Today we’re looking at a group of unique stands for tablets like the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” and the Nook HD+
Some are universal, some are more specific, but there's a full range of exciting materials used. There are stands for tabletops, for your lap, and even a clamp on mount that will go just about anywhere.
Bent Plywood Tablet Stand in Walnut by Ciseal
I wanted to start with a more traditional piece of art. Ciseal is run by one person in Detroit Michigan. Each piece, from larger home furniture pieces to our humble tablet stand, are handmade by engineer-turned furniture artisan, Nicole. If you are familiar with design in any capacity, the name Eames means something to you. The Eameses were a husband and wife team who weren't satisfied with one art form. They dipped their interests into architecture, film, and they even designed some toys. One of their biggest impacts was in furniture. Their bent plywood and molded fiberglass chairs were part of a revolution of people focused design in the 40s and 50s. Inspired by an easily forgotten part of their iconic bent plywood chair, Ciseal's tablet stand is a near copy of the component on the chair that connects the back rest to the seat. Finding beauty in utility is a large part of art and design. Nicole's piece is refined and simple and it is a perfect complement to any sized tablet and even some smartphones. Each piece has four cork “feet” about the size of a dime to protect your furniture below. The stand is 7” tall, 6” wide, and is available in walnut, sapele, or oak finishes. Each stand is made to order in about 2 – 4 weeks.
Wood iPad Stand Live Edge Wood Walnut Docking Station by Grantstands
Continuing the theme of handmade and wooden, the live edge walnut docking station by Grantstands isn't a docking station at all. It is the nicest tablet stand that I've seen to date though. Docking station suggests some type of charging/speaker functionality that this stand doesn't offer, but that's okay, it doesn't need anything else. As well made as the piece from Ciseal is, plywood can't help but feel a bit cold and artificial next to live edge wood that still looks and feels the way it did standing in the ground. It's the difference between fancy modern cooking (or molecular gastronomy) with it's foams, gels, and other manipulations next to a perfectly roasted leg of lamb with rice from someone's Greek grandmother. Doing something simple perfectly is often more difficult than anything else. You have less room to hide when you strip things down. Each Grantstand piece is handmade and it even has it's own individual story AND it's own name. Because of that, you can't buy my stand. You'll never have my stand. It's unique and it will never happen again exactly. You'll end up with the unique opportunity to pick out exactly your piece. As if adopting a member into your furniture family, you'll meet and greet potential matches on Grantstand's site. For example, meet Tayan:
“Tayan, a walnut iPad stand, features a blend of both smoothly sanded and natural live edges. The unusual shape makes Tanyan a desirable piece for anyone. The cut for iPad is made at a 20 degree angle, perfect for most mobile devices and designed for optimal visibility of the screen on any flat surface or desk. The bottom of this Grant Stand called Triumph features rubber feet which are screwed in place with solid brass screws to provide secure cushioning and scuff resistance. This Hand-finished wooden iPad stand is finished with several coats of tung oil wood-finish and a final coat of beeswax to bring out the wood's rich grain and shine. Great for the home, office, or kitchen counter. You will enjoy this hand crafted wood iPad Grant Stand! ”
Prices vary by design, some pieces are harder to craft or very rare and the price will raise accordingly. They also offer stands for iPhone and iPad Mini. Prices start down in the mid-teens for an iPhone stand up to the high seventies at the moment for the nicest tablet stand. Each piece is finished according to the wood and the process is heavily detailed in the stand's origin story. Each piece has rubber feet that are secured with polished brass screws (nice extra touch) to provide cushioning for your furniture below. More than most things that I've featured on the site, these stands are truly functional pieces of art. You imagine the whole Grant family gathers to wave goodbye as the postman picks up the days orders as the craftsman have to say goodbye to another graduating class. Take a look at the latest offerings from the Grant family here. BUY WITH CONFIDENCE.
Wood iPad Stand by Block and Sons Co.
I wanted to LOVE Block and Sons Co. product. The proprietor, Mr. C. Everett Block, insists on speaking in a whimsical far off way from a bygone era.
"Perhaps it is that as long as I can remember, my people have worked with trees and wood to the manner born. My grandsire Oren brought us West from the Old States at full chisel, a fortuitous event, and here we will stay in this verdant oasis until the sun sets before me for the last time. Since they were knee-high to a lamb, my sons, now directly associated with this enterprise, were drawn to the grain of hardwoods like hound-dogs on a scent in any old warehouse, mill pond, sawmill, refuse bin, or the like.
Presently, we are laboring to recue these imperfectly and impossibly beautiful pieces of Oregon timber that would otherwise be burnt or ground up and we permit you to enjoy them for a spell on your desk or work-table...
Most respectfully yours,
C. Everett Block,
Cumberland Block, Farnam Block, Skete Block, Tilrow Block, & Olin Block
Block and Sons Co.
Hardwood Device Furniture
We had a rather spirited email exchange discussing a review of the product and ultimately the product arrived in my office wrapped in butcher's paper and twine. Opening the package reveled a branded logo on the bottom that was a very nice touch befitting the theme of the company. All of the things surrounding Block and Sons stands were awesome, the product itself was less than that unfortunately. The craftsman ship is fine, but just fine. Perhaps it was the specific piece that I received but the finish was dull and the design was just uninteresting. Whereas the previous Grantstands piece was an exotic and uniquely formed natural sculpture, the Block and Sons stand was much more, well... Blocky. These are predominately just wood blocks.
Each piece will have the four rubber feet for stability and protection. The notch to hold the tablet will fit any iPad except the 1st generation and will hold the Nook and Kindle comfortably. You'll find a live edge on some designs, but mine personally didn't have one. To be completely honest, the one detailed edge on my piece that wasn't squared off looked as if a dremel tool was used to try to (unsuccessfully) add the look of something more unique. Perhaps they were worm holes, but it just isn't an appealing look in my opinion. Like with Grantstands, the wood used is sustainably sourced and very beautiful. Block and Sons boasts of it's local Oregon hardwoods, but I didn't feel that the fit and finish of the end result did enough to celebrate what nature provided. Unfortunately I can't recommend their pieces over the more affordable, well finished, and diverse offerings from Grantstands.
Unite Clamp universal tablet mount by the joy factory
The Nook and Kindle both have reading pedigrees. While the other stands are more suited for coffee tables or kitchen counters, I wanted to focus on bedside as well. Curling up with a good book doesn't look the same in 2013. The Unite Clamp tablet mount might seem complicated at first glance, but in 5 minutes you can be curled up in bed hands-free, with the warm glow of your favorite tome's electronic pages in front of you.
The universal mount fits any 7” to 10” tablet with adjustable arms. Assembly is very simple and the carbon fiber arms are lightweight but amazingly strong. The joints of the arm are spherical so you can rotate to just the right angle while adjusting. The base has a clamp that will attach to any surface that it can fit on up to 3” thick. It fit perfectly on my nightstand's edge. They also make versions with tripod mounts, wall/cabinet mounts, car headrest and seatbolt mounts, and even a wheelchair version.
It's easy to adjust, but there are a couple of steps involved to get the perfect fit. Above all else the arm is sturdy while locked in place. You can lie in bed and have it clamped to a side table or even your bed frame. With a max length of 21”, it can be positioned comfortably in front of your face for books, movies, or anything else. BUY WITH CONFIDENCE.
padRelax by padRelax
This last one is fun. The padRelax is just different enough to get some attention. It's a small lap pillow that is made specifically for a tablet big or small. A large range of colors, patterns, and fabrics mean that first and foremost you'll have the look that you want. Animal prints, hearts, argyle, and of course solid colors; the designs are constantly changing. Each piece is handmade in Germany and comes with a warranty certificate.
The thing that makes this more than just a pillow is a small elastic belt across the front that allows you to position your tablet just so on your lap and relax as it stays put. The pillows are filled with polystyrene balls and which allows it to be machine washable and lightweight. It's comfortably soft while still firm enough to keep your device in place. There is a full sized version for 10” tablets and a mini version for 7” tablets. There are even premium Leather versions of the pad which will cost you more than five times the price of a normal padRelax, but look (and I'm sure feel) amazing. Great if you like to lie in bed propped up by pillows while relaxing.
Thank you again to the companies above for supplying their product for this review.
ENJOY YOUR GADGETS!