Rolling Ave. iCircle

The iCircle adds a two-way horizontal and vertical stand.

The iCircle adds a two-way horizontal and vertical stand onto the back of a compact iPad back shield; it can also be used in a third, flatter typing mode. Compatible with Smart Cover. The $70 price is way too high, and the construction quality feels several steps down from stellar. The iCircle is a clever multipurpose iPad back cover/stand, but its high price and somewhat flimsy feel don't add up to a smart purchase for most people.

If I can think of one nagging annoyance about using an iPad, it's this: propping the darn thing up can often be more challenging than it needs to be.

Yes, that's what Apple's Smart Cover is for, to some degree: you can stand your iPad in landscape mode or settle it down to an elevated typing angle. That hasn't stopped others from dreaming up solutions to the same problem, mostly in the form of folio cases that bulkily transform into stands.

Startup company Rolling Ave. has another solution: turn a back cover into a convertible stand. The iCircle is a smooth plastic shell that fits around the iPad 2 or third-gen iPad and has a circular ring in the center. Pull the ring, and a stand pops out that can rotate into portrait or landscape mode.

The iCircle looks the part of a hip iPad accessory, and has a stylish flair. It snapped easily onto the back of my iPad, and I liked the color: a glossy, creamy white, with a circular aluminum center that exposes the Apple logo. Black's available, too, if you prefer that.


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