If you think of the iPad as a computer screen, and you use it that way, sooner or later you're going to want to find a way to get it to sit on your desk properly.
A Smart Cover or a little dock can hold it upright, but usually at only one angle. A case, maybe a few angles. The VersaStand is a full-on bendable multiangle armature for the iPad that turns Apple's tablet into the closest thing to a desk computer accessory that I've ever seen.
The VersaStand by Ergotech feels so simple and useful, I wonder why we don't see it more. It's an iPad stand, made with several flexible joints, out of industrial Mac- or iPad-colored aluminum. It's surprisingly reasonably priced, too, at $79 to $99 from the few online vendors we've seen carrying it so far.
The VersaStand is aces in design: The minimalist industrial chic fits perfectly on a desk with other Mac equipment. Three different joints let the arm bend to a variety of angles, almost like a little Luxo lamp. Rubber feet keep the stand solidly in place, and all joints are stiff enough to keep an iPad wobble-free in all positions.
With the VersaStand connected, your iPad suddenly feels a lot more like a second monitor. Angle adjustments are easily accomplished, and it feels perfect next to a laptop or desktop setup.
It's not just for use on a desk: it could easily work for an iPad-as-TV, as a kitchen counter tool, or even to set up with a keyboard beneath as a different type of work interface.
Attaching an iPad (second- through fourth-generation) is extremely simple, because the stand relies on a plastic iPad cover as its mounting bracket. The cover has a large aluminum ring that acts as the mounting connector. On the VersaStand, two large metal buttons release the iPad or let you snap it in. Once in, the iPad fluidly rotates 360 degrees for easy switching between portrait landscape views. The back cover can stay on your iPad -- it's Smart Cover-compatible and has holes for the camera and all buttons and connectors. It's a little thick because of the circle on the back, but it looks perfectly capable otherwise.
The VersaStand is 9.3 inches tall, so it's not huge. Better yet, it only weighs 1.2 pounds with the case. It all folds down extremely compactly to fit in a small bag.
I have a few minor concerns: the back cover's plastic construction could potentially break over time -- and what then? Ergotech will be selling the case separately, and in iPad Mini and Galaxy Tab configurations as well, but right now it's just a single-item pack-in for the large iPad. Also, the stand doesn't have any advanced dock functions. To sync or charge, you have to plug a cord into the connector port on the iPad and have it jut from the side. I don't know if there really could have been a better solution to that design problem, though.
The bottom line is that for those who want to turn an iPad into a flexible display, the VersaStand looms uniquely, and impressively, over the accessory landscape.