It was my birthday the other week, and my lovely other half gave me a MiStand, an aluminium tablet stand that we had both seen and liked the look of at the Birmingham (UK) Gadget Show earlier in the year. After tearing off the wrapping paper, and opening the outer packaging, I was faced with a premium looking black cardboard box, with the MiStand logo embossed in silver lettering and the catchphrase "See things your way". I let MiStand know that I would be reviewing their tablet stand, and they were kind enough to send out a MiStand Mini for me to review as well, but that's a different article, so let's deal with the tablet stand first.
What's it made out of? The whole MiStand has been created from aluminium with an emphasis on premium quality, and thanks to the CNC machining, Glass Bead Blasting and Anodization , the MiStand has a very good finish to it. We've all heard of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining before which involves a computer controlling machine tools such as lathes, routers and mills to produce items adhering to precise measurements on a much more consistent basis than would be possible if a human was at the controls. In case you've not heard of Glass Bead Blasting, its a method of propelling fine glass beads on to a surface at high pressure, to remove any lingering deposits on the material, while anodizing the aluminium which turns the metal in to a durable, decorative surface that is resistant to corrosion. By anodizing the aluminium, the surface doesn't chip or peel, and its porous nature allows for coloring and sealing. In a nutshell, the MiStand is a superbly crafted product.
On to the nitty gritty, the MiStand consists of two parts; the base that has a socket engineered into it, and the arm that connects to the base. This has a very well engineered magnetic ball that connects to the socket with startling enthusiasm. It's very difficult to dismantle, and that's not a bad thing at all, it means that there should be no accidents. After all, no one wants their expensive gadgets dropping off the stand by accident, do they? The MiStand's arm has two sections of 'sticky' stuff on it, and is very sticky indeed. According to MiStand, the 'sticky' stuff is a "special polyurethane material which securely holds your tablet when in use and allows for easy unmounting without leaving any marks or residue!" I can confirm that the sticky stuff works as advertised, in the process of testing we tested its abilities with a variety of devices ranging from an LG G2, Note 3, Nexus 7 and a Kindle that stuck to the MiStand with no problems whatsoever, both with and without their various cases. We even tested whether the MiStand was sturdy enough to hold an HP 11 Chromebook in place, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the MiStand held the Chromebook at a good angle, and we were even able to type on it whilst mounted. And although mounting a Chromebook isn't a recommended use of the MiStand, it does show how strong both the sticky stuff and the aluminium stand are.
The MiStand can be purchased directly from the Uk based manufacturer via their website designmi.co.uk, and can be had in a variety of colours including black, blue, gold, red, silver and erm, space grey (available for pre-order). The MiStand is a strong, versatile, well-crafted tablet stand. Are there things I would change? Perhaps 2 things. Firstly I would add a way in which the charging cable could be neatly run to the mounted device. Either through a hole in the stand itself that the cable could fit through, or perhaps a couple of hooks that you could pass the cable through, just to keep everything looking neat and tidy. Secondly, it is a little pricey, at standard pricing it runs to £49 ($81) . I must admit, that when it comes to buying phone and tablet accessories, I'm a cheapskate and am usually only bothered with function, rather than design. The most I've ever paid for an accessory is £12 ($20), so you can see why I say this is a little pricey. Would I have purchased a MiStand if I hadn't received one as a present? Most likely not, but…I am glad that my other half bought me one, and it's a prime example of how elegant an accessory can be. Isn't the whole meaning behind getting a present to receive something that you wouldn't justify buying yourself? And there's no denying the MiStand is a premium accessory and a fine example of the adage "You get what you pay for."
I have some good news regarding the price, in that MiStand are currently holding a sale, with the blue, gold and red MiStand's reduced in price to £40 ($66). As a bonus you can get another 10% knocked off with this discount code: miandroidhead that is valid until the end of September, so lots of time to either get your own orders or to get it bought you as a present. The discount pays for the UK shipping of £3.98 ($6.60), while international shipping runs to £12.75 ($21.14).
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