When held incorrectly, your iPad can be a serious pain in the neck — literally. But with the right accessories, you can avoid a repetitive stress injury. Here are our picks for tablet cases and stands that offer the best options for achieving comfortable, ergonomically sound viewing angles for most any situation.
For Typing: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard
There are oodles of keyboard options for tablets, and while many prefer to use a stand-alone version in concert with a separate stand, we're big fans of Logitech's $100 line of Ultrathin Keyboard Covers. Functioning much like Apples Smart Covers, a magnetic hinge attaches the keyboard to cover the display when not in use. When you want to type, swing it open and pull to detach the hinge and then slide your iPad into the holder slot (either vertically or horizontally), which props your pad at a comfortable 60-degree angle. Battery life is measured in months, and we quickly got used to using shortcut keys for cut and paste and a home button. And yet, the whole shebang weighs less than 12 ounces and is only a third of an inch thick.
For Travel: ZeroChroma
Though designed with iPads in mind, this low-profile swiveling stand attaches by high bond, demountable 3M adhesive (think extra-strength Post-It note) and works with a host of other full-size tablets so long as it can get a good grip on a flat surface. Once mounted, slide out the stand, and it locks into 11 positions in both portrait and landscape orientations (the stand swivels 360 degrees), making it the most versatile stand we've used for the money. The $35 ZeroChroma also makes an excellent protective case, the Vario-SC, that has the swivel stand built in, but is iPad-only.
For Extended Viewing: Mophie Powerstand
While not meant for toting around every day like a case or compact stand is, Mophie's $150 Powerstand is ideal for long-term iPad (and iPad-only) use: watching movies or TV shows, FaceTime calls, as a desktop monitor for typing, and so on. The pair of hinges allow for adjustments both in display angle (up to 180 degrees) and height, and the mount swivels for landscape and portrait view. We like that a lightning connector is built-in so the latest generation iPads can be constantly topped up.
For Kitchen Use: Belkin Chef Tablet Stand and Pen
The nonslip rubber bumper on the underside holds the $39.99 Belkin Chef Tablet Stand in place while your iPad (in landscape or portrait mode) sits safely tilted at a comfortable 60-degree angle. This accessory also comes with an ergonomically designed pen that is machine washable. With the use of the pen, you can avoid getting messy fingerprints all over your tablet screen, and you don't have to reach out so far, either.
For Work Stations: TwelveSouth HoverBar
While the $80 HoverBardoesn't offer power (like the Mophie), it does offer almost infinite adjustability and can be locked to any stable surface that is an inch thick or less using its padded C-clamp. So while it was designed to be a Master Blaster-style combo unit atop an iMac, it works just as well clamped to a table, or cabinets or bedroom shelves for virtually any other base for complete hands-free use. Simply bend the neck to suit your posture and swivel the screen in whatever orientation that suits.[slideshow id="undefined"]
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