Being able to work from anywhere in the world is nice (as long as the internet connection is stable). However working on a laptop is an ergonomic disaster. It only takes a long couple of hours a day in that hunched over posture before you start feeling the pain.
I’m talking about back pain, neck pain and all sorts of pain from the strain of hunching over your laptop.
As good as it is convenient, long hours on a laptop has its price.
It would be pretty awesome if you could work at the home or the office, or at the coffee shop and have the perfect ergonomic setup where ever you happen to go.
And… that is how I found out about the roost laptop stand.
Its touted as the great light weight solution to the laptop hunch problem.
The roost is pretty much designed for apple macbook laptops, I tested mine on a 13″ retina. It does apparently support other models of laptops but I wouldn’t know.
So basically its a height adjustable “stand”, that sits on your desk. It helps by increasing the height of the laptop so you basically stop hunching over to see the screen.
You can raise the eye level of the laptop screen until you find something comfortable. You can adjust the thing pretty high and it positions nice and low too.
Its not a bad design actually. However here is the first snag.
Batteries not included
Along with the price of the stand, you now need to fork out for an additional portable keyboard and mouse.
See that picture of the Roost, its like those breakfast cereal boxes. “Serving suggestion only”.
If you happen to use a mac, it means forking out at extra $200-300 in additional peripherals cause that magic keyboard and magic trackpad 2 isn’t cheap. (Of course you could go on the cheap and get a bluetooth mouse and a generic bluetooth keyboard). So that $70 roost purchase ends up costing more than you thought.
#rant#Which brings me to my next pain, the magic trackpad has lag! Any other mouse you use even via wires… is laggy on screen. Something that takes getting use to, or maybe something that will frustrate you. This is strictly an OSX thing though. #endrant#
The big picture
The roost is small and relatively light weight. It folds easily and fits snuggly into its small little black bag, it makes carrying the thing a breeze.
However you gotta think of the big picture.
In addition to that “stand” you also now need to bring +trackpad +keyboard.
If you have a car then its ok, if you are an ultra light traveller you know that literally each gram of weight you carry is an extra gram of pain literally on your back.
Food for thought.
Another thing to consider, footprint. On small tables it can be a hassle and struggle to position the extra keyboard + trackpad in a usable position on the desk.
That being said I can’t see my self lugging all this equipment to the coffee shop and still have space for my tea within reach. Also feels silly unpacking all this gear in front of a mostly transient customer base.
Yea or Nay?
Mixed feelings on this product.
Compared to all the other tables, height adjustable doodads and ergonomic trays etc I have seen, the roost is simplistic and workable.
If its a stand, the roost is the way to go.
At the end of the day though, I didn’t enjoy using the roost at all. So it was a NO, and I will sell the roost of to someone else who can give it a better home.
I hate hording stuff, I like to imagine my life as a diablo 1 character. Limited inventory space. You can’t hoard because you just can’t hold it. Either live with items strewn around on your lawn, or just get rid of it. To that end, everything I own needs to have a very specific and daily usable purpose, at heart I’m a minimalist & the stand just isn’t useful enough to bring along on my quests.
Why didn’t I like it?
- To much additional weight, now I need to carry stand, mouse, keyboard.
- OSX trackpad experience is laggy and not very precise, making using the laptop on a stand a frustrating experience.
- If you suffer from ergonomic problems, the real solution is to plug into a big 24″ monitor and look up if you need to do some extended work sessions. Otherwise, you should be taking breaks hourly anyway. Even a $2000 ergonomic chair won’t save your backside if you sit on it for 8hrs without moving. There is a limit to ergonomic devices, they prolong the time before “the pain sets in”, the only real cure is prevention… not prolongation of onset.
Want to get one anyway?
Its on amazon here for about $75, free shipping if you are in USA, but otherwise a lot more for sending it to you around the world. AND even more if you send it to Thailand as you get hit with 7% VAT this, xx% service charge this…