Functional laptop stand that raises your laptop off your desk. (July 23rd, 2009)
Product Manufacturer: Just-Mobile/Mobius Technology
Price: $90 US
- Aluminum construction precisely matches Apple notebooks. Solid construction should outlast most laptops. Stable design. Does not scratch laptop.
- Expensive stand. Soft screw heads that damage easily. You must disassemble stand to change its height.
For users who spend hours in front of a computer, workplace comfort is essential. The Xtand Pro is an attractive and highly functional laptop stand that raises your laptop off your desk. Just Mobile has clearly taken some design cues from Apple with its Xtand Pro, but also like Apple, JustMobile is charging a premium price for the product - $90 retail.
Crafted from solid aluminum, the Xtand Pro exactly matches the look and feel of Apple's unibody 13" and 15" MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. Similar sized PC notebooks will also fit, but the Xtand Pro is too small to accommodate 17" notebooks, including the large-screen MacBook Pro.
From a design standpoint, the X-shaped top provides necessary support, yet still allows plenty of air circulation. Metal lips on the bottom of the X-shape keep the laptop from slipping off the stand.
You Choose the HeightAssembly is relatively simple, although the center support fits rather snugly onto the top and base, and sometimes requires a bit of force to attach. After you attach the nice wide base, simply install the screws and the stand is ready to use. You should attach the screws with a coin and not a screwdriver, because the heads are made of soft metal that tend to damage easily while tightening.
As long as the screws are tight, the stand is sturdy with very little wobble. Rubber pads attached to the base and areas where the MacBook comes in contact with the stand deter scratches and helps keep the computer firmly in place.
You can build the Xtand to one of two different heights. For those who prefer to use a notebook's built-in keyboard, you can use the low profile bar that rests the bottom edge of the laptop about an inch off the work surface. For those who use an external keyboard, the stand can be built so the bottom edge is raised 4.5" inches. Changing the height, however, is a cumbersome process, because you have to disassemble the stand to select another height, which reduces the usefulness of two center supports.
Low Profile Bar TestI prefer to use my MacBook Pro's built-in keyboard, so I tested the Xtand Pro set to the lower height. I've used a laptop for years without a stand, so I was surprised how much of a difference it makes. Ergonomically speaking, using the keyboard placed much less strain on my wrists and hands, and the higher screen was more comfortable for my neck. Of course, any good stand should provide these basics. What sets the Xtand Pro apart is its sleek style and rugged construction.
If you prefer to use an external keyboard, the higher-level stand puts the screen at a comfortable viewing height, while raising your computer above your desktop.
Overall, the fit and finish are excellent and the design is quite Apple-like: Simple, attractive and functional. One serious negative with the X-Stand Pro is the price. At $90 retail, this stand is one of the most expensive available for Mac notebooks. Therefore, if you are the type of user that appreciates style or someone who likes to buy a high quality product once and use it for a long time, this stand may be for you. There are many less expensive alternatives, but most are not as attractive.
Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor