Laptops have been around for several decades and they have many advantages over desktop computers, especially for people who move around a lot. However, laptops aren’t without shortcomings. For instance, they have a lot of electronic components packed in a small space, producing heat and causing your laptop to get hot.
Working with a laptop for several hours may also result in neck and back pain. Fortunately, a laptop stand helps to solve these problems for us.
- Reasons to Use a Laptop Stand
- Types of Ergonomic Laptop Stand Designs
- What to Look for in a Laptop Stand
- Is it Necessary to Have an External Keyboard and Mouse When Using a Laptop Stand?
- Final Thoughts
Reasons to Use a Laptop Stand
Are laptop stands necessary? Absolutely. A laptop stand is an essential piece of equipment with several benefits. Below are some of the reasons why a laptop stand is important.
Laptops can get hot after being used for a few hours. Although laptops have built-in fans, there’s only so much these fans can do before the laptop overheats. When a laptop is placed in the traditional position on your lap, a table, or any other surface, there’s little chance of sufficient airflow and cooling of the circuitry under the laptop.
A laptop stand elevates a laptop, providing extra airflow around it. Many stands feature a fan, which provides even greater airflow. The improved airflow reduces issues that result from overheating, such as slow performance and reduced battery life. An overheated laptop can even scald skin and shut down on its own.
Ergonomics is all about efficiency and comfort in a working environment. Bending over your laptop for hours can considerably strain your back and neck, especially if you do it daily.
A laptop stand is designed to raise the laptop’s screen to eye level. With the elevated screen, there’ll be no need to strain your neck and back by constantly looking down at the screen. A stand provides the most ergonomic way of placing your laptop while elevating it to eye level and ensuring sufficient airflow.
Adjustable Angle and Height
An adjustable laptop stand is a great way of combating Computer Vision Syndrome. This syndrome describes a group of vision-related issues that result from the prolonged use of computers, phones, tablets, and e-readers.
Different people require different angles of laptop placement for optimal comfort. An angle that suits you might not suit the next person. An adjustable laptop stand allows you to adjust the angle of your laptop in a way that minimizes the glare from the screen and the strain on your eye.
Using an adjustable height laptop stand will improve your posture. With the laptop’s screen at eye level, you’ll be able to sit up straighter. You may even choose to stand up while working on your laptop if you’re tired of sitting for hours.
Protects against Spills and Damages
Spilling any liquid on your laptop will likely damage it. By propping your laptop on a stand, you keep it elevated and relatively safe from spills that may happen on your workstation’s surface.
It may not look like it, but a laptop stand can help reduce the clutter around your workstation. You can place your mouse and keyboard underneath the stand when you’re not using them. Your laptop stand can also hold tablets, notebooks, and pens.
Types of Ergonomic Laptop Stand Designs
Generally, laptop stand designs can be divided into three types: slanted laptop stands, dual-rise stands, and folding laptop tables. We’ll briefly run through these three and let you decide which one suits you more.
Slanted Laptop Stands
These are the most portable stands. They are lightweight and collapsible and are usually cheaper than others. However, the keyboard is slanted, making it less ergonomic. For optimal ergonomics, purchasing an external keyboard is necessary.
Dual Rise Stands
Dual rise stands are not as portable as slanted laptop stands but are more ergonomic. These laptop stands raise both the laptop screen and keyboard. There’s enough space to tuck the external keyboard underneath the stand, and you can move the screen closer to you. With some models, you don’t need to use an external keyboard as they are stable enough to type directly on the laptop’s keyboard.
Dual rise stands can be quite bulky and are not fully collapsible. They are also more expensive.
Folding Laptop Tables
These are quite portable around the house, although they are not ideal for carrying to various workplaces. You can use them in different places such as the desk, bed, and even your lap. Folding laptop tables often come with a fan that cools down your laptop.
These laptop stands are not portable outside the house as they are clumsy and not as easy to adjust. They are also usually more expensive. However, they are the most ergonomic of all three laptop stand designs.
What to Look for in a Laptop Stand
Choosing a laptop stand may be tricky with various designs and models on the market. Here are some key features you should look for when selecting a stand:
- Material – Most laptop stands are made of wood, plastic, or metal. Those made of plastic and wood trap heat and may not do much to prevent the laptop from overheating. However, if you purchase a plastic or wooden laptop stand, choosing one with vents or fans will help ensure your laptop does not get overheated. Metal laptop stands dissipate heat naturally, and without vents or fans, they are still sufficient to keep your laptop cool.
- Adjustable angle – Adjustable laptop stands can be tilted to suit you. They improve your view by reducing screen glare and the strain it puts on your eyes. These stands can also optimize your laptop’s vertical position when you use the fine-tuned height adjustments.
- Adjustable height – With the height of your laptop stand being adjustable, you can sit up straighter while using your laptop. Select a laptop with this feature and you may even choose to stand up while working on your laptop.
- Versatility – A laptop is a portable device many people carry around and use on the go. It only makes sense the laptop stand you’re choosing should be versatile enough to be used in several places. You don’t have to have separate laptop stands for your bed, desk, couch, and other places. A versatile, adjustable laptop stand can be used in different places, saving you space and money.
Is it Necessary to Have an External Keyboard and Mouse When Using a Laptop Stand?
Some laptop stand models require you to use an external keyboard and mouse. Since the laptop is propped up, typing directly on the laptop’s keyboard may be uncomfortable. If you’re using a model that allows you to conveniently type directly on the laptop’s keyboard, then you don’t need to get an external mouse and keyboard.
We can all agree on the practicalities of laptops, especially since they’re so portable. However, most of these devices are not ergonomic, so a laptop stand is important to compensate for what a laptop lacks in ergonomics. Laptop stands increase productivity and efficiency, improve upper body posture, and put less strain on your eyes. Having a laptop stand is sure to be a decision you won’t regret.