It's been a few years now since Roost become popular as an ergonomic laptop stand, especially among people who work remotely and travel at the same time.
Thanks to the small size, low weight, and proper dimension for comfortable work with the laptop, Roost - which debuted in 2013 as an American project on Kickstarter - very quickly gained recognition among digital nomads. Soon afterwards, equivalents similar to Roost appeared on the market, and currently, the most competitive solution is a product from China, Nextstand.
Roost and Nextstand on the road
During our recent several-month trip we had the opportunity to use both solutions on a regular basis and test them in various conditions - in cafes, coworking spaces, and anywhere else with an available table or desk. In fact, we still use them every day, working with both laptop stands also in the four corners of our apartment. I got many questions from friends and people I meet at work about my opinion on Roost and NextStand - if it's worth using it or, if so, which model is best - and that was the reason why I decided to write this review. Regardless of which laptop stand you choose, I really hope you leave the idea of working on your laptop without any additional tool that supports your posture. It's super simple and super important!
Roost and Nextstand - comparison
Both Roost and Nextstand are small in size, they are both portable, what makes it easy to commute with them (to the office, cafe or while traveling). Also, you don't need a big table or desk to work comfortably - no matter which model you choose. And they don't take up much space when folded or unfolded. Although Nextstand is bigger, a bit more massive compared to Roost, I personally don't consider this difference to be significant. However, if you care about the smallest possible size of the laptop stand, in both forms - folded and ready to be placed on your desk, Roost definitely meets these expectations.
Size (folded): 3.3 x 3 x 33 cm | 1.3 x 1.3 x 13 inches
Size (folded): 3.81 x 3.81 x 35.6 cm | 1.5 x 1.5 x 14 inches
As with size, both laptop stands don't weight much, however, Nextstand (~8 ounces) is a little bit heavier than Roost (~6 ounces). This is one of the main reasons why both laptop stands attract people who look for compact tools while on the road. Both Roost and Nextstand are almost unnoticed in the bag or backpack. In addition, both have an aesthetic and functional cover. Regardless of whether I'm commuting from home to a coffee shop or coworking space or I'm flying from one place to another, both laptop stands easily fit even in the hand-luggage (together with a few other tools which I will tell you about in the next articles).
When it comes to height, here is definitely the Nextstand, which is not only higher than Roost but also has a greater number of height adjustment rings. For me personally, this functionality doesn't matter much - I use Nextstand at the same height as I do it using Roost. However, if you care about the greater number of the height levels, then Nextstand would be the best choice.
Above all, it's worth saying that both brands allow you to work super comfortable on the laptop. No matter where you work on your laptop, using the Roost or Nextstand stand allows you to keep a proper position same as when working with an external screen. In both cases, your posture is much more ergonomics and the solutions are stable enough to hold the laptop in one position in neutral conditions what means without moving the stand.
On the other hand, I'd say Roost is much more stable than NextNand when we're actually testing this factor. By grabbing the laptop stand and tilting it to the left and to the right sides it turns out it is Roost that keeps the laptop properly regardless of the angle of inclination. Nextstand is a little bit less stable and at some point, the laptop can slides off this stand. Just remember that I talk about some specific test conditions - normally no one tilts the stand and you work comfortably using both solutions without experiencing any stability problems.
MATERIAL AND QUALITY
For me personally, the material used for making the product is one of the biggest features that distinguishes the laptop stands from each other. The authors of Roost definitely win here, offering a much better quality, rubberized handles, slim design. All this affects the quality and comfort of use - in the first impression, in touch, and during stability tests. Nextstand is made of plastic-like materials and you can feel it by looking at the stand, using it, as well as by touching its parts.
Roost vs. Nextstand - summary
For me, both Roost and Nextstand are great solutions to
work remotely on the laptop for people who are traveling or people working at home, looking for portable,
cost-effective and satisfying solutions for ergonomic workstation setup. Both of them guarantee comfortable work with a laptop in an upright, healthy posture for the spine and this is the most important factor to assess that no matter which laptop stand you choose, the goal is achieved. Thinking about the proper long-term sitting posture, I'm happy using both brands.
At the same time, Nextstand is a little bit worst in terms of quality but offers more possibilities of height adjustments, and it is also more affordable.
Working with two solutions on a regular basis we don't really bother which one we use. Both Rost and Next Stand allow to maintain a correct sitting posture at the desk and simply feel better when working at home and in any other place without access to a large, external screen. Maintaining a proper posture is crucial when working sporadically or day after day on the laptop and allows you to protect your back, neck and more. It's definitely worth to have it within reach regardless of the brand you choose.
If you already had the opportunity to work with the Roost or Nextstand laptop stand, let me know what are your thoughts? Do you know any other alternative solutions to the stands presented in the article?