There's no shortage of iPad stands on the market, but those looking for something a little bit more flexible and robust might be interested in the solid aluminum Mantis Stand from U.K.-based flatscreen arms. Like a praying mantis, the Mantis Stand clasps its prey (well, your iPad) in a vise-like grasp. Rather less like a praying mantis, the stand's x-shaped head swivels and tilts for portrait or landscape viewing from almost any angle. But the similarities and non-similarities to the praying mantis do not end there.

Ways in which the Mantis Stand is like a praying mantis (Mantis religiosa or similar)

  • Its remorseless embrace ("unique" quick release mechanism notwithstanding)
  • Remains motionless much of the time

Ways in which the Mantis Stand is not like a praying mantis

  • Aluminum body
  • Anodized finish
  • Adjustable tension in the head (which presumably affects how easy it is to adjust)
  • Security screw (for locking the iPad in place)
  • Cam lever-controlled retractable arms
  • Sexual cannibalism-free

The Mantis Stand is compatible with both the iPad and iPad 2 with or without Smart Cover, and can be bought directly from the manufacturer for £149.99 (US$233).

That's undeniably pricey for an, albeit elegant, iPad stand. For thrifty gadgeteers (and we salute you) there are plenty of less expensive alternatives to consider like the RingO, dzdock, Yogi, TabGrip or LUXA2 H4.