With Macs growing in popularity in recent years, a market for accessories has opened up with selections being offered from companies normally associated with PC components. Cooler Master is one such company, having now a complete dedicated product line to Apple accessories.
Cooler Master's latest offerings bring us the JAS PRO easel stand and the ">L-STAND. Machined from aluminum and designed with the same philosophy as your favorite Apple product, they are simple, beautiful, and functional.
The first thing I noticed about the two stands in the packaging. Cooler Master put some considerable thought into the design and they look as though they could sit next to any product in the Apple Store. Think iPhone box in terms of simplicity and the heavy gauge box only adds to the quality.
Jas Pro Easel Stand
The Jas Pro is a foldable laptop stand with an infinite number of adjustment angles to enhance your viewing pleasure. It's solidly built with padding and designed to allow airflow around your laptop to keep it cool. The soft rubber protects the edges of your laptop and provides grip to the stand's legs, adding the little touches that make it stand out (pun intended). Additional benefits of the stand allow you to bring the display up to eye level while working or for use as an external monitor. The stand folds flat when not in use, which when closed, is just a little thicker than a MacBook Pro.
Could Stand to Improve
A couple of minor quirks that bear mention are that due to the design of the base where the bottom of the laptop rests, it's not possible to just shut the lid and go. You need to lift up the computer, close the lid (display) and then rest it back in the stand. Although using the laptop while in the stand is not one of its primary intended functions, the rest at the base of the stand also makes it very hard to use the entire trackpad and if you're using an older MacBook or MacBook Pro, it's almost impossible to depress the mouse button. I think the design would still work if they simply omitted the overlap portion of the base. I wish there was a ratchet or click-lock type mechanism for the adjustment angle. As long as it's around 90 degrees, it's fine. But when you put a 15" MacBook Pro on the stand and try to lower the angle, it soon starts to slide, eventually going flat.
In its current form, I feel it's best for an iPad or when supporting your laptop as a second monitor, where only viewing is required or if you use it with an external keyboard and mouse. The craftsmanship and design of the stand are excellent and if they could fix these two issues, it would be a world class stand and be worth every penny, one that I would be proud to display on my desk.
The Jas Pro easel stand is available immediately in the Apple Store for a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $69.
Cooler Master L-Stand
The Cooler Master L-Stand is an elegantly crafted holder designed to hold your closed laptop either for storage or when attached to a larger monitor using the laptop in desktop-like fashion. It comes with very softly padded sides so as not to scratch the aluminum finish on an aluminum MacBook or MacBook Pro. It fits all current unibody MacBook Pros perfectly but if using an older non-unibody MacBook Pro, sliding your laptop in the stand is a two handed operation.
Nice and Soft, But Warm?
The L-Stand has a a very soft rubberized lining on the stand, so one will never need to worry about scratching their beautiful MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. That same material is also on the bottom of the stand, eliminating sliding even on the slipperiest of surfaces.
One drawback I found is that, when driving a monitor and using your laptop when closed in the stand, it generates a considerable amount of heat, enough to concern me about cooling issues. Keep in mind that not all MacBook Pros can operate when closed, so make sure yours is capable before purchasing this stand. If you are planning on using a MacBook Air, it doesn't sit very snugly in the stand; this is not a problem but rather just something of which to be aware. The L-Stand sells for about $65.
MEGATechie Simple Elegance or MEGATechie Overpriced Aluminum?
Once again, Cooler Master have designed a beautiful stand which caters perfectly to the Apple crowd. Simple, beautiful and functional. It supports the majority of current and past Macbook Pros, and will not even look out of place whether it's on an executive's desk or the living room table. It's nice to see a very valiant effort from Cooler Master with both the Jas Pro and the L Stand, and they have an impressive array of products for Apple computers. I hope this is just the beginning of more great products and accessories.
The Cooler Master L-Stand is available immediately in the Apple Store for a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $59.