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Tuesday
Mar192013

Facet Magnetic iPad / iPad mini Stand Review

The Facet by iLoveHandles is one of many successful Kickstarter products that make our techie lifestyles a little easier. What is it you ask? The most unassuming and ingenious iPad stand we've ever come across. Neodymium magnets embedded into a pyramid-like object is enough awesomeness to peak our interest. iLoveHandles may not have seen the spotlight for its handful of products, but we think the Facet merits an exception. It definitely looks original, but does it work well enough for you to even consider it as your next iPad stand? Find out in our full review after the break!

The facet is a modern and highly unorthodox iPad stand, one that is also architecturally fascinating

Perhaps the closest iPad stand that utilizes the same kind of low-profile magnetic concept that the Facet uses is the $50 Magnus by Ten One Design. But unlike the Magnus, the Facet is made out of plastic whereas the Magnus is made as a single piece of aluminum that fits in more with Apple's design language. With that being said however, the Facet does have a few better things going for it like its extremely interesting 3-sided pyramid or more accurately, faceted, design which as it turns out is a lot more versatile than the Magnus.

Design wise - the Facet is a modern and highly unorthodox iPad stand, one that is also architecturally fascinating when without its tablet counterpart. You know something is uniquely designed when you can't make what it really is without a clear description beside it. The Facet retails for $40, and comes in black and white. Compatibility: it works only with Apple's 9.7-inch iPad 2, 3 and 4 - as well as the iPad mini.

The Facet's triangular shape features three different sides to it, each offers a different slanted angle ranging from 35, 55 and 75 degree angles - all perfectly stable as you'd expect. While this is definitely not the first stand of its kind to offer multiple viewing angles using opposite sides, the Facet does have some artsy charm to it and the embedded magnets really help reduce the footprint while also allowing for a visually amazing gravity defying appearance. When docked into the Facet, the iPad can be seen resting on a thin straight line thanks to the strong neodymium magnets making sure of the secure connection.

Docking your iPad can only be done horizontally, which needless to say is the preferred orientation, in order to take advantage of the iPad's built-in magnets. The Facet's internal magnets and minimal front lip help align and keep the iPad secured in place while looking extremely slick head on. We've seen the same exact concept utilized by the Magnus stand, and we can say that it works incredibly well. Apple's Smart Cover and Smart Case may be both convenient case and stand accessories, but they're both flawed in regards to stability and multiple viewing angles. The Facet's wide base is also great for using it on a bed where a rolled-up Smart Cover simply wouldn't stand still.

Facet's magnetic "hinge" area is a slope which is curved ever so slightly to fit the edge of the iPad with limited friction for a minimal slick appearance.

How easy is it to use? Dead simple. Pick a side, move your iPad in towards the bottom of the Facet where the magnets start to attract and then automatically align your iPad with the base. Then rest the iPad up against the Facet's curved slope and enjoy. It's as easy as connecting and detaching a Smart Cover. Obviously you'll need to use two hands to detach the iPad from the Facet because of the strong magnetic connection. The Facet does have a weighty feel to it, but not anything that was intended help detach the iPad from it's base.

If you look at the Facet from every angle, you'll notice it has no padding or a type of support where the iPad rests against it just like Magnus. But unlike the aluminum-made Magnus, there's nothing but glossy smooth plastic that comes in contact with your iPad. And my only concern was that the Facet's bare plastic would end up scuffing and scratching the back of my iPad. Fortunately, thus far it hasn't which leads me to believe that if you're careful enough in "docking" your iPad, you shouldn't run into any issues.

While I think the Facet makes for a very solid performing magnetic stand, it isn't without its flaws. Making a functional stand that's also good looking is one thing, but not when it can double as a deadly ninja throwing star. Three painfully sharp corners make the Facet a dangerous object the TSA might think is worth confiscating. Well not really, but you get the point. This is the least favorable stand to be carrying around with you that much I can say. It also won't work if you have a case on, including slim Smart Cover-compatible cases like the CoverBuddy hard shell.

And then there's a issue with fit and finish. The build quality or should I say general quality which includes the exterior finish, isn't all too great up close. From far away, the Facet stand looks intriguing. But at a closer inspection that finish of the plastic construction will leave you wondering if it was rushed out of the factory or simply manufactured on a very cheap budget with not a lot of attention to quality as it feels cheaply made. The first thing that came to my mind was why wasn't it made out of a solid piece of aluminum, but judging by the ill conceived plastic manufacturing and overall quality, an aluminum version would seem far too complicated to even produce.

It's not so much as a caveat that impacts the way you use the Facet as a stand, but more of drawback in terms of purchasing something that matches the premium qualities of the iPad itself. Granted $40 isn't asking too much, but I can't help think iLoveHandles could've tried a bit harder. An aluminum version much like the Magnus would have been to die for. The embedded magnets function as they should and ensure a strong bond those in every iPad, but they also rattle around inside the Facet's base like a baby rattle toy. Why is that even happening? Surely not by design.

The bottom of the base isn't covered with a non-slip surface as it rightfully should have, but instead with a thin coating of what appears to be slippery plastic. Because this stand has no trouble moving about and making an awful sound as it does so on top of a desk.

Drawbacks and nitpicks aside, the Facet really is a pleasure to use if you stay clear of its pointy corners. Three different viewing angles in one incredibly designed magnetic stand, which takes advantage of the iPad's Smart Cover feature is enough of a compelling reason to use the Facet as your go-to iPad stand where others fall short at measuring up to the Facet's sturdy three-sided viewing angle modes. If you're looking for a unique stand that's functional, simple to use and somewhat minimalist too - this is the one to get.

Bitemyapple.co

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