The folks at Insanely Great Products asked us to review two of their newest products, the FrameShift Pro and the FrameShift Mini-5 (recently introduced at MacWorld Expo in January) stands for the iPad and iPad mini.
The FrameShift Mini-5
This stand is designed for both the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, but is also compatible with a large variety of smaller tablets and the prior iPhone versions when they are in cases. It is made of “thick, high quality machined durable aircraft grade aluminum” (translation: it’s gonna take a lot to break this thing!). It’s currently available in two colors: Red and Grey.
We love this little stand! While we almost exclusively used it with an iPad mini, the iPhone 5 fit nicely on it, as well. The rubber feet (advertised as “military grade rubber”) held the stand firmly on our desktop even when typing on the iPad, yet it won’t scratch or otherwise damage your desktop. Given all the Mac products we use in any given day, the clean metal design of this stand was also an aesthetically pleasing addition to the desktop.
The stand can be positioned at almost any angle, including almost vertically, which is great for creating a center-frame picture of your face when using FaceTime or Skype while seated at your desk. It also folds flat for traveling and storage purposes, though since receiving the stand, it hasn’t left our desk. It will securely support your iPad mini in both the portrait and landscape orientation. Our favorite feature is that as long as your iPad cover will fold flat on the back of the iPad, it is not necessary to remove the cover to use this stand.
The only drawback on this great new stand was the price point of $79.00, however given quality of the design and materials and the fact that each unit is custom fabricated at the time of ordering, we think the price can easily be justified.
The FrameShift Pro
The Pro is made of hand-brushed, anodized (process to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts) aircraft-grade aluminum. It is advertised to be designed for “long-life and durability” and will not scratch your iPad. It’s compatible with iPad 1, 2, 3, and 4 and even offers a customizable name plate which can be engraved with customer provided artwork or text (for an additional charge).
This stand is very impressive. It is designed to either be used on your desktop (the way we have previewed it) or mounted to a table, wall or countertop (after removing the feet). Your iPad can be mounted “with washers” or “without washers” in place. With the washers in place, the iPad is securely held in place and requires removal of the washers to remove the iPad. Without the washers, the iPad will still be held securely but no tools are required to remove it (the iPad sits against the stand, rather than being “mounted” in the stand itself).
This is a great option to have, especially if you plan to use your iPad as a point-of-sale device or in a customer waiting area for information or video presentations. The stand will also allow for rotation to various angles, so if used for point-of-sale transactions or form completion with customers, the screen can be rotated back and forth between the user and the customer. Like it’s mini companion, the aesthetics are very pleasing and looks great on both an executive’s desk or in a lobby.
There are two major drawbacks for this product. First, is the price. At $159.00 it is certainly at the high end of the iPad stand price spectrum, especially given the fact that more people are trending towards the iPad mini versus the full-size iPads. Second, this stand can only be used in the landscape orientation. That may not be a draw back for some, but many of the apps we use can only be used in portrait orientation so removal of the iPad from the stand would be necessary in those situations.
Insanely Great Products’ name hits the nail squarely on the head with these two stands. Even though the price points may deter some casual users, if you or your business want to invest in stands which, in our assessment, will probably survive several generations of your iPad devices, these are two wonderful options worth your consideration.