Handcrafted in California in plain aluminium or anodised black, the Joule has a beautiful design. It reminds me of classic ’70s European products. It’s probably the only stand that actually matches the iPad design, even more than Apple’s own. The slot in which you place the iPad is lined with black velvet, which sets the tablet firmly in place while avoiding any damage. It feels nice and solid, adding welcome weight to the iPad.
…Not to So Good Function
It has three positions. The upper one is good for watching anything from a movie to a web page – I use mine to keep an eye on Twitter and some web apps, like Campfire. The lower position, which puts the iPad at a very low angle, is useful good for typing or while you are planning to stand up while doing something else (like cooking and following a recipe in Epicurious).
You set these positions using an aluminium pole that magnetically attaches into three holes on the back of the base. I like this design as much as I don’t like it: While this system is simple and works perfectly, I wish I didn’t have to detach and attach the pole manually. I would have preferred a mechanism that allows to set the iPad to any angle by just pushing or pulling it.
My other complaint is the lack of a built-in dock port, meaning that in its portrait position, you can’t charge the iPad unless you put it upside down, with the docking cable sticking up. (This is neither convenient nor elegant.) But then again, if it had a docking port, you won’t be able to set it to landscape mode without the cable sticking out a different way.
At $US129, these two complains would make the Joule a no-no for many people. But if you have money to spare, you like the aesthetics, and you can appreciate fine craftsmanship, you will like the Joule. The good news for Gizmodo readers: They still have the GIZMJ3 discount code open, so you can get yours for $US99.