With lots of adjustments, the option to clamp it vertically or horizontally, and an extendible front section, this stand nonetheless remains easy to assemble and disassemble, and folds flat into the provided zipped bag for easy transportation.
First Impressions / Setting up
It’s a bit heavier than some laptop stands, and comes in a decent flat padded nylon zip case, within an equally decent box, complete with foam padding. It is a classic “sideways U” design, in matt painted black metal, with foam on the bottom of the base and the top of the laptop section. It’s immediately clear upon opening the stand that there is more to it than to many of the cheap (and some of the expensive) stands. Firstly, it has lots of adjustable jumbo tighteners, and also there are extras parts in the case too. Finally, it has an extendible top platform.
You set it up by moving it into shape, upon which the base and top shelf parts “drop” into place and can be tightened with their knobs. Meanwhile, using the knobs that tighten or loosen the bars across the back, you can adjust the height through quite a range, at least 5 inches. Finally, by turning some smaller fasteners hidden under the top section, there’s an extendible front tray for small, horizontal controllers to sit in front of your laptop (think Vestax Pad One, Behringer CMD Micro, or Denon HC-1000S, for instance).
There’s another twist though. Using the two provided clamps, you can dispense with the base and clamp it directly to the back of a tablet or workbench, or even at a 90 degree angle to the vertical back of a flight case.
To start with, it’s perfectly stable. despite the inherent wobble in any U design, it is not going to collapse on you once locked into place. However, it’s definitely true to say that it is more stable with the back of the unit firmly clamped to something than with the base unit distributing the weight to whatever surface it’s stood on. You do need to tighten the fasteners quite tightly, especially the height adjustment ones, and of course tightening all of these means it is going to take you a little bit longer to set it up and collapse it than with some models.
The front shelf is quite interesting; you wouldn’t want to put anything on it that you’re going to hammer at, because right at the front there is where the stand has most “give” (again, it’s not going to fail, but it’s not particularly “still” when adjusting controls on a unit perched there). It is adjustable to perfectly fit what you’re putting there, to at least cut down on front/back “wobble”. You’d hardly know this feature were there at all when it’s not extruded.
The lip at the front of the top platform is my main criticism here; it doesn’t rise particularly high, and while it was fine with a Macbook Air and with my Acer Aspire, my old sony Vaio has too much “rise” at the front, so wouldn’t sit properly on the stand. For such computers, it’s not a good choice at all. The rear clamps obviously take a little bit of setting up, but make it more stable than practically all “U” stands, and are well worth using at home, or if you can’t slide the base under existing equipments. That said, the base is only a few millimetres high, so will probably work where some stand legs won’t.
Assuming your laptop fits it, and especially if you have an Akai LPD8 or other horizontal controller you want to use with it as well as your laptop, this is a good choice. It is more flexible than most, especially with the choice of clamping it to something vertical or horizontal, and the hight adjuster is useful.
It would’ve been nice to se a deeper lip to make it compatible with more laptops, so check that out before you buy, but overall if you’re looking for a stand to hold your shallow controller and your computer, and the ability to adjust it and clamp it down appeals to you, this is well made and should do the job for you, and at a decent price too compared to many.