remacable: “Compass is about the best iPad stand on the market, bar none.”

remarkable featuring Twelve South Compass for iPad

Remacable, which is designed to be “celebrating the remarkable people and products of the finest tech community on earth,” likes to do in-depth product reviews. Here at Twelve South, there’s nothing we enjoy more than having real people using real products — not merely showing product photos, but showing their own setup using Twelve South products.

So we were pretty excited to discover today’s remacable feature on our Compass.

Here’s a bit of the review we thought you’d enjoy:

See the iPad? Good. See the iPad stand? No? Good! That’s the first way in which the Compass beats other iPad stands – it gets out of the way. Compare with RadTech’s OmniStand or Griffin’s Loop, both of them perfectly adequate stands, both of them perfectly ugly, shamelessly drawing attention to themselves at all times. I prefer the minimal, elegant design of the Compass. Even when it’s fully deployed, you can barely see it.

Holding the Compass in your hands, one thing becomes immediately obvious – the rock solid, stunningly precise build quality. It feels more like a surgeon’s tool than a consumer electronics accessory. And because it’s constructed from steel, it’s not feather-light either; it has a reassuring weight, a heft all its own. That’s definitely a good thing, given how you’re going to rely on it to support the pound-and-a-half glass and metal of your iPad.

Twelve South Compass for iPad remacable review

Whether you position your iPad in portrait or landscape mode, the Compass does an impressive job, holding it steady even when tapping firmly on the screen. I had to learn to trust it though – I didn’t quite believe that I could dare tap away with merry abandon on the iPad without causing it to topple. It never did, it never has. That’s not to say you should feel free to get all ham-fisted and start clouting the iPad. No stand is going to tolerate that kind of abuse.


Twelve South Compass for iPad remacable review

The iPad doesn’t clip, slot, or snap into anything on the Compass. Gravity does all the work, along with some help from a pair of small fold-out pegs, or feet, at the base of the legs. They’re wrapped in smooth rubber, preventing the iPad from slipping and protecting it from scratches. (Twelve South, like Apple, pays attention to the smallest details. They’re as nuts about Apple products as we are – so you can trust they know how to treat our kit carefully.)

I worried that the support feet might get in the way of my hands when typing, but that simply doesn’t happen. They’re never in the way, and, if I’m perfectly honest, I shouldn’t be typing for long periods on the iPad anyway – that’s what my Macs are for.

The feet continue to worry me, but that’s got nothing to do with the Compass; as a child of the 80s, I owned dozens of Transformers, (in those days, believe it or not, children’s toys were often made out of metal!) and I have depressingly-sharp memories of plastic nobbly bits swiftly working-loose or, worse, breaking completely.

Twelve South cannot undo the childhood trauma of losing Starscream’s head (the result of a freak collision with my younger sister’s Big Yellow Teapot – long, long story) but I have to imagine they’ve thought this design through very carefully. Time will tell, but from my experiences in the last week or so, I can tell you that the feet are solid, sturdy and dependable.

Just a word on Wobble. Some reviewers have lamented the fact that, when used flat & horizontal, in “typing mode”, the Compass doesn’t fully support the iPad when tapping along the edges of the screen or hitting the Home button. Well, that’s true: the Compass is a tripod, after all, so if you do absent-mindedly hit the home button, you might be alarmed to discover your iPad tipping to one side.

This isn’t a fault or failing in the Compass design, though clearly it’s a factor to consider when you’re using it. If you’re heavy-handed with your iPad and need full-underside support, the Compass isn’t the best solution (in that case, the very best solution is a product called “your desk”).

If you own an iPad 2 and already bought an Apple Smart Cover, great news – it’s compatible with the Compass. Ain’t it nice when accessories just get along?

Yes, yes it is. Thanks so much for the review. Love your clutter-free desk! Get your own Compass here.

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