Raising Your Laptop In Style With The iCurve

| Reviews

Introduction

As time passes, more and more people look to laptop computers as possible replacements for typical desktop machines. While todayis PowerBooks easily have the power to be such replacements, and are great for on-the-road computing, they can often present several problems in a typical desktop environment.

First of all, the keyboard is small and the touchpad cumbersome for typical desk use. This is easily solved by an external keyboard and mouse. Secondly, the screen is often very low on the desk, causing you to have to look down at the machine, which is very bad from an ergonomic standpoint. Thirdly, heat can be a problem, especially with the Titanium PowerBook G4 series. Griffin Technologyis iCurve Invisible Laptop Stand sets out to solve the latter two issues -- and does so very well (and with style).


Design

The first thing that jumps out at you when you look at the iCurve is the design. As with all of Griffinis products, the company tried to capture the visual appearance of Appleis award-winning industrial design. There is no finer example of this than the iCurve. Made exclusively of rounded, clear plastic similar to that of Appleis LCD displays, the iCurve is sure to attract the eyes of onlookers. In fact, they might even suspect the product was designed by Apple. Judging by design alone, the iCurve is a winner.


Function

While the design of the iCurve is definitely pleasing to the eye, it also works very well. The plastic arms that suspend the laptop above the desk are very sturdy, holding the laptop at a 15 degree angle (minimizing the amount of tilt necessary for the screen). The laptop itself is held on the angled arms by four rubber strips (two on each arm). These rubber strips come in contact with the bottom of the PowerBook G4 used for testing about 1.5 inches in from each side.

The iCurve held both the PowerBook G4, and a Dell Inspiron laptop, very well, allowing full access to all ports on the back of the machines. Attempting to "push" the laptop resulted in pushing the entire iCurve. This is very useful because you can move/rotate the entire setup without having to pick up and move the laptop by itself.

In fact, the iCurve slides very smoothly over the various desk surfaces on which we tested it. In some cases, it moves too easily. When placing and/or removing the machine from itis perch on the iCurve, the whole setup can shift easily a centimeter or two in different directions. This, however, is only a minor annoyance.

One of the two big selling points for the iCurve is screen placement. Without the iCurve, users find themselves looking down at the screen of their laptop. The typically accepted ergonomic placement is for the top of the screen to be at eye level and no less than an arms length away from the screen. The iCurve lifts the laptopis screen up to that level for comfortable all day use. In addition, the use of a keyboard in front of the iCurve (as recommended by Griffin) results in the screen being at least the suggested arms length away from the user.

For dual monitor lovers, the iCurve places the PowerBookis screen at the appropriate height to tile with both Appleis 17" and 22" LCD screens.

The second major selling point is the increased airflow underneath the laptop. Especially for PowerBook G4 users (who know how hot that particular laptop can get), this is a useful feature. The approximate 5" of space between the desktop and laptop allows for greater airflow from all directions, thus helping to cool the laptop more quickly than it would be cooled if flat on the desk. This also prevent annoying burn marks or other side effects due to heat.


Conclusion

The iCurve has the looks and it gets the job done. What more could you ask for? With the move towards laptops as desktop replacements, Griffin Technology has provided the solution to make that laptop a desktop, yet easy enough to grab it and hit the road. If you want to make your laptop the ultimate desktop replacement, you canit go wrong with an iCurve.

Product: iCurve Invisible Laptop Stand

Company: Griffin Technology

List Price: US 39.99

ClubMac Price: US$39.99

Pros: - Sturdy design - Apple-like design & styling - Raises laptop to appropriate height - Helps with heat dissipation - Easy to move around
Cons: - Sometimes moves when plugging things into the back of the laptop

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