Lapworks Attaché Laptop Stand Review

Propane - 2008-02-26 17:42:24 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: Propane   
Reviewed on: March 11, 2008
Price: $69.95

Introduction:

As laptops keep getting smaller and smaller, the insides of the laptops get hotter and hotter. While the companies that produce the components used in the laptops keep trying to make these components use less electricity and run cooler, there is still a long way to go especially when it is no easy feat to make something both smaller and cooler. The heat that these components generate is not good for them and can decrease the lifespan of your laptop, so taking every measure that you can is a responsible action. To do this, most people buy laptop coolers which typically try to increase airflow around the laptop. Like all products, these laptop coolers all sport different feature sets and preform differently. Hopefully, through this review, you will be able to choose a laptop cooler that fits your needs.

The Lapworks Attaché Laptop Stand is one laptop cooler that you might consider. This cooler is made out of Aluminum and has two small fans embedded in the surface of it. There is also a USB hub which can help you have the ability to plug a few more USB devices into your laptop. While the Attaché cools the laptop, there is also a second benefit that it aims to provide: ergonomics. The bottom of the Attaché can be raised to several different heights depending on how your laptop is set up. Some settings make it more comfortable to type, while others make it easier to see. All these features will be discussed in depth in the following review, so if you are interested in making your laptop last longer and protecting your body from unnecessary strain, read on!

Closer Look:

The Lapworks Attaché Laptop Stand comes packaged in a very simple way. In fact, all that contains the pack is a plastic bag which can be opened easily like any other plastic ziploc style bag.

The Attaché itself is an aluminum block with two silent fans in the middle and two fold out feet at the bottom that can be used to keep your laptop from sliding down the front of the cooler. The back is made of plastic and has the intake for the fans. The height adjustment stand is also made of the backing material and folds into the back.

As you can see below, there are several different heights that the Attaché can go to ranging from the highest, on the right, and the lowest, on the left.

Lets move on and take a look at the other items that come with the Attaché.

Closer Look:

To get the Lapworks Attaché to the various heights, a small piece of plastic acts as a second leg to prop up the back end of the Attaché. This results in a very sturdy solution that allows the cooler to be varied in height depending on how you wish to use it. The lowest height is used to make keyboard use more ergonomic and comfortable while the upper heights can be used to make screen viewing easier. Lapworks recommends using the upper heights only with an external keyboard and mouse, however.

To get the support to change heights, a small button is on the side which, when depressed, releases a locking mechanism used to keep the Attaché from slipping in height. The button is very easy to press and does a great job keeping the Attaché at the height that you choose. Also, to keep the laptop from slipping, I mentioned the use of two feet that can be folded out. All these feet do is fold out 90 degrees but are essential to the use of the Attaché Laptop Stand

Finally, you can see the way that the fans get power and the USB hub. These items are located in the rear left corner of the Attaché. To get power, an included USB cord is used to go from the normal sized USB port in your computer to the mini USB port on the Attaché. Then, a switch can be used to turn the fans on and off and a small LED signifies if it is receiving power or not.

So now that we have taken a good look at the Lapworks Attaché, lets see how installing it goes and take a look the specifications!

Installation:

To install the Lapworks Attaché Laptop Stand, all you need to do is choose an appropriate height, unfold the two posts that keep the laptop in place, and plug the Attaché into one of your laptop's free USB ports. Then you can use the switch on the side of the cooler to control the fans.

To help you choose what height to use, Lapworks has made a few recommendations. They said that to maximize the ergonomic benefit of the keyboard to use the first height setting and that all higher settings should be used only with an external keyboard and mouse.

Specifications:

Testing:

When testing a laptop cooler like the Lapworks Attaché Laptop Stand, there are many things to take into consideration. Even though the main goal of the Attaché is to cool the laptop, there are many other goals too, like to provide the user with additional USB ports and allow them to have a more comfortable computing experience, whether it is making their typing easier, or raising the laptop's screen to eye level.

To test the Attaché, I will run certain tests to get temperature readings off my laptop. The temperatures will be gathered at idle and at load. To get the idle temperatures, I will make sure I have no running processes on the laptop, then leave it in that state for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes is up I will get the temperature then do the same process on the stand. To get the load temperatures, I will run World of Warcraft for 15 minutes in each configuration. World of Warcraft will be used because it can stress both the CPU and GPU instead of just testing the CPU like most synthetic Macintosh benchmarks. These temperatures will be reported as they were recorded and compared to another laptop cooler: the NZXT Cryo LX. I will additionally use my laptop while it is on the stand in each of the positions to see if I can tell if the Attaché Laptop Stand provides any ergonomic benefit. Between these, we should get a pretty good idea of how well the Attaché preforms.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Cooler:

Let's first look at the temperatures that the Attaché produces. In the below comparisons, the temperatures from the NZXT Cryo LX will be retaken in the same environment as the Attaché. This is to allow for changed in ambient temperature which will effect the ultimate, final result.Temperatures are shown in degrees Celsius and of course for this test lower is better.

The first set of graphs show the temperatures when the laptop is running at idle.

The next set of graphs is the temperatures of the laptop when it is under load.

As can be seen in the above results, the Lapworks Attaché cools the laptop by several degrees in all situations and in most cases cools the laptop slightly better than the NZXT cooler does. The second factor that I want to look at is the comfort and ergonomic factor that Lapworks talked about. After using the stand in several of the different positions offered, I can honestly say that it was slightly more comfortable typing on and also more comfortable looking at whatever I was working on. The added tilt to my MacBook Pro's keyboard felt very nice and made it feel easier to type on. However, if you are used to typing on a flat laptop keyboard, it might take a few days to get used to having the keyboard raised. Also, on the very highest height, my MacBook's screen could not tilt back enough to be parallel with my face. This is a problem that only seems to effect MacBooks and MacBook Pro's so most people need not be worried about this situation happening.

Conclusion:

The Lapworks Attaché Laptop Stand did a great job doing what it was supposed to do. Even though a temperature drop of 4 degrees Celsius might seem like a small improvement, it is really pretty large considering how hard it is to cool a laptop. Also, it was nice to have a laptop cooler that a non powered laptop can run. My MacBook Pro can only put 500mA out on any USB port and the Attaché doesn't even come close to that at 180mA when it is running two fans. Also, the ergonomic benefits that this cooler provides are a very nice addition. If you like a slightly raised keyboard, then you will love the Attaché on its first setting, and if you like not having to bend your neck to look at a screen, you'll love the higher settings. Also, the fans are so quiet that you should barely notice that they are on, in fact they are so quiet I had to keep lifting my laptop during testing to make sure they were actually running. The only gripe that I have with the Attaché is that the size of its base might not be able to fit an entire 15" or 17" laptop, however this is not necessary and is easily gotten over. All in all, I feel like the Attaché Laptop Stand is an amazing product that can benefit a lot of people.

Pros:

Cons: