The iCE laptop stand is the latest product from MGB, makers of the “Cool Laptop Stand”. The iCE is made of clear perspex and aluminium, which makes it quite discreet upon the desk despite its size. The laptop rests on two posts at the front and on two pads at the back. These are covered in rubber and very secure, meaning that the laptop, although not physically strapped down, is safe and unable to slide out of the stand.
The iCE’s design allows you to easily change the angle of the laptop, and so the height of the screen, just by sliding the curved top half over the rubber grips on the bottom half of the frame. Again thanks to the rubber grips you can just push it to adjust the angle, and leave it; the laptop’s own weight is not sufficient to move it alone. An added fillip from its simple, elevated design is that the laptop is kept cool, as air is able to easily circulate underneath it. I certainly noticed that the fan in my 12-inch PowerBook took longer to kick in while using this stand. The colour also complimented the PowerBook well, with the aluminium of the frame matching that of the case.
There is one major downside though for users of the 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks. Although the stand is big enough to take both of these, the design of the stands is such that the plastic curves come over the front of the PowerBook, covering the slot-loading disk drive. While you can reposition the PowerBook briefly to get the disk out, it would be a real hassle – as would be trying to lift it, owing to the upright position of the PowerBook. This is a real shame as the stand is obviously aimed at PowerBook users, and they even go so far as to state that it was designed to take all laptops “including 17-inch PowerBook”.
The stand still works admirably with the 12-inch PowerBook and the iBook line. It is sturdily constructed, well made and looks good on a desk. It’s a novel design, but inherent in it are some problems that need to be overcome. As it stands (no pun intended) it is useful, but perhaps the one user who would want to use a laptop as main desktop is the owner of a 15-inch or 17-inch PowerBook, and they are the one consumer group that couldn’t make full use of this.
It is a cool stand, but at £65 it isn’t cheap, and it’s good looks may not be enough to redeem it.