Choosing a new laptop stand is almost as important as choosing the laptop itself. To be fair, getting things wrong is a lot less expensive. But you still want a stand that meets all your needs. One that’s the wrong height, doesn’t have enough cooling, or is poorly padded,will only cause trouble down the road. Similarly, you want one that lasts as long as your laptop. A premature failure can be frustrating to say the least. Do you buy a brand new stand for a three-year-old laptop? Or do you stick things out for a year until you need a new laptop anyway. Taking the time to find the right stand in advance can spare you a lot of this unnecessary aggravation.
We’re about to look at three of the top ergonomic laptop stands on the market. We’ll start with the NUStand XL Bamboo Laptop Stand. A wooden laptop stand might be unorthodox, but it actually comes with a lot of benefits. Next, we’ll review the Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand. This is an elegant aluminum stand that’s made primarily for Macs. Finally, we’ll examine the CosyFame Adjustable Laptop Table. This isn’t just a desk stand. It’s also a table for using your laptop in bed. Which one is right for you? Let’s dig a little deeper, and see what we uncover!
Benefits of a Laptop Stand
So, why would you want to use a laptop stand to begin with? The number one reason is ergonomics. If you’re not sitting in the right position, you’re not just going to be uncomfortable. You could also cause yourself long term injury. Repetitive stress injury from constantly sitting in one position or having your arms at the wrong angle is no joke. Angling your laptop and elevating it makes it easier to see your monitor without bending over. Because you’re holding your head straight, you won’t be putting as much strain on your neck over time.
In addition to protecting your health, a good stand will also protect the health of your laptop. A quality adjustable laptop stand will generally include risers, vents, or both to improve air flow. In other words, your laptop won’t just be resting flat on a solid surface. In theory, this should make overheating less likely than it is without a stand. Not only that, but most good laptop stands offer some kind of option for cable management. Depending on how you’re using your stand, this may or may be useful. It’s most useful if you leave a lot of peripherals at your desk, and want to keep track of the cables.
Another good reason to use a laptop stand is if you’re using a standing desk. Most standing desks are designed for desktop PCs, which typically have their monitors on stands. A laptop monitor, by comparison, can sit too low for comfort. By using a stand, you gain the same ergonomic benefit you’d use from using a stand at a sitting desk. The same is true if you’re using a secondary external monitor. By elevating your laptop monitor to the same height, you’ll be more comfortable.
Some laptop stands offer other benefits. They may double as book stands, or they might be designed to work in bed. Keep in mind that these additional features often come with their own drawbacks. It all really comes down to what you need. One thing we should clarify is that we’re reviewing laptop stands for using an open laptop. There are other vertical stands that allow you to use your laptop as a PC tower, but that’s not the same thing.
Important Laptop Stand Features
We’ve looked at the potential benefits of laptop stands. But what should you be looking for when you’re shopping? Here are a few features you should keep in mind regardless of the style of stand you’re buying.
First and foremost, the stand needs to be compatible with your laptop. In many cases, this is not a serious concern. The stand is either a flat platform or has large, universal brackets. On the other hand, many stands are contoured for a particular type of laptop. Always check carefully that the stand is, at a bare minimum, big enough for your laptop. It also helps if the stand is lightweight and portable, as well as reasonably sturdy. You don’t want a stand that’s going to collapse and damage your computer! It’s always worth spending a few extra dollars on a sturdier stand.
A good stand should also be easy to use. Exactly what “easy to use” means will depend on your application. For example, a desktop stand should be easy to adjust without any tools. On the other hand, a dedicated car mount should be lockable, and should secure your laptop in place.
Last but not least, you should think about aesthetics. Now, good looks should never be the number one reason you choose a laptop stand. But if there are two relatively similar models, pick the one that looks best to you. This is doubly true if you’re going to be using your stand at work. At bare minimum, it will need to look professional, and not like a toy.
NUStand XL Bamboo Laptop Stand
As we mentioned at the outset, Bamboo isn’t exactly an orthodox material for a laptop stand. But the NUStand XL Bamboo Laptop Stand has a lot to offer. For one thing, it’s exceptionally large. At 15.9 inches wide and 12 inches high, it’s big enough for even the largest multimedia laptops. Moreover, the bamboo material is surprisingly cool. There are no cooling vents, but only the front of your laptop is blocked. Between that and the wood material, cooling isn’t really a major concern. In addition to all that, the bamboo is very easy to wipe clean. The finish is smooth and well-finished, so a damp cloth is all you need to keep it dust-free.
The wooden laptop platform rests on an adjustable frame. A metal rear bracket pivots to sit in six slots on the bamboo base. These correspond to six different angles, so you can use the laptop just about however you want. It can rest at a steep angle or a shallow one, or anywhere in between. In addition, it can also be laid flat entirely for transport. In this configuration, it’s only about an inch thick, so it’s easy to carry in a larger briefcase or laptop bag.
Beyond its benefits as a laptop stand, the NUStand XL is a great choice for artists, musicians, and anyone who needs a portable, mid-sized working surface. To begin with, there’s a rear tension screw that can be loosened to free up the surface of the stand. When this is done, you can pivot the surface to either a portrait or landscape configuration. This same screw can also be removed altogether. In that case, the ¼-inch threaded screw hole will allow for easy mounting on a standard tripod.
The tripod compatibility isn’t the only feature that makes the NUStand XL excellent for musicians. It also sports a pair of clips for holding down sheet music. For drafters, there’s a straightedge included, attached to a row of embedded magnets.
Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand
Nulaxy is known for manufacturing a number of electronic accessories, including automotive FM radio transmitters. The first thing you’ll notice about the Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand is its sturdy aluminum design. It has a laptop platform that’s 10.2 inches wide and 9.4 inches deep. The laptop supports at the front are contoured, with foam padding on the inner surface to prevent scratching. They’re specifically shaped for Macbooks, but the stand can work with most smaller laptops. For instance, it’s an excellent fit for pretty much any Chromebook. With that in mind, it’s no weakling. With a weight capacity of up to 44 pounds, it could even support a mid-sized CRT television.
The finish itself is buffed and shiny, with round corners that won’t jab or snag on your clothing. The two arms have an elegant upward arc, with hinges at both the top and the bottom. The bottom hinges are used to adjust the height, while the upper hinges adjust the angle. The height can be adjusted from 3.15 to 10.6 inches, and the angle can be very steep or very shallow. Keep in mind that the high weight limit makes the hinges difficult to move. You’ll need to apply a bit of elbow grease to make any adjustments. The upside is that once the hinges are in place, they’re unlikely to move on their own. Despite this rugged design, it weighs only 2.1 pounds, making it easy to transport.
The Nulaxy stand is also very safe for your laptop. It has a wide slot at the top to allow more airflow. Not only that, but four rubber pads lift your laptop a fraction of an inch above the platform. This isn’t much, but it’s enough to permit more air to flow underneath. All of this is backed by Nulaxy’s 18-month manufacturer’s warranty. Make sure to send in your warranty card, though. Otherwise, you won’t be covered.
CosyFame Adjustable Laptop Table
We’ve looked at two great desk stands, but what if you want to work in your bed? In that case, the CosyFame Adjustable Laptop Table lives up to its name. The entire aluminum frame can be articulated, and is wide and tall enough for most people to lay underneath. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from using it as a desk stand, either. The laptop can be adjusted to almost any angle, and is held in place with a pair of clips. Cooling is also excellent. A pair of USB-powered fans on the back of the unit keep your laptop well-ventilated even in bed. The stand will still work fine without the fans plugged in, but it’s even cooler if they are.
The overall weight of the table is only 3.23 pounds, which is impressive considering what you get. Not only will it support your laptop, but it also has a built-in mouse stand. This way, you can also use an external mouse in bed. When not in use, the mouse stand can be easily stowed away. This is useful not just when you don’t need it, but also during travel. You can collapse the stand down to the size of the laptop platform itself, which makes it much more portable.
Which one of these ergonomic laptop stands is the best? It all comes down to what you’re using it for. We started out by looking at the NUStand XL Bamboo Laptop Stand. Admittedly, it’s not the first thing you’d think of when you hear “laptop stand.” But what it lacks in dedicated laptop features, it more than makes up for in versatility. You can use it for music, art, drafting, or reading. And in-between, it can hold your laptop in place. About the only serious drawback is the lack of any kind of cable management. Depending on what you need, this may or may not be an issue.
The Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand offers its own type of elegance. Instead of classic wood, it’s made of buffed aluminum, with an elegant silver finish. It’s also very sturdy, with a weight limit of 44 pounds. All in all, this is what most people think of when they hear the words “laptop stand.” It’s rugged, it’s adjustable, and it holds your laptop at an angle. Moreover, it’s engineered for optimal cooling. Both a large air slot and rubber supports ensure plenty of air flow. To be fair, the Nulaxy stand is only useful for laptops, and only really as a desk stand. But if that’s what you need, it performs admirably.
Last of all, we looked at the CosyFame Adjustable Laptop Table. This is a great choice if you’re laying in bed, with a built-in mouse stand and plenty of clearance. However, it’s also a great choice if your laptop runs hot. The USB cooling fans will go a long way to chilling even the most powerful of computers.