Maclocks recently introduced an iPad stand for the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and to discover if it would be of benefit to designers I decided to test it out. The biggest question I had was, why would I spend a fair chunk of cash on a stand when I can just use Apple's Smart Case?
Skipping to the end, the reason is sturdiness. Maclocks' Cling 2.0 stand is a substantial beast, and there is none of the clever magnetic trickery or easy-to-use spring-n-snap clasps – you lock your slate in place with an Allen key and the whole thing is screwed or stuck to your desk.
What this does, of course, is make your pricey possession way more difficult to steal. Handy. But that is just a happy side-effect for us designers, because the main benefit here is that there is none of the wobble that you get when using cheaper, more flexible stands – particularly when using a sketch app with a stylus such as the Apple Pencil.
At least, that's the theory. And while the Cling 2.0 is much sturdier than non-fixed iPad stands, there is still enough wobble to make it not quite the ultimate digital easel. It is acceptably sturdy but the dreaded 'W' word rears its head here: Wacom's Ergo Stand for its Cintiq range is still vastly preferable for the frequent-use digital artist, as is the Ergotron arm.
Move away from professional digital art use, though, and the Cling 2.0 makes more sense. It is simple enough to clamp your iPad to the stand, and once there you can easily rotate it between landscape and portrait mode. It also rotates on its base should you wish to adjust the viewing angle.
There is a slot for your charging cable to be routed through the back of the stand, and is has a very sleek, almost OE feel – especially in the silver-grey that I specified.
Non-Pro owners will be happy to know that it is also compatible with the iPad Air and various other previous generations, as well as various other manufacturers' tablets up to 13-inches in size.
So the Maclock Cling 2.0 has answered my initial question, but after our test I have been left with another question, which is perhaps more difficult to answer – if it's positioned between the Smart Case and the Ergo Stand, does that leave the Cling 2.0 caught between two stools?