It is an unfortunate fact that your average laptop has a tendency to start to overheat. The vents start to get clogged, you fall to temptation and overclock and overload it or the cooling was never really up to that core i7. When this happens you the fans get noisier, battery life goes down and your hardware suffers.
Add this to the fact that most of us do not use our laptops in a correct ergonomic position and a stand that can simultaneously cool and fix your posture seems an obvious choice.
I’m a gaming laptop user and I’ve looked at a lot of laptop stands over the years. They have generally not impressed being either not as adjustable as they could be, weak or having wimpy fans.
The Lavolta Laptop Stand is a black angle adjustable stand with a huge single fan built into its mesh centre. It is angle adjustable from 5 degrees to 65 degrees at 5 preset intervals. At the front of the stand are two removable rubber feet that keep the laptop slipping forward and off. Internally the huge fan spins at 14000 RPM and makes a hum which is quoted by the manufacturers to be 15db loud.
The fan is powered via USB which is on a pass through system – plug from your laptop to the stand and the stand has another USB port which thinks is part of your computer. This is USB 2.0. The fan generates a noticeable air flow. With the laptop on it and running you can feel a draft towards the laptop from the front and a warmer outward drafts out the sides. How effective it is is partially based on where your laptop has vents – passive vents on the bottom of your laptop will probably get the biggest cooling effect but all systems will get some effect. I tried running my laptop for a couple of hours with the fan on and then with the fan off on a solid surface and the maximum temperature reached with similar usage was 12 degrees cooler with the stand.
The Lavolta is designed for 13 to 16 inch laptops but I’ve used it with my 17 with no problems – it overlaps the edges slightly.
The Laptop stand at first inspection has very little visual component. It is an inoffensive matt black and when in use it is covered up by the laptop. There is however a blue LED which is to the right of the hub of the fan. This positioning means that it puts a blue glow in all directions, including in the small area of grill in front of the laptop.
The LED is powered by the same USB as the fan and is on the same circuit – in other words if you have the fan on the LED must be on as well. It is not particularly bright but can be bright enough to be annoying at some points. It is very unfortunate that it cannot be turned off independently.
The fan is an active cooling system so makes a continuous humming or whirring noise whenever it is switched on. This is officially reported at 15 decibel which seems to my ear rather lower than in reality. I’ve tested it with a downloaded decibel meter and gotten figures of around 35 decibels. This is rather louder but is a consistent background white noise type noise and can be ignored with a little practice.
The stand is silent when the switched off and silent when its angle is adjusted.
Input and Touch
There is very little input or touch required. When setting it up to the correct angle a certain amount of strength and precision is needed to slot the stand in but if you are able to use a standard keyboard this should not be a problem.
If you choose to type with the laptop on the stand rather than using an external keyboard the fan adds a very very slight vibration to the keys. This took me a while to notice and unless you have a fanless laptop will probably be lost in the internal fans.
The total weight of the stand is 938g which makes it a little heavy (and bulky) to carry with you on a regular basis. This is a device to stay on your desk.
Ease of Use
The stand is very simple to use. Lift up the top to the required angle and slot the holder into place, push in the front feet to avoid the laptop sliding forward and go. To get the fan running plug the included USB cable from the laptop (or a wall socket) into the stand and then turn on with the only control. If you are powering the fan via your laptop it will automatically switch on and off as your laptop switches on and off so you will rarely need to use the push button switch.
Included In The Box
- Laptop Stand
- 2 detachable rubber feet
- USB m2m cable
If you regularly use a laptop at a desk ergonomic advice is that you should have the laptop elevated and use an external keyboard. A laptop stand makes this much easier and if you are going to do this adding the option of extra cooling makes sense. The Lavolta Laptop Stand with Cooling Pad is solidly made and good looking for a surprisingly low price. Add in the fact that fan is a powered by a USB passthrough so you do not loose a port and it is hard to argue against. The inclusion of an LED that cannot be switched off is unfortunate but not a deal breaker for most people. Recommended if you use a laptop at a regular desk.