by Joe Parks
If you are a laptop owner, you are probably familiar with the egg frying heat that can accompany extended use of your laptop. This common issue is caused by poor air circulation beneath a laptop. Or perhaps you can feel the ache of your hands after typing on a level keyboard for hours at a time. There is one remarkably simple invention that can solve both the overheating and ergonomic issues many laptops face. It is the laptop stand.
Laptop stands are exactly what they sound like, a small stand that you can set your laptop on. They are normally angled so that the rear of the laptop is higher than the front, much like the effect you get from the legs on a keyboard. This angling is important because the less you have to extend your wrists to reach the keys, the lower the chance of a repetitive strain injury is. But this is more of a by-product of this invention than the driving force behind it.
The impetus behind laptop stands is the overheating issues that many people face when using their laptops. As a friend once said of his new laptop; “You don’t use it on your lap if you want to have kids.” He loved the laptop, but the heat generated by its use was incompatible with the basic function of the computer, something portable enough to place in his lap and use.
Most laptop stands are made to be as portable as the devices they serve. They collapse, fold up, and can stow easily inside a laptop’s carrying case. One product, designed for Mac users, comes with pads that can be used when the stand is on your lap, and can be taken off when using the stand on a desktop.
If you have a dedicated place for using your laptop, you may want to consider upgrading from a laptop stand to a docking station. Where a stand supports a laptop, a docking station is a little bit more elaborate. They feature attachment points for an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard, as well as Ethernet, phone, and USB ports. The docking stations are a step up in utility, but also in price. Where a stand can be found for $ 20 or less, you’ll be hard pressed to find a good docking station for less than $ 90.
Or, if you’re feeling truly handy, a laptop stand can be made from household materials or other equipment retrofitted for use with your laptop. CD racks, towel holders, door stops, binders, and corks are just a few of the materials that have been used to form a do it yourself stand. These stands are generally less stable than a commercially produced one, but if you are just looking for something to use at your desk, they are an inexpensive option.
Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for Web sites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background also includes teaching, gardening, and fashion. For more of her useful articles on fashion handbags, visit Laptop Stands, supplier of discount designer handbags.