Incipio's one and only, Fixie, is a stand that caters not only to the king of tablets, but it also takes care of the little guys too. The Fixie is a multi-angle universal tablet stand that's designed not to become obsolete in the event of the release of a newer, more exciting tablet with different proportions. It might not be our first choice for a go-to portable tablet stand, but as far as the name goes the Fixie can fix your aching weak hands for a hands-free viewing pleasure. Tablet stands aren't on short supply, and you might end up liking what the Fixie has to offer after the cut!
The Fixie's curved aluminum metal slab uses its interesting but pretty mundane design to its advantage. Comprised out of two self contained parts, the Fixie can be positioned in multiple ways to create a total of four different viewing angles. The stand comes collapsed in itself as it would be when you want to take it with you on a day out. That black rubber pad around the Fixie's back side keeps the plastic leg piece or kickstand (which ever you'd like to call it) from moving around or sliding sideways while in transport, but it also fails to keep it from sliding when in use. Picking the stand up will cause the leg to slide sideways. It's annoying, but not a deal breaker.
Incipio did a fantastic job insuring the Fixie would never scratch your tablet with a long rubber tube that runs along the backside of the aluminum so to keep the backside of a tablet away from coming in contact with the bare metal. It's also worth mentioning that the two bottom feet which are designed to cradle the bottom half of the tablet are also covered with rubber pads. Underneath the front side of the stand is yet another rubber stretch to help keep your tablet grounded to your desk, table, nightstand and the like.
The build quality isn't very good compared to other equally and even cheaper priced tablet stands available. You've got glued on rubber pads which don't seem like they would stick around for very long with daily use - and a plastic kickstand that wobbles in between every chance it gets. You either make a stand from aluminum or you don't. The two materials don't play nice together. Once is plain weaker, and that's the plastic kickstand.
The included instruction sheet shows you exactly which angle to use for a certain task followed by a straight forward diagram on how to place the curved leg into the opposing side of the Fixie stand. The Fixie isn't the easiest stand to use we've come across and does require a bit of reconstructed every once in a while. Slide the bottom plastic piece apart from the aluminum base and right back into one of the two grooves to erect the Fixie in your desired viewing or typing angle. Simple enough, however, it's worth noting that there are other implementations which are even easier to us, require virtually no assembly like the Fixie and adjust into infinite angles with one fluid motion such as the Belkin FlipBlade Adjust tablet stand.
Tablet compatibly is outstanding. The Fixie is wide enough to accommodate a board range of tablets as big as the iPad and even a MacBook Air - all the way down to smaller tablets such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD tablets. Although you would be better off simply picking up those smaller tablets because of how portable they are. But then again, if you plan on sitting thru a full movie and putting that Amazon Prime to full use then using a stand is a far more convenient. And even if you've got a case on your tablet, the Fixie won't give you any fuss about it.
The Fixie features works very well in covering the best viewing angles suitable for watching a movie, browsing thru apps or displaying a Twitter feed using your tablet in either portrait or landscape orientations. We've tried setting each and every angle using the iPad and it has been quite steady whilst allowing us to fully use the touchscreen without fearing of toppling over the iPad. Typing using the Fixie's fourth most reclined position is surprisingly comfortable but may be a little steep for some. The aforementioned weak plastic kickstand does cause the stand to slightly flex when typing or pressing lightly on the screen.
If you have limited desk space, the Fixie arcs back to the extent where it it'll cover a significantly larger area than a more compact stand with the same capabilities would. So if having a capable compact stand that's portable is what you're after, this isn't it. Don't get me wrong, the Fixie can fold into a neater clam shell for carry, but it's odd curved shape doesn't lay flat and ends up taking extra space contrary to Incipio's claim for portability.
Priced equally as our Editors' Choice awarded Slide stand by Just Mobile, the Fixie faces some tough competition. And we've got a clear winner when it comes to portability and ease of use. Our ideal choice would first be the Slide followed by the Fixie. With that said however, the Fixie will do a much better job at being compatible with just about every tablet out there while the Slide has been designed to specifically work with the iPad's form factor and flat back side. While the Fixie's range of sturdy viewing angles and broad tablet compatibility is something we like, we can't recommend the Fixie at $40 and its fairly clunky design over a similar stand like the Belkin FlipBlade Adjust. Unlike the latter, the Fixie is available in this hot red, black, silver and blue colors in which you will hardly even get to see when using it.