Every now and then, the good folks at Wacom send me new products to use out in the trenches of the art world to review. This one, though not a proper device but a peripheral, was very much welcome and long overdue!
The Wacom Mobile Studio Pro (MSP) came out just over a year ago. I did a review of it here. One of the gripes with that device was that, unlike it's predecessors, there was no stand to go along with it. So, in order to use it, you had to either prop it up on some books, or, like me, go out and get something that would serve the purpose until the real thing eventually came along. Myself, I went through 3 different stands- 2 of one that was compact but flimsy (and now broken), and a 3rd stand that actually really worked pretty good, but was just another piece of hardware to schlep around. Both were actually meant to use with an iPad, and the MSP is significantly heavier than an iPad.
Finally Wacom has released a stand that's custom made for the Mobile Studio Pro, and I have to say, it's really pretty awesome. (Take my word for it, I've uses this thing enough and run it through it's paces, and if the stand was anything less than great, I'd certainly make it known here.)
The thing about this stand is that it really feels substantial.
It's metal, and adds just enough heft to the whole unit to make it feel extremely solid, but not enough to where it bogs it down in your computer bag. My main gripe with the stand on the previous incarnation of this tablet was that it was plastic and cheap feeling. Not this version. And, his stand snaps into place with a satisfying CLICK that really lets you know it's installed right.
The MSP is a $3000 machine- knowing this stand is installed right means a lot. Once it's installed, for the most part it becomes part of the device. It can be removed with a simple push of a connection tab, but once it's on there you won't need to remove it.
If I were in the market for this piece of hardware, here's what I'd want to see:
With this stand, I really like that it’s metal, yet slim and relatively light. It really feels like a permanent part of the machine.
Also, it seems to me that everyone uses this thing at one angle- nobody changes the angle once they find one that works for them, so this 3 tier angle thing is perfectly fine. (It's basically the same as the Companion 2 in function.)
I like that it’s not going to fall off. I bring this thing out to jobs all around NYC and across the country, and not having to worry about this thing slipping off while setting up is a real plus.
I LOVE it’s slim design. Fits nice and flush to the device, not increasing the thickness of it my much. Fits nicely into the case/computer bag.
LOVE how the release works. Push the little tab and the stand snaps out. I wouldn’t have thought of that- nice touch! Really makes it feel more substantial and well thought out.
As the MSP originally ships (and I can't say if this is still the case), the little clips that the stand snaps in to are the wrong size. Included in the new stand is little replacement brackets and a tiny screwdriver. This was a little tricky, but once you swap out the installed brackets on the tablet, the stand fits right into place. The brackets that the hinged side of the stand click into are fine as is, IMHO- You really have to lean in to snap the stand into place, but once it's in, it ain't goin' nowhere. I like the extra security that this thing won't be falling off anytime soon.
There's a minor gripe that's barely worth mentioning, but the 3 tiers you can choose from for a viewing angle lie so flush against the body of the stand it can be a little tricky grabbing the right level. But, that's super minor and by no means a deal breaker.
Also, at $99.95, it's a little steep. Right now the website has that regular price crossed out and a big $49.95 next to it. If you're in the market, this is certainly worth it.