With a lot of people suddenly working from home, the laptop stand has never been a more useful and important piece of kit to help us work comfortably.
There are a vast number of different laptop stands out there in the marketplace. You could spend your life scrolling through options on Amazon! Most of them are pretty reasonable and make a reasonable go of it, but in our view Ergonomic Café stands stand out – for durability, portability and all-round smart design. We also like the Bakker Elkhuisen stand which is designed along similar lines.
Here’s our shortlist and we explain why we rate them so highly.
Ergonomic Café – U-Top
Ergonomic Café – Uprise
Ergonomic Café – TIO (Two in One)
Bakker Elkhuisen – Ergo-Q 260
From left to right: TIO, Uprise, U-Top
First thing to say is – the main purpose of a laptop stand is to raise the screen height, so that you can work with a more neutral neck posture and not finish the day all hunched up with a stiff neck. Important stuff. Below we compare how high the stand raised our laptop screen:
Comparison of top-of-screen heights above desk surface*
TIO: 395mm for Laptop, 405 for Tablet (yes, it does both – more later!)
Bakker Ergo-Q 260: 395mm
*Using a 13” MacBook. Top-of-screen heights will vary slightly between laptop shapes / screen sizes.
The Uprise wins marginally in terms of pure posture ergonomics (as you can see from the pictures below comparing the Uprise on the left with the TIO on the right, but things are never that simple…
Tablet support: The TIO is a combined laptop and tablet stand. It is the latest innovative design from Ergonomic Café.
The picture to the right shows how the TIO supports a tablet. There are separate dedicated laptop and tablet models for sale also, so be a bit careful when ordering to make sure you get the right one – as they look pretty much identical.
The TIO on the other hand is slightly thicker than the others when packed as flat as it goes – approximately 30mm thick. Whereas the Uprise and the U-Top are so thin it is not worth even worrying about it.
In the TIO’s defence though – that extra depth allows for a nifty integrated keyboard store / protection – providing you have a keyboard that fits into it (see photo).
Other features of the stands
Document holding capability
The U-Top doubles as a great little document holder that happily supports A4, when you are not using it as a laptop stand. The TIO in laptop mode also does this. The Bakker is a great document slope whether it has a laptop on it or not. The Uprise doesn’t really offer this.
What are they made of?
The laptop stands are all manufactured from thin-sheet aluminium laminate. The lamination provides the jointed parts. The joints are important – you want good quality product at the joints if they are being manipulated a lot.
The material means that all of these are highly portable – very light to carry around in your rucksack / laptop bag.
None of these are what you’d call cheap – (prices are provided below). But in our view they are investments in your health and comfort. The cost is also reflected in the quality – i.e. their strength with lightweight clever design, and they will last you for many years.
Our summary view of each
Ergonomic Café TIO
The TIO is very clever – combining a tablet stand and laptop stand into such a compact package. If you need both, then it is a great piece of kit, and as mentioned it will even double as a document slope when you don’t have your laptop on it.
Using our trusty MacBook, at the steepest two settings, our screen could not be angled back far enough to be vertical. For some laptops the screen joints are more giving and this won’t be an issue. To be honest it did not make much of a difference to the screen height / neck posture when we set it at notch 3.
Good for anyone who has to combine use of a table and laptop. Or maybe as a shared ‘household device’ which tablet users can hop onto when it is not being used for work.
Cost: £69.99+VAT (RRP)
Ergonomic Café Uprise
Maximum screen height! This is just a great design for getting your screen up nice and high. NOTE: The Uprise is perfect if your laptop screen does not hinge back very far.
It is a dedicated piece of kit – laptop stand only, no real other functionality e.g. as a document slope or tablet stand.
Good for anyone looking purely for an awesome strong and light laptop stand that raises their screen high (and we maybe shouldn’t say this!) it is our favourite.
Cost: £65+VAT (RRP).
Ergonomic Café U-Top
Good screen height. Packs very flat and doubles as a good document slope when not being used as a laptop stand.
None really – the screen is very slightly lower than the Uprise achieves, but in practical terms the difference is minimal.
Great if you like to keep a few notes propped up on the laptop keyboard – or if you like having a small document slope / holder available.
Cost: £49.99+VAT (RRP)
Bakker Elkhuisen Ergo-Q 260 (pictured below)
Good screen height. Packs flat. Very strong design. Has neat integrated document holder that you could stick post-its too etc even when using the laptop stand.
Slightly heavier than the Ergonomic Café stands but it is still lightweight and perfectly feasible to carry on your travels / commute etc.
A very nice laptop stand – shop around as there are some big price variations depending on where you buy – we have found them ranging from £45 to over £135!
All of these stands as we have already said are high quality and in the world of laptop stands we believe you get what you pay for. The Go-Mobile Ergonomic Café laptop stands are also great pieces of kit and well worth a look.
One of the great advantages of all of these stands we have reviewed, is their portability – they are light and compact, easy to put in your back when you are travelling.
NOTE: When using any of these stands you will need to use an external keyboard and mouse linked up to the laptop.
In our view it is worth buying something that will last. We are still using one of the early Ergonomic Café stands from over 10 years ago – and it is as good as the day it was made.
Consider them an investment in your health and comfort. They are one that you definitely won’t regret.
To purchase any of these stands please get in touch at email@example.com and we can arrange supply, or contact a reliable ergonomic equipment retailer such as Online Ergonomics, Osmond Ergonomics or Posturite.