Compact, well made, adjustable, rock solid and great value – there’s a lot to love about the Hercules stand, and the only issue to my mind will be if they can get enough out there to satisfy the demand among DJs wanting something a little bit different from the norm.
First Impressions / Setting up
The stand comes in a good quality stretch nylon case with a bit of in-built padding and a zip, as well as a smart “Hercules” logo. Its uniqueness is obvious immediately, as it’s a small package; it’s got a bit of weight (it’s painted steel) but it’s more compact than most. Upon removing it from the package, it’s obvious why: The stand “folds back” on itself for storage in a quite ingenious design. The two sets of “feet” (one pair for the surface, one for below the laptop) pull apart to form two “Y” shapes, the lower one actually having four “feet”, two behind and two in front of the vertical section.
The vertical section has a simple bracket that adjusts in two places to give two height choices, and is the most substantial part of the whole stand, being wide and chunky – a far cry from slender tubing more common in laptop stands, and a big reason why this turns out to be such a winning design. There are two screws for tightening the top and bottom sections to the riser, and you get to choose the angle of the riser using the bottom one, and the angle of the top section using the top one, so you can adjust for weight distribution (bottom) and laptop angle (top). No “swivel” angle adjust, though; just how “flat” the laptop is.
Once you’re all set up, it’s time to slot the laptop into place. The front brackets to hold the laptop are a little curious, being curved plastic; rubber would have been better, but actually the laptop still sits firmly enough without what to me would have been a rather obvious improvement to the design.
And here’s where you notice it: This stand holds your laptop more firmly in place than any other stand (at least, any other stand I’ve seen). There is precious little “give” or wobble, and indeed I don’t think I’ve ever seen a laptop stand of this “sideways U” design that holds so firmly. It’s down to the aforementioned substance in the riser, but also to the fact that there are load-bearing feet back and front of that riser, making it just an inherently more stable design. So stable in fact, that I’d have no hesitancy putting a controller on there (the manufacturer says up to 10kg, and I believe it).
Putting it away involves simply loosening the screw bolts and folding everything back up the opposite to how you assembled it: Minimum of fuss, 20 seconds maximum.
What’s not to love? This stand is small to store and carry, it’s really well made, and it can hold a lot of weight assuredly. There is a adjustment on height and angle (shame there’s no way to adjust it left or right, though), and as I say, it’s so stable its use goes way beyond laptops – think DJ controllers, pad controllers, grooveboxes and so on.
More than that, it’s just a cool design. It’s nice to see someone try something different, and it just works. Let’s hope the company who make it can get it out there fast, because I think it is going to catch on among DJs, especially if the price turns out to be the $80 that it is on pre-order at a few US stores already, which is considerably less than some of the best regarded stands out there to which it can be favourably compared. A winner.