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PadPivot NST Review: The Best Available iPad Stand Just Got Better

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I’ve seen a lot of iPad stands in my day. Comes with the territory. But only one has ever earned a regular place in my gadget bag and on my desk: A scrappy upstart from Kickstarter that made it to big box retail (via Future Shop and Best Buy) called the PadPivot. And now that device just got better, with an update that fixes its sole noteworthy weak spot.

Short Version

If you want an iPad stand that is equally comfortable and practical on the road and on your desk at home, and that makes it possible to relax and watch video at home on the couch without crossing one leg over the other, Jobs-on-stage-at-press-event style, the PadPivot NST is the one to get.

Features:

  • Portable, folding design.
  • Grippy plate to keep your iPad from shifting.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, small footprint.
  • Works with iPhones, other tablets, smartphones, too.

Cons:

  • Technically wants you to put a sticker on your iPad back.
  • Comes with lanyard, the purpose of which is a mystery.

Long Version

For those who don’t know, the PadPivot is a unique iPad stand, designed to be equally at home both on the road riding your thigh, or at home on any stable surface. It features a modular design that can come apart and reassemble as a smaller package for portability, and supports the iPad in both horizontal and vertical orientations in more than a few different ways. But arguably its main selling point is a sticky pad that keeps the iPad firmly rooted when you’re otherwise shifting around, something that comes in very handy when you encounter turbulence or bump-inducing sections of bad rail.

The new PadPivot, dubbed the NST, gets an update to that iPad-sticking surface, one that eliminates the need for a dust cover, previously a required component to prevent the sticky pad from losing its magic over time. The new design instead provides a clear sticker that a user applies to the back of their iPad, which provides a glossy surface for the grippy pad to stick to, but I’ve actually found it works pretty well without, so long as you make sure the Apple logo is centered on the device. It also works well with the iPhone 5, despite that having a matte back finish.

This new design also folds up faster than the original for easier portability, since the top pad can quickly be spun out and inserted in the bottom, making for a very compact package that can slide into a pocket.

Generally speaking, iPad stands don’t have much of a chance of eliciting any kind of reaction from me, besides maybe a world-weary sigh. But the PadPivot is an exception, one that travels with me wherever I go. After spending some time with the latest version, it’s clear that creator Bernie Graham is focused on making a very good product even better, so recommending this at $39.99 is a no-brainer.