If you are an Apple Mac mini owner, you already know that you have one of the smallest, quietest, and coolest desktop computers available on the market today. I really love mine! But the first thing that I realized after unpacking and setting it up was that I really didn’t want to set it beside my flat screen LCD on my desk. The whole idea of the mini is to save desktop real estate. So, for a few days I had my monitor sitting directly on top of the mini. This was scary as I didn’t want to scratch the top of the computer… Luckily I didn’t have time to scratch it as the folks from Plasticsmith sent me 3 mini monitor stands to test out.
The first one I tested out was their mini Tower: blue. This thick polished acrylic stand actually almost totally encloses the Mac mini. Only the back side is open for easy access to the cables and power switch.
There are 2 cutouts on the face and each side to allow for adequate ventilation. The front top cutout also matches up with the CD slot on the mini.
If you wish, you can set the mini up on its side like a tower. I prefer to just place it flat so that I can sit my Samsung LCD monitor on top.
As you can see the base for the monitor is just a pinch too wide for the top of the stand. This doesn’t really bother me though…
The tower stand is available in blue as shown, and also in clear for $10 less. The blue version isn’t all blue. Only the edges appear blue. The effect is pretty cool.
The next stand I tried out was their Grandstand in steel. This is a industrial looking stand that has dimensions of 11 x 9 x 2.5 inches. The color matches the grey mini casing very well.
The Grandstand has clear rubber feet that keep the stand for moving around on your desk. The front and back are open so that you can place your mini anywhere underneath.
I’m not real fond of the color of this stand. It feels a little too cold and sterile to me. I think I’d like it better if it were more of a brushed steel or even a polished steel. That said, this stand is heavy and strong. It can support up to a 60 lb monitor.
The only real problem that I notice with the Grandstand is that if you place the mini so that the face is flush with the front of edge of the stand, if you need access to the power button, you have to reach your hand under the stand to find it.
The Grandstand is also available in thick clear acrylic for the same price, and in blue for an extra $10. I have noticed that the clear Grandstand shows fingerprints and smudges.
Plasticsmith makes robust products that work as advertised. Mac mini owners really can’t go wrong with any of their monitor stands. For the time being, my favorite is the Tower: blue.
mini Tower Clear: $39.95
mini Tower Blue: $49.95
Grandstand Clear: $35.00
Grandstand Blue: $45.00
Grandstand Steel: $35.00