landscape mode given the increased stability.
The Nest Organizing Stand from Blue Lounge is a great jack-of-all-trades iPad stand as it has some of the most diverse functionality, while maintaining a very simple design. The Nest can prop an iPad up in portrait mode utilizing it’s hidden cradle to keep the tablet in place, and can support the iPad in landscape mode with a rubber lining on top that cushions the tablet. Additionally, you can use the Nest to store small things like your car keys, USB drives, etc. Coming in at 8 x 5 x 2 inches, it is practical for taking on the go, and easily blends in at your desk, or any environment. It also comes in a variety of colors: blue, green, pink, orange, black, and white. The Nest is compatible with older iPads, iPad Air, the iPad Mini, and a host of other tables and smartphones.
The PadFoot stand is another low profile stand available in a variety of colors (white, gray, blue, pink, purple, red) for either the iPad or iPad Mini. Constructed of 3D-printed polyamide, the stand is durable and light, allowing users to conveniently watch movies and TV shows in either orientations once they slide the corner of their device into the stand’s rigidly textured slot. It’s one of the most, if not the most portable stand on our list. After all, a measly eight grams isn’t much to tote around.