Five dirt-cheap iPad stands
Whoopsie, Apple, you forgot to build in a kickstand. Fortunately, there are many cheap (and even free) ways to prop up an iPad.
Nothing, of course. (Does Apple sell anything in the $5-$10 range?) Fortunately, if all you want to do is prop up your iPad for movie viewing, recipe reading, photo slideshow-ing, or whatever, you can buy or build a perfectly good stand for cheap. These five candidates cost anywhere from nothing to around $7. Take a look:
1. Think the kids will miss a handful of Tinkertoys? If not, do like Ramin Firoozye and whip together a simple, sturdy stand using just a dozen or so parts. Total cost: $0.
2. In that same vein, Lego whiz Jeff Eaton built a slick-looking iPad stand he calls the MkII. The angled uprights look a bit tricky to me, but I'm sure anyone in possession of a box of bricks can whip up something similar.
3. A simple book stand (sometimes known as a study stand) can pull double duty as an iPad holder. Buy.com has the Fellowes Study Stand for just $4.99 shipped. It's made of steel and has rubber tips to avoid scratching your tabletop--or iPad.
4. Know what else works well as a poor man's iPad stand? An easel, like the kind that display framed photos. Bed Bath & Beyond has a clear, folding easel for $5.99 (plus sales tax in most states, and plus shipping if you don't have a store near you).
5. One of the first third-party stands made especially for the iPad, the all-wood Groovy Stand is, well, groovy! It's available in three colors--brown, black, and natural--and sells for $6.95 (plus around $3 for shipping). You can see it "in action" below:
Admittedly, these options don't dock or recharge your iPad, but most of them leave room for you to easily plug in your charge/sync cable.
Have you found a good, inexpensive iPad stand or used your MacGyver skills to engineer one? If so, tell me all about it in the comments--and be sure to include links to your photos!