Clamp-On Monitor/iPad Stands for Small Desks

Published April 9, 2023

Since I have a small desk (32” by 17”), I’m constantly looking for efficient ways to utilize desk real estate. small deskAs such, I prefer to have my computer monitor and iPad suspended rather than sitting in a stand on the desktop. This means I’ve tested several stands in an attempt to keep my desktop clear.

The Right Monitor Stand

Finding a stand for the computer monitor was easy. Fortunately, the first one I tried, the MountUp adjustable C-Clamp stand (Amazon affiliate link) worked perfectly. Granted, because my desk is an old writing desk that I picked up from Craigslist for $20, the perimeter of the desk is not flat. It has a trim that’s perpendicular to the desktop. It’s actually pretty cute but not very functional.

Computer Monitor Clamp-On Stand

At first, not having a flat perimeter prevented me from using a clamp-on monitor stand. However, I got around that challenge by attaching small shelves to the back of the desk. Doing that allowed me to clamp the monitor stand onto the shelf ledge.

Finding A Clamp-On Stand for iPad

Things didn’t go so smoothly when I searched for a clamp-on iPad stand. Although sturdy and functional, my original iPad stand took up too much desktop real estate. With a 6” x 6” base, it was slightly larger than the Apple mousepad. Having both items on the desktop took up too much space.

So, when I installed shelves on the backend of the desk, I moved the iPad stand to the shelf and that solved the problem. Sort of. The base would move or tip depending on how I positioned the iPad. Also, the bracket holding the iPad had cracked. It still held the iPad, but there were signs of wear. I figured it was time to get something different.

Gooseneck iPad Clamp-On Stand

The thought of the Gooseneck stand was a great idea. Unfortunately, I didn’t consider two things:

  1. The strength of the goose’s neck. I don’t know what material the manufacturer used to create the gooseneck, but I had to firmly plant my feet on the floor and gird up my loins to move or rotate the neck. I understand that it needed to be sturdy, but enduring a sweaty workout just to change the position of the iPad was more than I bargained for.

  2. Gooseneck Number 1
  3. The Wobble factor. Every time I typed or tapped, the iPad would wobble. My vision isn’t what it used to be, and the bouncing blur was unacceptable.

The gooseneck stand got demoted to my camper van. It’s a great stand for viewing movies when things are stationary. It’s not good in an office setup.

Hangtiang: Clamp-On #2

The second stand was easier to adjust, but the arm was too long for my desk and it suffered from a similar wobble as the gooseneck stand. The wobble was not as intense, but more than I was willing to tolerate. It went back to Amazon.

AboveTEK: Clamp-On #3

Clamp On #3, the AboveTEk, is almost perfect for my needs. It’s the same brand as the one I previously had. It clamped nicely onto the shelf, but although the arm of the stand is the same length as my original AboveTEK, it didn't seem quite long enough for me to access the iPad comfortably. The reading distance was OK, but if I needed to swipe or tap the screen, the distance was just a bit too far for my liking.

Desk Shelf

Also, there were several times when I wanted to tilt the tablet angle upward, but the stand didn’t like the angle. The arm would slowly, and sometimes not so slowly, inch downward, causing the iPad to end up on the desk.

No matter how often I used the Allen wrench to tighten the adjusting screws, the arm just wouldn’t hold. So I ended up switching back to my old stand with the flat base. With the base of the stand anchored under the shelf’s attachment bracket, I could properly adjust the iPad angle.

AboveTEK desk stand

Surprise Gift from AboveTEK

When I ordered the second stand from AboveTEK, I received an unexpected email from them. The first few paragraphs were about how to use the iPad holder. It confirmed size and weight limitations. Sort of like the warnings you get with an electric hair dryer telling you not to use it while in the bathtub.

However, the last paragraph caught me by surprise. Here’s the snippet:

"To celebrate our AboveTEK store's anniversary, we'd love to offer you a FREE brand new bracket (TA-2W), which is for 5.5"-13.5" Tablet & Phone (Holder Only)"

Of course, I accepted the free offer. I received the new bracket a few days later. There’s an obvious improvement in bracket construction:

Old vs New

AboveTEK: Kitchen iPad Stand

Since I didn’t need two iPad stands on the desk, I placed the newer AboveTEK clamp-on stand in the kitchen. I attached it to the kitchen counter, and my Amazon Amazon tablet fits within it perfectly. I use the Amazon tablet as a TV and for internet access while working in the kitchen. It’s great for reading recipes.

Stands, Stands, and More Stands

I now have several clamp-on stands. When I started this journey, I only expected to have two. Now there’s the monitor clamp-on stand, a kitchen clamp-on, and a van clamp-on stand. And, to make matters worse, I purchased an iPhone clamp-on stand and use it in my van. So, all in all, I’ve got four clamp-ons and one with a desktop base.

For better or worse, I use all five of them regularly.

Update 2/6/24:. I finally found the right iPad stands for my desk.




Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.

Last Modified: 6 February 2024

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