When resting an iPad or MacBook/Air/Pro on a desk, having it inclined at a comfortable angle is desirable for many users. The ParcSlope from Twelve South is a beautifully made steel stand that achieves this. It's especially useful for drawing with an iPad Pro. Here's a closer look.
The angle from horizontal is 18 degrees.
There are two important things to know about the ParcSlope. First, it's made of steel and has a rigid silicone pad at the top and a soft curb (or lip) on the bottom edge that holds the device in place at an 18 degree angle from the horizontal. It's a hefty piece of equipment, well made and good looking at 0.91 kg (2 pounds). In addition to the desirable angle for drawing or typing, it has the added advantage of keeping your expensive Apple device off the desk surface where it could be damaged by a liquid spill. (Actually, this is a serious problem in a household with curious cats.)
The ParcSlope ships in a very sturdy box, so well made and good looking that there's a slip of paper inside with suggestions on how one might repurpose the box rather than just throw it away.
The second thing to know about is the compatibility. Twelve South says it works with the 2015 12-inch MacBook, any MacBook Air, or any MacBook Pro with a 13-, 15-, or 17-inch display. I tested it with my 12-inch MacBook and an iPad Pro, and the 18 degree angle from the horizontal is very pleasing. Twelve South points out in their literature that "Professional illustrators are used to drawing on angled digital tablets." I also tested with an iPad Air in a thin gel case, and it also works nicely, but only in portrait mode. The iPad Air is too narrow to use in landscape mode.
Works with any MacBook model.
Also notable in the design is a generous sized cable slot in the back to help manage power cables, etc. There are also four, obligatory, rubber feet on the bottom that keep it from scratching your desk.
What Could Go Wrong?
The only problem I noted with the ParcSlope is that the front "curb" or lip isn't quite deep enough to accommodate, in landscape mode, one of the more rugged iPad Pro cases, the Urban Armor Gear Composite Case, reviewed recently. The curb catches nicely on my MacBook and a bare iPad Pro, but if it were only a little deeper, I'd feel better about the security of the iPad Pro in this rather thick case. I didn't test, because I don't have an Apple Smart Cover, but Twelve South says that case is compatible.
At nearly a kilogram, it'll stay put on your desk.
One thing to note is that the cardboard wrapper that goes around the shipping box only specifies "ParcSlope for MacBook." Don't be confused. It works nicely with all the devices I listed above. Just the other day, I used it to present an iPad Pro in my review of SkySafari 5—where you can see it in action.
Warranty, Packaging, Price
All Twelve South products come with a one year limited warranty. The box that it ships in is so good that you'll probably want to keep it as a desk organizer, storage box or something to keep Legos in. It's the most amazing shipping box I've ever seen. But then, the ParcSlope is a formidable piece of steel. Finally, US$50 seems like a fair price. While some iPhone cases cost that much and this product is a relatively simple piece of steel and silicone, it's very well designed and represents good value.
Drawing with iPad Pro.
Considering how many Apple devices (and likely others) the ParcSlope works with, its pleasing presentation angle, excellent craftsmanship and reasonable price, this stand has earned a place on my crowded desk. That in itself is something. You won't go wrong here and, come to think of it, because it works with so many devices, the ParcSlope would make a great stocking stuffer.