Review: Compass for iPad by Twelve South

Review: Compass for iPad by Twelve South

An innovative company focusing exclusively on Apple products, Twelve South has an excellent reputation for producing quality products.  Among the top of their creative items are the BookBook, iMac BackPack, and iPad HoverBar.

Although Twelve South does not relentlessly push new products to market, their items are well-designed and exemplify a keen eye for detail.  With less than twelve employees, they take the extra effort to ensure each of their products is an absolute must-have item.  Each product is carefully crafted and produced in an exceptional way, even down to the packaging.  The Compass for iPad is one fine example of Twelve South’s innovative prowess.

Design and Function

Plain and simple: the Compass unfolds into a tripod-like easel for displaying, using, or viewing your iPad.

When taking the Compass from the included neoprene travel sleeve, it is merely an inch wide and seven inches tall.  The compact size makes it easily portable in a backpack, handbag, or purse and once you use the Compass, you will want to take it everywhere.  Unfolding the three legs, two shorter tabs come down to cradle the iPad at the perfect viewing angle of 60 degrees; however, this angle is not adjustable.

The easel orientation easily accommodates the iPad in portrait or landscape and works well for FaceTime conversations, Keynote presentations, playing your favorite games, or showing off your recent vacation pictures.  If you will be using the Compass to type, lay the tripod frame back onto the rear leg and unfold the shortened tab found in the rear.  This laying position places the iPad at 15 degrees, which is excellent for typing, while still elevating the viewing angle.  The two options make the Compass an excellent way to having fun or get things done!

Each surface of the Compass that touches the iPad has a protective silicone pad to prevent damaging scratches.  Also, each leg, including the shortened rear (fourth) leg is tipped with a similar silicone to reduce wear on surfaces and adds extra grip.

The overall design is stylish and professional, exuding extra flair to your desktop or living space.  Having utilized other stands in the past, the wife is much more keen on keeping this one in the living room!

Why You Need One

When using iPad for an extended period, it becomes a chore to continually hold it at the appropriate angle.  Ever tried watching a movie on a stowaway table on an airplane? Reading an iBook… playing Angry Birds? Do you use your iPad without a case? The Compass keeps your iPad scratch free and off dusty surfaces around your house.

Would you like a fashionable way to show off a set of pictures for company? Use the easel mode and iPhoto to loop images when friends and family visit. …better yet, prop up your iPad and stream music to your stereo using AirPlay and let your Album art generate conversation.

Honestly, you didn’t know you needed a stand until you own one.  I love iPhone and iPad stands (I have several scatter across the house and in the office) and the Compass is at the top of long list.

Conclusion [rating: 4.5/5]

Finely crafted, portable, versatile, durable, and stylish, the Compass ($39.99, order page) is a must-have iPad accessory.  Stop haphazardly laying your iPad around the home and place it lovingly in the cradled arms of the Compass easel.  This small addition to my accessory arsenal will be traveling with me throughout the summer and making life easier on a daily basis.

If you do not currently own an iPad stand or are determining whether or not to purchase one, be assured the Compass is the only stand you need to consider.  Twelve South has truly completed their mission to produce a must-have Apple accessory.


  • Particularly portable
  • Comes with its own travel sleeve
  • Silicone buffers to prevent scratching
  • Silicone covered legs
  • Forged from solid steel
  • Stylish, practical, comes in three colors


  • The viewing angle is not adjustable