There’s no such thing as a perfect accessory. Although many come close to fitting specific needs very well, not one is left without need of improvement and that’s certainly how I’ve ended up feeling about kubxlab’s mÕna stand. Despite it not being brand new on the market, I’ve only recently come across it, and having seen the design I just had to get my hands on it to try it out.
First things first: looks. This stand is beautiful. Possibly the best looking stand I’ve reviewed. When closed it has all the right sweeps and curves, with an elegant rotational joint at the end. It looks like it belongs on the set of a sci-fi movie. It’s made almost entirely from plastic, with a grippy silicone on its heel, and lining the “hands”. Don’t let the materials fool you in to thinking it appears cheap. Quite the opposite. A lot of work has gone in to making this eye candy. The two arms are easily separated by either pulling them apart, or by rotating the two sections of the joint in opposite directions. Its size, shape and weight mean that it’s very portable too.
The mÕna stand’s design virtually forces you to try it out in portrait mode first, and in this viewing mode it’s extremely versatile. It provides a sturdy base for your iPad, and by sliding the grips up and down the edges of your tablet you can adjust the angle. It has two other modes too: Landscape and Incline. Incline is a great typing angle, and provides a relatively safe surface for typing on the onscreen QWERTY keyboard.
It’s in landscape mode that the stand lets itself down. Personally, I use stands for the iPad predominantly to watch videos. I sometimes use it with a wireless keyboard for typing up reviews or other documents, but almost always in landscape mode. Although this stand holds well in this mode, the fact it’s got a “hand” underneath the edge of the iPad means that my tablet isn’t perfectly level. It’s at enough of an off-angle to put me off. That could be my OCD, or it could just be that the designers made a compromise and chose looks over performance. In my mind though, there’s a simple solution: change the design of the hands so that it doesn’t just grip on to the edges using the grooves on the inside. On the top edge of the grip is a small hook-like shape. With a slight change to make this part a deeper and gripper grove you could easily use this to hold on to the same edge of tablet. The “hands” might then need to be a bit fatter, but that’s okay, at least it’d work well in landscape mode.
Apart from that one obvious flaw in design, the aesthetics, portability and performance in typing and portrait modes did impress me enough to give it a seven out of ten overall. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s definitely beautiful. The mÕna stand is available in white, black and red for $29.95 over at kubxlab’s site.