capsule review

Tango Product Design Vue-console

At a Glance
  • Tango Product Design Vue-console

Tango Product Design's Vue-console is a lightweight desktop stand that places your iPad at a traditional computer-screen height. The Vue’s claim to fame is that it provides an ergonomic height for hands-free viewing of the iPad in either portrait or landscape orientation, but the stand also allows you to use the iPad as, say, a second display for your computer (with the right software, of course).

Made of an extruded-honeycomb polymer, the Vue-Console folds flat for easy storage and portability. It's a little bulkier than a paper notebook, but at 10 ounces, it's also a bit lighter. The iPad sits inside a grove lined with soft padding, and an adjustable plastic anchor—connected to an elastic band—stretches up and clips around the iPad's top edge to hold the tablet in place. (A thicker rubber band is also included in the package so you can bind the iPad and the stand together for travel, but it's not a secure or optimal way to carry your iPad.)

While the Vue-console doesn't intentionally favor a landscape orientation, that arrangement seems like a more-natural fit, as the entire contraption's center of gravity is lower than when the iPad is sitting upright. Landscape mode is also the only one that accommodates the iPad's dock-connector cable for syncing and charging, as in portrait orientation, the stand blocks the iPad's dock-connector port (unless you turn the iPad upside-down). Also, if you place the iPad in portrait orientation right-side-up, the stand's groove covers the Home button, though you can still click it through the frame.

Unlike many other iPad stands, the Vue-console isn't designed for onscreen typing. Because of its light weight and tall profile—it holds your iPad nearly six inches off your desk—typing or tapping on the iPad's screen tends to make the whole apparatus wobbly. You'll definitely want to use an external keyboard if you plan on doing a lot of typing. The Vue is best for reading, viewing video, and light scrolling. I can even see where artists could use the Vue-console as an easel, since you can sit comfortably, do some light drawing, and pinch and expand to resize the screen. The Vue console rests also comfortably in your lap as you’re sitting on the couch or watching videos in bed.

The Vue-console works with both the original iPad and the iPad 2; it also accommodates an iPad in a very thin cover or case (such as Apple's Smart Cover). You can also use it with a Nook or Kindle tablet.

Our review sample leaned a bit to one side, which was more noticeable with the iPad in the portrait position. While I could see the entire screen, the view was somewhat off, which bugged me. This flaw also made me wonder about the long-term durability of the Vue-console—would its lightweight construction make it susceptible to bending or other damage over the long haul?

While the Vue-console may not prove as durable in the long term as some other stands, and because of its material, it may be more sensitive to liquids being spilled on it than its chrome or metal counterparts. But if a high viewing position and light weight are what you’re after, the Vue-console could do the trick.

At a Glance
  • The Vue-console is a lightweight alternative to many available iPad stands, and it folds conveniently into a protective carrier. However, it isn't the most stable or durable stand.

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