best portable laptop stand

Best Portable Laptop Stand 2020 – Reviews & Guide

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Are you looking for a laptop stand that is lightweight and portable? Our best portable laptop stands guide will help you pick the right one for you.

Best Portable Laptop Stand Quick Picks

No time to read through the entire article? No problem! Our quick picks can point you in the right direction:

Best Portable Laptop Stand – OverallRoost Laptop Stand
Best Portable Laptop Stand – Budget PickNexstand Laptop Stand

How Does a Portable Laptop Stand Work?

In this video, you can see what the Roost portable laptop stand looks like and how to set it up.

Why Do You Need a Portable Laptop Stand?

If you’re a digital nomad or you travel quite a bit for work, your laptop is probably a common companion when you’re on the move.

It has probably seen use in airports, planes, hotel rooms, and everywhere in between. While using your laptop in these places may have been a necessity, it most likely wasn’t doing your posture any favors.

Many of those places simply aren’t optimized for laptop usage despite the fact that many people find themselves using their laptops there.

Using the laptop without a laptop stand for an extended time is quite bad for your neck and shoulder posture.

If you often work on your laptop whether at home, at the office, at the coworking space, or while traveling, you’ve probably experienced neck and shoulder muscle pain.

A portable laptop stand lets you transform nearly any surface into a great ergonomic work platform for your laptop while eliminating the usual problems that come with spending a lot of time working on your laptop.

The stand elevates the laptop screen closer to your eye level (solving the posture problem), while at the same eliminating the airflow problems associated with keeping the laptop on a flat surface. 

A laptop stand is very handy for those working from home from their laptop and those traveling frequently and having to work remotely.

Thanks to innovative design, portable laptop stands fold compactly and don’t take up any noticeable amount of space in your luggage and will in most cases easily fit into your laptop bag.

The only potential drawback of portable laptop stands is that they will likely require you to use an external mouse and keyboard.

The concept was born as an extremely successful Kickstarter idea that has raised nearly double the original $475.000 goal, and the concept has since spawned many other laptop stand manufacturers, some of which were more successful than others. 

We are going to bring you a review of the original Roost portable laptop stand and the Nexstand portable laptop stand.

After we discuss the main features, strengths, and weaknesses of the two models, we are going to bring you a direct comparison that should give you all the information you need to decide which product will better fulfill your needs.

With that being said, let’s get into our reviews.

Roost Laptop Stand Review

Our Pick for Best Portable Stand

Check Price on Amazon

Overview & Features

The original portable laptop stand’s listing proudly states it is made in the USA and that it is the lightest and the most portable laptop stand in the world.

When folded, the dimensions of the stand are 13’’ x 1.17’’ x 1.3’’ (33 x 3 x 3.3 cm) and it weighs 5.8 ounces (164.5 g), so we definitely must give credit where it is due because you’ll hardly feel the weight or the space this item takes in your luggage.

When you decide to use it, all you need to do is pull the two long pieces apart upon which the stand will effortlessly pop into shape, ready for use in less than a second.

In order to keep your laptop in place, the stand has two pivoting rubber grips that automatically adjust to hold the bottom edge of your laptop. The rubber is soft enough not to damage your laptop but provides a great grip to prevent it from moving when you don’t want it to.

It will easily hold laptops that are thinner than 0.75’’ (1.9 cm) which means that even many older laptops will fit in the Roost’s grips without issues. 

The stand is designed with quality in mind and the creators have since improved on the original design with the V2 edition of the stand that is more durable than the original V1. The body of the stand is made out of glass-fiber reinforced nylon which makes for very durable construction.

Using high-quality materials is one of the main ways in which Roost distinguishes itself from the competition. This means that the Roost can comfortably handle upwards of 50 lbs (22.5 kg) of weight which is way, way more than the weight of a standard laptop.

Since everyone will have a different height preference for their laptop, Roost lets you adjust the height of your laptop between 6’’ and 11’’ (15 to 28 cm) from the tabletop.

While the look of the Roost stand, which is fairly thin, might make you think that it is wobbly, that won’t be the case as the different pieces fit together very well and provide great stability for your device while you work.

It is definitely on the more expensive side as far as laptop stands go, but the quality you get is well worth the price tag and Roost is definitely going to serve you well for a long time since its performance doesn’t degrade over time. As a cool bonus, it comes with its own little carrying bag.

Pros

  • Extremely well made – the nylon material is really good and strong, some even say that it approaches the performance of carbon fiber but doesn’t come with the same hefty price tag. The overall construction is also of very high quality and the components are very well put together.
  • Compact – with its folded dimensions and weight, I can’t really imagine a scenario where you can’t fit Roost in your luggage, it will almost certainly fit your laptop bag and you won’t even feel that it’s there. If you put in it its custom carrying bag before you pack it, you can rest assured that it won’t get scratched or scratch anything else.

Cons

  • Pricier than most other portable stands – quality ultimately comes at a price and the Roost is no exception to this rule as it is among the priciest portable laptop stands.
  • Will require an external keyboard and mouse – typing on such an elevated surface isn’t going to be something that you can comfortably do for any period of time, so getting an external keyboard and a mouse for use with the Roost is going to be necessary.

Nexstand Laptop Stand Review

Our Pick for Best Budget Portable Stand

Check Price on Amazon

Overview & Features

The Nexstand portable laptop stand is widely considered to be a great budget option for a portable laptop stand.

It is a foldable model that measures 1.5’’ x 1.5’’ x 14’’ (3.8 x 3.8 x 35.6 cm) when folded and it weighs 8.2 ounces (232 g). These dimensions and weight make it quite portable and it should fit in your laptop bag easily.

It has a similar foldable design to the Roost, with pivoting grips that hold the bottom edge of the laptop in place.

The grips are wide enough to accommodate laptops thinner than 0.8’’ (2 cm) and come with additional spacers for a better grip on thinner laptops. The grips are made of relatively hard rubber that could do a better job at actually gripping the laptops but sacrifices had to be made somewhere. 

The main material of the Nexstand is a form of reinforced nylon and the overall construction, while pretty decent, could be sturdier. The manufacturer advertises that the stand is able to handle 20 lbs (9 kg) of weight which is still at least several times heavier than the average laptop, but isn’t too much of a leeway, especially if you decide not to use an external keyboard and mouse, and instead for some reason decide to type directly on the laptop keyboard.

One very good thing about this laptop stand is the quite wide range of heights that it allows you to set your laptop to. This range is between 5.5’’ and 12.6’’ (14 to 32 cm), which is one of the better ranges in the category. 

All things considered, it provides great value for money but has to make some sacrifices to bring down its price tag. Whether or not that is something you can get over is up to you, but I’ll leave you with the knowledge that, just like the Roost, the Nexstand comes with its own cool carrying bag.

Pros

  • Great value for money – this stand provides a great mix of performance and price. It is much more affordable than some other models on the market and doesn’t sacrifice too much in terms of performance.
  • Wide height-adjustment range – the height-adjustment range on this stand is wider than the range on most of the portable stands on the market.

Cons

  • Materials could be better (but good for the price) – the reinforced nylon does an okay job but it won’t handle too much additional pressure and the rubber on the grips is too hard to provide optimal grip and there may be some slipping as a consequence.
  • Construction doesn’t feel as sturdy – the overall construction, while decent, isn’t as sturdy as some users would like it to be.
  • Will require an external keyboard and mouse – same as with the Roost.

Nexstand vs Roost Laptop Stand Comparison

Portability and Size

Both stands come with their own carrying bags and their sizes are similar, but the Nexstand is slightly bigger and heavier than the Roost. While these differences are rather minuscule, they exist and as such the portability points go to the Roost portable stand.

Material, Quality, and Durability

Both laptop stands are made out of reinforced nylon but the Roost’s material is a step better than that of the Nexstand as is evidenced by the stated maximum loads.

The rubber grip material is also important to consider and the Roost’s rubber takes the prize because it is softer than the rubber found on Nexstand. In this case, the softer rubber is not only kinder to the surface of the rubber but it provides noticeably better traction than the harder rubber found on the Nexstand.

Honestly, both products will do a good job but the Roost’s construction simply feels sturdier and uses higher quality materials so it gets the points for quality and durability as well. This means that the Roost simply does the job better, as should be expected from a product with a much higher price tag.

Adjustable Heights & Versatility

The Roost has only three different height settings compared to the Nexstand’s eight height setting. Given how Nexstand also has a wider range of heights, it gets the points in this category.

Versatility is pretty close since Nexstand has slightly bigger grips but the Roost is more compact so it can fit smaller laptops that Nexstand. Both stands have something going for them when it comes to versatility so we’ll say it’s a tie in this category.

Best Portable Laptop Stand Accessories

Don’t forget that when you use a laptop stand, you will need a keyboard and mouse.

Our favorite portable keyboard is the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Our favorite mouse is Apple Magic Mouse 2. And you can fit them both in this Pawtec sleeve.

Best Portable Laptop Stand Summary

Both for ergonomic reasons and a more optimized work environment, a portable laptop stand is a sound investment for anyone who works and travels frequently.

The pioneering design and lightweight nature of both these laptop stands make them excellent companions while out on the road.

One final time, here are our picks for the best portable laptop stand.

Best Portable Laptop Stand – OverallRoost Laptop Stand
Best Portable Laptop Stand – Budget PickNexstand Laptop Stand

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Best Portable Laptop Stands
Best Portable Laptop Stands 2020

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