Best Tablet Stand of 2020
The Lamicall Desktop Stand is a stylish product made of sleek, stainless steel and exhibits a simple, fixed-height design. It stands less than five inches tall, and its cradle is easily adjustable to different viewing angles via a hinge-mechanism, while also having rubberized points to protect your tablet. It has a convenient cut-out in the back to tuck a charging cord neatly away and has a small footprint, taking up little space on a desk or kitchen counter. Its hinge is stiff enough to stay in place but smooth enough to adjust when desired. It may not have as many features as some of the other stands we reviewed, but it scores the most points for its clean look and sturdy, high-quality feel. It performed excellently as an auxiliary screen at our desk, and for using it in the kitchen to swipe through and reference recipes.
Since it has a fixed-height with the cradle raised about an inch off the table, it does not serve itself as a stand to support typing on a tablet screen for long periods. (It is typically more ergonomic to have your wrists resting on a surface.) But we love it for its simplicity, and best of all, its low price-tag doesn't sacrifice quality.
The AmazonBasics Adjustable Stand is the most budget-friendly stand that still retains versatility while having a unique, fold-up design for ultimate portability. It comes as a compact, lightweight unit, which can then be easily unfolded by pulling out the legs and standing up the backrest. The legs have three different width options to accommodate any screen from as small as a smartphone to as large as a twelve-inch tablet. The back pivots easily to accommodate a variety of viewing angles, and the rubber contact points on the bottom of the stand ensure that there is very little budging if placed on a solid, smooth surface.
It isn't the sleekest design, being made out of cheap-feeling black plastic, but the plastic also makes it extremely lightweight. We can foresee the rubber on the bottom of the stand possibly losing its stickiness over time, but were very pleased with the stability it provided, making this stand a great choice for those on a budget who crave something simple and functional.
The MoKo Foldable Desktop Stand leads the pack for the smallest, most compact stand design. It's made with very thin pieces of plastic that fold up flat and is small enough to fit into a pocket or slip easily into a bag. This stand is a great choice to throw in your carry-on for movie-watching on a plane. It has divots that the backrest can easily secure into for six different angle adjustments, and the stand was surprisingly stable enough to do lengths of typing on a tablet screen without much budging.
Because it is so small and made of thin plastic, it did not feel the most stable for an 11" tablet in portrait mode, and would probably not be the best choice for a larger tablet. There is a noticeable wobble when you press hard on the tablet screen in portrait mode. Many tablet holders are also compatible with smartphones, but the phone can look strange on a big stand. The MoKo Foldable Desktop Stand is made for both phones and tablets. It is versatile as well as is the best option for those who want something to travel with or to tuck easily away.
If you want a tablet stand that makes an excellent workstation out of your iPad as well as sits comfortably on your bed for binging your favorite TV shows, look no further than the Tablift by Nbryte Stand. You may find its design strange, with its large, fold-out gooseneck legs and bulky plastic tablet holder. But the sturdy gooseneck legs are fully flexible and can contour around your body while you lie in bed for a stable viewing experience. They also prop your tablet up to an eye-level height, which makes for a great workstation. With the addition of a wireless keyboard, you can easily have a desktop-like setup.
There are only four viewing angle options, where you put the tablet in different grooves in the holder and secure it in place with a convenient bungee strap. But the viewing angles will cover most of your bases, with an added clever, low-angle setting for when you are lying in bed. The stand is quite bulky and heavy, and although the gooseneck legs can bend underneath the unit, it is not an ideal stand to travel with. If you will use your tablet stand primarily to view videos in bed or couch or other uneven surfaces, this is the one to have.
The Twelve South Compass 2 is the most expensive stand in our selection, and is made with design in mind. Engineered with metal, it is noticeably heavy, but has a sleek profile and feels high-quality, folding open with satisfyingly smooth action and a pleasant click. It is a simple, easel design, with two small, silicone-covered hinges that fold out to cradle your tablet. There is no angle adjustment, however, it does have another orientation whereby you lay the stand flat and fold-out an additional, shorter leg to transform it into a comfortable typing stand.
This tablet stand does not feel nearly as stable as the AmazonBasics model, which is a fraction of the price and similar build. But for those who seek a stylish, professional look in a compact and portable package (it even comes with a carrying case), the Compass 2 is the stand for you.
If you want the most basic, easy-to-use stand you can find, the Stump Stand takes away the headache of angle adjustments and moving parts and is the most simple unit we came across. Made entirely of silicone with a weighted base, there are two grooves in which to place your tablet for an "upright" and "lean" option. There is one more angle option called "ramp" where you lean your tablet on the stand's angled base which provides a moderately steady typing stand orientation.
This tablet stand is a no-frills, silicone "stump," which is not the most eye-catching design but certainly provides function over form. Being made of silicone, it is easily cleanable if used in the kitchen, and is the most "grab-and-go" type stand we could find, with no fear of dropping or breaking. Its relatively small grooves will not accommodate tablets with cases on, and it does not provide the best stability for a tablet in portrait mode. The price tag also seems a little steep for what is essentially a heavy piece of rubber, but it's a great option for the most effortless and straightforward stand on the market.
The SAIJI 360 Rotating Adjustable Stand has a round, heavy base that provides excellent stability, and a telescoping pole and rotating cradle that ensure endless angle and viewing options. We liked this stand the most for video-conferencing or use as an auxiliary screen, for it already stands at eye-level. It could also be great for presentations in the classroom or workplace, with its ability to stand up to 18.1 inches tall, and for the cradle to rotate 360º. The cradle is a "clamp" style that fits tablets and phones snugly with its easy-to-adjust drawstring cords, and we liked how stable the tablet felt once situated.
This stand is quite large, heavy, and takes up a lot of space on a desk or counter. But if you can find a place for it, it is an excellent option for its versatility and adjustability.
The KABCON Quality Stand is a large, foldable stand with a wide base and big cradle, making it ideal for large tablets up to 15 inches. The platform the tablet rests on makes for an incredibly stable user experience and is ideal for a graphic designer or someone who uses their tablet to draw on. Although heavy, the stand does fold up completely and comes with a carrying case, making it a portable option.
The hinges that adjust the height and the angle of the cradle are incredibly difficult to move, and although it folds up entirely, it is not convenient to pry open and push closed every time you would like to transport it somewhere. This stand is also very bulky and takes up a lot of space. But for the user with a larger tablet, you can't beat the stability of this stand.
The UGREEN Adjustable Tablet Stand is a lightweight stand made of plastic that adjusts via an incremented hinge. It can fold up completely, or extend to accommodate a variety of viewing angles. It can be used for your smartphone or your tablet and is a good choice for someone on the move.
Its hinge is not the most stable, and we found that it would often move into a deeper angle if you pushed on your tablet screen too hard. The bottom of the stand only has a thin strip of silicone on the front, which doesn't stop the stand from sliding around on a solid surface. It is lightweight but sacrifices stability.
The MoKo Metal Foldable Tablet Stand is the only stand in our selection that uses a unique, metal frame construction as its design. Foldable and light, the metal is fully wrapped in rubber to protect your tablet and also prevent slippage on smooth surfaces. It is adjustable up to 180º in angle and is a good option for someone who will use their tablet as an auxiliary screen at a desk with its low profile and footprint.
It is not the most aesthetic design we found, with its big, black knobs and exposed metal hinges. The hinges are also awkward to adjust and don't exactly hold the stand's position very well. The model we received also came with a slight warp in one of the back pieces, causing the stand to wobble which was an inconvenient issue.
Why You Should Trust Us
From classroom to workplace, bed to yoga mat to kitchen counter, the primary tester on this product, Miya Tsudome, has been a heavy user of her tablet for years. With adept attention to detail, she is always looking for products that are at the crossroads of design, function, and affordability, and to optimize her tech products with add-ons that increase versatility and efficiency.
Through our extensive testing period, we created a list of metrics to rate each product, ranging from versatility, adjustability, stability, aesthetics, and portability. We tested each tablet stand to see how they measured up in each of these metrics and were then compared rigorously side-by-side. We collected our data through objective measurements as well as the subjective ones gathered by everyday use of these products, which yields our honest and in-depth conclusions.
Analysis and Test Results
To test tablet stands, we used them in our everyday lives for a variety of purposes. You may use your stands to serve multiple functions, so we wanted to make sure we did too. From table to countertop, couch to bed, we examined the stability of the stands, folded and unfolded their hinges, assessed the quality and durability of the moving parts and the materials, folded them up and carried them around if applicable, and weighed and measured the units.
All tested stands have some kind of viewing angle adjustment, which is one of the most important metrics in our evaluations. Not every stand on the market is adjustable, but all of our chosen stands will allow the user to select a setting that is more ergonomic for viewing, or more accessible if viewed from different heights. Some only have 3-4 angle options, while others have an infinite number of possibilities.
Although the SAIJI 360 Rotating Adjustable Tablet Stand is a taller-than-average stand, its adjustability options are endless. Its cradle can rotate 360º, and adjust to angles from 0-70º while the stand itself can be raised from a height of 11 to 18 inches. The KABCON Quality Stand also adjusts for height, although is less convenient to adjust with its stiff hinges. The Tablift by Nbryte Stand flaunts a different type of adjustability, with gooseneck legs that can be bent into endless configurations based on the surface you would like your tablet to stand on.
Some of our tested stands have cradles that rotate on a hinge, like the Lamicall and AmazonBasics. This allows for customized angle adjustments to the slightest difference in degree. Others, including the Tablift and Stump Stand, involve putting your tablet into established grooves, minimizing the choices to 3-4 angles. The Twelve South Compass 2 is the only stand we tested that while having two orientations for viewing and typing, does not adjust for angle.
While height adjustment is a nice feature if you will be using your tablet for presentation purposes, as a desktop workstation, or video-conferencing, adjusting for the angle is the most valuable feature. Particularly when viewing a tablet screen while standing, like viewing recipes at a kitchen counter, you will want to angle your stand up towards you for a more comfortable viewing experience. And if you are sitting on a couch watching a movie on your tablet, you'll prefer a more vertical orientation.
The versatility of a stand was measured primarily by how many functions a given tablet stand could serve. This metric is important if you desire a stand that does more than sitting on your desk. A versatile stand can move from table to couch, workshop to bed, and ideally will also be able to stand on uneven surfaces.
None of the stands tested performed very well on uneven surfaces except for the Tablift. Four gooseneck legs provide ultimate stability as well as the benefit of being fully functional on a soft mattress or couch, as well as on any table. We found ourselves using the Tablift often, especially for watching movies in bed.
All stands were adequate as working stands and viewing stands. The AmazonBasics and Compass 2 stands were the best choices for those who want to be able to type directly on their tablet screen. While The Lamicall and the KABCON were our top picks for a stand that is elevated, with the addition of a wireless keyboard could make a great workstation.
We measured the stability of each stand by seeing how they performed on different surfaces, examined their methods for holding a tablet, assessed their weight and sensitivity to movement, and found out how well they could hold a tablet in landscape and portrait mode.
The SAIJI stand, with its weighted, round base, and clamp-style tablet holder is the most stable of the selections. It was not as suitable on uneven surfaces, however, where the Tablift stand with its gooseneck legs excelled. The Stump stand was also a surprising front-runner in this category, with its heavy base of silicone preventing slippage or movement on flat surfaces.
Every stand we tested was able to hold a tablet in both portrait and landscape mode, but the smaller stands such as the Stump and the MoKo struggled with wobble and instability with an 11-inch tablet in portrait mode, especially when tapping on the top edges of the screen. Each tablet tested came with rubber contact points on their bases. Although the heavier stands felt more stable, the Lamicall and the AmazonBasics stands were surprisingly stable for their lighter weight.
Tablets are typically a go-to choice for travel, as they are lighter and more portable than a laptop. If this is your intended use, it's nice to also have a stand that is compact and light enough to not add much bulk to your bag or to stow away in your desk when not in use. The stands we reviewed varied greatly in portability. All could be carried around the house easily enough, but only some could fold up completely for longer-distance travel.
The MoKo Foldable Desktop Stand is by far the most compact and portable out of all the stands we tested. With its slim plastic build, it folds into a pocket-size unit, easy enough to take anywhere. The UGREEN and MoKo Metal Foldable stands were also great choices for portable, lightweight units at low costs.
While excelling in adjustability and stability, the Tablift and the SAIJI stands were too bulky and heavy to win any portability points. The Compass 2 and AmazonBasics stands both fold into narrow units, and the Compass even comes with a carrying bag no bigger than a pencil case. While our top pick, the Lamicall does not fold up, it is light enough to move from place to place if needed, but serves more of the function of a mainstay item on a desk.
Tablets are sleek, impressive pieces of technology that have taken us from the world of clunky desktop computers to the future of portable touch-screens. Whether in use at a professional workspace, or in addition to a minimalist desk setup, we ranked the design of each stand to see how well they complemented the iPads we used with them.
The Compass 2 makes a statement with its price tag, its high-quality, heavy build, soft silicone and metal frame, and simple and elegant easel-like frame. The Lamicall stand also stood out with its simplistic design. Its silver, stainless steel construction, minimalist stand and cradle, and the added detail of a cutout in its base to tuck a charging cable neatly away were all noted as aesthetically pleasing qualities. Both stands do not detract from the tablet screen. Rather, their simple frames fade neatly into the background while remaining stylish pieces.
Other stands are more "function over form," such as the Tablift, KABCON, and MoKo Foldable Desktop, which serve their purposes well without worrying about looks. The Tablift especially took us some time to get used to, with its large gooseneck legs and clunky construction.
A tablet stand is a valuable piece of equipment that will increase the versatility of your tablet. Therefore we felt it important to do an extensive review of the best products that could offer the most value to your everyday life. We bring a scientific-level of examination to all of our product comparisons and hope that we can streamline your decision-making process along the way to find the tablet stand that is best for you.
— Miya Tsudome