I was convinced that it was a given that I could no longer be surprised by a desktop stand for the iPad. There are really only so many forms that a stand to hold a 10-inch tablet upright can take. Well, the Magnus from Ten One surprised me once when we first discovered it and again once I got it in hand to test out, so I stand corrected
The Magnus stand is a product of Ten One Design, the company behind the cool Fling controller and the Pogo Stylus for iPads. The design is minimal, but intelligent, leveraging the magnets already built into the iPad 2 for use with the Smart Cover to attach the stand along the left edge.
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This allows the stand to hold your iPad 2 — it’s for the 2 only as the first model has no magnets — with a bare minimum of extraneous support. There is simply a foot and a cradle to place the iPad, that’s it. No braces on the back, no clips and no easel.
Easily the most impressive thing about the Magnus is it’s incredibly small profile. It barely registers from the front as a slim bit of trim holding the iPad up and outwards with a small foot on the back of the device. It makes for a pretty sweet presentation, almost as if the iPad is floating on its edge.
The magnet attraction is very strong between the stand and the iPad. This is due to the fact that there are magnets in the base, as well as inside the iPad’s edge. This provides a better bond than relying on just one side to do the grabbing.
The rear foot is large enough so that there is never any real fear of the iPad tipping over on casual tapping. You definitely aren’t going to want to be tapping out any lengthy emails while it’s in the stand, but a tap or two to choose a song or launch an app isn’t going to hurt anything. The strength of the magnets and the width of the foot on the back combined make it fairly sturdy, provided you don’t hit it on the back side, of course.
Pushing with any amount of force on the back will tip it off of the stand, but not without taking it past ‘vertical’. If you shift it from the back but don’t get it past the vertical point, it will just settle back onto the foot. Honestly, it’s far more stable than it has any right to be.
The foot alone makes takes up a small amount of space, especially as it’s nearly flat aside from the front lip. This makes it easy to slide under the edge of a monitor or shelf when not in use. There are four rubber feet on the bottom that keep it from scootching across a surface, no matter how smooth. On my granite countertops in the kitchen, it was difficult to make it shift at all ‘accidentally’.
It looks great, with a bead-blasted surface that matches the one found on MacBooks closely. It’s also really good at holding the iPad upright, better than it should be given its design. If you’re looking for a slim, stylish stand for your iPad 2 that takes up the absolute bare minimum of space, the Magnus is a good bet.