If you use a laptop as your main machine, chances are that you catch yourself slumping in front of it more than you would care to admit. The key to ergonomic bliss is to lift the laptop so that the monitor is across from your line of sight, not under it, and to attach an external keyboard.
While a larger stand (perhaps one with extra USB ports and other attachables makes great sense at home, a simple laptop riser and portable keyboard are necessary to replicate the experience on the road. For times like that, the Cricket Laptop Stand might be just the device you need…
But first we’ll take a look at the packaging, because I thought it was cute! My Cricket arrived in a box stuffed with fake grass. It made a positive impression on me, but I had to keep it away from Avah and Bella; no need to have packing material strewn all over the house!
There are a set of instructions printed on the inside of the box. Simple and straightforward, anyone should be able to quickly figure out how to use the device.
Inside a black velour travel bag…
…is what looks like a giant green clothespin; the color is Eco Green, actually9.4. The Cricket is also available in charcoal and “Mac White”
Measuring approximately 8″ long x 2″ wide x 1″ thick when tucked into its travel position, the Cricket is composed of a combination of green plastic and matte metal. Weighing 9.4 ounces, it is substantial enough that it won’t tip over when holding a top-heavy laptop, but not so heavy that it will weigh you down while traveling. I can vouch that the Cricket is quite durable, because I have dropped it at least twice.
The metal interior of the closed Cricket is magnetized, presumably so that the two halves of the “clothespin” will stay snapped shut when it is not in use.
· Height-adjustable — elevates laptop screen to comfortable viewing height.
· Adjusts to support laptops of all widths, and weights up to 12 lbs.
· Enhances airflow — keeps your notebook cool.
· Extremely portable — collapses to fit in your pocket or computer bag.
· Compatible with notebooks as well as tablet PC’s.
· Sustainability: Cricket is composed of 70% recyclable materials.
Pressing the large black button opens the two halves; there are eight different positions that the Cricket halves will lock into, how high you want your laptop screen to sit will determine which position to lock into.
Here is a view of the magnetized plate…
Here are a couple of shots showing how the Cricket can stand; the 1.25″ black feet swing out and are attached to extending arms (up to an additional 3.1″) so that the laptop can sit lower and be used with the Cricket but without a keyboard.
Here is the Cricket in one of the positions which would work well with an external keyboard; the laptop is raised quite high, and its keyboard is not accessible.
If you were sitting in front of this MacBook Pro, the screen would be level with your eyes – no downward gaze necessary.
Even though it is not specified as a feature, the Cricket can also be used by people like me, those who like to have a little bit of an angle on their keyboard, but who prefer to use the laptop’s built-in keyboard (with no need to carry an extra this way). Even though it’s not exactly a method mentioned in the Cricket brochure, I made it work. An added benefit to raising a laptop’s rear is that it allows air to circulate freely in an area that might otherwise become overheated.
The only thing the is a little bit irritating is that when used in this manner, the two feet poke up a bit from the bottom of the laptop (especially on my MacBook Air), and they seemed in the way until I got used to working around them; another option might be to trim them – but I didn’t.
Overall, I found the Cricket Laptop Stand to be useful stand because it was so portable, and after I got used to the arm placement it was easy to use. If you have been looking for a simple, inexpensive, adjustable, well made and extremely portable laptop stand, then the Cricket may be the one for you.
The Cricket Laptop Stand is available from the manufacturer.
What I Like: Easy to operate; allows your laptop to be more ergonomic; doesn’t feel flimsy at all and supports your laptop solidly
What Needs Improvement: The two feet on the bottom will extend past the width of a laptop’s base, especially on thinner laptops; this is not an issue when using the laptop with an external keyboard.