Life hack: Tablet stand from $2 office item

Life hack: Tablet stand from $2 office item

Summary: Mobile gadgets seem to multiply like rabbits. If you're like me, you may already have several. This simple life hack will keep your tablet or smartphone at the ready. There's another bonus hack, too.

Tablet stand hack side
(Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

Chances are you own a tablet, if sales numbers are an indication. That means you need accessories, including a good way to keep the tablet on the desk in the home or office. A simple product you may already have — only $2 if not — will keep that tablet off the desk and ready to use.

Simple solutions are always the best, and this one certainly qualifies. A good tablet stand will keep the slate propped up for use, yet take little valuable desk space. There are lots of stands available to purchase, from the inexpensive to the obscenely high-priced.

There's a chance you may already have a really good tablet stand, although you aren't using it for that purpose as it's designed for something else. Even if you don't have one, you can get one of these gizmos for just $2 at the local chain office supply store.

The black wire mesh business card holder (image below) is a simple item that is perfect for proudly displaying cards. That's not the only role it can fill for mobile device owners.

Tablet stand hack
(Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

For over six years I have been using a wire mesh business card holder as a stand for my smartphones (back in the day) and now with the various tablets I own. It's available online for as little as $1.99, and it's a superb stand for most tablets.

I've used it with tablets as small as 7 inches, and as large as the iPad. The tablet sits securely in the base and the lip of the card holder keeps it at the perfect viewing angle for using the slate in the stand.

Tablet stand hack front
(Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

It works just as well for smartphones. If you want your phone in the stand in the standard portrait orientation, put it in the card holder stand upside down. You can have the phone plugged in if the jack is on the bottom edge.

The card holder looks right at home in both the home office and the cubicle at work. It's so cheap you can get two to use in both locations.

Tablet holder hack
Bonus hack (Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

Bonus hack: Desktop shelves as pictured sometimes have folder holders on each end. These are perfect for stashing laptops and tablets out of the way when you need more surface space.

See also:

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • Picture frame holders

    Plenty of $2.00 fold-up picture frame holders make decent tablet stands, too. Not hard to find a usable alternative to expensive, dedicated tablet stands.
  • Surface Kickstand

    ALL tablets should have kickstands, at least like the two step variety on the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, but preferably the infinite stand of the Surface Pro 3
  • Apple in the dead letter holder

    it fits.

    "These are perfect for stashing laptops and tablets out of the way when you need more surface space.".

    Surface space... no pun intended :-)
  • Not worth it

    Inland Wire Frame Tablet Stand, SKU: 259200 for $6 is a MUCH better buy. (Check out Microcenter.)

    You can change the angle, it can hold tablets in either landscape or portrait mode (good for reading), it's made of about 3/8" steel, so it's VERY sturdy, and when folded up it adds very little to the overall thickness of the tablet alone.

    I find it even makes a good handle for putting the tablet into and taking it out of the carrying sleeve.