The people at Thought Out seem to work hard to live up to their company’s name. Their latest iPad stand — the Stabile Pro — is an excellent example of this. Improving on the original Stabile, the Stabile Pro is the Cadillac of such stands: solidly built, well-appointed, heavy, and pricey.
Like the original, the Stabile Pro features a wide, solid base fashioned from about 4 pounds of American-made steel sitting on top of rubber feet that keep it from scuffing any surface you set it on. Whereas the original had a fixed framework on top of it, though, the Pro version’s base attaches to its butterfly frame by means of a screw-down ball joint that allows you up to 80° of motion range in any direction. The edges of the frame are coated with thick plastic bumpers to ensure you won’t scratch your iPad by accident, and they’re positioned so you can set your iPad on them in either landscape or portrait position.
I use the military-grade Griffin Survivor to protect my iPad 2 from the kind of wear and tear my kids put it through, and I’m not about to yank the device in and out of the case just to be able to put it on a stand. The Stabile Pro’s curved frame, though, is wide enough to accommodate even such a thick, over-engineered case with ease. The frame also comes with a charging cord guide cut into its back so you can keep everything neat and orderly when you charge your iPad while it’s in the stand.
If you pair the Stabile Pro with a bluetooth keyboard, the stand’s height helps transform the iPad into a viable laptop alternative for many tasks. In fact, because of the height to which it raises the screen and the variability of angles it can hold the iPad at, it makes for even better ergonomics than most laptops could hope to muster.
The only downside to the Stabile Pro is the price. It comes in three different finishes — black, white, and silver — and the black retails for $85, while the white and silver will set you back a cool $100. (If they have refurbed units in stock, you can grab them for $15 off.) If you’re looking for a top-level, well-engineered stand, though, and you can afford it, put one of these on your desk.
Stabile Pro (Black: $84.99, Silver or White: $99.99)
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this item for free.