Twelve South’s BookArc for iPad ($40) is a stylish, heavy steel stand that, while not the most versatile stand for the iPad we’ve seen (it only supports two viewing angles), looks pretty good on a desk, is made of quality materials, and has a few thoughtful design elements. In the end though, we desire function over form and would rather it come with a few more tricks up its sleeves.
The BookArc is a beautifully wrought, thick chunk of curved steel. Weighing in at 1.4 pounds, it makes for a nice paperweight should you no longer have use for it. The steel is covered with a silver paint that has a subtle sheen.
The iPad rests in a slot in the middle of the BookArc that is lined with a silicone rubber insert. The insert serves two purposes: 1. protecting your iPad from the steel scratching it, and 2. allowing the iPad to be tilted at an angle for better viewing.
Our main complaint about the BookArc is that it only allows for the iPad to sit at two different angles: one at a slight angle, and the other straight up and down. There is no way to adjust the angle, so if the iPad is experiencing glare from lights, you’ll have to move the light or move the iPad.
A second silicone insert is included in case you want the BookArc to hold a MacBook or MacBook Pro.
The iPad can rest comfortably in both landscape and portrait mode in the stand. In a nice design touch, a circular cutout in the stand gives you easy access to the iPad’s home button while sitting in portrait mode.
You can also easily run the iPad’s USB to dock connector cable through the stand in various ways. I was also able to plug in the cord to the iPad, then stick the iPad into the stand with the cord still on, although it does bend the cord at a precarious angle.
The BookArc can hold an iPad wearing Apple’s official iPad case ($40) if you remove the silicone insert. But we found this solution to be a little janky, as the iPad doesn’t settle easily into the stand with the Apple case case on. It can take a little jiggering to get it to settle, especially to rest it at an angle. And because removing and replacing the silicone inserts is a hassle, we can only recommend the BookArc if you don’t use a case, or you always leave it in the case. The Apple’s iPad case doubles as its own stand, so if you use one, you might not need a stand anyways.
At 4.3 inches wide and 8 inches tall, the BookArc will take up a good amount of desk real estate. The size may bother those who like an uncluttered desktop. But if you’re like me and have slowly been collecting more and more iDevices, it’s getting hard to maintain a minimalist desktop anyways.
The stability of the stand is good but not great. It can accept a light to medium touch to the iPad’s screen without tipping over, but it would tilt over with a strong touch or an errant wave of the hand.
BookArc for iPad ($40) is a beautiful stand perfect for a minimalistic desktop or those going for a modern Mac aesthetic. Its heavy steel and a few nice design tweaks justify its somewhat expensive price (expensive for a stand, anyways). But its inflexibility when it comes to viewing angles is a major drawback. Still, we give the BookArc for iPad our recommendation, 7.5 out of 10.