Using a laptop as your primary computer has one potentially serious drawback: The screen is too low when it's placed flat on a desk. For you to avoid neck and muscle discomfort, experts suggest attaching an external keyboard and mouse while using a display that's set at eye level.
Fortunately, many companies make laptop stands that not only raise your portable computer's display to the correct height but also help you save desk space. These accessories can even manage your wires, provide extra ports or charge your phone. Here are our 10 favorite laptop stands.
Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand III
Cooler Master's NotePal ErgoStand III offers three useful features in one device: a highly adjustable stand, a powerful active cooling system and a USB hub. The giant fan on the platform has an adjustable speed and an airflow pattern that pushes heat across a larger surface area, but that isn't the only part of this stand that can be customized. Thanks to the six height options, it's easy to put the screen in front of your eyes. The USB hub has four standard USB 2.0 ports, plus both mini and micro USB connections, to make it easy to pair this stand with your phone or tablet. The attractive black metal-and-plastic design look great on any desk, while movable guides on the surface allow you to mount a tablet if you want to use your slate in lieu of a laptop.
Fellowes Smart Suites Laptop Riser with USB Hub
Sporting a simple yet effective design, the Fellowes Smart Suites Laptop Riser puts your notebook in an almost vertical position, with the trackpad protected behind a shield. The shielded area also provides additional storage for a phone, watch or other small gadget. A bus-powered, four-port USB hub clips onto the back of the stand, allowing you to keep your keyboard and mouse plugged in, even when you take your laptop on the road.
Tomtop Wooden Cooling Stand Holder Bracket Dock
Made of walnut, this elegant, curved stand leaves the laptop in a more natural position while lifting it above the desk surface. The platform is slotted, allowing for natural airflow and cooling. Underneath is space for storage, where you could place a USB docking station or tuck your keyboard and mouse when they're not in use.
Deepcool M6 Alien Notebook Stand and Cooler
Sporting a sci-fi-inspired design that should match many gaming systems, this stand sits close to the desk, angling the keyboard so that you can use it as just a cooling pad or a full laptop stand. The platform is slotted with a 14-centimeter (5.5 inches) fan, whose speed can be adjusted for more or less airflow. The base has a built-in four-port USB hub, so you can leave your essential peripherals connected. What sets this stand apart, however, is its 2.1-channel speaker system, with a standard 3.5-mm input that lets you connect it to your laptop, phone or tablet.
Fleximounts Black Mounted Laptop Stand
Fleximounts' Black Mounted Laptop Stand may not be designed to look beautiful, but it is definitely built to be sturdy. The accessory mounts to the back of your desk and provides an adjustable arm with a platform to hold your laptop. The platform can be adjusted in any direction using a vertical slider, a two-joint swing arm and a vertical joint on the platform. The mount also offers wire management to keep your desk clean and make it easy to attach a keyboard, mouse and other peripherals.
Fleximounts Black Mounted Laptop & Monitor Stand
This is an extended version of the Black Mounted Laptop Stand, with the added ability to pair your laptop with a mounted external monitor. This accessory mounts to the back of the desk and provides the adjustability for your laptop, plus the same adjustability for a monitor. This setup is perfect for anything from graphic design to writing.
Atdec Visidec Focus Notebook Pole
Similar in function to the Black Mounted Laptop Stand, this mountable laptop stand adds some much-needed style. Made with high-gloss silver metal and black rubber accents rather than matte black and plastic, this stand is designed to match many modern desks and laptops. It offers the same adjustability, with a vertical slider, a two-joint swing arm and a vertical joint on the platform. The trade-off for the style, though, is a little function, as this mount does not have internal, hidden wire management.
Kensington SmartFit Laptop Riser
Due in August for $49.99, this simple, black stand offers a lot of capabilities that are unique in its category. First, the height of the stand is adjustable, allowing you to place it where you need it. The Kensington SmartFit Laptop Riser also has a wire management system tucked under a platform to keep wires out of the way. Even better, the stand includes a Kensington Security Slot, which means you can use a lock to secure it to your desk — a must for people who work in public places. Also, a mount for a Kensington universal dock is included, so even your dock can be up off the desk, saving you space.
Kensington SmartFit Laptop Riser with Wireless Phone Charging Pad
Identical in look and design to the SmartFit Laptop Riser, this stand is adjustable, securable and dockable. This version, however, turns the base from a plain, plastic surface into a Qi wireless charging plate. Many modern phones and devices support Qi wireless charging, meaning that you can even juice your phone without any wires. If you are the kind of person who likes to keep your desk clean and tidy, this stand, combined with a Kensington dock, is a great option. Lack its less-expensive sibling, this $99 stand is due out in August 2016.
Lapaloft Cardboard Laptop Stand
Instead of metal or plastic, Lapaloft's inexpensive stand is made of cardboard, allowing you to customize it by painting it or creating wire management slots. Though an accessory made out of this material does not sound particularly sturdy, this one should be strong enough to hold up a lightweight laptop. The stand is also hollow underneath, so you can store small items such as headphones or speakers.