The hallmark of the FlipStands tablet stand ($30 MSRP, but available online for under $15) is its versatility. Weighing just six ounces, this plastic stand provides 20 viewing angles plus a dedicated typing position, all in a package that folds flat for easy transport—it fits easily in a backpack, tote, shoulder bag, slip case, or brief case.
Looks are not the FlipStands’ strong suit—made of black, heavy-gauge-plastic, it’s not designed to enhance your home decor. The stand features two thin, rubber bumpers across the back to keep your tablet from slipping around, as well as four rubber pads on the bottom. A pair of plastic brackets with rubberized interior ridges hold your tablet securely in either portrait or landscape orientation.
At 8 inches high by 5 inches wide (and just over 0.4 inches thick when folded up), the FlipStands can accommodate iPads and other tablets from 5 to 11 inches in size. The brackets are large enough to fit a tablet in a thin case.
If your tablet charges using a Lightning-connector or standard USB cable, a cutout just above the bracket is large enough to string that cable through to charge in portrait orientation. If you’ve got an older (30-pin-connector) iPad, you can still do this, but you’ll need to thread the cable through USB-end first—it’s easier to just connect the cable in landscape orientation.
My biggest complaints about the FlipStands stand are that it feels a little flimsy and plasticky, and that sometimes the little rubber brackets pop off, although they fit back into place with an easy snap.
If you need a stand for use on flat surfaces, and that you can toss in your bag or briefcase, the FlipStands is a good prospect. While the construction feels a bit dime-store thanks to the lightweight plastic, and the stand isn’t exactly attractive, it’s not meant for home decoration. Rather, it’s intended to provide a flexible, portable way to hold your tablet at multiple viewing angles—and that mission is accomplished.
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Jackie is a tech writer and editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her specialties include Apple hardware and software, art, design, photography, video, AR, VR and 3D, and a wide range of creative and productivity apps and systems.