Provides: Vertical mount for MacBook Pro/Retina/Air notebook
Developer: Just Mobile
Appletell has reviewed several of Just Mobile’s gadgets in the past, from the multifunctional AluPen to their precision crafted headphone stand. For those seeking a cleaner desktop (physical, not the virtual one on your Mac), enter the AluBase. With a design that is at once striking and elegantly usable, the AluBase does just one job and does it very well; it holds your MacBook Pro, Pro with Retina, or Air upright, freeing up valuable deskspace and providing easier access to ports.
The AluBase is designed for use with an external display, because obviously your MacBook will be closed during use. As desktop monitors get larger, it can be difficult to leave enough free space on your desk for a keyboard, trackpad/mouse, and the full footprint of your MacBook. Standing your notebook vertically allows it to take up just a sliver of space on a desk, so if you don’t need dual screens, the AluBase saves space and makes the ports easier to access (with such razor thin designs, Apple does make it difficult to grasp cables when plugging/unplugging).
Just Mobile rightly makes note of the AluBase’s designer: Jakob Wagner. With a portfolio that spans furniture and electronics for names the likes of Bang & Olufsen, Wagner has crafted a stand that looks like a totally natural extension of Apple’s laptop designs. The genius of the AluBase is its versatility, because it can accommodate a relatively chunky MacBook Pro, svelte Pro with Retina display, or a super skinny Macbook Air with ease. The secret is a set of interchangeable white plastic inserts (which match the white Apple logo), so you can choose the proper fitting insert for your notebook. The hardware to achieve this transformation consists of a simple pressure screw located on the bottom so it is out of sight when the stand is in use (just like the ports on an iMac)
There is no doubt the AluBase is a one trick pony, and a fairly expensive one at that. If you can name five things you care more about than the design of what you see on your desk every day, this is not the notebook stand you’re looking for. If you feel an insane urge to make everything look like it belongs together, harmoniously working to provide visual pop, and you crave objects that are lovingly designed, $50 is a steal (this thing seriously looks like a piece of gear Jony Ive created). If you find yourself falling somewhere in between, keep in mind the MacBook Air is about as thin as notebook computers are going to get for the forseeable future, so you will be able to use this holder for quite some time even as you buy new laptops.