Late last spring http://www.pbcentral.com/columns/hildreth_moore/recliner.shtml I reviewed here the Lapworks iPad Recliner stand — a sort of easychair for your iPad that offers infinitely adjustable viewing angles angles from a deeply reclined 25° to an approaching vertical 65° for when you just want to sit back and watch . . . . hands free.
I quite liked the iPad Recliner, which I also discovered to be stable and robust enough to support a 4.9 pound 12” iBook quite handily — more securely indeed than some purpose–made laptop stands. The iPad Recliner can also be used with iPads in conjunction with an external Bluetooth keyboard for desktop substitute duty.
However, the iPad Recliner’s bulk was criticized by at least one reviewer, who also was not enchanted by its being constructed of ABS plastic. Well, these things are always compromises in one way or another, and I deemed the unit’s standard of finish to be more than acceptable, and reasonably attractive in its silver and black livery.
But if you’re looking for an iPad stand that’s more compact and thematically consonant with Apple’s design and materials conventions, LapWorks now offers the alternative of their new iPad Space Dock which is fabricated primarily out of a rod anodized aluminum — a process analogically similar to Apple’s unibody laptop construction — the main six-inch long module cut from a rod of solid Aluminum and given a brushed aluminum finish.
The iPad Space Dock is in some respects the polar opposite of the iPad Recliner, with these products representing something of a polarity in size and bulk among iPad stands. The avant garde Space Dock has to be one of the smallest iPad stands on the market, at 1 1/8” high and weighing in at just 10 ounces, but still capable of securely supporting the iPad in both portrait and landscape orientations. However, this stand won’t support a laptop. The support channel is specifically sized to fit the iPad.
I said “primarily” aluminum construction, because the Space Dock’s inside channel is lined with velvety material that hold the iPad comfortably and securely while protecting its surface from scratching, as well as rubbery pads to keep it from scratching support surfaces.
The Space Dock’s T-shaped support arm threads into the back of the unit extending out 2-5/8” which provides ample stability and resistance to tipping backwards.
The SpaceDock can also be used in conjunction with a Bkuetooth keyboard to create a mini desktop configuration.
There are three different threaded holes for the support arm to attach to supporting incline settings of 58º, 62º and 66º from vertical. ‘
The three-hole theme is repeated on the front face of the stand, with that number of perforations to allow sound from the iPad’s speaker flow through unimpeded.
The Space Dock’s small footprint lets it fit in smaller spaces like kitchen counters, mantelpieces allowing your iPad to serve as a digital photo frame, bookshelves or of course on your desktop.
The Space Dock is undeniably more elegant than the iPad Recliner, in appearance, feel, materials and design. Of course the Space Dock’s extra sophistication does cost a bit more. The iPad Recliner sells for a list price of $44.95 (currently on sale at $34.95, while the corresponding Space Dock prices are 20 bucks more respectively at list $64.95, sale $54.95. The choice is up to the individual user, and it’s good to have choice.
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