The 7 Best Compact Laptop Desks and Stands

Get a portable laptop stand and work comfortably anywhere

The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
Introduction

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The Rundown
"Looks right at home with Apple’s MacBook line, but it fits laptops of all sizes."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
Rain Design mStand at Amazon
"An outstanding option for laptop owners of all shapes and sizes."
"Wildly inexpensive, but has all the features you need in a compact laptop stand."
Best for Portability:
Nexstand Laptop Stand at Amazon
"Lighter and more compact than many of the portable laptop stand options available."
Best for Standing:
Ergotron WorkFit-T at Amazon
"Ships fully assembled, so the user can unpack, sit on the desk and get right to work."
"Allows an extra tilt with the table itself to create a more natural working position while on a laptop."
Best Desk Replacement:
Tatkraft Salute at Amazon
"Offers the space of a desk with the convenience of a laptop stand."

Best Overall: Rain Design iLevel 2

Rain Design iLevel 2

Looking for the best laptop stand on the market will inevitably lead you to the Rain Design iLevel 2. Weighing just 3.5 pounds, the iLevel’s laptop tilts upward when you slide the front knob from left to right and lowers when twisted the opposite direction. It’s a simplistic way of adjusting height, but one that’s so easy it’s almost disingenuous. Ultimately, the iLevel 2 can lift your laptop off the desk around six inches on its lowest setting and up to 7.75 inches at its highest.

Made out of anodized aluminum, the iLevel 2 looks right at home with Apple’s MacBook line, but it fits laptops of all sizes. Heavier laptops in the 15-inch screen space might cause a little wobble or bounce in the stand while typing on an external keyboard, but it’s hardly a deal-breaker. The overall tilt design helps cool laptops by allowing heat to escape all while bringing the screen closer to your face. Rubber pads on the bottom of the stand help protect both the stand and the desk.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Rain Design mStand

mStand by Rain Design

Another all-star choice by Rain Design, the mStand is an outstanding option for laptop owners of all shapes and sizes. Weighing just three pounds, the mStand raises notebooks to an eye-friendly height of 5.9-inches from a desktop. The single angle measurement does prevent adjustments down the road, but was chosen by mStand as the ideal placement for different heights and eye levels. Composed of a single, sturdy piece of sandblasted matte aluminum, the aluminum panel acts as a heat sink to provide a laptop with additional cooling and a “rain drop” cutout in the stand allows air to pass underneath the laptop.

Beyond airflow, the mStand adds a circular outlet on the stand itself to route cables through for enhanced organization. Additionally, the area beneath the stand itself is designed to hide a keyboard/mouse when not in use. To prevent any scratching or wear and tear, thick rubber pads adhere to both the bottom of the stand itself and the laptop level holder to prevent friction from damaging both the desk and laptop over time.

Best Budget: AmazonBasics Laptop Stand

AmazonBasics

The AmazonBasics laptop stand is a standout choice for buyers on a budget. Weighing only 0.68 pounds, the stand can be tilted up to 18 degrees and 2.95 inches of lift (which will help increase airflow and find the right angle for each user). Composed of durable aluminum panels, the AmazonBasics stand assists laptop cooling with its forward tilt providing additional airflow around and underneath the laptop. Additionally, the platform itself is designed to absorb and distribute heat away from a laptop while in use.

For its budget-friendly price tag, the AmazonBasics stand offers some thoughtful features, like rubber feet to prevent scratching or slipping during use. It works with laptops up to 15 inches, and the kickstand can be easily folded up for portability (or to tuck into your bag).

Best for Portability: Nexstand Laptop Stand

Small, portable and adjustable, the Nexstand laptop stand quickly and easily transforms your laptop into an ergonomically-friendly workstation. Lighter and more compact than many of the portable laptop stand options available, the Nexstand weighs just 8 ounces. At just 14.17 x 1.57 x 1.89 inches in total size, storing the Nexstand in a backpack, messenger bag or briefcase is a breeze, thanks to the included nylon storage bag.

At its lowest point, the Roost can lift a laptop, even 15-inch models, to around 5.5 inches off the desk at the lowest level and 12.6 inches at the highest. Adjusting the size requires gently pressing latches beneath each pillar and adjusting up or down as needed. If the Roost has any drawback, its price point is higher than most laptop stands, but the tradeoff is an absolutely portable option that can be put on any smooth surface for laptops less than one inch in thickness.

Best for Standing: Ergotron WorkFit-T

Ergotron WorkFit-T

The debate over whether sitting or standing at your desk is best for your overall health continues, but what if you could have both solutions? Enter the Ergotron WorkFit-T stand desktop workstation and its adjustable keyboard and laptop surface that lifts straight into the air rather than angling toward a user. Capable of being used on desks as shallow as 18 inches, the 35 x 23-inch upper level is more than large enough to function as its own work surface alongside the use of a laptop. As an added bonus, the WorkFit ships fully assembled, so the user can unpack, sit on the desk and get right to work.

Once on a desk, the WorkFit provides 15 inches of vertical adjustment and requiries the user to stand in order to come to eye level with the laptop. It’s the best of both worlds; you can easily bring it back down if you want some time off your feet. The keyboard tray moves in tandem with the work surface and sits 4.5 inches below it to provide an ergonomically friendly space between the screen and the keyboard. Ergotron claims the WorkFit is so stable that a user can “freely lean on it” while working without any concern that the height will drop back down.

Best Mobile Office: Seville Classics Laptop Desk Cart

Seville Classics 24 in. Rectangular Black Laptop Desk

Sometimes, a desktop-based laptop stand just won’t do and you need something more portable. The Seville Classics mobile laptop desk cart weighs 13 pounds and lets the user manually lift or lower the desk between 23.6 and 36.4-inches with just a few turns of a knob. As an added bonus, the Seville allows an extra tilt with the table itself to create a more natural working position while on a laptop. Additionally, it offers four 1.5-inch casters (two locking), which helps the desk conveniently move throughout a home or office.

Its welded metal frame looks and feels durable and is capable of holding up to 20 pounds. The top area of the Seville, or the desk piece, measures 23.62 x 17.32 inches, so it can hold all laptops, even 17-inch gaming laptops that typically require a large footprint.

Best Desk Replacement: Tatkraft Salute Laptop Desk Cart

Tatkraft Salute

If you’re looking for a true desk replacement that offers the space of a desk with the convenience of a laptop stand, the Tatkraft Salute is an ideal choice. With an adjustable height of 20.2 to 32.6-inches, the Salute works perfectly within an office or with a gaming chair, bed or sofa. The multiple use cases are aided in part by four rolling casters (two locking) that help move the Salute around with minimal effort.

Composed of a steel frame and high-quality, medium-density fiberboard, there’s plenty of durability and a stable frame ensures little wobbling while in use. With more than 23-inches of space in width and 15-inches in depth, the Salute is ideal for 7 to 17-inch laptops.

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