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The Flote m2 floor stand review

For many people the iPad has become a part of everyday life. We use it for communicating with our friends and family, for consuming news and entertainment media, for organising our lives, for creating works of art and even playing games. As Apple works hard at reduce the size and weight of the iPad, it becomes more accessible, more intimate.

It’s so embedded in our lives that we often multitask when using it. Therein lies the problem. Like us, you’ve most likely tried to prop up your iPad in all kinds of precarious positions. Propping it up against a couple of cushions for some bedtime reading is pretty easy, but neck fatigue soon sets in. Propping it up on the corner of the bath to watch a movie is a little more challenging, and certainly has bigger risks than muscle fatigue!

This is where an iPad floor stand helps. By allowing hands-free iPad usage, the iPad can become even more accessible in a host of situations. But what makes the Flote m2 worth its $299 price tag? Why pick the Flote over other cheaper floor stands?

Key features

The Flote is an impressive piece of design and a remarkable example of quality engineering. It consists of three key components, a heavy base, a foldable telescopic arm and a spring loaded clip, all constructed from high quality lacquered metal, no cheap plastics here!

The clip is perhaps the most innovative aspect of the design. As you can see from our photos, the clip is held in position at the end of the telescopic arm by a powerful magnetic ball joint. This joint allows for close to 360° of movement. It is spring loaded and be opened to 20 centimetres, or thereabouts. Not wide enough to grasp the iPad Air by it's short edges, but plenty wide enough to grasp it by it's long edges.

The base is very heavy. The weight is necessary though, for without it the stand would topple with the telescopic arm at full reach.

This combination of parts makes the Flote the most useful iPad floor stand we have ever used. It means the iPad can be positioned a metre above ground height while extending a metre across a desk, sofa, bed or bath(!). It means that in its full vertical position it can hold the iPad almost 2 metres high. In any of these positions the magnetically attached ball jointed clip can itself be positioned at practically any angle. It’s quite remarkable.

What we liked

It’s beautiful, certainly the most beautiful iPad floor stand we’ve seen, and as we have already mentioned, it’s something that even Jony Ive would be proud of. The silver lacquered finish complements Apple products perfectly. The solidity is reassuring, and the build quality almost faultless.

We’ve been using the Flote for a couple of months and have found it to be more useful than any other floor stand we’ve used previously. Being able to ‘hover’ the iPad at almost any practical height and at all angles makes the iPad even more usable in certain situations. It’s not just iPads, almost any current tablet, e-reader or large smartphone (phablet) will fit the clip. For example, we were just about able to use it with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, albeit in a rugged case.

A few concerns

We have just a couple of concerns, things that you should be aware of before considering the Flote. The weight of the base, a necessary feature of such a flexible stand, means that it’s only luggable. By luggable we mean that carrying it from room to room is possible, but not recommended. I carried it for just over a mile in order to take the photos you see here, let’s just say it was a good workout!

The clip features rubber pads to protect the iPad from scratches. They work as intended when the iPad is in position, but the edges of the clip could potentially scratch the iPad when putting it into the clip. For this reason, we would not recommend using the Flote with a naked iPad. The clip is big enough to take almost any sized tablet in any sized case, and we recommend that you take advantage of this.

Wrap-up

For some people the Flote will make life with the iPad more enjoyable. Watching movies, FaceTiming family, reading, even painting are all enhanced by the Flote, but for the disabled or the elderly, the Flote could well be indispensable. It’s not cheap, but then neither is the iPad, and like the iPad you are paying for the quality of the industrial design and it's extra utility over lesser products.

It’s impossible to cover every question in a review, so if you have anything specific you’d like to know about the Flote, please ask us in the comments section below.

Purchase link: The Flote m2 floor stand

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