Stand up

If you regularly use your laptop at a desk, some sort of riser or stand is an ergonomic must: you should raise your laptop’s screen to the proper viewing height and then use a separate keyboard and mouse, placed at a healthy (read: much lower) height of their own, for input.

For years, one of the most popular laptop risers was Griffin Technology’s iCurve, but even though I owned a couple, I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan. It wasn’t that I actively disliked the iCurve; I just preferred other designs, such as Plasticsmith’s Lapvantage Loft (though the Loft was considerably more expensive).

But I’ve been testing Griffin’s successor to the iCurve, the new $40 Elevator , for a few weeks now, and it’s a significant improvement over its predecessor. Instead of an all-plastic design, the Elevator uses two U-shaped aluminum arm/leg pieces braced in front by a clear-plastic base. The Elevator raises your laptop nearly six inches off your desk for better screen viewing (and, thanks to a design that keeps the bottom of your laptop exposed, better cooling). Open space underneath the stand gives you a place to store your external keyboard when not in use.

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Compared to the iCurve, the Elevator is also significantly sturdier—your laptop doesn’t bounce as much while on the stand—looks nicer thanks to the brushed-aluminum legs, and is more convenient for storage since you can easily disassemble it into its three component pieces. (Although perhaps too easily; if you try to pick up the Elevator by one of its legs, there’s a good chance the leg will slide out of the base piece.) I also like that the entire top surface of each arm/leg piece is covered in rubber for a better grip on your laptop; like the iCurve, the top of the Elevator is angled, so this improved grip reduces the chance that your laptop will slide off.

I still prefer a few features of the Laptop Loft—for example, the rotating base; the large, flat top surface; and the exceptionally sturdy arm that keeps your laptop as stable as any stand I’ve seen. But the Elevator is quite a bit less expensive than the Loft and can collapse to a much smaller size for storage. If you’re looking for a laptop stand, the Elevator is worth a look.

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