gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

InnoPocket HexaPose iPad Stand Review

The InnoPocket HexaPose is the iPad stand that us lovers of Apple’s monitor and iMac aesthetic secretly wanted, coupled with tilt and rotate functionality that every iMac or Apple monitor owner secretly wants. InnoPocket have shamelessly and effectively ripped off the Apple monitor stand design when creating their HexaPose iPad stand, and I applaud them for having the cahones to do so.

HexaPose is probably the best iPad stand currently available for a number of reasons. First, the aluminium finish and design borrowing are a tasteful and appreciated nod (well somewhat more than a nod toe honest) toward Apple’s own hardware, meaning it will blend in effortlessly with your other Apple gear.

Second, it simply has reams of adjustment options. Six, to be precise, the number which is the very namesake of this stand. There are three tilt options in landscape orientation and, similarly, three more in portrait. A truly liberal number of options that approximately should suit any desired viewing angle.

In addition to these documented, and sensible angles are, potentially, 6 more which you may or may not use. The HexaPose can lay down on its back, yielding a plethora of typing angles and orientations….well, six obviously. The HexaPose isn’t very stable lying down in portrait mode, but is pretty good in landscape for on-screen typing. When stood up is it, clearly, expected that you use a separate, preferably bluetooth, keyboard and the Apple aluminium bluetooth keyboard steps in nicely to fill this need, both aesthetically complimenting the iPad and stand, and providing the brightness/volume control and transport controls that are so very useful.

Sadly, the HexaPose has a couple of failings which make it not quite as good as it could be. The most tragic of all is that the Apple Camera Connection kit cannot connect to your iPad when it’s in the stand. This is a pretty shocking discovery, and the plastic clips on the stand are a tiny fraction of a millimetre away from being able to fit the connector. This means that a wired keyboard is a no, no, unless you’re willing to make some minor adjustments to the stand with the help of a Dremel or metal file.

With neither of the above to hand, I opted to grab the electric screwdriver sitting next to me and blast away at the edges of the plastic clips until the iPad-to-SD connector fit. It didn’t take long. Problem solved. I haven’t yet tried it with a wired keyboard, and don’t really intend to. It looks so great with an official Apple bluetooth one sitting below it that I can’t imagine setting it up any other way.

The second problem is the rotation of the HexaPose. It’s a bit floaty and inspecific and could really benefit from a sturdier ratchet system. With the camera-connection-kit connected in landscape mode and the home button on the left, the HexaPose will unbalance slightly. It’s much sturdier with the home button on the right, but you can only rotate the HexaPose clockwise, making switching from landscape to portrait a bit more of a chore than it should be, not to mention a little unintuitive to boot. It’s not a deal breaker, but is it irritating. That said, I’ve only had my hands on the HexaPose for a day, so only time will tell if I get used to its quirks.

To its favour, however, the HexaPose is mostly crafted from solid aluminium, and has a soft rubber base just like the iMac stands it borrows its aesthetic from. Most of the mechanism feels pretty sturdy, and the plastic clip into which the iPad fits feels a little flimsy, but is absolutely fine once an iPad is seated in it. It’s overall pretty good quality, and InnoPocket have done a cracking job bringing us the iPad stand that no self respecting Apple design fan should be without.

Despite appearances, the HexaPose is very stable – enough for general interaction within productivity apps. Typing on the screen, or gaming are probably not things you’ll be doing often with this sort of setup; your arms will quickly get tired. But for some good old productivity (and for looking good) the HexaPose is perfect.

You can’t keep your case on the iPad when using the HexaPose, but it would be silly to do so. The whole idea of this stand is to keep a clean, unfettered appearance that really looks great on your desk. The mini-iMac look is slightly comical, but brilliant and I couldn’t see myself wanting to use any other stand. And, hey, I even typed out this entire review using it, hacked it to accept my SD-card-adaptor, and uploaded a single photo…. just because!

At $49.99 the HexaPose isn’t exactly cheap, but it is brilliant. And it’s hard to argue against it being the best looking and most functional iPad stand available.

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010, iPad.