Typically, notebook stands are associated to the idea of desk or table, their main purpose being to support and sometimes cool a notebook, while in some cases also enhancing its connectivity, but the guys over at Standivarius have come up with a completely different concept, namely the Aero stand, that users can permanently attach to a notebook without affecting its portability in any way and actually increasing its level of versatility.
Right from the start, we'll have to tell you that when we received the Aero sample for testing, we couldn't believe our eyes, simply because it was shipped in an ordinary mail envelope (together with a second model, the Arte, which we'll detail in another review).
I mean, we've received plenty of samples over time, but in most cases, they came in some pretty big packages, meant to protect them against the occasional bumps occurring during transport.
However, the reason why the Aero required so little space is not only related to the very neat packaging, but also to the fact that this notebook stand is, in fact, super-thin, light and easy to carry around, making it the perfect "attach and never remove" companion for your notebook.Aesthetics and design
Overall design features
While its functionality and portability are, in fact, the main selling points the notebook stand has to offer, it's the Aero's inherent design features that make it so attractive for customers.
The overall form factor of the Aero is very innovative (in fact, it's already started racking up design-related awards, as the manufacturer informs us, the latest coming from British organization FIRA), since it introduces a whole new concept in this particular market segment.
So, instead of creating a notebook stand designed to be placed on one's desk and accommodate a notebook, Standivarius created a product meant to provide this function wherever the user might go, while in the same time taking up only a very small amount of space within the notebook bag, given the fact that, after all, it remains permanently attached to the portable computing system.
The device is super-slim and can go from flat to 3D in almost no time, also offering users three different elevation settings, thus allowing them to choose the one that best fits their needs.
The Aero does indeed manage to bring a breath of fresh air as far notebook stands are concerned, but that doesn't mean it's absolutely perfect, also having a couple of minor flaws in the design department, which we'll discuss within one of the next sections of this review.
Size and portability
The Standivarius Aero notebook stand comes in two different models, one targeting the 12-13 inches laptops, and the second one going for the larger systems, measuring 14-15 inches, since these are, after all, the most popular models on the market (sadly, no Aero for the bigger and bulkier notebooks, but that's probably due to the fact that the stand wouldn't have been able to support the weight of a larger notebook and maintain its extreme level of portability at the same time).
And, as far as we're concerned, ultra portability is really the name of the game here, since the first Aero notebook stand model we've mentioned before, namely the one targeting 12-13-inch notebooks, measures 264 x 197 x 2.5mm / 10.4 x 7.8 x 0.1 inches, and weighs just around 135 grams (5 ounces), while the second, larger one, measures 289 x 222.5 x 2.5mm / 11.4 x 8.7 x 0.1 inches and weighs around 165 grams.
In other words, you probably won't even feel the fact that this thing is attached to your notebook, while being able to fully enjoy the features and functions it provides at any given moment.
Materials and build quality
We've mentioned before that the Standivarius Aero does have a couple of minor problems in the design department, and those issues are related, as far as we're concerned, with the material this thing is built from, as well as the finishing in certain parts of the product.
First and foremost, we'll have to point out that the material the stand from Standivarius is built from is actually quite innovative, managing to combine a good level of rigidity and toughness with a high level of portability and low weight.
Actually, the best description of this material would be somewhat of a combo between aluminum and a hard cardboard, the latter applying especially as far as the tactile feeling it gives out is concerned.
Of course, we've only been able to test it for a relative brief interval, so we can't really pass judgment on just how wear and tear proof this thing is on the long term, but by the looks of it, this thing can probably go for a fairly long period of time.
However, the truth of the matter is that most users will probably have somewhat of a hard time adjusting to it, and that's solely because they're used to those bulky, heavy stands, and this thing will probably feel a bit frail to everyone (although, from our experience with it, that's really not the case).
The only thing we really didn't like about the Aero is the fact that the upper surface, the one that attaches to the notebook's underside, is extremely fingerprint-friendly, and cleaning it can prove to be a pretty difficult process, all things considered.
Of course, after placing it under a notebook, you won't be able to actually see this area, so the fact that it gets filled with fingerprints is more or less irrelevant.
This section of our review will be a pretty short one, this time around, since there are relatively few specs listed in the Standivarius Aero's technical sheet, as you'll be able to see for yourselves as follows.
STANDIVARIUS aero for 12-13 inch laptop models
Size - 264 x 197 x 2.5mm / 10.4 x 7.8 x 0.1 inches;
Weight - 135gr / 5oz;
Colour - Zodium black;
Max Inclination - 48 degrees;
Inclination adjustments – 3;
STANDIVARIUS aero for 14-15 inch laptop models
Size- 289 x 222.5 x 2.5mm / 11.4 x 8.7 x 0.1 in;
Weight - 165gr / 5oz;
Colour - Zodium black;
Max Inclination - 44 degrees;
Inclination adjustments – 3;
The unboxing experience
Before moving on to talking about the way in which the Aero gets attached to a notebook and just how it behaves in real-life usage conditions, we'll have to say a few words about the packaging, which has some pros, but also definitely some cons.
I mean, the envelope-like black case the Aero comes in is certainly extremely elegant (we foresee this thing as being the perfect corporate gift), and while it will occupy a very small space (told you earlier that our test samples came in a large envelope), it's will certainly provide users with a challenge in opening it, especially if they're in a hurry to see what's inside.
Attaching the Aero to a notebook
After completing the more or less difficult process of taking the Aero stand out of its box, you'll have to move to the next step, namely attaching this thing to you notebook.
Of course, before doing so, we strongly recommend to check out the sales package, find the user's manual and read it carefully, because, otherwise, you won't be able to properly attach the Aero to your notebook, or at leas,t you'll have a rather hard time doing so.
In fact, the only flaw we were able to identify as far as the whole assembly process is concerned, is the lack of some visual cues regarding the whole attachment process placed on the stand itself, providing some info on what's to be done or at least pointing you to the manual.
This might not seem like much, but if you're not the type of person who likes to go through an user's manual (and many, many users out there fall in this category), you'll certainly know what we're talking about.
However, if you do take the time to read the few pages describing the process from the manual, you'll find out that we're talking about a very fast, easy and user-friendly activity, that should have the aero firmly attached to your notebook in just a couple of seconds.
While we won't go into that many details regarding every single step you'll have to carry out in order to get this thing attached, we will tell you that it involves placing some spacers fitted with adhesive surfaces on the aero as pointed out by a cut-out cardboard model, then place the aero on the bottom of the notebook in corresponding positions and attach the two in a firm and stable manner.
The spacers are actually quite important, since they allow user to choose the size that best suits their notebook, out of the three different ones included in the sales package (as you can see from the photos depicting the box contents) that have various colors, in order for users to tell them apart easier.
In theory, this shouldn't take you more than a couple of minutes, and then you'll be good to go.
Using the Aero
As we've mentioned several times up until now, the major innovation brought about by the notebook stand developed by Standivarius is the fact that it remains attached to your notebook at all times, the device providing not only a high level of portability, but also a solid support for the computing system it's mounted onto.
Furthermore, the Aero also packs Standivarius' Slide-Click-Lock mechanism, that enables a good level of stability in every situation, while in the same time being intuitive and easy to use enough in order to help users get the hang of this thing in no time.
As you've been able to see in the tech facts section, the two Aero models are only slightly different (size and max inclination-wise), but they both provide the same number of inclination adjustment options (3).
Another very important topic we have to tackle when talking about the Standivarious Aero is that of ergonomics.
Practically, this notebook stand will enhance the level of comfort enjoyed by people standing in front of a notebook by raising the display to their eye level, thus preventing them from bending over even slightly in order to properly watch the display.
In this way, one might avoid not only eye-sight related problems, but also the appearance of back aches, for example.
To sum things up, the Aero notebook stand is quite a pleasure to use, especially since, after getting accustomed to it, you'll probably forget that there was a time when you actually couldn't carry your stand around, wherever you went, and had it ready to work in just a couple of seconds.
The only concern we have is that the adhesive surfaces used for attaching the Aero to the notebook might give up sooner or later, depending on just heavy you're using the stand and just how often you attach, remove and reattach the stand to the notebook.
- very innovative design;
- very easy to carry around;
- enables enhanced level of ergonomics when using a notebook;
- takes only a couple of seconds to deploy, after initial installation;
- relatively easy to attach, remove and re-attach;
- notebook attachment system might fail after a number of attach/remove operations;
- overall build feels a bit frail;
- material on the upper side of the Aero is quite prone to fingerprints;
- no visual cues on the operation printed right on the stand;
We can honestly say that we really liked our time with the Standivarius Aero notebook stand for various reasons, the most important being, without a doubt, the fact that we're talking about a very innovative product, providing a whole different approach to this segment.
The Aero is super-slim, light and easy to carry around, since it will literally go wherever your notebook does, as it remains permanently attached to it.
Moreover, despite of the fact that the material this thing is built from seems a bit frail at first, it will surely provide a very good level of support for the notebook installed on top of it, ensuring the fact that the users enjoy an ergonomic viewing position at all times.
Of course, it still has some problems, such as the somewhat difficult to get around mounting instructions, at least if you haven't read the user's manual before, or the fingerprint-friendly upper surface, but we'd dare to say that they're quite minor and don't take too much from the overall value of the Standivarius aero.
- Aero notebook stand;
- User's manual;
- Spacers (available in three sizes);
- Cardboard cutout model for spacer placement;