We’ve done a few laptop stand reviews recently at The Gadgeteer. Each time we post one, it seems another vendor contacts us and offers their stand for our review. Today we’ll be taking a look at the LineA Laptop Support. You’ll notice that the LineA is a bit different from most laptop stands on the market.
When the package arrived from Germany, I had no idea what could be inside such a small package. I was certainly surprised to see three laptop stands inside! When I realized how tiny these stands are, I’ll admit I thought “there’s no way that thing can be stable while I’m typing on my laptop!” I was wrong.
The stands are packaged in a durable plastic sleeve that will protect the LineA stand in your gear bag. The sleeve is 2.75” wide X 11” long X 0.38” thick with the stand inside. The LineA stand folds up to about 10.25” long X 2.12” wide X 0.25” thick. It weighs 2.47 ounces in the case, 1.83 ounces without the case. You’ll be able to carry this in almost any bag without even noticing it’s in your gear.
LineA says the laptop support is designed to lift your laptop to a more ergonomic viewing angle to prevent neck strain. The stand is said to promote cooling because it allows air to circulate around the laptop, and the minimal contact the stand has with the laptop certainly shouldn’t be blocking any cooling ports. They also say that lifting the laptop off the table should protect it from spills. I’ll admit that I did NOT test the spill-proof claims.
I don’t know what the materials used in the LineA are. There’s no information on the packaging or on the website. The thick metal wire looks like aluminum to me. When folded up, the LineA stand is a long, thin rectangle with two little ears. Unfolded, it has a U-shape. It actually consists of three main metal pieces, a back support and two “legs”. The three pieces are jointed together with heavy-duty plastic tubing. These joints can swing a full 360 degrees. The front end of each leg is turned up a bit to hold the laptop on the stand. These tips have a heavy silicone coating to protect the laptop from scratches. Opened, the stand area for the laptop is about 10.35” wide X 9.35” long. The turned-up lip is about 0.75” tall overall, but it doesn’t really lift the laptop off the table. The back of the stand is about 2.75” tall.
The LineA stand is so tiny that I was nervous about trusting it to support my 13” MacBook Pro. It was stable as a rock once I had my laptop in place, though. It held its shape and supported my laptop through several days of usage. I have a habit of leaning my elbows on the wrist-rest area of my laptop when I’m thinking or talking, and the LineA never wobbled. The plastic tubing used for the hinges and the silicone caps on the front supports help keep the laptop from sliding on the stand, and they keep the stand from sliding on the table.
I liked using my laptop on the LineA support. The screen was a bit higher for easier viewing, and the keyboard angle was comfortable for typing. I was worried that the little front tips would be uncomfortable for my wrists, but the body of the MBP was tall enough that the tips never touched me.
I have an HP Mini 200 netbook that I use for my other job, and I found that I could even adjust the LineA to support it. Even though the netbook is much smaller than my MBP, it was held securely. However, the support tips are higher than the front of the netbook, and they did irritate my wrists if I wasn’t careful about my arm placement.
As for the cooling claims, I found the LineA was like every other passive-cooling laptop stand I’ve tried. I didn’t see any strong evidence that using the LineA stand made my laptop run any cooler than without it. I will mention that I never use my laptop on anything other than a lapdesk or my little computer table. I don’t put it directly in my lap or on the bedding, sofa, or any soft surface. My laptop does seem to run at slightly higher temperatures since I installed Lion, but it basically is the same average temperatures with and without the LineA stand.
I again used the Flash Stress Test at the Munsie Games website to see how the stand performed under more stressful conditions than I normally run. The stress test exercises your computer by displaying a lot of images on your screen in a 30-second burst. I tested both with and without the LineA stand. I took an initial temperature reading, then I ran the Munsie test twice for each condition, back-to-back, as quickly as I could run them. I let my laptop cool down for several hours after the first stress test before I did the second. Again, I don’t see clear proof that the stand keeps the laptop significantly cooler.
I do like the LineA Laptop Support. I intend to continue using my ChillBed laptop stand at home, but I have a LineA stand in my laptop bag to use while I’m travelling. The only thing that gives me pause about this stand is the price. As I mentioned, a German company makes it, but they do ship worldwide. I couldn’t find a US reseller. The price for each stand is €20, plus shipping, so the German price for each stand is €23.05, Europe is €25.45, and the rest of the world is €28.05 – that’s $38.31 to the US. Note: I completely read the price information incorrectly, so I have corrected the prices in the previous sentence. I apologize for my mistake.