Compass Mobile Stand
Compass in Tap! Magazine, Apr. 11
Compass in Wired, Dec. 10
Compass in MacWorld, Dec. 10
Compass in ShopSmart, Dec. 10
Compass in Geo Saison, Dec. 10
Compass in Mac & i, Mar. 2011
Compass in Mac Fan, Nov./Dec. 10
Compass in iPhone Life, Nov./Dec. 11
It can hold your iPad in landscape, portrait, or typing orientation; it's rock-solid; it folds up small enough to fit in the pen organizer of many bags; and it looks great.
4.5 out of 5 Mice ... Read More
There are quite a few stands out there designed to let you prop up your iPad for better screen viewing or easier typing, but few of those stands are great for travel—most sacrifice stability, versatility, or build quality in the name of saving space and weight. Twelve South's $40, Compass Mobile Stand for iPad is the exception. This easel-style stand is stable, versatile, and rock-solid.
The Compass consists of several pieces of heavy-guage, powder-coated steel: two front legs and one rear leg that come together at a double-hinged section at the top of the stand. (These are sturdy, metal hinges, not flimsy ones.) Each of the legs sports a smaller, fold-out support arm integrated into the leg itself—more on these arms in a bit.
Unlike some of the other steel stands we've tested, the Compass doesn't have sharp or rough edges that risk scratching your iPad. Even so, every surface that comes in contact with the device is covered in silicone. And, again unlike with many other stands, these silicone areas are an integral part of the Compass, not stuck on with adhesive, so they shouldn't come off over time.
When folded up for travel, the Compass is about 7 inches long, 1 inch wide at its widest point, and less than half an inch thick, making it easy to tuck into any bag. It even fits inside some larger iPad sleeveswith your iPad, though you'll want to be sure you tuck the Compass into the included fabric pouch to keep the stand from scratching your iPad.
To use the Compass, you first spread the stand's two front legs, which swing smoothly apart on a large hinge. To prop up your iPad for viewing the screen or using an external keyboard, you then pull the third leg back—it swings smoothly on its own hinge—and then flip down the "cradle" arm on each of the two front legs, forming an easel.
In this configuration, the Compass holds your iPad—in either portrait or landscape orientation, and even in a case—at a fixed, 60-degree angle. The iPad is suspended about an inch off the desk or table, leaving enough room to connect Apple's USB dock-connector cable when the iPad is in portrait orientation. (In landscape orientation, the dock-connector port is off to the side and similarly unobstructed.)
Despite its compact size, the Compass is surprisingly stable in this configuration. With an iPad in landscape mode, even firm taps on the screen result in only a slight shake. In portrait mode, you do need to be careful not to jab too hard near the top of the screen, but for the kind of occasional tapping of onscreen menus and controls you're likely to perform with a propped-up iPad, the Compass performs admirably. In fact, it's more stable than a number of desktop (non-travel) stands we've tested.
If instead of propping up your iPad, you want to position it at a slight incline (to make it easier to see the screen while using the onscreen keyboard), the setup procedure is slightly different. After you've swung the two front legs apart, you leave the back leg in place, but extend the back leg's support arm. This one-inch arm elevates the rear of the Compass just enough to position the iPad, in either portrait or landscape orientation, at a 15-degree incline for touchscreen typing. (Although the Compass doesn't let you adjust either its viewing or typing angle, I found the provided angles to be essentially ideal for their respective purposes.)
As with the easel configuration, this typing mode is quite steady—when typing on the iPad's onscreen keyboard with reasonable force, the iPad doesn't move at all. If you tend to jab the screen hard, on the other hand, typing in landscape orientation—or poking the upper-left or -right corner of the screen—can cause a bit of bouncing that can lead to the iPad gradually sliding down the stand (unless you extend the arms on the front legs, which protrude just far enough beyond the front of the iPad to poke your palms uncomfortably). But over many typing sessions, I rarely found this to be an issue.
Alas, all this stability and versatility comes at a price: At just under seven ounces, the Compass feels as hefty as it looks.
If those seven ounces of weight are an acceptable addition to your travel bag, however, the Compass is an outstanding stand. It can hold your iPad in landscape, portrait, or typing orientation; it's rock-solid; it folds up small enough to fit in the pen organizer of many bags; and it looks great.
One of the very best stands released for the.. iPad. A- Highly Recommended ... Read More
With the debut of Apple's second-generation iPad just around the corner, we wanted to revisit a number of stands for the first-generation model to see which have come closest to getting a "right" formula for design, materials, and pricing. As is always the case, it's unclear as to whether these stands will be compatible with the revised shape and size of new iPad models, so our ratings are based solely on their suitability for use with the original iPad.
We’re just going to come right out and say it: putting the issue of its value as an iPad stand aside, we haven’t been able to take our hands off of Twelve South’s Compass ($40) for the two weeks we’ve been actively testing it. Made from lightly gloss-coated silver steel with rubber pads in all the right places, this foldable metal stand inspires so much fidgeting when it’s not in use that we’ve found ourselves constantly picking it up and playing with its hinges, opening and closing the stand enough times to constitute a year of use for less interestingly designed alternatives. Something subconsciously appealing in its weight, feel and lines just inspires playfulness, which is really saying something given how much we’d normally be focused totally on interacting with the iPad itself.
Thankfully, Compass is also a very good stand when judged solely for its intended purpose. Twelve South has designed it as a three-legged easel-like iPad holder that primarily operates on two angles. One is upright with a video-friendly 60-degree angle, with the rear leg providing just a little give for a steeper but slightly less stable position. The other elevates the iPad on a 15-degree angle for typing with basically no room for further adjustment. In each orientation, two rubber-coated feet fold out from Compass’s long legs, holding the iPad in place, with rubber padding on every edge that could touch a table or the iPad itself. It’s case-compatible, but safe enough to use with an unencased iPad, as well. A velvet and elastic carrying case is included for taking Compass on the road.
Compared with other “mobile stands,” which is to say ones that can be folded up and carried around rather than just left on a desk, Compass has some major advantages. Its physical size is the dominant one, as the closed size is 7.1” by 1” by 0.4”—smaller than almost every alternative on the market. The $40 asking price is also in exactly the right ballpark given the quality of the metal and convenience of the design. After an hour of holding Compass, there won’t be any question in your mind that it feels like it’s worth the asking price.
And it’s also a lot nicer-looking than most of its portable rivals. Only Just Mobile’s Slide eclipses it in elegance and functionality for the price, but then, neither stand has the complete edge. Slide’s rubber core requires frequent adjustment that the more position-limited Compass does not. Compass also folds up to an even more convenient size than Slide, and has a far higher fidget factor while providing less of a challenge during vertical orientation cable connection. Neither one will be ideal for every user, but either will substantially satisfy most people.
Our high recommendation of Twelve South’s Compass recognizes it as one of the very best stands released for the first-generation iPad. We’ve been impressed by its looks, build quality, and resilience to plenty of manhandling, while its ability to convert all but instantly from a solid blade-sized shape into an easel sets it apart from virtually every other iPad stand on the market. Compass is what Amzer’s budget-priced Foldo stand becomes when higher-quality materials and superior design considerations are brought to bear. The only type of iPad user who should look elsewhere is one who has no need for portability, in which case there are other and sometimes more expensive options such as Just Mobile’s Encore that are larger and arguably more convenient for pure desktop use. Even so, Compass is a cool enough option to nearly match the better dedicated desktop stands we’ve seen, at an aggressive enough price to be worthy of any user’s attention.
What really stands out about the Compass (apart from its looks) is that it folds up into such a portable package. ... Read More
Twelvesouth’s Compass stand looks more like a medical instrument than an iPad accessory, but that’s what it is. The divider-shaped unit splits in the middle and the legs splay to make a rather sleek-looking tripod. Two little “feet” flip out from the “ankles” to support the iPad’s lower edge, and a soft circular pad caresses its back whether in portrait or landscape position.
The stand is good for typing, too. See the extra little foot contained in the, erm, upper thigh of the main leg? That pops out to support the iPad at a much shallower angle.
Twelvesouth has a history of making fair-priced, well-designed Apple accessories, from the simple BookArc MacBook stand to the BassJump sub-woofer that backs up the MacBook’s own little speakers. And at $40 the Compass is eminently affordable, especially when compared to the cheap plastic tat available for similar prices.
What really stands out about the Compass (apart from its looks) is that it folds up into such a portable package. When scissored shut, it is barley an inch wide and even comes with its own little carrying case.
Extremely well designed, very stylish, functional and compact... one of the best iPad stands on the market today. ... Read More
Since the announcement of the iPad, dozens of companies have launched their very own iPad stand. A good chunk of them are just ok, some are good, and very few are outstanding. The Compass from TwelveSouth, a stylish compact folding stand, falls in this last category.
Like the drafting tool it is inspired from, the Compass is a multi-legged stand that can be folded in order to carry it easily. The stand is only 7 inches long and 1 inch wide when folded, which makes it the perfect travel companion. The Compass is also versatile, as it can be used in two different modes:
- Upright: the Compass looks just like a tripod, and holds your iPad in either portrait or landscape mode, almost vertically.
- Tilted: the stands is almost horizontal, and holds your iPad up at a slight angle for typing.
In either mode, it only takes seconds to deploy the stand. We actually used it in a Starbucks, and most patrons came to ask us where we bought it – most people seem to instantly love the stand as soon as they see it in use.
Beyond the convenience of the product, what makes it so special is the attention to details. The stand looks amazing, thanks to its industrial lines and the use of heavy gauge steel, and perfectly suits the iPad. It also features small rubberized pads all over it in order to avoid any metal-to-metal contact, and to keep it from moving. Finally, the stand comes with its own carrying pouch.
The Compass is surprisingly sturdy, and despite some pretty heavy iPad typing during our tests, it stayed in place firmly. The perfectly proportioned legs keep your iPad at the right angle, in both upright and tilted modes.
What we liked: Extremely well designed, very stylish, functional and compact, the stand is one of the best iPad stands on the market today.
What we didn’t like: Nothing, absolutely nothing!
To buy or not to buy: Simply put, we’re impressed. The Compass deserves five stars hands down.
The Compass is a must-have accessory for anyone who wants a beautiful and portable stand for their iPad. ... Read More
Twelve South’s Compass is a compact, elegant, and multi-functional stand for the iPad. Made from heavy gauge steel, the Compass provides sturdy support for your iPad while you watch movies, read articles, or type. But, it folds up compactly and fits in an included case, so you can stick it in your backpack or bag and take it with you. At $39.99, it’s not a cheap stand, but it’s certainly not as expensive as the Joule ($129) which we reviewed here.
The Compass arrives neatly packaged in a fairly small box. When you open the box, the Compass sits displayed on a red, velvet like surface. Included in the box is a thank you card and a black soft case for the stand.
The first thing you’ll notice when you take the Compass out of the box is how solid it is. This is not a flimsy piece of equipment. The front legs fold out to the side, and the back leg angles out behind, so essentially, the Compass becomes an easel. Two feet fold forward from the front legs creating a place for the iPad to sit. Although the stand itself is made of steel, any surface your iPad touches is covered in silicone, so you needn’t worry about metal-onmetal scratches. The two front legs where the iPad rests have silicone pads; the circular top of the stand sports a silicone insert (which ingeniously displays Twelve South’s emblem); and the bottoms of all the legs are covered in silicone as well, so the stand will not slide on slippery surfaces. The design of this stand is aesthetically pleasing and utilitarian—beauty and function are seamlessly integrated.
You can position the iPad on the stand in portrait or landscape orientation for viewing pictures, watching movies, or consulting a recipe while cooking. The 60 degree angle of the stand is not adjustable. Although Twelve South states on its website that you can move the back leg forward slightly to create a more upright angle, they do not recommend this because it makes the stand less stable.
The back leg contains a smaller foldaway leg that positions the iPad comfortably for typing. This really adds to the value of the stand, in my view, because not only can I use the stand on my desk to display pictures, I can also take it to meetings to type notes directly on my iPad (no external keyboard necessary).
What’s Macgasmic: The Compass is a must-have accessory for anyone who wants a beautiful and portable stand for their iPad. It folds up into a compact 7 x 1 inch package when it’s not in use. But when you want a solid, unobtrusive easel for your iPad, the Compass unfolds into an elegant, no slip frame. I especially appreciate the fact that the Compass offers a perfect typing configuration, because typing on the iPad when it’s on a flat surface is terribly uncomfortable. Another added benefit to the Compass’s design is that you can use the stand while your iPad is in a case. This is one of my major criticisms of other stands on the market: many don’t accommodate an iPad in its case. So, you either have to ditch your case or not use a stand. The Compass works whether your iPad is sleekly naked or in a comfortable, protective cover.
What’s Not: I only have one minor criticism of the Compass iPad Stand. After I un-boxed mine and unfolded all the legs, I noticed that one of the easel feet did not fold back flush into its metal leg. Honestly, this does not affect the function of the stand at all; it’s merely an annoyance. Some readers might not be happy that you cannot adjust the viewing angle of the stand. So, if that’s important to you, you might need to look elsewhere for a stand that offers multiple viewing angles.
If you need a stand for your iPad, you should definitely take a look at Twelve South’s Compass. Like all of Twelve South’s designs, the Compass is elegant, well made, and useful. Plus, it is compact enough to carry with you anywhere.
I bet many iPad users would prefer the Compass. ... Read More
The Joule stand was my favorite iPad stand until I saw Twelvesouth's Compass. Now my heart is divided. I really like the angular design and its portability. But what I really like is its price: Just $40.
At $129, the Joule is way too expensive to the majority of people. At $40, the Compass seems reasonable enough. It also solves some of the issues I noted in my review: Looking at the photos, you can use the dock cable in portrait and landscape mode. It also looks light. While I like to tote my Joule around, many times I leave it at home because it's way too heavy.
I will try it to see if it beats the solid feel and simplicity of the Joule, but based on price alone, I bet many iPad users would prefer the Compass.
The Compass is an amazing stand for the iPad, so perfect in every dimension, and oh yes, it’s multi-dimensional. ... Read More
A while ago we featured the Compass iPad stand from Twelve South, an intelligently designed iPad stand. I was of course a little apprehensive about giving it my recommendation since I hadn’t used it. Well now I have. And here’s my review.
It’s reviews like this that makes me wish I didn’t impose a no-swearing rule upon writing. The Compass is an amazing stand for the iPad, so perfect in every dimension, and oh yes, it’s multi-dimensional. The first thing you experience, is Twelve South’s legendary packaging; second only to Apple. Slide the box out of its outer casing. Then pull the top cover that’s holding the Compass together. Slide it out, and you’re holding a surprisingly heavy piece of metal. Inside the box is, is a beautiful document, suggesting ways to use the compass, and ways to use the box. It certainly is a pretty box. But suddenly you’re done admiring the packaging, and onto the prize of the day.
The most obvious use, is the landscape or portrait upright position. Extend the two feet sideways, and the iPad sits there at a perfect angle. It’s tilted just right, so when it’s at your desk, you’re looking straight at it. This eliminates light refraction and produces minimal glare. The non-adjustability might pose a problem, say if you want to use it on a raised table that’s almost at eye level, but mostly, it’s just right.
The Compass is very sturdy. The thing is forged from heavy gauge steel with silicone padding. You can place your iPad on it without even thinking about it. Tap freely. The silicone pegs at the bottom hold it there, so you can press the home button without having to hold the iPad, it’s so sturdy.
Typing on this thing is amazing. The reclined angle is just perfect. Move the back leg flat down, and raise the little leg at the back. When you look at it, it appears as if the foot pegs will come in the way of your typing, a doubt raised by one of the comments on our press release. They don’t. Not once did I have the problem. There’s another thing. If they do come in the way, you can push them in and use the iPad flat on that incline. The iPad rests on silicone padding, so it doesn’t slip down from that angle.
It has the best typing angle ever; I really flew through this article. And it’s so rigid you’re never afraid the iPad is going to topple over. Add to that it’s one gorgeous piece of metal. At $40, I think it’s totally worth it.