From Keynamics comes an innovative, portable and affordable laptop stand. If you are looking for something that is compact, would prop your notebook up and forward to bring the LCD to about eye level, alleviate the hunching of the back then this laptop stand may be for you — all for under $20.
The Aviator arrived in a clear plastic packaging with the unit embedded on a folded corrugated cardboard.
Front View of Packaging (view large image)
Rear View of Packaging (view large image)
Cut the end of the package, slide out the cardboard and lift up the Aviator. The Aviator disassembles into three components: a single cross bar piece and two side risers.
Three Stand Parts (view large image)
Note the 2 notches on the cross bar. This slides into the triangular grooves on top of the two side risers to hold the unit together.
Dimensions and Weight
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Unassembled but in the compact transport form, the Aviator is 12.5 inch wide, 4.5 inch high and 0.5 inch deep. The weight of the Aviator is negligible at 9 oz. No, the Bloody Mary does not come with the Aviator.
Assembled, the Aviator is 12.5 inch deep, 10.5 inch wide and 4.5 inch high. Note the front edge receiving notch that
Printed on the white cardboard are the diagram and instructions. The instructions are clear and very easy to understand. There is a diagram that shows you how to put it together for those who don’t want to spend the minute reading the instructions.
Putting the Aviator together was a cinch. You only have to decide how wide to make the Aviator. On the crossbar are 4 pre-cut slots. The inner slots offer a 5.75 inch spacing while the outer slots offer a 8.75 inch spacing. The size of the spacing will depend on the size of your laptop, the bigger 17″ LCD laptops will need the 8.75 inch.
Once you decide the spacing, slot the cross bar into the slots and presto: Aviator assembled!
View of the Aviator with the 5.75 inch spacing on the single airline tray. (view large image)
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Below is a close up of the “V” slots that Keynamics has used. It works pretty well but because the plastic is smooth, it does not hold the Aviator together well if you have to lift the whole unit by the cross bar. You have to grab the risers and the cross bar together to move it up or down.
At the Office
I own two laptops: one is a 15″ Dell Inspiron 8200 and the other is a 17″ Sager 9750. In my home office, the 9750 would sit on the Spire Pacific Breeze that lifts the rear of the notebook by about an inch. Replacing the Spire with the Aviator, it easily accommodates my 9750 and lifted the rear end by more than 4 inches.
I use an ergonomic kneeling chair with my desk and by lifting the 9750 more than 4 inches at the rear, it took a long while to get use to the angles and in the end, it did not really suit me — the angles were just not right and the desk and chair height was not adjustable, neither is the Aviator. This situation had me thinking that some sort of height adjustment in the Aviator would have been a great idea, perhaps a future version will offer this.
However, the Aviator came into its own when using the 8200 on-site at my client’s office. The Aviator worked well with the standard office desk and the chairs. It was very comfortable to use with the Dell. I was able to sit back and type without hunching down looking at the LCD. A definite improvement over the Spire.
I asked an office colleague to model the Aviator with the 8200 and her comment was that it was “wow” and “pretty neat”. She had not seen the Aviator until now and she does travel around the states with her laptop. The Aviator may have won another friend.
On the Plane to Australia
I took the Aviator on a long haul flight from Los Angeles, USA to Melbourne, Australia. This was a perfect opportunity to test the Aviator in flight. I flew United Business Class and brought my 9750 with me –trust me, for the 14 hrs flight time, it is well worth the extra frequent flyer points for the comfort the upgrade provides. There was ample room in the United business class seats but I wondered how it was all going to work with the dinky folding trays that come out of the arm rest and a 13 lb behemoth laptop ?
Once airborne, I took out the Aviator with the cardboard packaging from my documents compartment of the roller bag. I wish Keynamics had included a cloth bag with a draw string instead of the cardboard and plastic bag that it came with, that small touch would make it easier to keep track of the parts.
I assembled the Aviator in no time. I had placed the Aviator on the tray and then I gingerly put the 9750 on it. So far, so good. There was no alarming flex in the tray and I tried to do a side flex and motion test and the whole unit was rock solid. No movement. The little rubber feet on the risers helped keep solid contact with the 9750 and the tray surface.
The front edge receiving notch worked great. On the desk, this little design was nonchalant but when the Aviator is on the airline tray, it really worked well to prevent the 9750 from being accidentally pushed backward into the 747 oblivion.
Ah, the confidence is building. I opened up the 9750 LCD, turned it on, reclined the seat and enjoyed my measly 1 hour battery life of my 9750. One thing though, the seat can only recline to about way only otherwise it feels the whole geometry becomes too flat and you cannot type on the keyboard.
I also tried the 9750 without the Keynamics and yes, I did notice the hunching. Looks like this is a keeper when I am traveling.
Views of the Dell Inspiron XPS M170 17″ laptop with the Aviator
Front view (view large image)
Right side view (view large image)
Read view (view large image)
Front view with LCD open (view large image)
For $19.95, the Aviator represents OUTSTANDING value considering most other laptop stands are far more expensive, typically around $50 to $150 dollars, are not compact or travel friendly and some of them do not allow you to use the laptop keyboard.
It does what it says it does — raises the back end of the notebook so that the LCD is at eye level when you are reclined to give you a comfortable typing position when you’re on a flight or at your desk.
For those concerned with replacing their cooling platforms with the Aviator, don’t. The extra rear lift really opens the notebook for the additional cooling and for the internal fans to work. Currently, my 9750 is reporting 37 degrees Celsius at 1.00Ghz Laptop/Notebook power setting, not bad for a full desktop CPU in a notebook form.
The Aviator is very strong and the rubber feet on both sides of the side risers help with the grip and maintaining the solid contact. There is no problem with handling heavy laptops like my Sager 9750 and won’t break a sweat with the smaller laptops.
As I am typing the end of this review, my wife said to me “I like that you use the Aviator, you are not hunching” and that says it all: “wifey” approved!
- Works with 17″ and below laptops.
- Excellent build, no thin or cheap plastic feeling.
- Light weight, compact.
- Unit was well molded and aesthetically pleasing.
- Extremely sturdy on flat surfaces.
- Excellent value for money at $19.95 for a laptop stand.
- Aviator will fall apart when assembled unless you use both hands to lift or carry the unit. It would have been nice to have it stay as a unit once it has been assembled.
- A cloth draw bag would have been nice to hold the pieces, rather than relying on the triangular notches on the crossbar to keep it all together.
- You cannot use the Aviator on your lap because of connection design — unless you are really careful that you place the risers on your thigh and keep it there but in the end, it’s not very practical when you’re reclined back on the sofa. Definitely a flat surface laptop stand.
- Comes in black, gray and white colors. Now, how about a clear plastic, tinted plastic or a cool blue?
- Height adjustment on the back.
Pricing and Availability:
The Aviator laptop stand is available from www.keynamics.com for $19.95 plus shipping. It is available in 3 colors: black, gray and white.