In just a few days Apple is expected to announce the iPad 2 (or whatever they end up calling it). Yes, Apple’s runaway success with its first entry into the tablet market is nearing its first anniversary. Along the way I’ve had the opportunity to look at a wide variety of different mounting solutions for the first-generation iPad. Some have been exceptionally simple while others have been more complex. Some have been highly refined, have an aesthetic that stands out and carry a price tag to match. There is, however, a good deal to be said for accessories which are rather simple in design, short on aesthetic appeal but high in functionality. That’s the case with ProClip’s MultiStand for Apple iPad. It’s certainly not the most refined accessory I’ve seen and it leaves much to be desired in the aesthetic department but the degree of functionality it brings to the iPad is tremendous. Yes, its specifically designed for the first-generation iPad and therefore a bit late to the market but there are millions of them in circulation and, I suspect, a huge number of them about to become hand-me-downs.
I’ve been using it that last few days so let’s take a closer look…
The MultiStand for Apple iPad is a versatile desk stand for the iPad, which can be used in many different aspects of daily life. If you are a working professional, stay at home parent or student of any level the MultiStand can assist you on a table/desktop, in your lap as you read a book or browse the internet, held in your hand at work while taking notes and mounted to the wall as well as a ProClip in your vehicle.
You can mount the MultiStand on the wall or on a ProClip in your vehicle by using the enclosed adapter plate. All buttons, charging port and headphone jack are accessible on the iPad while using the MultiStand.
Adjustable stand for many angles of viewing
Holds iPad firmly in place with all buttons and charging port accessible
Made for table/desktop use with rubber non-slip feet
Use on your lap or hooked over your knees for easy viewing
Easily held in one hand while typing/browsing with the other
Dock and undock the MultiStand on any wall, flat surface or vehicle with the
enclosed adapter plate
Made of heat and cold resistant ABS plastic
Designed and manufactured in Sweden
The key to the MultiStand’s functionality is the combination of its remarkably strong design– it’s made from a heavy-duty plastic that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever used one of ProClip/Brodit’s products– and this reinforced swivel on the back. It rotates 90° so that the MultiStand can work in either landscape or portrait and the hinged leg that comes off of the swivel can be set at pretty much any angle you desire. The hinge is easy to move from one position to the next but tight enough that it holds the position you choose without needing to tighten anything.
Yes, as noted in the introduction, when you first look at the multi-stand it isn’t all that impressive from an aesthetic perspective but once you begin using it the value becomes clear.
ProClip’s MultiStand for Apple iPad is designed to be used on any flat surface, as a convenient way of holding the iPad (thanks to the curved shape of the hinged leg it’s easy to grab), and as a means of hanging the iPad on the wall. The latter maneuver is accomplished by the included wall plate that screws into the wall and then waits for the MultiStand to be slid on top. While I haven’t screwed the plate into any of my home’s walls (hey, we are just now painting the place after almost a decade of renovation and I have yet to decide where I’d like it to go) I did try it temporarily and one thing was immediately clear–once the iPad is affixed to it the tablet is not going anywhere.
The company explains the installation process in this manner–
Press the mounting adapter on the back side of the holder downward, so it slides out from the groove. Place the mounting adapter into desired position and screw it into place with the enclosed screws. Place the iPad above the mounting adapter and press it downward so the mounting adapter fits into the groove. Press until you hear/feel it snaps into place.
To remove the holder:
Pull the holder straight upward, away from the mounting adapter.
As you can see the angular channel makes it easy to slide over the plate and then with each millimeter becomes tighter and more fixed in place.
Getting the iPad in and out of the MultiStand is quite simple. As the company explains–
Place the lower part of the iPad in the holder, then flip/press the upper part forward so it snaps into place in the MultiStand.
To remove the iPad from the MultiStand:
Press upwards on the upper part of the holder, in the same time pull the upper part of the iPad out from the holder and then lift it up and out from the holder.
It is worth noting that the iPad can sit toward the back of the “feet” that hold the bottom of the iPad but this isn’t the correct position. If the iPad is that far back you’ll find that it’s a little bit difficult to snap the top in place.
If, you place the iPad in the right position (as depicted above) it snaps securely in place with these. Getting the iPad out is just as easy.
One of the great things about this iPad accessory is that it disappears into the background once you begin using it. Yes, this accessory is all about functionality. For example here’s the iPad sitting on the counter top in landscape.
And here it is in portrait.
In both cases you don’t really notice the MultiStand. Instead you see the iPad and MultiStand is simply doing its job without getting in the way.
Once the iPad is in the MultiStand you want to make sure that it’s centered between the two fixed arms on either side. In this shot you can see that it hasn’t fully clicked in place but with a simple tap on the left side of the iPad it shifted and clicked even more tightly into the stand.
From the sides you get an appreciation of the various angles this accessory offers. Here is the iPad in landscape held at a rather steep angle.
And here it is with the angle reduced slightly for easier viewing.
And here it is almost flat. This would be ideal if you’re using the iPad in the kitchen and looking at recipes while you cook.
And finally here is the iPad at its most shallow angle. This angle is ideal for typing on the iPad. I did just that in order to test out how well it works and I found that the combination of heavy-duty plastic, a tight fit around the iPad, the “get out-of-the-way so people can use their tablet” design and the rubber feet on the stand itself make it about as perfect a solution for typing on the iPad as you are going to find. The angle is just right and the iPad doesn’t move as you bang away on the screen.
Here’s a promotional video of it in action.
In all, this is one of those iPad accessories that places functionality far ahead of aesthetics and it’s a winner. Its heavy-duty design means it is strong and will, I suspect, outlast the iPad itself. The ability to use the iPad in landscape and portrait and to shift between the two with ease makes life quite easy. And the wide range of angles that are provided by the hinged leg mean that this one stand can be used for just about any iPad use scenario. The shape of the back and arm is perfect for gripping the iPad and carried it from one place to another. And the wall plate means that you can now use the iPad in any room hands free.
I highly recommend this accessory if you have a first-generation iPad or if you are about to get hand-me-down. When you do order it, however, I would suggest ordering a few additional wall plates as the convenience of having wall plates in various strategic positions around the house will make your iPad usage even better and more convenient.
Some may balk at the almost $60 price tag of this accessory but the fact of the matter is this one stand as the ability to replace numerous other accessories that you might choose to use and it’s excellent build quality means that you’re getting something that will last and last.
My biggest complaint about the accessory is that it’s unique to the first-generation iPad. If you have no interest in upgrading to the next generation tablet or if you’re about to get one as a hand-me-down or via eBay it’s worth the investment. Otherwise, this isn’t the accessory for you. My hope is that now that the design is set and proven– it really is an excellent iPad accessory– the equivalent product for whatever Apple announces this week will be out the door and available far sooner than this one was.
The ProClip MultiStand.
What I Like: It’s made from high quality plastic that you can trust to hold your precious tablet; It can be used in landscape or portrait; The hinged arm on the back is perfect for carrying the iPad with one hand and allows the iPad to be held at pretty much any angle you might choose; Built into the hinged leg is a panel for hanging the iPad on the wall
What Needs Improvement: Unique to the first-generation iPad so it will work with the upcoming iPad 2; Only available in black; The relatively high price