If you are in need of a notebook stand, but hate wires, then Logitech might be your savior. They recently introduced the Alto Cordless Notebook Stand, which unlike the original Alto, is cordless. The keyboard isn’t attached and it still folds up for easy storage. The Alto Cordless worked great with my Asus R1 notebook convertible because it elevated it to the perfect viewing height.
The Alto Cordless Notebook Stand and keyboard. (view large image)
No more scrunching over that computer screen and hurting your back. The Alto works with almost any notebook (up to 15.4") and only takes seconds to set-up. It is even small enough to take with you on a long business trip. If you have a larger notebook, like a 17-inch screen Dell, I wouldn’t recommend putting it on the stand. The stand is solid and held my notebook with no problems, but a computer heavier than 8lbs might cause a collapse. In fact, if you don’t make sure the stand locks into place any notebook will collapse the stand as mine accidentally did.
When I first pulled the Alto Cordless out of the box, I was thinking there is no way this little plastic stand can hold my notebook. Let me remind you, I only have a 13.3" display. It looked like it wasn’t going to be very solid or sturdy. Much to my surprise, the Alto Cordless was sturdy and it held my R1 with no problems. Looks can be deceiving.
My Asus R1 sitting on the Alto Cordless. (view large image)
The overall design is quite nice. The keyboard is full-size and is a matte black color with a rubberized palm rest. The base to the stand also has the rubber accents and the stand itself is glossy black with matte black details. The glossy finish does get full of fingerprints, but they wipe right off with no problems. Beware though, the rubber palm rest attracts dust like a magnet, so it is good to have a cloth around.
An aerial view of the Alto Cordless with stand up and USB cord tucked away. (view large image)
As I mentioned before the stand is sturdy, just make sure it locks into place. It weighs in at 4.7lbs. with the keyboard attached and has close to the same dimensions as the original Alto, so it is portable. All your notebook needs is one USB port and either Windows XP or Vista and you are ready to go. As you can see the USB plug hides away nicely under the stand eliminating clutter.
The connect button and caps lock and number lock button indicator lights.(view large image)
Once the USB cord is plugged into your notebook all you need to do is push the connect button and the keyboard is ready to use. The A and 3 that are indicator lights showing when the caps lock and number lock are on, which is very convenient. Speaking ofconvenience, the keyboard has 13 hot keys like the media controls, which give you instant access to music and volume control.
Side view of the Alto Cordless and keyboard. (view large image)
The Alto Cordless has three USB ports, which come in handy if you need to connect a mouse, printer or external speakers. One USB is on the right side and the other two are on the back. It has many of the same features as it’s predecessor, the Alto, with just a few updates and a new cordless look.
As I said before, my first impression was that the Alto Cordless was going to fall apart. I am happy I had the chance to test it for a few days though. The stand held up well and it made my work days much more enjoyable since it elevated my screen to eye level. The keyboard is nice, easy to type on and the soft palm rest is comfortable. I also like that I can give my notebook’s keyboard and touchpad a rest — that can prevent the keys from getting all worn down and shiny on the harder to replace notebook keyboard.
I would recommend using a mouse because it would be awkward to use your notebook’s touchpad. If you have ports on the front of your notebook they are going to be inaccessible as well. This might be a problem for some users, but wasn’t for me because the R1 doesn’t have any ports on the front. I did run into a problem getting my tablet’s pen out of the silo though. If your tablet’s pen is located on the front side or bottom then you will have to lift up you notebook to get it out.
Giving my notebook’s keyboard and touchpad a rest and using a keyboard that’s cooler than my notebooks is a nice option for when in the office. I used to have a larger external screen attached to my Asus R1, but it got a horrible glare from the windows behind me, so I couldn’t use it. The Alto Cordless elevates my notebook screen to the level an external screen would rest, but I don’t get the glare from my notebook screen and I can move the stand a lot more easily than the external monitor.
Comparison shot of the Alto Cordless (left) and the original Alto (right). (view large image)
Bottom side of the Alto Cordless keyboard, when folded up. (view large image)
Back side of the Alto Cordless Stand with two USB ports. (view large image)
Right side of the Alto Cordless Stand with one USB port. (view large image)
For the $99.99 price tag the Alto Cordless Notebook Stand and keyboard are a nice addition to any home or work office. Because it’s shiny it tends to show dirt more than I’d like, but a micro fiber cloth can solve that issue. The stand puts your notebook at a great viewing angle, alleviating stress on your back and arms. The overall design is solid and it stores away nice and compact. The wireless keyboard is a great update because it can be moved out of the way when you just need deskspace. The three USB posts allow you to connect whatever need be such as a mouse or printer. All-in-all the Alto Cordless makes for a nice space saving stand and keyboard combination, which helps keep your desk clutter free.
- It is wireless
- The stand eliminates back stress
- Keeps your notebook’s keyboard and touchpad clean
- The design is compact and sleek
- Will not fit in smaller notebook bags
- The rubber accents are dust and fingerprint magnets
- The stand blocks the front of the notebook, blocking ports and access to the pen
Pricing and Availability
The Alto Cordless is available through Logitech’s website. It is listed for $99.99, but is not available for ordering just quite yet. Once it releases other retailers and e-tailers will have it in stock.