Twelve South Curve
If there’s one thing I learnt during lockdown, it’s that working on a laptop is not comfortable or healthy long-term. Not, that is, without doing something to change its angle. I was, and still am, appalled at how much simply typing on a laptop could ruin my shoulders, neck and lower back: the correct set-up for your work station is essential not just for your peace of mind, but very literally for your health. Now that I’ve learnt the hard way, I greatly appreciate products like the Curve laptop stand from Twelve South.
The Curve is a sleek, visually appealing laptop stand that’s available in either black or white; you can either go for the glossy, clean ‘Apple Store’ look or live your best Death Star life. I appreciate that you can essentially colour-match this stand to the body of your Mac or PC, and both pairings look great. However, whilst the Curve is compatible with any laptop that measures at least 10.2 inches wide and weighs up to 7 pounds, it is marketed heavily towards Apple users over PC users: the Twelve South website refers to it as a ‘MacBook Stand’, and its marketing begins: “You use the most attractive laptop in the world, so why wouldn't you pair it with the most beautiful stand?”
Bold of you to assume my laptop is attractive, Twelve South; mine’s a dented, scratched HP Pavillion with a wallpaper from Dragon Age, but I appreciate the flattery. I might rewrite their approach for people like me: “You might not have the most beautiful laptop in the world, but why not reach for greater things by pairing it with the most beautiful stand?” Are we even confident that MacBooks ARE the most attractive laptops out there? Have you seen the HP Spectre x360 13? That thing can take me out to dinner. And, happily, it would look brilliant on the Curve.
The virtues of using a laptop stand are clear – or, they certainly are now that I’ve worked at home for over 18 months. They elevate your laptop to a healthier height, removing that strain from your neck and also – in our new, video call led age – very usefully moves your laptop’s camera to the right height for framing your face and simulating eye contact. Finally, the height and angle is also better for your wrists when typing and should greatly reduce your slouching.
But what is the difference between a $20 laptop stand and a $60 one? Aka, why the Curve? Well, the first answer is that it looks good: its design is simple yet aesthetic, keeping to a few sweeping minimal lines rather than feeling like a clunky addition to your desk. Its matte finish means it could look at home in any office, no matter how modern and well-designed, and all joking aside, it really does make your laptop look better.
However, the real benefits are in the details – different laptop stands are built to different heights and angles, and the engineering and design on the Curve has been carried out carefully and well. It sits your laptop an ergonomic 6.5 inches off your desk, at an angle that feels really comfortable on the wrists and, if that’s not your thing, it leaves room for a proper keyboard. Other details of note include the no-slip silicone grips on the bottom and arms, to keep both the stand and your laptop in place, and the fact that the Curve’s backless design means you can open and close your laptop lid without anything getting in the way of the hinge.
I had mixed feelings about the Curve being a fixed height. On the one hand, everyone is different, and the ability to adjust might allow people to set their laptop at the perfect level for their eye-height. However, being one solid piece protects the Curve from wear and tear: it isn’t going to fall apart or stop working. It also keeps the laptop at an ergonomically recommended height, rather than leaving room for you to put it at the wrong setting.
All in all, this is a great stand: it does what you need and does it well, avoiding all the little pitfalls that might exist in less well-designed stands. And, finally, it looks good doing it.
Attractive, minimal design
Doesn’t jam your lid hinge
No moving parts to break
Stable but lightweight
I’m in two minds about only having one height