Griffin Technology Loop
One of the simplest iPad stands we've tested, Griffin Technology's aptly named Loop is a weighted, plastic, oval ring, with a pair of grooves for holding your iPad upright and rubber feet to keep the stand from sliding around your desk or counter.
The Loop takes up a decent amount of desk space, at about 7.8 inches from front to back and 5.9 inches wide. When using the Loop as an upright stand, you place your iPad—in either landscape or portrait orientation—in the aforementioned pair of grooves, which results in the iPad leaning back approximately 15 to 20 degrees from vertical, a pretty good angle for watching video or using an external keyboard. In my testing, the Loop is quite stable when used this way: Tapping near the top edge of the iPad does result in a bit of wobbling, and if you push firmly against the top edge of a vertically oriented iPad, you can tip it over, but thanks to the Loop's 12.4-ounce weight, the stand holds your iPad steady enough to interact normally with the touchscreen. (The Loop's grooves are large enough to accommodate an iPad inside all but the thickest of cases, although the thicker the case, the more upright the iPad will sit.)
The design of the Loop allows you to use Apple's USB dock-connector cable to charge and sync the iPad even when oriented vertically—and without having to flip the iPad upside-down, as is the case with some other stands. The Loop elevates the bottom of the iPad far enough off the desk or counter for the dock-connector cable to plug in, and a slight arch in the rear of the Loop lets the cable run under the back edge to reduce cable clutter. On the other hand, the Loop doesn't offer enough clearance for some third-party dock-connector cables with thicker cables or larger plugs.
The Loop can also be used as a "typing" stand thanks to its sloped design. If instead of inserting your iPad into the stand's two grooves, you lay it flat—again, in either portrait or landscape orientation—on top of the Loop, the stand holds your iPad at an angle approximately 40 degrees from flat, which is a pretty good compromise position for both typing on the iPad's onscreen keyboard and viewing the screen. A slight lip at the front of the Loop keeps your iPad from sliding off. Heavy-fingered typists may find that tapping near the edges of the iPad's screen in landscape orientation produces a slight wobble, but overall the Loop is stable here, too.
To protect your iPad from scuffs and scratches, the top of the Loop and the lining of both grooves are covered with softer, but still stiff, material.
Despite its simplicity, the Loop works well, as long as its limited angles are to your liking. (And to be fair, Griffin Technology has chosen angles that are close to ideal for the most common stand uses.) The fact that the Loop can be used as both an upright stand and a typing stand makes it more versatile than some competing products, while it's also among the least expensive iPad stands we've tested.
Griffin Technology Loop
Despite its simplicity, the Loop works well, as long as its limited angles are to your liking. It's sturdy, it can be used as both an upright stand and a typing stand, and it's among the least expensive iPad stands we've tested.