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laptop standAmazonPart of my job involves testing lots of laptops. MacBooks, Chromebooks, netbooks, and other Windows…books make their way to my desk with some regularity, yet actually working with them can often be a pain.

I mean that literally; the simple ergonomics of having a laptop on your desk is a recipe for discomfort. Laptops are meant for laps. so plopping their (relatively) little screens in front of you usually results in hunched shoulders, craned necks, and a desk chair set way too low to the ground.

You can always connect your laptop to an external monitor, but if you’d rather not jump down that rabbit hole, the simple fix here is to invest in a laptop stand. Any old stack of books can easily do the trick, but if you’re willing to pay for something a little more refined, the Rain Design mStand should serve you well.

The mStand’s been a popular choice for several years now. It’s made from a single piece of rigid, MacBook-esque aluminum, capable of holding (and helping cool down) more or less any laptop, at any size. It raises your screen a hair under six inches, which should be high enough to put it close to eye level for many people, and tilts it forward, pushing it a bit closer to your face. There’s an opening for slotting through cables around the back, and a little area for stashing an external keyboard underneath.

mstand laptop standAmazonSo it does what it’s supposed to do. The only notable hangup — aside from that fact that $40 might be a bit much — is that it’s not adjustable, so you’ll have to do some DIY handywork if you’re too tall for it to be totally beneficial. (And to be clear, it’s probably not the most ideal stand for standing desks.) If you need a more flexible stand, Rain Design sells another model called the mStand 360 that swivels from side to side.

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For such a simple thing, the mStand’s received plenty of positive feedback over the years. Write-ups from MacWorld, Gizmag, The Sweethome, and Lifehacker have been good, and the device has a 4.8 rating after nearly 2,500 user reviews on Amazon. If you’re looking around here, it should be dependable. And even if you’re not, taking any steps along these lines should make working in your home office more comfortable.

Rain Design mStand Laptop Stand, $42.95, available at Amazon.

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