Here at WGS, we review all manner of tech products. A substantial amount of them are aimed at home users, with the option of use in a business environment. We don’t often look at products targeted at business use – however, today we are doing just that.

StarTech.com is a North American company that specialises in a number of categories including Audio/Visual products, cabling, expansion cards, networking products and other components. You may well have some of their accessories in your tech filled drawers. I know I have.

The new StarTech Lockable Floor Stand for iPad is a POS-style display adapter allowing tablets to be used as interactive kiosks in a variety of commercial environments.

As the name would suggest, the StarTech Lockable Floor Stand for iPad is aimed at those wishing to secure and display their Apple tablets. The stand will accommodate any 9.7” iPad up to and including the most recent iPad Pro and has the ability to power said devices with a cable routed within the pole of the stand.  Made of steel, aluminium and plastic, the stand is lightweight where it needs to be and strong enough to provide security for those expensive devices. Typical environments I can initially think of would be at trade show booths or hotel receptions, allowing you to convey information to customers whilst not having to worry about theft.

What’s in the box?

Being a product aimed at business use, the packaging isn’t particularly exciting. But it informs you about the product’s features and ensures it’s safe in transit.

Everything you need is included. The main stand comprises three parts – a powder coated steel base, an aluminium pole with internal cable management and a lockable steel tablet holder.

Along with the above, you get a plastic base connector, a total of 4 M6 screws to attach the base to the pole, a further 4 M4 screws to attach the holder to the pole, plus 4 screws with raw-plugs to fix the base to the floor. There are also a number of foam pads to ensure everything is fitted snuggly within the stand and to ensure that the base doesn’t scratch the floor where it will be used.

A pair of keys allow you to unlock the holder as required and a small guide booklet explains how to put everything together.  In truth, it’s all very simple and if you have ever attempted to put flat pack furniture together, this will be a doddle.

Putting it together

The whole process of putting the stand and holder together takes around five minutes at most.  If you wish to have your iPad device permanently powered, the first thing to do is run a Lightning cable through the centre of the pole. I had the 2m cable from my iPad Pro 12.9 handy and this is just about the right length to allow for the tablet to be powered. It gives you enough excess to get to a wall power point or, if required, facilitate an extension lead. A cable shorter than 2m will limit connectivity.

The cable can be fitted after you’ve put the stand together but it is so much simpler to do so prior to construction.  I did have other cables available including an aftermarket 3m cable, but the plugs were too big to be able to use them in the holder. So, it’s worth checking which cable you’ll be using for a perfect fit before getting everything fixed in place.

Once this is done, slide on the base connector and screw in the 4 M6 screws with the included allen key and the base is secure. The tablet holder itself can be displayed in both portrait or landscape formats depending on your requirements, but orientation is fixed with screws and cannot be adjusted as and when required. However, if you do need to switch you’ll find it’s a simple job as the holder is held to the pole with just four M4 screws, which are this time tightened using a cross head screwdriver.

The cable needs to reach down to the bottom or side of the holder to enable a power connection, but the cable is completely hidden when a tablet is in place. As mentioned, the iPad holder is lockable. A simple push of a button will secure things and the keys are only needed to unlock as and when required. When unlocked, the holder comes away in two separate parts, so it can be fully removed when making adjustments or fitting your tablet for the first time.  The holder has a small aperture enabling use of the front facing camera on the iPad.

When fitted with the required foam pads, the iPad sits in the holder very snuggly. I used the stand with an iPad Air, which usually has a silicon case, but I removed it for using it with the stand.  Once in place and powered up, the iPad has little movement and feels very stable.

As mentioned, this stand is primarily aimed at 9.7″ iPads but the opening in the holder is 198 x 149 mm so other types of tablets can be used to obtain the same results. The supplied foam pads will enable similar sized tablets to be used without too much trouble.

In Use

Once the holder is fitted there is no access to the home button when the tablet is secured, so any software running on the device needs to take this into account. You can, of course, open the case for access. The lack of home button access means that the iPad can’t exit the app being displayed. That may not suit all needs, but it does mean your audience will have the same restriction. In the sort of environments where you may use this product, it’s fair to say you would facilitate the iPad’s ‘kiosk mode’ anyway so it’s practical for display purposes.

The stand is just over 1 metre tall at its highest point (top of the holder when in portrait mode) and it provides a good position for viewing and interaction (if required), I’m 5’11 and found it to be the perfect height for me.  That being said, some may find a fixed height slightly limiting depending on where and when it is being used, for example if it were to be viewed from a seated position.

The screen’s brightness can, of course, be adjusted from the main OS as can the length of time the screen is powered up (setting this to never timeout will produce the required results) and at full brightness, the screen is going to be just right even under the bright glare of a trade show or business reception.

The stand is certainly secure in use and it’s unlikely that anyone would try to make off with your tablet.  That being said the way in which the stand is to be fixed to the floor might require some sturdier fittings than those supplied.  If fixing through a carpet tile onto a floor, the screws definitely wouldn’t be long enough, so it’s worth checking out your surfaces for the fittings you’d require. It has to be said that you should secure this stand to the floor, as on its own it’s just not stable enough.  This would be the same with any other stand unless a base was used with some substantial weight.

Summary

At an RRP of £243.59 (although available online for much less) the Startech.com Lockable Floor Stand is not the cheapest device of its type on the market and not the most versatile either. But, if you are looking for a good looking, secure stand that’s easy to assemble, it’s worth giving the Startech.com Lockable Stand for iPad a try.