With the world of remote and flexible working increasing, and only looking set to grow in popularity, tablets have become a feasible option for replacing traditional desktop and laptop office systems. Portable and lightweight, and offering a wide range of apps and functionality to ensure your work stays on track, there are now many tablet holders on the market that not only keep your setup in one place, but add the ability to expand and grow your system.
What to look for in a holder largely depends on the kind of work you’ll be carrying out, but here we’ve included summaries of a wide range of tablets ranging from conventional stands to full-blown office and desktop systems for professional users. In our experience the key things to look for in a tablet holder include the weight and feel of the design – there are many on the market that simply don’t support prolonged use or heavier systems and buckle under the strain.
It’s worth spending a bit more for a quality stand that feels durable. Additionally, invest in a stand that will make day-to-day work or viewing of your tablet easy – reducing eye and neck strain and ensuring you retain a correct posture when sitting at a desk.
A good stand should have the ability to raise the laptop up for video calls, or to support your tablet if you’d like to use it as a second screen as part of a larger desktop setup. Some, as you will see below, have charging ability or functionality included to add external hard drives, for example, but extra features are of course often reflected in the amount of money you’ll have to spend.
How we tested
We tested these tablet holders on both our home desk and in our office setup – we also used the Prepara in the kitchen where we used it with the stylus to navigate recipes. Where applicable all tablet holders were tested in both landscape and portrait mode with a 3rd generation iPad Pro.
The best tablet holders and stands for 2021 are:
Best overall – Logitech combo touch: £179.99, Logitech.com
Best for desktop or office setups – Kensington studiodock: £337, Amazon.co.uk
Best for the kitchen – Prepara iprep with stylus: £21.99, Amazon.co.uk
Best for watching films – Armadillo beanbag stand: £28.50, Armadillosun.com
Best for a range of mounting options – Twelve South hoverbar duo: £79.99, Currys.co.uk
Best for a range of device sizes – Targus portable ergonomic tablet/laptop stand: £34.99, Targus.com
Logitech combo touch
Compatible devices: iPad pro 1st to 5th gen and iPad air 4th gen
Viewing angles: 10-60 degrees
Other features: 4 - type, view, sketch and read
Logitech has used its considerable experience creating keyboard and mouse systems for PC and Macs and put it into the emerging tablet market. If you use an iPad, this option adds significant flexibility to your setup, and makes the tablet operate much more like a conventional laptop – to the extent we’ve actually ditched our old computer in favour of this. A tablet holder with an extending stand is twinned with a click on keyboard, with a full range of useful shortcuts and a sturdy feel that seems made to last. If your old computer is getting a bit long in the tooth, and you’re looking for an excuse to make your work set-up flexible, agile and portable, this comes highly recommended.
Buy now £179.99, Logitech.com
Best: For desktop or office setups
Compatible devices: iPad pro 11in/ iPad air and iPad pro 12.9in
Viewing angles: Portrait or landscape
Other features: Wireless and wired charging included
If you’re in the Apple ecosystem and looking for something to expand the possibilities of how you use your iPad, the Kensington studio dock is well worth a look. Its bulkiness and price might put some off, but if you’re a serious office or desk tablet user, this is a brilliant invention and could revolutionise the way you work. Working as a desktop docking station, your tablet will magnetically attach in either portrait or landscape mode. Once fixed in place, USB-C offers fast charging of the tablet itself, and additional wireless charging underneath for your phone or Apple AirPods (£119, Amazon.co.uk) is a nice touch. We especially liked the expansion ports on the back, which means it’s easy to attach extra external hard drive space. There’s even an ethernet port for speedy internet connection. This is only suited to dedicated iPad or Apple users, but has the possibility of being a permanent desktop fixture.
Buy now £337.84, Amazon.co.uk
Prepara iprep with stylus
Best: For the kitchen
Compatible devices: Fits all popular tablets
Viewing angles: Four viewing angles
Other features: Non slip rubber grip area, stylus included
If you’re like us and like to follow recipes found online and downloaded onto your tablet, this might be the perfect companion. It features a non-slip base, four viewing angles and a stylus for using your tablet – especially useful if you’ve got greasy hands when cooking. We also liked the fact it holds most sizes of tablets on the market at the moment, and folds away pretty neatly when not in use. If you’ve moved away from traditional recipe books, we think this could be an excellent purchase for the kitchen.
Buy now £21.99, Amazon.co.uk
Armadillo Sun beanbag stand
Best: For watching films
Device compatibility: All major tablets
Viewing angles: Multi angle
Other features: Wipe clean, water resistant fabric, supplied with beans
Armadillo Sun has miniaturised its popular outdoor beanbags for use as a tablet holder, and we thought it worked surprisingly well and would be well suited to someone wanting some extra support while watching TV outdoors or in a relaxed setting. It comes in a number of different colours and patterns and without having the traditional industrial, clunky style of other holders, would be a discreet and useful addition to any recreational space. The fabric itself is quick drying, stain and spill resistant too, making it a worthwhile recommendation for children.
Buy now £28.50, Armadillosun.com
Twelve South hoverbar duo
Best: For a range of mounting options
Device compatibility: All iPads and other tablets from 5in to 15in
Viewing angles: Portrait or landscape orientation
Other features: Desktop stand, shelf clamp mounting (hex wrench included)
The standout aspect we liked about the hoverbar duo is its ability to hold your tablet in either portrait or landscape modes, which adds a large degree of flexibility to your setup and ensures it’s useful no matter how you’re using your tablet. We tested on our iPad and found it felt sturdy and easy to use – we also thought it was great that it includes both a weighted desktop stand for fixed use, or a shelf clamp for more “on the fly” attachments. It’s got a good range of motion and extension too, so we found it was a good companion for those Facetime or Zoom meetings when you need to extend the tablet to eye level.
Buy now £79.99, Currys.co.uk
Targus portable ergonomic tablet/laptop stand
Best: For a range of device sizes
Device compatibility: All 10in to 15.6in devices
Viewing angles: 6 height adjustment angles
Other features: High-quality aluminium construction
We liked this Targus offering as it provides users with quite a large degree of flexibility when it comes to different tablet and laptop sizes – ranging from 10in to 15.6in. It supports up to six alternative height options, which means it’s likely that no matter what kind of tablet you’re using, you’ll be able to get a good fit using this holder. At first glance we felt the holder itself seemed a little flimsy, but once it’s set up and in the right position, the lightweight aluminium frame works well and provides excellent support.
Buy now £17.40, Amazon.co.uk
The verdict: Tablet stands and holders
For us, the best buy here is the Logitech combo touch. Not only does it act as a stand for your iPad when browsing or watching films or videos, but its attachable keyboard significantly adds value when it comes to more professional or work use. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, we’d suggest the Twelve South hoverbar duo, which is super-flexible and adaptable, can extend to eye level and will be able to fit a wider range of tablet devices from 5in to 13in.
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