Stand by me

With repetitive strain already bad enough for desktop computer users — notebook users are health disasters waiting to happen! Logitech aims to alleviate this problem with their uniquely designed Alto notebook stand.
We’ve all seen it at the local coffee shop, in the cafeteria, or on the train – poor notebook users hunched over their mobile computers like they’re working in a room with the ceiling 5 feet too low. Logitech aims to help eliminate the sore shoulders and cramped necks by introducing you to the Alto.

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The Alto, meaning “tall” in Spanish, is a notebook stand which raises the working height of your notebook’s LCD to a more usable level so you don’t have to strain your neck by looking down. The integrated keyboard reduces shoulder strain by giving a full-sized keyboard with a height kickstand.

There is also an integrated 3-port USB 2.0 hub built into the base of the stand, which connects to an existing USB port on your notebook. The USB cord on the Alto is 24″ long which should be long enough to wrap around a larger 17″ laptops. But if your laptop is really awkwardly designed, you can always add a short USB extension to the Alto.

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For USB peripherals that require more power, there is a wall adapter included which ensures that your devices get the power they need. The problem I have with the wall adapter is that it’s a power brick which makes packing and using a bit of a chore, and the length of the cable is 6 feet which is 2 feet shorter than the typical notebook power chord. I would have liked to have seen the power cable longer so that you can have more freedom in placement.

The whole apparatus folds up neatly when transporting and is held secure by invisible magnetic latches which snap together without any breakable mechanisms. The middle “hinge” is made from thick rubber that feels more like neoprene. When folded up the Alto is roughly 17″ x 9.5″ x 1.25″ which may likely requires a larger notebook bag in order to transport.

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All in all the construction of the Alto is pretty strong! I wasn’t able to flex it when it tried to bend it in half. The surface of the Alto scratched pretty easily, so try to be careful when tossing it around.

Next Page – Design and Usability

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