capsule review

Bweasel iPad Stand

At a Glance
  • Bweasel iPad Stand

    Macworld Rating

    This easel-inspired iPad stand is thin and light and offers multiple reading, typing, and viewing angles. When attached, it also provides a place to grip the iPad. However, it doesn't accommodate an iPad...

The Bweasel is an unobtrusive, polished-black-metal accessory that weighs only about 3 ounces, making it ideal for travel. But unlike most easel-style stands, the Bweasel is designed wrap itself around your iPad to serve as a secure holder and stand—if you’re toting the tablet from one room or office to the next, you can use it as a carrier to distribute the iPad's weight on your hand or arm as you walk around, without risking it crashing to the floor.

I admit I was a bit leery of pulling the device onto my iPad, because it takes some muscle to get it properly positioned (and you'll want to keep the bottom brace well away from the iPad's Side Switch). In fact, the simple-looking contraption has enough swinging, moving parts to inspire at least a passing glance at the instruction manual. And the Bweasel moves tightly on the iPad’s back and glass front of the tablet in a way that rather alarmed me at first. Yet despite the tight fit, the stand does not mark or otherwise injure the iPad’s front or back.

(I used the original Bweasel with a first-generation iPad. The company says it will be producing a version specifically made for the iPad 2—there’s no way to adjust the stand’s wraparound clips, so while the original iPad fits tightly in the vice-like Bweasel, the iPad 2 swims in the same space.)

Because of the tight fit, don’t bother trying to use the Bweasel with an iPad in any kind of case. On the other hand, the Bweasel itself is light and thin enough to slide into other iPad cases—specifically, sleeves, zippered sleeves, and bags and packs.

The beauty of the Bweasel is that its frame has a lever at the back that lets you prop the iPad—in landscape orientation—at practically any angle from bolt-upright to almost flat. The lever stability is accomplished by two screws that turn in opposite directions. I thought it would be a bit of a challenge to get the lever locked firmly enough to keep the stand stable, but I was able to type on the iPad's screen in a semi-upright position without feeling that the stand might topple over. I also placed the Bweasel/iPad combo on my knee and used it for reading and typing, and remained stable though it wasn't the most comfortable use.

Since the iPad's dock-connector remains exposed, you can plug in your dock-connector cable to charge or sync with the iPad in landscape orientation. In portrait orientation, however, there's not enough room to attach the cable to the bottom of the iPad unless you turn the iPad upside-down.

You can also use the Bweasel as a simple stand, without sliding it tightly onto the iPad, by folding the Bweasel's top clip back and setting the iPad "in" the lower clip. I actually preferred this approach, as it's easier to pick up the iPad and change its orientation without having to remove the tablet from the stand.

Any way you prefer to use it, the Bweasel is a valuable addition to your iPad, though I think its $30 price tag is rather steep.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    This easel-inspired iPad stand is thin and light and offers multiple reading, typing, and viewing angles. When attached, it also provides a place to grip the iPad. However, it doesn't accommodate an iPad in a protective case.

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