Smart Satechi stand floats your iPad over your keyboard [Review]

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Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand for iPad review
The Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand securely holds a variety of tablets, in portrait or landscape orientations.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The redesigned Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand transforms your iPad into a desktop computer. And it looks great doing so, holding the tablet so it seems to float over your keyboard.

I added the accessory to my office. Here’s how it works in real life.

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Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand for iPad review

The iPad is so powerful and capable that it’s the only computer many people need. Especially as you can easily hook an external keyboard and mouse to it now. But you need a stand to hold up the device when acting as a desktop computer.

Satechi’s latest is an outstanding option. (See what I did there?) It firmly supports the tablet, and the dual-hinge design lets you position the screen at a wide variety of heights and angles. The effect is reminiscent of Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad. From the front, the tablet seems to be floating over the keyboard.

However, a keyboard isn’t required. This accessory can prop up the tablet with its bottom edge on a tabletop. In this configuration, you can type on the screen or draw with a stylus.

This is Satechi’s second version of this stand. The original had a more lightweight base, which likely made it a bit less stable.

Two hinges allow Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand to hold an iPad at a wide variety of angles.
A solid base makes Satechi’s latest iPad stand very stable. And two hinges make it flexible.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Hardware and design

The Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand for iPad has a two-hinge design. The one at the base can rotate over 135 degrees, while the one just below the mount can rotate 180 degrees.

So far, I cannot find a height or an angle that I’d want to put my iPad at that the stand can’t conform to. I’m not picky about the angle of my screen when I’m typing, but I need an exact angle for FaceTime/Zoom calls. This stand is ideal for that.

The highest I can get the computer above the tabletop with the screen pointed forward is 2.8 inches. If that matters to you.

The hinges are firm. They take a bit of effort to adjust, which means the tablet doesn’t move unless you want it to. There’s no quivering when I tap on the screen, and I can easily draw on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil.

Given the name, you really shouldn’t be surprised the Aluminum Desktop Stand for iPad is composed primarily of aluminum. It weighs 1.3 pounds, and much of that weight is in the base. That makes it a stable platform to hold your expensive tablet. No matter how I set the hinges, my 12.9-inch iPad Pro never becomes top-heavy.

The mount curls up at the bottom to securely hold the iPad. The “lip” is about 0.25 inches deep, and it’s padded. There are more pads on the mount to prevent the tablet from getting scratched. But the iPad isn’t clipped in. If something hits it hard enough from the back, it can topple forward.

The stand is very well-made, attractive and rugged. It fits well in my office.

Wide compatibility

Satechi’s stand can be used with the iPad in either landscape or portrait orientation. There’s a hole in the mount that a charging cable can pass through when in portrait mode.

This is probably obvious, but you can use a wide variety of tablets in this stand. I tried it with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, all the way down to an 8-inch Android model.

This desktop accessory folds up, making it a bit easier to carry around. But it’s not fully designed for portability. Here’re the best way I can explain that: You can carry around a full-size desktop keyboard, too, but it’s not really portable. Satechi’s stand is the same way.

The Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand pairs well with a full-size keyboard.
Your iPad is already your couch computer and your vacation computer. With this stand, it can also be your desktop computer.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand for iPad final thoughts

An iPad with a full-size keyboard and the Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand makes a great home computer. Or even a work computer. (It’s everything I need.) Add a mouse if you prefer.

A highlight is the stand’s extreme flexibility. Arrange it one way for typing on an external keyboard, change the angle to watch video, and then reconfigure to drawing on your iPad.

Plus, the stand looks good and feels quite sturdy.

Pricing and comparison

Satechi’s price for its Aluminum Desktop Stand is $44.99.

For comparison, take a look at the Wiplabs Slope ($39.99). This is elegant, but not anywhere near as flexible.

The lightweight previous version of Satechi’s iPad stand is on Amazon for $34.99. It’s more portable, but not as stable.

There are loads of cheaper options out there. Just be careful about putting your precious computer in something poorly designed/manufactured.

Satechi provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.