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napkinholderSome days ago I received my new 27″ screen to place on my desk together with my MacBook Pro. And I knew that once I had the screen, I would have to make some space on my desk. The main idea is to save space by placing your MacBook laptop in vertical position and not how you would normally use it. As I will only use the 27″ thunderbolt screen when at home, I won’t need the laptop to watch its screen anymore…

Current docks or stands alternatives

Initially I started searching for a dock, not only to solve my standing problem, but also to deal with all the cables cluttering. So let me save you some time, and I will share a brief of what I found till now (March 30th 2014):

Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock: USD 180. Read a lot of bad experiences with it in Amazon.
Twelve South BookArc for MacBook: USD 49. Seems to be OK, a little bit pricey for what it offers, just a standing, and I read a non inspirational comment of a guy that was searching for something else because the support surface made him feel that the computer would be a little bit unstable.
–  Matrox DS1: USD 250 and just read the comments in Amazon. A product with so many bad reviews cant go well.
MacDock: Was originally funded over KickStarter, but I think it lacks several things. Anyways, its just a dock (no stand) but when released and after testing, could be a supplement for a stand.
ZenDock: Also funded by KickStarter but still not in sale. This seems to be one of the most promising simple dock solution, and that could be used with a stand too.
Rain Design, Inc.mTower: USD 49. This is one of the best stands I could find, looks very solid and well built, if used in combination with ZenDock, it could be a very good complete alternative.
HengeDocks vertical docking stations: This is the one product that solves both problems, dock + stand. I received some updates that they had some production problems and that they are delayed in their release. But this can be the all in one solution.

So as you can see, the current available solutions are not reliable enough, or they might be costly, it seems the docking solutions have a lot of issues. And the ones that look more interesting, are not yet available on the market.

So on the time being, while I cant solve the dock issue (yet), I still would like to save space on my desk.

Probably the most affordable vertical laptop stand yet 🙂

I found a napkin holder in IKEA that would make the trick! Just costs USD 2 in USA and its most probably available worldwide, as I am in Switzerland and bought it in IKEA too.

So, after quickly testing that the napkin holder would work, I had to find a way to avoid any scratches on my beautiful MacBook Pro, let me show you step by step what I did:

1) I bought this EVA rubber:

2) Then measure it with the napkin holder and draw some lines and cut it to fit the two sides of the napkin holder.

3) Present it and cut any extra borders to make it fit better. Then paste it with some glue, my suggestion is to find a glue that would leave no trace so it doesn’t look bad. Personally I paste it temporary with some black tape on the top, but I will search for something, maybe black double sided tape should do the trick.

4) An alternative if you dont want to use this rubber, you can put some lines of anti-scratch stoppers. This should also protect your laptop from scratching, but might not be as nice.

5) If you want, you can paste one of the Apple logos on the side to tune it up a bit 🙂

As in photo is very difficult to show how solid is the stand, I shooted this quick video so you can check it 🙂