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Now that working from home has become the status quo, having ergonomic gear in your study will prevent the aches and pains that come with bad posture. A laptop stand is one of those unsung heroes of office equipment – these cheap peripherals can save you days of neck cramp.
What is a laptop stand good for?
The rule of thumb is: your laptop screen needs to match your eyeline to prevent hunched shoulders and craned necks. Ideally, you should be looking directly at your screen rather than down at it.
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So just plonking your laptop on a desk isn’t going to be enough. You need to elevate the device and, as a result, use a separate mouse and keyboard – especially if you’re going to be working for hours.
Besides elevation, a laptop stand can provide multiple viewing angles, prevent your machine from overheating, and even offer small storage space. Many models can also adjust to any laptop size, and some can be collapsed and toted around with you.
What to look for in a laptop stand
Fully adjustable: Studies report that 60 pounds of pressure are put on your neck when your head constantly moves up and down to check your devices. That’s why it’s important to have a stand that can adjust its height, so you can meet your laptop eye-to-screen and reduce the strain on your neck.
Device compatibility: While some stands are made for a particular type of laptop, most can be used for a variety of computers – even tablets. And it’s not enough to just match sizes. Your computer ports (USB, power, and so on) need to be easily accessible when the laptop is perched on the stand.
Robustness: A stand needs to be stable enough that it won’t rock and slide around when in use, so look for models with rubber or silicone padding on the feet and on the ‘base’, where your laptop is placed. A stand should also be able to take a beating. You should feel confident that it will hold up after prolonged use; stands with metal hinges or, better yet, an all-alloy construction are worth watching out for.
The best laptop stands in 2021
Lamicall Portable Laptop Riser Stand
There’s a lot to like about the Lamicall Portable Laptop Riser Stand. For one, it’s under $10, making it the cheapest on this list. And for another, it’s highly portable – you can easily collapse and fold the stand up to slip into a bag, no assembly required.
This Lamicall accessory, which fits laptops with screen sizes ranging from 10 to 16 inches, is also easily height-adjustable. That’s thanks to its two hind legs, which can be articulated to offer three height options. And given the angle at which the stand props up your laptop, you won’t need a separate mouse and keyboard.
Though the stand is made almost entirely of plastic, metal hinges and support bars give it some sturdiness. It doesn’t get much simpler than this.
Nulaxy C3 Laptop Stand
If you use an Apple notebook, Nulaxy’s C3 Laptop Stand will fit right in. Its design mimics the stands of the iMac range, with its brushed aluminium alloy finish and silicone pads on both top and bottom. Besides MacBooks, the stand is compatible with laptops with 10- to 15.6-inch screens.
However, much like Apple, the Nulaxy C3 doesn’t give you a whole bunch of options. Its height is non-adjustable at six inches tall – what Nulaxy says is the optimum height for most people – it isn’t portable, and you will certainly need a mouse and keyboard.
But, hey, if keeping true to Apple’s aesthetics is important to you, then this $23.99 stand is all you’ll need.
Loryergo LELD11 Adjustable Lap Desk
Loryergo’s LELD11 Adjustable Lap Desk is a slightly different proposition from the other stands on this list: it’s designed to be placed on your lap.
With two cushions on the underside of the ‘desk’, the LELD11 is comfortable enough for hours of work (and play) on the couch or bed. It offers six heights for a more comfortable viewing angle, a retractable mousepad in case you hate using trackpads, and a foldable design – with a nifty carrying handle – so you can bring it around with you.
Versatility is the LELD11’s strong suit. With raised non-slip strips, it can also be used as a riser for your tablet, magazine or writing pad. And, yes, you can still prop it up on a regular desk and table and use it as a regular laptop stand.
The LELD11 fits laptops with up to 15.6-inch screens.
iVoler Adjustable Laptop Stand
Think of this as an upgrade of the Lamicall model. The iVoler Adjustable Laptop Stand is also a straightforward stand that can be quickly collapsed and stowed away in a bag, but its aluminium alloy design and greater versatility might make the extra $8 more than worth it.
Compared to the Lamicall’s three, the iVoler has six viewing heights, from 2.15 to six inches. Plus, silicone pads prevent your laptop – and the stand itself – from slipping on your desk. All in all, an affordable, fuss-free unit that you can just as easily use at home and in the office.
Obvus Solutions Adjustable Laptop Tower Stand
The laptop stand for those who won’t settle for anything less. The Obvus Solutions Adjustable Laptop Tower Stand is built from solid aluminium, lets you choose any height you desire, and fits laptops with up to 17-inch screens. Plus, its ‘Pixar Lamp’ design, with a single, articulating leg, gives it a professional look.
Unlike the other stands on this list, the Obvus model lets you choose any height from two to 21 inches and any viewing angle – all it takes is a few adjustments of the leg and the stand/base itself. Obvus’ clever design also means you can ‘flatpack’ the stand and throw it into a bag.
However, all this customisability comes at a cost: $74.99, to be exact.