The Incase Origami Workstation was the first iPad stand I stood behind, offering a fairly convenient method to transport my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard (ABK), as well as orient the iPad in either landscape or portrait mode. It’s not the perfect solution, but it’s about the best I’ve yet come across.1 Rene Ritchie at iMore recently wrote a review of the Origami Workstation lauding it as well, but I question where Ritchie is coming from:
Confession: I don’t much enjoy the fussy, clickety-clacky old IBM-style keyboard. Sacrilege, I know. But I far prefer the the [sic] current, chicklet, island-style keyboards Apple is using on current MacBook’s and on their Apple Bluetooth Keyboard. It’s a full size, full-on computer keyboard. And it works well enough with the iPad.
I’m not quite sure why Ritchie broke in with this, because every iPad keyboard accessory is for scissor-switch keyboards, so the comment is is out-of-place in a review of the Origami Workstation.2 Regardless, the quote is ripe with misinformation. Presumably, by “clickety-clacky”, Ritchie is talking about mechanical keyboards. But:
- Mechanical keyboards are not all old – plenty of mechanical keyboards are being produced today.
- Mechanical keyboards are not all made by IBM, or even all made for PCs.
- The ABK is not a full-size keyboard, it’s a tenkeyless board. What Ritchie means is the key sizes on the ABK are equivalent to the key sizes on desktop keyboards, but that’s because the ABK is a desktop keyboard.
As far as the Origami itself goes, Ritchie doesn’t seem to like that the iPad just sits on the Origami when it’s open:
It’s clever, but there’s no magnet or slot or case or anything at all to hold the iPad in place. If the table gets jostled, bumped, or something else happens, your iPad could be displaced or even fall out.
I’ve owned the Incase Origami Workstation for almost a year now, and have never had a single incident of the iPad being “displaced” or “falling out”; the iPad’s weight is enough to keep it steady and in place, even when the Origami is positioned on my lap, sitting at an angle, etc. Ritchie is technically correct in that adequate lateral movement of the stand could potentially cause the iPad to topple away, but movement to that extent would likely cause the entire stand to topple away with it, so whether the two are tethered is a non-factor. Ritchie goes on to say that another downside to the Origami is that the “Case doesn’t cover [the] iPad”, but the Origami doesn’t advertise itself as an iPad case, so this criticism isn’t warranted. Rather, the Origami is a case for the ABK that transforms into a stand.
Before the article ends, Ritchie makes another odd comment in his conclusion:
I’ve been using the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard since it was introduced. It’s not quite as good as a MacBook keyboard but it’s close.
It’s an odd statement to make because the ABK is using the same exact switch design as employed in the MacBook. In other words, it’s the same keyboard, albeit not integrated into a computer.
I have to give Ritchie some points back though, because he makes an astute point about the Origami that a lot of owners and potential owners seemingly don’t recognize, and it’s the one gem that makes Ritchie’s review worth reading: you can fold the Origami’s corners up instead of down, which creates a stand with a flat base instead of a base only supported on the sides. This provides the Origami with additional support when propped up on your lap; with the corners folded down, the stand has a tendency to sink in-between your legs if you leave a large enough gap there, whereas by folding the corners up, the Origami is a lot more forgiving.
I’m also a fan of the WingStand, which has an equally small footprint, and also works to orient the iPad in either direction. ↩
The Origami isn’t differentiated from its competitors on account of it not working with mechanical keyboards, it’s differentiated from its competitors because it’s an iPad and ABK accessory. ↩