In the quest for the perfect desktop setup, there is often the argument about whether to get an iMac (or desktop computer), or get a laptop. While some are fortunate enough (or financially sound enough) to get both, others – myself included – prefer to go with what offers the most versatility and accept that we’ll be looking down at our laptop screen when we’re working at our desks
Fortunately, many third-party companies have developed stands and docks for your laptop, raising the screen 5 to 8 inches, putting it at a more usable viewing angle for a better desktop experience. Inateck have thrown their hat in the ring with the iStand Aluminum Laptop Stand, bringing an Apple design aesthetic to the office.
The iStand from Inateck ($44.99 from Inateck’s Amazon Store) is a simple, aluminum stand that offers a sturdy base for a variety of laptops (from 11″ to 17″). Constructed from 2 solid pieces of Aluminum and a hard plastic connector/cable management ring opening, the iStand can be ready to use in under a minute – no tools required.
Assembling the stand is as easy as placing the base on your desk, inserting the plastic connector ring into the cutout along the back, and dropping the top piece in place. From there, just place your laptop on top and get to work, feeling comfortable knowing the iStand’s rubber feet prevent it from sliding about as you bump your desk.
Initially, I was quite skeptical of the plastic connector’s ability to support my 13″ MacBook Pro (heaven forbid I have a heavy 17″ HP), but the stand held firm when I placed my computer on it’s rubberized pads. A small lip on the front of the stand offers additional support, ensuring your computer won’t slide off the front and crash onto your desk or counter.
One drawback to these types of stands is that, while they bring the monitor to a more usable position, they make typing or using the keyboard or trackpad on the computer a little more challenging. This means you’re stuck either typing and mousing on a suspended computer, or you’re buying a separate keyboard and mouse/trackpad. While this isn’t the ideal situation, you can pick up a keyboard and mouse from Amazon, or your local big-box store for pretty cheap.
As mentioned previously, on the back side of the stand is a nicely sized opening for keeping cables managed, whether it’s your computer’s charging cord, or the cable for an external display, helping to keep the area to the sides of your computer less cluttered of wires (giving you more room to stack papers, I suppose). I found that running my keyboard, MacBook charger, various USB cords, and DVI cable all fit with plenty of space to spare, and reduced the overall cluttered look of my desk.
Unfortunately, the stand still requires you to have a collective of cables running into your computer. I would have liked to see a built-in USB hub in the base, so a single USB cable could connect to the computer, while all peripherals connected to the stand. I fully understand that adding this would have added excess bulk to the stand, and I’m not overly offended by the absence of it (and Inateck does offer several USB hubs as well).
Verdict: (Rating: 4.5)
If you’re like me, and typically use a laptop, but want a nice way to use it at your desk, this is a great stand for a great price. It offers a no-hassle setup, an Apple-inspired design, and a simple cable management solution. The added height, and small area of storage below the top panel make this a great stand for a wide range of laptop computers, and add an elegance to your desktop.
- Simple, Apple-inspired design
- Quality build materials
- Extremely affordable
- Offers just the right height and angle for most computers
- No additional ports or cable management
If you’re looking for a quality stand for your laptop, and want to keep the minimalist, Apple design in your desktop working space, the iStand from Inateck is a great option for only $44.99