Logitech Alto Notebook Stand Review
Design and Usability
It shouldn't surprise you that the Logitech Alto does not come with much inside the box. There is no need for software and or any complicated documentation. All that comes inside the box is are two instruction leaflets.
Included with our review sample is the Alto power adapter which comes with both Eurpoean and North American outlet plugs. These plugs are inter-changeable thanks to a modular design.
Using the Alto
To get a good feel for the Alto, I used it to help produce this review and included it in my daily computing tasks.
Setting up the Alto is rather easy -- you unfold it, pull the latch to lift up the stand, and then click in the support into the base. Plug in the keyboard. That's it! To take apart, you pull the latch to free the support and then fold the stand back into the base. In total it takes about 10 seconds to set up.
Your notebook then goes onto the Alto and you keep it in place by supporting it on the front bumper. But if your computer has an angled front edge, it will have to rest on the rubber hinge since it will slide off the bumper.
In testing the we tried 14.1" (Compaq V2410), 15.4" (Asus Z96J), and 17" (Asus G2) notebooks on the Alto. All three laptops worked fine on the Logitech Alto, including the 10 lb. 17" Asus G2 which is one pound heavier than the spec'ed 9 lb. limit of the Alto.
If your laptop rests on the hinge, you will lose access to any ports you have along the front edge such as audio jacks which are commonly found there.
Front audio ports and SD card reader blocked.
I found the height of the Alto comfortable to use and it does feel better than just using the computer on a flat surface. However the Alto uses a "one height fits all" approach, which means some users may find the Alto stand a little short or a bit tall
The keyboard feels more like a full-sized notebook keyboard rather than your typical desktop keyboard. The keys are soft and give very little tactile feedback. The layout is also a bit different from your standard 104-key console with a double-sized delete key and re-arranged page navigation buttons.
The wristpad makes typing for longer periods a bit more comfortable.
The Alto keyboard also has some quick-action keys such as volume up/down/mute, calculator, sleep, Internet, and media keys. Use of these buttons does not require special drivers.
Underneath, on the bottom of the keyboard, is a keyboard kickstand which helps give the keyboard a more usable incline. However, this kickstand won't work if your laptop rests on the rubber hinge of the Alto. When a laptop rests on the hinge, the kickstand would close due to the weight on the hinge -- this makes typing posture a little unnatural.
This is what it looks like when it's all set up with a notebook. Excuse the mess... it's tax season for me. ;-)
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