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Everyone, from the most serious business user to the biggest Netflix junkie, needs to stand the iPad up sometimes. A dedicated stand, like the übercool Fixie from Incipio, provides more stability than a Smart Cover, but be forewarned that your relationship with it might hit a few snags in the beginning.
The Fixie is made of aircraft grade aluminum, which is a fancy way of saying it’s rugged and lightweight. The Fixie comes as two pieces: you have the main arc piece, and another piece that you slide into either side of the main piece to set the orientation. It sounds confusing, and that’s because it is. There are times when I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing, and it took me a while to figure it out without having to use the included cheat sheet. Fortunately, once you get it figured out, the stand works as advertised.
You can orient your Fixie in four ways: two more-upright angles for watching movies or presenting slide shows, and two lower angles for typing or simply scrolling around. Typing mode feels comfortable and ergonomically sound, despite the inherent awkwardness of typing on a touchscreen, and viewing mode works well for propping up your iPad on a nightstand or aircraft table tray.
Fixie bikes have one speed, but the Fixie stand has four angles.
The Fixie did feel a little flimsy at times, though. The rubber grips on the main piece of the frame are easy to pull off with a bit of tugging, exposing the glue underneath. And its curved shape makes it a little awkward to carry around--when my messenger bag is already crammed with my iPad and laptop, the Fixie is the last thing I want to try to fit in there.
The bottom line. The Fixie gets credit for its cool design, light weight (6 ounces) and four viewing angles. It’s also a third of the price of my preferred foldable stand, the Rokstand ($119, www.rokform.com). I just wish it was a little easier to use, and to carry.
iPad, third-party tablet of any kind
Four different orientations. Folds up for travel. Affordable.
Major learning curve for figuring out how to use it. While it folds, it doesn’t fold totally flat.