The ERGOSTAND II has 2 primary functions: keeping your laptop cool and providing 5 different ergonomic positions. The cooler portion of the ERGOSTAND, quite simply, keeps my laptop cool. I have used a cheaper laptop coolers in the past and it was questionable if there was even any airflow coming out of it at all. With the EROSTAND II, there is no question about it; you can definitely feel a breezy gust when you put your hand up to the fan running at full speed. My laptop is noticeably cooler when the fan is operating, even at the lower to medium speeds where noise is nearly absent. I have not noticed any tell-tale signs of laptop overheat from the sound of the computer’s internal fans straining to huff hot air out the side (or back in other cases).
One concern however, is that the gaps at the bottom of the ERGOSTAND II which allow the inflow of air are large enough for debris lying nearby to get sucked in. Just now in fact, a small piece of cellophane packaging got sucked in causing quite a raucous. This of course can be blamed on me, but it was a good excuse to test out the removable mesh screen which is in fact easy to remove and replace. And when the mesh is removed, there are no further obstructions preventing maintenance access to the fan.
The purpose of the adjustable positions of the ERGOSTAND II is to allow for the adjustment to the optimal monitor height – right around eye level. The 5 positions are 0°, 23°, 34°, 43°, and 52°. These angles correspond to the following approximate heights as measured from the desk to the back part of the ERGOSTAND II, which is at the highest height: 1.75” (due to the thickness of the ERGOSTAND II), 5”, 6.5”, 7.5”, and 8.5”. Of course, due to the laws of basic trigonometry, the actual raised height of laptop monitors will vary, depending on the depth of your notebook, from front to back. Some may get nitpicky about the considerably wider gap in height between the first and second positions, but overall, there is a pretty wide range of height positions. Also, depending on your height and the height of your desk, there is no guarantee that the ERGOSTAND II will provide your optimal ergonomic height, but it likely will. It’s nothing a simple calculation cannot fix.
One concern though is that at the 0° position the stand and laptop are more prone to tip backwards and at the 52° position, they tend to tip forwards due to shifts in the center of mass. I would not say that this is a critical flaw, it’s only slightly concerning but you should be wary. Besides that though, everything pretty much stays in place; the rubber feet on the bottom of the ERGOSTAND II keep it from sliding along the desk and the rubber fold out feet keep the laptop from sliding on the ERFOSTAND II. In adjusting between different ergonomic positions, it is quite simple and comparable to operating an adjustable beach chair. It can be a little bit more difficult and unadvisable however, to adjust the stand while there is a laptop on it, for obvious reasons. But really, once you find your optimal ergonomic screen height, there is no reason to adjust the ERGOSTAND II any further, and it shouldn't budge unless violently provoked.
Since my laptop is black, I of course find the color of the ERGOSTAND II to be rather agreeable. But since your laptop would typically be on top of the stand there is not a whole lot of if that you will be looking at while using it. The rounded curves give ERGOSTAND II a pretty sleek appearance for when you decide to look away from your ergonomically positioned monitor to admire the features. Using the laptop’s built in keyboard can be manageable for the first two positions (the second position being rather comfortable actually if paired with a gel wrist pad), but any further and the keyboard becomes nearly impossible to use. It is therefore strongly recommended, for ergonomic optimization, to pair an auxiliary keyboard with the ERGOSTAD II. The specifications of the ERGOSTAND II state that the fan has a noise level between 15 and 21 dBA which is approximately equivalent to a quiet whisper from 5 feet away, which is essentially silent. At the fan’s highest speed, I would say that it is a little bit louder than this but as you turn down the dial a bit, the fan does become more whisper-like.
Is Cooler Master’s ERGOSTAND II right for you? Well, if you are looking for any two of the three features provided in this product (laptop cooling pad, ergonomic stand, and USB hub) then the ERGOSTAND II definitely is financially justifiable at $30 - $40. While not super cheap, the quality of the stand and the near-sielnt effectiveness of the fan speaks to the value of the cooling pad in its price range. If you already own an auxiliary keyboard, that is a plus, but if not, it is definitely something to take into consideration when purchasing the ERGOSTAND II with a high degree of tilt. Even though the fan at its highest speed is rather audible (but by no means loud), max speed would only really be needed during heavy load usage such as gaming in which the speaker sound would surely drown out the fan (and your screaming at your game will probably annoy your neighbors more than the fan).
If you are mostly interested in the ergonomic height settings, it is also advisable to determine how much added height your laptop monitor needs and do some quick research (hey, we already did some of the math for you) to verify that the ERGOSTAND II will satisfy your needs, which it most likely will sporting a wide range of angle adjustment. But really, what is not to love about a computer accessory which is designed to keep both your laptop and yourself healthy? The ERGOSTAND II is built to last and just does what you want without any fuss, what more could we ask for (other than it being free)?
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