Saving my Neck: The XT Stand Folding Laptop Stand

Saving my Neck: The XT Stand Folding Laptop Stand

XT Stand Lately I’ve been working much more out of the office at various coffee shops, and when I’m working for extended periods of time I find that the low angle of my notebook’s LCD screen causes neck strain after a couple of hours. I’ve tried carrying around my old Griffin iCurve and Logitech Alto Express, which are elegantly-shaped pieces of plastic, but they do not easily pack into a laptop bag. After a bit of hunting around, I came across the XT Stand, a compact folding laptop stand that stood out from the piles of plastic junk littered across the Internet. After reading this 2005 review, I took a chance on ordering one from the rather mysterious xtstand website. I’ve been carrying it around for about a month. The verdict: so far, I like it a lot.

The XT Stand is made of satisfyingly sturdy metal with rubberized caps, and I was impressed by the fit and finish. In the hand, it feels more like a piece of scientific gear, and it gets a few looks from people when I haul it out. While it comes with a solid plastic carrying case, I just carry the XT Stand loose in my bag next to my “scroll case” of 11×17 paper. Folded, the stand is about an inch longer than a ballpoint pen, and will tuck away into a wide pen-carrying pocket.

XT Stand Unfolded, the XT Stand lies pretty low and stably. The base is stable and height adjustable. There are two adjustments possible: the length of the two rear extension supports (5 settings), and the height of the riser tubes (hi or low). While I would have liked the option of being able to raise my laptop screen more than two inches, it nevertheless works well enough to prevent some discomfort. With my external USB keyboard (a compact BTC 6100C) and my new-favorite mouse (a Logitech VX Nano), I have a pretty comfortable portable on-the-go setup. It all fits in a slim LeVertigo 17″ vertical brief.

XT StandXT StandXT Stand I have to admit, though, that the main reason I like the XT Stand is because it just looks so cool. The slightly bronze-colored matte finish goes very nicely with my MacBook Pro, here encased in a Speck clear hardshell. The Griffin iCurve is probably a better ergonomic solution, as it is a little higher that the XT-Stand, but it loses on portability. I’m also intrigued also by the portability potential of the newer Griffin Elevator and the InclinePro, but I have to say I am drawn to the steampunk aesthetic of the XT-Stand better. I’d like to know who designed the XT Stand, because it doesn’t seem to have the usual cost-cutting overseas design vibe that is the norm for gadgets in this category. Someone cared about the feel and build quality of this piece of gear, and it shows. It’s elegantly fussy.

I paid about $40 for mine, which is a little pricey, but it’s the same price as the Elevator. The InclinePro, by comparison, is around $80, and I can’t quite justify that. I got mine from this website, which at first glance looks like it might not actually be in business from the 2004 copyright date on the bottom of the page, but I did receive product.

XT Stand It’s a weird little piece of gear, I admit, but that’s also why I like it :-)


  1. Chris Broadfoot 16 years ago

    Love it! It looks great.

  2. Erik 16 years ago

    Very cool, but is it still possible to touch-type on the device when in the stand, or do you use an external keyboard?

  3. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Erik: When I actually feel I need to use the stand, I use the external keyboard with the laptop. Pecking short sequences is possible (and the stand is stable enough for it), but longer typing would quickly become tiring I think. The BT6100C keyboard I mention is a flat, compact keyboard that will in my bag, so I usually have it with me when I have the stand.

  4. Awesome product, I love the portability aspect of it!  I’ve been using a set of Cool Feet by BlueLounge and really enjoy them.

    They’re not as cool looking as the XT stand, but they’re affordable at less than $10 a pop (I actually found them on Amazon for less than $10 but haven’t checked since).

  5. Jeremy Clifton 16 years ago

    This is great timing! I’d actually just been wishing for a portable version of my iCurve this past week. This looks like just the ticket … so I ordered one. Thanks for the review!

  6. George Baker 16 years ago

    Hello David,
    Thanks for the mostly positive review of the xt-stand.  The xt-stand was designed by a fellow in Taiwan who I think worked with photographic equipment – hence the similarity to a quality tripod.  I started selling them in the US in 2004.  There were other dealers in about 8-10 other countries.  The price was initially higher and the developer refused to lower it because of the quality he had built in to the product.  Eventually a ripoff was created in China and is now being sold through Targus.  We were forced to lower the price and recently the cost of materials, primarily stainless steel, have pushed the manufacturer to decide to stop producing the stands.  I have about 50-100 left and cannot order any more so I will sell them until they are gone.
    I hope this wasn’t too wordy for you but I wanted to give you a little background on the xt-stand.

    have a great day, George

  7. Dave 16 years ago

    Impressive post.  thanks for the information!

    i love your attention to detail!

  8. Dave 16 years ago

    I use the biggest Acco clip I can find. Just prop my laptop up with it and it’s at a decent height/angle. Plus if you ever need a clip to hold the piles of papers we collect, you’ve got one.

  9. john 16 years ago

    Hi David.
    I just wanted to mention that the cost of the inclinepro has been reduced to $59.95 and is available through our web store.

    One side note, you can use the inclinepro on your lap as well as on a desk and at 6.5 ounces, it is a great travel companion as well!