Product: LapVantage Laptop Stand The stand has a clear acrylic platform that is attached to a plastic dome base via an adjustable arm. The platform can be rotated a full 360 degrees to give you easy access to the rear of your notebook, or for visual presentations. (Fig. 1) Acrylic Platform (Fig 2) Plastic Dome Base & Steel Adjustable Arm
Price: $59.95 USD
In today’s society, it is a common fact that for technology, smaller is better, but not when it comes to a notebook as a desktop replacement. Notebooks were designed primarily as a mobile computing solution, something to keep you working while on the road. But as technology improves, the processing power and storage capacity of notebooks start to rival that of desktops; making notebooks a viable alternative to the monstrosity we call a desktop computer. Many people are moving towards this trend and a lot of people are finding out that notebooks were not really designed as a desktop replacement.
Because a notebook is designed to be compact and portable, they sit low on a desk and require you to sit hunched over the keyboard and looking down at the screen. As notebook computers become more common as your primary computer, more time is spent sitting in front of your notebook, which can cause a multitude of symptoms including neck, shoulder and back pains.
Well, there might be a solution to this problem. It’s the LapVantage Laptop Stand, a product by The Plasticsmith Inc. This is a height-adjustable platform for your mobile computer designed to elevate your low-sitting mobile computer to new heights, literally!
The following was included in my package:
The stand has a clear acrylic platform that is attached to a plastic dome base via an adjustable arm. The platform can be rotated a full 360 degrees to give you easy access to the rear of your notebook, or for visual presentations.
(Fig. 1) Acrylic Platform
(Fig 2) Plastic Dome Base & Steel Adjustable Arm
A Docking Shelf (Fig. 3) was included in the box, which is a $12.95 option.
|(Fig. 3) Optional Docking Shelf||(Fig. 4) Docking Shelf Attached to Platform|
The cord clips attach to the underside of the platform allowing you to tidy up some of the loose wires hanging off the back. In addition, two (2) self-adhesive rubber feet were included in the box. These feet attach to the top of the platform so the rear of your notebook sits slightly higher to allow for better airflow under your unit to prevent overheating.
|(Fig. 5) Included Rubber Feet & Cord Clips|
On first use of the product, I have noticed that my desk seems less cluttered. Maybe it’s because the notebook is off the table and gives a sense that it’s floating. With the narrower base, it allows for small items like a stapler, tape dispenser and other items to be neatly tucked under the platform allowing it to be out of the way. It was also easy to rotate to get to the connectors on the back of the unit.
|(Fig. 6) Cleaner Looking Desktop|
The platform itself is 13.5″(342.9mm) wide x 11.25″(285.75mm) deep and can be raised from approx. 4.5″ to 6″(114.3mm to 152.4mm). The platform was large enough to support my old Toshiba 4320 notebook and will also be large enough for any of the 15.4″ Widescreen LCD models out there. Although you can put one of the huge 17″ models on the unit, you will have some overhang on the sides.
Using my old Toshiba Satellite Pro 4320, which weighs approx. 7lbs, caused the platform to flex downwards (Fig. 7) along the corners where the rubber feet were attached. If the platform flexes this much with my notebook, imagine using some of the current desktop-replacement notebooks in the market. They can easily weigh 10lbs or more. The Plasticsmith claims that the product can support a maximum load of 18lbs, but I would not put something that heavy on this unit unless they start using a thicker acrylic platform that does not flex on such light loads.
|(Fig. 7) Acrylic Platform Flexing|
The optional Docking Shelf, which was included with my test unit, is a piece of folded acrylic (Fig. 8) that attaches to the back of the platform (Fig. 9) to allow for the placement of a USB hub or port replicator. I used my 3″ wide AC adapter on the shelf and I found that it was a tight fit. It caused me to pull the notebook all the way to the front edge to fit the adapter, but when someone uses a port replicator that just needs the extra couple of inches, it does come in handy.
(Fig. 8) Docking Shelf Profile
(Fig 9) Optional Docking Shelf Attached
The LapVantage did not come with any placement instructions or guides on where the rubber feet & cord clips should go. They easily get in the way of the Docking Shelf if not attached correctly. I made the mistake of attaching the cable clips near the back of the platform (Fig. 10), which was right in the way of the Docking Shelf. Luckily I was capable of removing the clips and then reattach them 2 inches forward towards the middle (Fig. 11). The Docking Shelf may have been an after thought since this should have been anticipated for future purchasers of this attachment.
(Fig 10) Initial placement of clips
(Fig. 11) Modified Placement of clips
|(Fig. 10) Initial Placement of Clips||(Fig. 11) Modified Placement of Clips|
I also found small burrs on the platform edges making it rough and somewhat sharp to the touch. I would suggest to The Plasticsmith that future models have the edges rounded off and smoothed out for a cleaner look and feel. I also found that height adjustment was a chore with the unit sitting on the platform. The Plasticsmith recommends, via an instruction sheet, to adjust the height before placing your unit on the stand. That’s fine if you are the only user, but if this is a desktop replacement for the family, it gets a bit cumbersome to remove the unit before adjusting the height.
The LapVantage stand is a well-constructed product overall and will give your desk a cleaner and more professional look. It will position your notebook to a more desirable height if you use your notebook as a desktop replacement. However, with the few problems I did encounter, it makes me wonder how a hefty price tag of $59.95USD can be justified. This is especially true since the Docking Shelf is a $12.95USD option. There are other less expensive products in the market that will do the same job, which is to keep your neck, shoulders and back away from unnecessary pain.