The desk I work at has a space for my laptop and a shelf for my separate monitor but if you are constantly working on a laptop, a stand should be used to reduce eyestrain. Raising the screen just a few inches will put your LCD closer to eye level, for easier viewing. PC Mag reviewed four popular laptop stands. Some models provide USB connectivity options, although these sub-$100 stands are not full-fledged docking stations, just stands (from left to right): Read the roundup
- Griffin iCurve – The Griffin iCurve is the most ergonomic and inexpensive stand we found. The short plastic arms, which look like something Apple would design, sit at a 15-degree angle. That’s just about perfect for fast typing, and it mirrors the angle of Apple’s 17-inch LCD monitor and 23-inch Cinema display. Mac notebook users who already own an Apple external keyboard and mouse will love the clear plastic look. Unfortunately, even though the stand has small plastic rubber grips attached, we still felt that it could slide around too easily on a smooth desk, and we wondered about its stability. And the iCurve won’t work at all for bigger notebooks; the arms are just too close together.
- APC Ergonomic Notebook Stand with Four-Port USB 2.0 Hub – The APC Ergonomic Notebook Stand is sort of like a dumbed-down docking station with two rear USB 2.0 ports and an extra USB 2.0 port on each side. The APC also includes a USB cable, so you can connect a keyboard and mouse or any other USB device to the stand. The curved “notebook retainer” top provides extra cooling and locks into three different positions for ease of use. Some smaller notebooks and gargantuan widescreen wonders like the Apple PowerBook 17-inch might not sit perfectly on the stand, though, and we’re not sure why it comes with such a brick-like AC adapter. And the stand weighs just 3.4 pounds, so it’s not as stable as the Lapvantage Loft.
- Plasticsmith Lapvantage Loft – This gleaming, polished-acrylic stand has one major benefit: It’s sturdier than most other stands. Even your $3,000 Toshiba laptop will stay safe, perched 5.5 inches above your desk. The Lapvantage Loft stand rotates 360 degrees, so it swivels easily for group viewing, and it includes rubber feet to keep it from moving. You can tuck an external keyboard underneath it when it’s not in use. The stand is heavy enough to stay put even if you use a widescreen notebook, and comes in metallic, clear, and white; a blue edge on the Metallic Pedestal model seems to glow in well-lit conditions. Other stands tilt vertically and provide better cooling, but we’ll take desktop stability over other technical features.
- Targus Ergo M-Pro Mobile Notebook Stand – Portability is a plus with the Targus Ergo M-Pro Mobile Notebook Stand, but the convenience also has a downside. The M-Pro weighs only 1.4 pounds, the lightest of all the stands we tested, and measures a mere 9 inches when closedâ€”a good fit for most laptop bags. Yet the stand is too light for extended use with most notebooks. One awkward nudge and it could tip easily, especially given the vertically oriented design. Still, it’s easy to see the screen while the notebook is docked in the stand, and you can use one of several tilt angles. There’s also a handy document holder on the front, but you can’t use your laptop’s keyboard and the M-Pro at the same time, so you’ll need an external keyboard.