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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 276
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Thought Out iPad Mini Stand
Thursday 5 September 2013   —   Category: iPad Workflows
Eight months after the FedEx truck delivered my beloved iPad Mini, I finally got around to purchasing a stand for it. I've been putting this Thought Out stand through its paces for a couple of months now, but it took only a couple of days of using it before I was wondering how I had ever lived without it!

Keep in mind that the iPad Mini is pretty small and lightweight. It measures 7.8" (200mm) by 5.3" (135mm), is 0.28" (7mm) thick, and weighs 0.69 lb. (312g).

In comparison, this PED4 Planet IPM10 iPad Mini Pivoting Stand weighs 0.6 lb. (270g). The triangular base is 7.8" (200mm) from one end to another, and about 0.2" (5mm) thick. A 5" steel shaft rises from the center of the base, with a 5/8"-diameter solid-steel ball on the upper end.

The ball fits into a plastic socket, to which is attached six adjustable arms, which snugly hold the iPad in place. This ball and socket design allows the iPad to be rotated 360 degrees around the axis of the steel rod. The iPad can also be tilted so that it is perfectly vertical and perpendicular to the base. Or it can be positioned horizontally so that it is parallel to the base. Or any angle in between.

With the included Allen wrench, you can adjust the tension of the ball and socket so that it's tight enough to hold the iPad in place no matter where you position it, but not so tight that it's difficult to reposition. It's a clever system which works really well. You can also adjust the ends of each arm, so that they grip the iPad tightly enough to make sure it won't fall out, but not so tightly that it's too hard to take the iPad out of the stand.

The stand and iPad together are very balanced, so that you hardly notice the extra weight. Because the stand base is as wide as the iPad Mini, it is VERY stable when sitting on a desktop — you would have to push it pretty hard to knock it over. And with the three polyurethane 3M non-skid feet on the bottom of the base, it grips the desktop well. All in all, this stand is extremely sturdy and stable, especially considering how lightweight it is — very impressive!

Using the iPad Mini while in this stand is so much nicer than when it's not in the stand that I pretty much leave it in all the time while at home. The only situation in which I prefer using the iPad out of this case is when I'm lying in bed reading.

But when I'm sitting at my desk working on my Mac, or in my recliner reading (or writing an article, like I am now), having the iPad in this stand makes it MUCH more convenient to use. And when I want to take my iPad with me when I leave the house, it's quick and easy to remove from the stand.

The intriguing image to the right demonstrates one more reason I bought this particular stand: you can unscrew the base from the shaft, which leaves a standard 1/4" threaded socket in the bottom of the shaft, turning the stand into a tripod-mountable accessory!

I have some upcoming projects for which I needed this capability. That's what got me on the search for a stand. There are other iPad Mini tripod stands out there, but I figured, why buy two, when I can get an awesome stand for normal use PLUS a tripod-capable stand all in one?

Of course, at $70, Thought Out's solution is pretty spendy (as they say in Oregon). But for my needs, it's the perfect stand, with dual functionality. In addition, Thought Out is a small American company, which proclaims on their Web site: "With only American design, materials, and labor, all of the products are proudly produced within the United States." Purchasing their products will give you warm fuzzy feelings in your patriotic heart! Besides, I was able to purchase the stand on Amazon for only $56, which makes it easier to shell out that kind of money.

Well, I can't tell you every detail about this stand here, so be sure to visit its product page to find out more. There is also a 12-image slide show which demonstrates the stand's functionality from numerous angles. Lastly, there's this YouTube video which will give you a taste for more:
Just in case you're curious, this entire article was typed on my iPad Mini while it was nestled in the loving arms of this stand!
UPDATE 22 November 2013: This stand works just fine with my new iPad Mini (2) Retina!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 276
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 276
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