Look, no hands!
This is the Spider monkey, one fascinating balancing act of a tablet stand. I picked it up just hours ago, so these are very early impressions. For some background on the purchase, I wrote more over here.
Initial setup was a slightly scary experience, not uncommon to devices which include getting a tight fit between two components. The Spider monkey "grips" your tablet using a two-sided claw-like mechanism.
My Ipad pro is the largest device supported, meaning the claw mechanism is not only fully extended but also has to bend and strecth a bit to accomodate the tablet. Being the very first time, I was also naturally uncertain what amount of force was appropriate, wanting to break neither tablet nor stand the very first time I used them together. Eventually, I sort of pushed the Ipad in sideways, working two of the "claws" around the edges then pushing as gently as I could until I had worked all four around the tablet. I am sure it will feel a lot easier the next time I try it, but I think I will wait a little while to remove the Ipad, just in case.
Once in place, the fun begins!
It goes up …
… and it goes down.
It will go down low enough to rest the bottom of the tablet on the surface, but you will not be able to set it at any kind of keyboard or drawing table-type angle near the surface. There is just too much too sturdy mechanics inbetween.
Did I mention how sturdy the Spider monkey feels? It feels truly built to last, a thing built for serious work over long time. You adjust and place it, it stays there until you change it. It is rarely the case that an Apple product feels like the flimsiest device in a setup, but here it most definitely is.
Adjustments are very simple, but the … cord(?) … is surprisingly sturdy so adjusting takes more effort and a steadier grip than you might expect. Turning the tablet between portrait and landscape, though, is super easy and smooth.
This is about as high as I can get it to go, the limiting factor being managing to get balance on the surface. High enough, indeed, to put the tablet at eye-level when I have my standing desk at comfortable height for writing. Finding balance is, if anything, easier than I expected. Twist the bottom part a bit, flatten it agains the surface and you are pretty much done as long as the tablet is not extremely far from centered above the base.
Speaking of surface, the Spider monkey will naturally transmit vibrations from the surface. Positioned on the same table as the keyboard you are using, the tablet will vibrate a bit as you type. Time will tell if this gets annoying or I will just go blind to it, at the moment I see it but do not feel bothered.
A stand this flexible invites more unusual placements which I greatly look forward to playing with.
How about a nice armchair screen?
The Spider monkey also allows you to do this …
… although I firmly believe some sort of alarm ought to go off if you do.