How to Choose the Best MacBook Stand
Suffering from back and neck issues? It might be because you have you crouch to use your MacBook on most tables and desks. The solution to this is a laptop stand—something that holds your MacBook at (or close to) eye level while you’re working.
There are lots of things to consider when buying a stand for a MacBook, though, which can make picking one tricky. We’ve broken down some important factors to consider when buying a MacBook stand below, so we hope it helps you find your ideal spine-saving MacBook stand ASAP.
Ensure the Stand Is Compatible With Your MacBook
A stand for your MacBook won’t be any good to you if it can’t actually hold the computer up. So the first thing to figure out is if the laptop stand you get will accommodate your MacBook’s size and weight.
This means you need to know your MacBook’s size and weight. You can open the Apple menu and click About This Mac to find your MacBook’s model, year and age, and then look up your Mac model on the Apple website to find the weight.
Once you have this information, read through a stand’s product description to make sure your MacBook fits within the size and weight limits the manufacturer lists. If you can’t find size and weight limits for a particular stand, we would caution you against purchasing it, as your MacBook could get damaged if the stand collapses or bends unexpectedly.
The other major consideration here is the amount of desk space you have for the stand. Laptop stands come in many dimensions, though most that can support a MacBook will match or exceed the size of the computer’s bottom.
So long as the stand can support your MacBook, you can select any size that best fits your workspace. This can include the stand’s height of course, and we’ll cover that next.
Check the Height and Angle of the Stand
As we said earlier, a laptop stand is meant to cut down on your hunching and crouching by putting your MacBook at eye level. This allows you to have better posture while you work on your computer, which can reduce your back and neck pain.
So when buying a stand for your MacBook, you need to make sure it puts your MacBook at the correct height. This isn’t solely decided by the length of the stand legs, though. It also has to do with the angle the laptop stand holds your MacBook at.
Many laptop stands are built to hold computers at an angle to get extra height without making the legs incredibly long. An angled setup also allows you to access your MacBook’s keyboard and trackpad more easily than a flat one, should you need to do so.
To see what height you need from your laptop stand, measure the height from your table or desk to your eyes while sitting up straight. Then find a stand that raises the top of your laptop to that height—with or without an angle, depending on your preference.
Consider Getting an Adjustable MacBook Stand
Some laptop stands are solid pieces of material, meant to be set up once and left in place. Others are adjustable, allowing you to shorten and lengthen their legs, or allowing you to adjust the angle they hold a MacBook at.
If you plan to move your stand between workspaces, or if you want your stand to be able to make your desk into a standing desk, ensuring your MacBook stand is adjustable is really useful. It lets you and your MacBook be adaptable and flexible as you work.
Adjustable stands often can’t handle as much weight as solid stands, though, and they can be a little shaky if you type directly on your laptop while you use them.
With the grand majority of MacBook stands, you’ll be using a separate keyboard and mouse to work on your computer anyway, so the shakiness isn’t likely to be a factor. But if you’d prefer it absolutely solid, you may want to avoid an adjustable MacBook stand.
Select the Right Material for Your Laptop Stand
Laptop stands can be made of a large variety of materials. You can make DIY laptop stands out of cardboard and PVC pipes, but most purchased stands will be made out of metal, plastic, or wood. The material of a stand will influence its weight, and how much weight it can take. It will also impact your MacBook’s ability to cool itself depending on how hot the stand gets from your laptop.
Most of the laptop stands we recommend for MacBooks are made of aluminum. MacBook bodies are also made of aluminum, and the materials go well together practically (and aesthetically).
Other metals can work well too, though, as does wood. Plastic is fine, but double check its weight limits before purchasing. Plastic stands are quite a bit flimsier than their metal counterparts.
Look at the Overall Design of the Stand
Stands for MacBooks can come with design elements that make them more useful. An incredibly useful design element is a stand having holes or slats so that your MacBook can get airflow behind it, to cool down more effectively. Stands without holes or slats can actually cause overheating issues with your MacBook, so we consider this element a must-have.
Another important design element is leg placement on a stand. You might want one large leg for stability, and only having one place to adjust to add or subtract height. Alternatively, you might prefer having two legs that connect in the back and extend to the front, giving you a place to put your keyboard if you want more desk/table space at different times.
The design elements you ultimately want will be personal, depending on your desk setup and your personal tastes. Just know that certain design pieces can deeply affect how well a stand works for you, so consider them carefully when choosing your MacBook stand.
Think About Additional Features a MacBook Stand Can Have
The above sections outline the most important aspects to consider when selecting a laptop stand for your MacBook. But there are other features you can consider getting as well when making your decision:
- If you have frequent overheating issues with your MacBook, or just concerns about overheating, you can consider getting a stand with a built-in fan. A fan can offer additional cooling on top of your MacBook’s built-in fans.
- Laptop stands can also come with cable organizer holes and add-ons, in case you’re often dealing with a lot of cables going into your MacBook and you want things a little easier to reach for or neater to look at.
- You might also consider getting a docking station, such as the X-Kit, as your laptop stand. You’d plug your MacBook into the docking station, and the docking station would connect to other USB cables, monitors, and even SD cards.
If you just need something to hold your MacBook at eye level, a normal laptop stand will do wonderfully. But if you want some extra features, or for your stand to help with issues like cable management or overheating, there are options for that too.
Pick the Right MacBook Stand for You
A laptop stand can help you use your MacBook for a long time without hurting yourself. They can be quite simple, or pretty technical. It all depends on what you want your stand to do, and what you want it to look like.
We hope this guide has helped you figure out all the factors you need to consider for your own MacBook stand. Now you should be able to find the perfect one so you can enjoy your workspace with less pain!