Review: LapWorks Aluminum Desktop Stand
With Apple’s notebooks becoming their main bread-and-butter product line, more and more people are getting their hands on them. Unfortunately, the new architectures also have led to more power and even more heat than the already hot PowerBook G4s from a few years ago. Because of this, more and more people are turning to products to reduce the heat. The Aluminum Desktop Stand from LapWorks hopes to alleviate the problem.
The Aluminum Desktop Stand sells for about $60, and is the first product from LapWorks that isn’t designed for lap or desk use. Instead, the Aluminum Desktop stand looks a lot like the Contour Design NoteRiser we reviewed a few years back, only that it sells for less than half the price.
Size-wise, the Aluminum Desktop Stand has a footprint slightly bigger than a 12″ iBook, meaning most notebooks should have no trouble sitting on it. When folded, it’s not very thick at all (3/8 of an inch). A neoprene sleeve is included with the stand to protect it from scratches when traveling and can double as a mouse pad. When put in place, the stand can raise a notebook’s screen to any one of six positions, up to 6 3/4 inches.
One change when compared to the NoteRiser includes a swiveling base, although this feature might not be used as much as one might think—how many times do you rotate a desktop LCD? Unfortunately, like the NoteRiser, the flip-out supports on the front block the optical drive on Apple’s pro-level notebooks. While this isn’t a problem for iBook or MacBook users, the stand requires you to lift your laptop to insert or eject a CD or DVD. This drawback may not be that big of a deal to you if you don’t use the optical drive much, but it is something to consider.
In the packaging of the product, LapWorks claims that the Aluminum Desktop Stand can reduce the temperature of your laptop by up to 23%. In fact, this was actually backed up by a
science fair experiment study.
In summary, the Aluminum Desktop Stand is a pretty good product, and priced quite competitively with many other laptop stands. If you have a consumer-level Apple laptop, it’s an excellent choice, although PowerBook/MacBook Pro users might want to think about how important access to the optical drive is.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The Aluminum Desktop Stand takes a rather simple design, mixes in some new features, and drops the price to make an attractive choice for some users.
Pros: Easy to transport, proven to cool laptops, carry sleeve, rotates, adjustable
Cons: Blocks optical drive on PowerBook/MacBook Pro