Review: The MagFlött magnetic stand brings iMac looks to your iPad
Turn your iPad into a mini iMac thanks to the magic of magnets.
For a lot of folks, an iPad stand is an essential purchase. While the devices are built to be mobile and used in your hands most of the time, there are situations and use cases where you'll enjoy the best iPad experience at a desk (especially if you have a 12.9-inch iPad Pro).
I mostly use my iPad Pro at my desk, usually in Apple's Magic Keyboard. Not only does it work as a stand but it also means I have easy access to keyboard and trackpad input. That being said, its display sits much lower than my iMac, which means I am looking down at the display when I want to use it.
When I saw the MagFlött magnetic iPad stand (and its incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign), I was intrigued by its taller and more versatile design so reached out to CharJenPro, the company behind it. They agreed to send me a pre-release version to test out ahead of the real thing shipping later this year. Here's how it performed.
MagFlött Magnetic iPad Stand
Bottom line: MagFlött offers a premium look and feel that will sit comfortably beside your M1 iMac. The angle and orientation are endlessly customizable so you get just the right view.
- Premium build quality
- Sturdy magnetic connection
- Multiple orientations and angles
- Height is not customizable
- Relatively expensive
MagFlött Magnetic iPad Stand: Price and availability
CharJenPro enjoyed a successful Kickstarter campaign for MagFlött, raising over $182,000 from 1,700 backers and achieving its funding target of $15,000 within the first hour.
Now that campaign has ended, MagFlött is now available to pre-order at Indiegogo where you can pick one up for $109 as an early bird offer. It will be available directly at CharJen Pro's site from September 25, 2021. It's estimated to ship in December 2021.
MagFlött Magnetic iPad Stand: What's good
The first thing I noticed about the MagFlött once assembled was its heft. The whole thing feels very solid and there was no chance of it tipping over when tapping the display of my 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Your iPad also stays put on the backplate thanks to built-in magnets that take advantage of the iPad Pro or iPad Air 4's array of magnets that Apple's own accessories utilize. I was never concerned that my iPad would fall off when adjusting the angle and was even confident enough to carry it between rooms holding just the stand.
In terms of materials, it feels premium with brushed aluminum similar to Apple's devices and a super soft micro-fiber lined backplate. Rubber feet on the underside of the base keep things stable, too. It has clearly been inspired by Apple's M1 iMac in a long tradition of premium accessory makers cribbing Apple's design language.
There's a cut-out on the vertical beam at the back, similar to Apple's iMac, which is great for cable management and keeping your desk tidy. MagFlött actually ships with a custom curved USB-C cable for an even cleaner design, though I was not provided with one of these.
One really neat aspect of MagFlött is the number of viewing angles it can achieve. The stand supports landscape and portrait orientations and you can flip the display 180-degrees so it can be adjusted for many different environments and use cases. Once you have found the angle you want, the hinge is sturdy enough to keep it there.
The viewing angles are endlessly customizable.
It's taller than most iPad stands on the market, making it great for using it alongside a Mac for Sidecar, for cooking along to a recipe in the kitchen, or for using as a glanceable HomeKit display hub.
The MagFlött arrives in three pieces and is user assembled. This is a straightforward process, requiring just five screws and an Allen wrench (provided). While this might put off a few buyers, this likely makes it more affordable to ship flat and means you can disassemble it to take it with you when you travel. The screws are cleverly hidden away on the underside of the base and behind the backplate to maintain the clean aesthetic.
MagFlött Magnetic iPad Stand: What's not good
Though the MagFlött is taller than most iPad stands, it's still not so tall as to be ergonomic. If you use it alone with a keyboard and mouse connected to your iPad at a desk, you will still be looking down at it, which is not great for posture.
Understandably, this is to keep the center of gravity lower so that you can comfortably tap on the screen without pushing the whole thing over, but it's worth noting. If you want a stand that brings your iPad up to your eye level, you'll need to find another solution.
MagFlött is still not tall enough to be ergonomic.
The only other real qualm is that it still takes two hands to remove your iPad from the stand. The base is hefty, but no so much that you can remove your iPad with one hand. I expect this is down to the strength of the magnets needed to keep your heavy iPad in situ.
The camera cutout in my prototype review unit is not precisely cut around the iPad Pro's camera bump, but I am told this will be fixed for the final shipping run.
MagFlött Magnetic iPad Stand: Competition
MagFlött is not really competing with the cheap, no-name iPad stands available on Amazon and at other retailers. If someone's priority is getting an affordable solution, then they are likely not looking at MagFlött in the first place.
There are premium iPad stands out there that focus on build quality, such as the Twelve South Compass Pro and Satechi's Desktop Stand. These cost about half as much as CharJenPro's offering, though they aren't quite as advanced and still have a lower viewing angle.
Twelve South's HoverBar Duo is perhaps MagFlött's closest competitor with its versatility in terms of viewing angles and excellent build quality. That retails for $80, though the clamp-style design is less elegant.
MagFlött Magnetic iPad Stand: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a premium iPad stand
- You want to be able to adjust the orientation and angle of your iPad display easily
- You want a taller iPad stand
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You don't have a compatible iPad
- You want a cheap solution
MagFlött is a great iPad stand solution for those wanting a little extra height for their desk-based iPad who don't mind paying a little extra for a more premium offering. It's well-built, sturdy, and has endless customization when it comes to viewing angles.
Those that are budget conscious or want a truly ergonomic iPad stand will need to look elsewhere. It's also not for you if your iPad is not on the list of supported devices.
MagFlött Magnetic iPad Stand
Bottom line: If you want a premium stand that matches the look and feel of your M1 iMac or allows you to work more ergonomically from your iPad, then MagFlött is worth considering.