Review: Twelve South Compass

by on February 24, 2011

First there were iPod cases. Then there were iPhone cases. After that came iPad cases. With iPad cases came iPad stands, since it was a rather large device that needed just a little extra support. While many are pining for the clear plastic discs that Apple uses to show off the iPad at retail stores, that wait may be rather long. We got to take a look at a rather flexible—pun intended—stand from Twelve South.

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The $40 Compass is named after the drafting tool is resembles, rather than the navigation gizmo. Essentially, the Compass is an adjustable tripod, featuring two different positions, and capable of supporting an iPad in both landscape and portrait modes in each. Made from steel, the Compass features silicone padding to protect a naked iPad, but also works with many cases. The two larger legs fold out and feature two even smaller folding ends to prevent an iPad from sliding off. A larger leg provides support when the Compass is in a vertical mode. Fold it flat and flip out the smaller support and the Compass can hold an iPad in a comfortable typing position.

In our tests, the Compass performed as advertised with one little flaw. Due to its shape, putting too much pressure on the edges of an iPad at certain angles may be a bit unstable. This only was annoying about 10% of the time in our tests, while the Compass handled almost everything else we used the iPad for over a few week span.

Also included with the Compass is a handy carrying sleeve, made of a black microfiber material. The Compass folds and fits snugly in the case, allowing you to take it just about anywhere. It’s a really nice included item and fits with the almost-could’ve-come-from-Cupertino motif.

While some may balk at the price, it seems pretty reasonable for the going prices of many other iPad stands, although its metal design and smooth folding operations give it a much more expensive and well-engineered feel. If you want a stand for your iPad, the Compass is a great choice.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

Twelve South’s Compass is a clever iPad stand that offers quite a bit of flexibility.

Pros: Great design, ultraportable, multiple angles

Cons: A bit pricey, due to design many top-corner taps may make unstable

The Facts

4.5/5Product: Compass
Company: Twelve South
Platform: iPad (1, 2, 3)
Price: $39.99

This post has been filed in iPad, Mobile Devices, Reviews