April 4, 2007 For all the freedom and productivity offered by laptops, they remain one of the ergonomic disasters of our time, which is why LapWorks’ new Aluminum Desktop Stand is worth a look. It elevates PC and Mac notebook computers when working at a desk to improve screen viewing, improve typing ergonomics, and improve cooling by a claimed 23 percent.
Constructed of heat-dissipating brushed-aluminum, the laptop stand offers six adjustable elevated positions, weighs 595 grams (1 pound, 5 ounces) and folds flat and thin 30.5 x 24.1 x 0.95 cm (12 x 9.5 x 0.375 inches) for easy storage in a computer bag.
The shorter three elevations raise the notebook screen by 3 1⁄2, 4, or 4 3/8 inches and angle the notebook’s keyboard to improve typing ergonomics. The 3 steeper inclines raise the screen 6, 6 1⁄2, or 6 3⁄4 inches closer to eye level to create an ergonomically-sound desktop workstation when using a separate keyboard (not included). The US$70 laptop stand is available from LapWorks at an introductory price of US$60 until May 31.
The laptop stand also includes non-skid rubber pads to grip the laptop, a built-in turntable for 360 degree rotation and screen-sharing, a neoprene travel bag/slip cover which doubles as a mouse pad, and it carries a one-year warranty.
“Raising a laptop’s screen closer to eye level protects you from holding your head forward to see it, reducing strain on your upper body and neck,” said Jose Calero, LapWorks’ president. “Angling the keyboard also allows arms and elbows to hang relaxed at your sides, for more ergonomically comfortable typing than when set flat on a desk.”
To correctly set up a laptop as a desktop workstation, ergonomists such as Sally A. Longyear, CIE, MPH recommend:
* Attaching a separate keyboard and mouse and placing them on a keyboard tray at a height that allows forearms to be parallel to the floor.
* Elevating the top of screen to straight-ahead eye level.
* Placing the laptop close enough to see it without holding head forward.
An experienced leader in injury prevention, Longyear explains, “The goal is to relax neck, shoulders, arms and hands when typing and mousing.”
A thermal study conducted for LapWorks by the California Polytechnic University at Pomona concluded that the Aluminum Desktop Stand reduces heat build-up by virtue of its heat-absorbing aluminum as well as the incline which allows heat to escape. As an example, a laptop placed on the Aluminum Desktop Stand on its highest incline ran 27 degrees cooler (88 compared to 115 degrees) than the same laptop set flat on a desk. “Most heatsinks which are attached to microprocessors to keep them from overheating are made of aluminum because of its ability to absorb and dissipate heat into the air,” explained Calero. “The thinner the aluminum the better the process works.”