capsule review

Luxa2 H4 iPad stand

At a Glance
  • Luxa2 H4 iPad stand

    Macworld Rating

    The H4 is an impressive iPad stand that offers 360-degree rotation, 300-degree tilt, the flexibility to accommodate an iPad in a case, and an Apple-inspired design. Just make sure you have room on your...

If you don't need portability, Luxa2's solid-aluminum H4 stand (apparently also called the Mobile Holder H4) is one of the most versatile iPad stands I've seen.

The H4's wide base looks much like the stands for Apple's aluminum iMac and Cinema Display. At the top of that base is an articulating cradle with two short "arms" and two longer, V-shaped "legs"—the arms and "knees" hold your iPad in place horizontally, while the "feet" act as a base when in portrait orientation. By pushing these feet firmly inward or pulling them outward, you can adjust the width of the stand.

This adjustable width allows the H4 to accommodate devices from 5.7 to 8.2 inches wide—which means the H4 works great with an iPad, but also with other tablet-style devices, such as Amazon's Kindle. The H4 can even fit an iPad inside a case—as long as the case doesn't add more than half an inch to the width of the device, or more than a quarter-inch or so of thickness to the back of the iPad—giving the H4 a big advantage over many other stands right from the start.

A tacky pad on the front of the H4's cradle, along with rubber bumpers at the end of each arm and leg, as well as at the "knees," hold your iPad securely while keeping it from being scratched by the metal stand.

The H4's secure grip comes in handy, because the H4's other marquee feature is the pivoting, rotating hinge between the cradle and the base. With a gentle spin, you can rotate the cradle 360 degrees, letting you easily switch your iPad from portrait orientation to landscape mode. And when it comes to viewing angle, you get more flexibility than with any other iPad stand I've tested: you can adjust the cradle's angle from approximately 15 degrees from vertical all the way to horizontal...and then keep going until the iPad is facing the opposite direction, at a similar angle of approximately 15 degrees from vertical. (The company lists the tilt range as 300 degrees.) Although I never needed to flip my iPad all the way over, I imagine being able to do so might come in handy when, for example, demonstrating something on the screen to someone seated across a table or counter.

The H4 weighs about a pound and stands over 8 inches tall, nearly 6 inches wide, and just under 5.5 inches deep, so it's not portable. But as a desktop stand, it works great for watching video, reading, typing using a Bluetooth keyboard, or any other use where you want to keep the iPad upright and conveniently positioned. There's also plenty of clearance for connecting Apple's USB dock-connector cable for charging and syncing.

I have only two complaints with the H4. The first is purely aesthetic: while the stand's design gives it lot of flexibility, it also makes the H4 a bit awkward-looking without an iPad in place. Some other (less-functional) stands look quite a bit better sitting empty on your desk.

The second complaint, on the other hand, has to do with function: The cradle's tilt hinge isn't quite tight enough. When the iPad is vertical, pressing the Home button without bracing the iPad from behind inevitably changes the angle of the cradle, and even typing firmly on the onscreen keyboard sometimes has the same result. Tightening the hinge assembly's four hex bolts helps a bit, but I was never able to get the hinge tight enough to prevent such movement. (This isn't an issue when positioned horizontally.) If Luxa2 tweaks this hinge to allow the user to adjust the tightness as desired, the H4 will be an outstanding stand. As it is, it's an impressive product.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    The H4 is an impressive iPad stand that offers 360-degree rotation, 300-degree tilt, the flexibility to accommodate an iPad in a case, and an Apple-inspired design. Just make sure you have room on your desk, because all this versatility requires some bulk.

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