Vertical laptop stands save desk space

If you use your laptop with an external monitor while working at a desk, you can use a vertical laptop stand to help conserve a limited amount of desk space. There are a number of sturdy and aesthetically pleasing vertical stands to choose from. Unfortunately, the companies that make these are all targeting Mac users. These models may work with some PC laptops. Here are a number of our favorites:

The BookArc by TwelveSouth

The BookArc

We like the organic curves of the BookArc, which supports all MacBook models.

The Power Support Docking Stand for MacBooks by Power Support

The Power Support Docking Stand

If you want something simple with a more rectilinear form than the BookArc, consider this model.

The NX Stand by Macessity

The NX Stand

We like this stand’s integrated 4-port USB hub. It’s also nice that it provides a space to tuck an external hard drive, as shown in the above image.

The Balmuda Floater by Balmuda Design

The Balmuda Floater

This stand is probably the most substantial of the bunch, which is only fitting, given the fact that it costs over $300. Maybe I’ll upgrade to this when Publisher’s Clearinghouse gives me one of those gigantic checks.

Do you have any of the units mentioned above? Another one we didn’t consider? If so, please tell us about your laptop stand preferences in the comments.

16 Comments for “Vertical laptop stands save desk space”

  1. posted by Bob K on

    I’ve been using the following stand for my Thinkpad, which allows me to use the laptop screen as a second monitor. It seems a shame to have a perfectly good screen go to waste, when it can be used to hold to-do lists, calendars, etc. to keep the primary work space uncluttered. Not as pretty as the stands mentioned in the article, but more functional.

  2. posted by Brandi on

    love the idea. Anything else for windows users?

  3. posted by BAW on

    I like the Matias iFold portable laptop stand. It’s great for traveling but also works on your regular desktop if you want a second screen open. Works for any brand of laptop, Mac or PC. More info at:

  4. posted by Domenico Bettinelli on

    I looked at all these when looking for a vertical stand for my MacBook Pro and decided I didn’t want to spend that much money. So I found a fairly well-built wooden mail sorter (the kind you keep near your front door) that we had and the slot was the perfect size. Plus there’s a second slot for a pad of paper and a drawer for pens. I would guess if I were to buy it in a store, it would be about $10 or less.

    Rather than buy a new, expensive unitasker, I re-used a cluttering multi-tasker that doesn’t clutter any more.

  5. posted by Caitlan on

    unitasker! And you’ll have the stand cluttering your desktop whether or not you are using your laptop.

  6. posted by Caitlan on

    I feel like I didn’t give a fair amount of background since I just disagreed with you on the thing you are an expert on. I am a student and don’t have an external monitor, though if I did I think I would just put my laptop in my top drawer if it was terribly in the way. The reason I don’t have an external monitor is because I can’t afford/don’t require one, but the reason I didn’t bring my desktop computer (an ancient imac) is because as an art student I need to use my desk for sketching and layout projects and need it clear like a traditional desk, not just a computer desk. as you can see it is not cleared off; I am in a small double room and need the space for storage and easy access, but the desk is large enough that there is plenty of workspace in the middle.

  7. posted by Luis Fernando on

    Yeah, I was about to make the same point Bob K made: why waste the perfectly good laptop monitor?

    Now, you probably have a review of laptop stands for open laptops somewhere in the site, so I won’t nag you much longer.

  8. posted by Jim on

    These stands are nice, but running your MacBook or MacBook Pro with the lid closed greatly reduces heat dissipation.

    You’re fine for “normal” use – web browsing, productivity/office apps, text coding. But if you start doing any heavy lifting – anything that causes the fans to audibly spin up – then you really want to run it with the lid open. Otherwise you risk extended heat outside of normal operating temps, which can drastically reduce your laptop’s lifespan.

  9. posted by alfora on

    They all look nice but that’s about it. What are the advantages/disadvantages?

    + they use less space than a notebook that lies flat on the table
    – the notebooks must be configured to run when the lid is closed
    – when you take the notebook with you they have to be configured again to shut down when the lid is closed
    – you cannot use the DVD-drive easily
    – they might introduce heat problems
    – you miss the opportunity to get more screen space with your additional, external monitor

    And please, I would like to see some pictures which include the necessary cabling.

  10. posted by Productive Pinoy on

    I think I should get one of those. Does this affect the condition of the hardware in anyway?

  11. posted by Darrell on

    I’m quite happy with the Twelve South BookArc. It is super sturdy and solid steel. I upgraded from a PowerMac G5 desktop to a 15″ MacBook Pro and wanted to use my 23″ monitor as my only monitor. I also have an Apple Slim keyboard which I like more than the MacBook Pros.

    Many of the comments have noted that it’s wasteful for the laptop screen to be closed and left unused. In my industry, many artists and editors run off of dual monitors because they feel they are more productive. Conversely, I enjoy having one monitor to focus on my work. Most software is designed to conform to one monitor anyway.

    Plus a friend once told me that it is bad for your eyes to constantly refocus at certain distances between monitors. I looked for supporting proof of this but haven’t found any. It did leave a note with me though.

  12. posted by Jill on

    Interesting, I had never even heard of or seen laptop stands before.

  13. posted by Brandy on

    that makes it look like a desktop to me.

  14. posted by Alex on


    Maybe some that aren’t for macs? 🙂

  15. posted by alfora on

    @Darrell: I guess it depends on the kind of work when you say that you are more productive with only one monitor.

    My examples where I am MORE productive with two monitors are:

    * creating a slideshow for a presentation: main monitor has the presentation program; secondary monitor shows the original document where the presentation is based on, graphics I use in the presentation, or just notes

    * programming: main monitor shows the IDE; secondary monitor shows a web browser with bug tracking tool, API reference, etc.

    * any new program: main monitor shows new program; secondary monitor shows manual, online help, reference

    * general use: main monitor shows main application; secondary monitor shows e-mail, calendar, address book, or just any kind of notes and additional info you would need for your main task

    Just a note about different viewing distances: it is never “bad for your eyes” when they have to focus at different distances. It is just more strenuous when they have to do. And this is my argument FOR a multiple monitor setup because you can arrange your monitors in such a way that they are at the same viewing distance from you. Compare this with notes on paper that lie beside your keyboard at a different distance.

  16. posted by Jessica on

    I use an old laptop as a desktop (it NEVER travels), and to save space on my desk I store it on a shelf that was originally designed for papers. The shelf is the same width as the file drawer, with about three inches height before the next shelf. A few holes drilled into the back of the desk allows for cords and airflow, and it’s tucked neatly out of the way and out of sight.

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