iPad stands and docks are a great way to store and use the device without personally holding it. One of my favorite iOS device accessories, there are many stands and docks laying around on my desks, so many, I even let my friends borrow them on occasion. With a dedicated work station in my home office, I like viewing my devices in an upright position. It is simply easier to watch for notifications without picking up the device to look at the screen. Stands also keep my devices off dusty surfaces like the coffee table, book shelves or kitchen counter.
Anywhere I sit or stand for more than 10 to 15 minutes has an iOS device stand. The living room book shelves and side tables, kitchen counter, office desk, and sometimes my night stand all have device stands or docks. In an effort of generosity, even the guest bedroom has a charging alarm/clock/iPhone dock. All of my rambling is to say, I am quite well versed in the dock arena and MiStand by Mi is quite impressively giving all former stands a challenge for my top spot…
Form and function
Precisely machined from a solid block of aluminum, MiStand is an excellent addition to any collection, or for those starting one. Simple in form, a small three-sided arm is the base. The top side houses a socket joint, into which a ball magnet inserts. Attached to the ball magnet is a flat mounting surface, which steadfastly holds iPad.
Using micro-suction pads on both the foot and mount provides a solid connection to both the standing surface and the iPad. Micro-suction pads are becoming a standard in the iOS device third party marketplace. Companies are using them to replace 3M adhesive strips. While 3M developed a non-residue product, it is still a semi-permanent installation. Additionally, 3M strips would lose adhesion when dirtied. Micro-suction pads suffer from neither of these unfortunate characteristics.
Micro-suction pads behave similarly, but have many advantages over 3M technology. MiStand’s micro-suction footpad allows users to place the stand in one location, then easily transport it to another. While sitting, the micro-suction pad is very strong and easily holds iPad’s weight. Trying to separate MiStand from granite kitchen counters after a few days proved slightly difficult and, for that, I am thankful. The last thing I want is my iPad stand taking a spill in the kitchen.
Additionally, two micro-suction pads connect with iPad on the top and bottom of the flat device plate. Similar to the footpad, these top connections hold iPad equally strong. When they are fresh out of the box, it is almost difficult to remove the iPad, which caused a little concern, but with the correct angle, no issues arose. If a smooth surface case is on the iPad, micro-suction pads will have no trouble adhering to the third party case. However, I would shy away from any cases with organic or synthetic replica materials like leather, hemp, canvas, felt, or cotton.
As I mentioned previously, I am an iOS device stand hoarder. They are everywhere in my house. I find myself coming back to the MiStand over and over. Currently, and for most of the review period, I used MiStand in the kitchen. While cooking, eating, or milling around, I always placed my mini on the MiStand, making it extremely easy to down episodes of the X-Files while cooking dinner. Moreover, because iPad is larger than the mounting surface, typing quick iMessage is completely natural.
The ball and socket joint, which connects the mounting piece to the footpad, is genius. MiStand is the only stand I have reviewed, or seen, that uses a fluid motion joint to provide full spherical viewing rotation. Granted, it cannot rotate completely because the faceplate is attached, but cut me some slack. Using a stand in the kitchen is always difficult because of screen glare from ceiling lights. With MiStand’s ability to completely rotate in any direction, glare became a non-factor.
MiStand is simple and minimalistic. I would not call it elegant, but visually appealing, certainly. Because of its small design and limited footprint, MiStand does not draw undue attention, unless you opt for blue, red, or gold designs.
MiStand is my new go-to dock. With a small, simple, and highly functional design, it is the perfect desktop or kitchen companion. It is a little more difficult to port around, as the micro-suction footpad prefers a smooth surface, but the overall experience is impressive.
While it may not be the prettiest dock on the market, the ball and socket joint combined with micro-suction pads gives MiStand the one-two punch to knock out most contenders. Until another company develops a stand that holds fast to a surface with a small footprint and full viewing angle rotation, I will be sticking with MiStand.
Mi just completed its Kickstarter campaign at £26,431 of £5,000 (about $42,900 of their target goal of $8,000). Obviously, I am not the only one impressed with the new device. Mi will be selling pre-orders on their company website for £43.00 (about $70) and the expected delivery is January 2014. The price is particularly high for U.S. customers, prohibitively so in my opinion. The MiStand is an amazing product, but with the conversion rate from £43 to $70, it is difficult to recommend to the average customer. If you are equally obsessed with iOS device stands, a solid machined aluminum dock is not cheap, no matter the company or currency rate.
What do you think about the ball and socket pivot joint and the micro-suction pads? Will you be putting your money on the MiStand?
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