Working on a laptop for long hours can have a nasty impact on your back, neck and overall posture. An easy and affordable way to upgrade your workspace ergonomics is to use a laptop stand. Whether you build one of your own or buy one with a fancy design, it can make a big difference. Here's a look at five of the best laptop stands, nominated by readers.
Title photo by Mike Sisk
The mStand Laptop Stand by Rain Design was built for Macbook laptops, but it works just fine for any laptop model. It's a simple, solid piece of aluminium that's angled perfectly to keep your laptop elevated and cool, with the screen opened to just the right angle so you can see it while you're working. The new mStand 360 has an adjustable base so you can swivel your laptop from side to side while you work. It's designed for use with a external keyboard and monitor. If you are into Apple gear, it will fit right in on your desk.
The IKEA BRADA is an inexpensive laptop support that comes in a couple of different designs, but both are affordable. The fold-out stand with spaces in the sides for cable management is $24.99, while the angled model shown here is just $7.99. Both models are basic but get the job done, and there are lots of other IKEA laptop stand hacks if you're feeling creative.
The Griffin Elevator laptop stand is an elegant, space-saving setup that offers plenty of room at the centre and around the sides for other devices, keyboard storage and cable management. The brushed aluminium design and rubberised feet keep your laptop in place while elevating it, and while it's not height adjustable, it does bring your laptop up to a workable height whether you choose to use it there (perhaps with a standing desk setup) or connect an external keyboard to it. It also has an open design to keep your laptop cool. It's another laptop stand that was designed for Macbooks, but it works just as well with any model of laptop.
If you're looking for a laptop stand that's also designed to keep a hot laptop cool, the Cooler Master NotePal U2 does the job. It comes in a number of models, and can accommodate multiple adjustable cooling fans designed to keep your system cool while in use. Even without the fans, the mesh material and elevated design elevates your laptop for easier use and cooling, and when you're not using it you can disassemble the stand to use as a protective carrying case for your laptop to keep it safe while you travel. It's available in a number of flavours and sizes depending on how many fans you want with it and the size of the laptop you're using.
Do It Yourself
To get an option customised exactly for your workspace, you have to build your own laptop stand. Whether it's just some books under your laptop or a fancy DIY option such as some of the options we've demonstrated before, making your own is the best way to get the exact height you want. You can go from a simple stand to charging ports and height adjustability pretty quickly depending on the level of effort you want to put into it. Photo by Craig Lloyd
Honourable mention this week to the 3M Vertical Notebook Riser, which many of you praised for being height adjustable, affordable, ergonomically correct, and perfect for using your laptop with an externally connected keyboard.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your own favourite laptop stand? Tell us -- and tell us why -- in the comments.