My laptop is a great little workhorse, but it overheats like nobody's business. If I'm going to have it turned on for more than an hour, it has to be propped on something so that it doesn't get so hot it shuts down without warning - something it's been known to do several times. But the thing is, I'm also super frugal and rarely see the point in buying a product made specifically for one task, especially if you can hack random objects around the house to accomplish the same goal. But toss in one more problem - I'm simultaneously very busy, very lazy, and want stuff done now. So, I've been experimenting with laptop stands that will do the trick with minimal effort, minimal cost, and minimal - or no - new materials. Here are some of the best solutions:
Time: 5 minutes
This has been my laptop stand for the past few months and I have zero complaints. The laptop sits so that the screen is at eye level, and I have a wireless external keyboard that sits on the desk - it's as close to ergonomically correct as one can get in a make-shift home office. The "stand" is highly adjustable (which it has to be since I swap out books as I read through them), and offers you an opportunity to show off to friends what's on your reading list. I stack my books so that the laptop hangs off both sides - no danger of it tumbling off, and plenty of air circulation keeps the computer cool.
Cost: Between $2 and $10, depending on how fancy you get
Time: 10-20 minutes
How about a door stop, a couple magnets and some glue. That's really easy, really cheap, and actually can be pretty stylish! These magnetic feet can be crafted quickly, and popped on and off when you need them. This also works with things that just prop up the back; for instance, we've seen a couple wine corks do the trick just fine.
Time: 20 minutes
If you have an extra box laying around, it can become a stylish solution for a laptop stand. Grab the template online for free, along with a craft knife and you're in business. Word of warning: Pick out some sturdy cardboard, or cut out two of each piece (cutting the slits where the pieces join a little wider). This is because I made this stand twice, using too-flimsy cardboard both times, and they both collapsed after a few weeks despite my random efforts to fix them. However, thick cardboard will do the trick just fine.
Time: 2 hours
Cost: $0-$5 (if you're short on popsicle sticks and glue...)
Time: A lot...]
This is one of the most wonderfully geeky stands we've seen, and it's a great reuse project! While the cost is low, the time and effort are high - but I think it just might be well worth it! The materials include 82 floppy disks (if you've been slow to clear out your computer desk drawers, you might have this many; if not, I'm certain putting a collection call-out to friends will get you the number you need in no time), a cardboard base, popsicle sticks, and glue. It's an easy, straight forward project that can probably be done while watching your favorite television shows a few nights in a row.
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