Hardware review: mStand by Rain

The mStand is quite possibly the best stand for the MacBook Pro line of laptops. It raises the laptop to an appropriate height, it does not block any of the MBP ports or buttons, its design is truly distinctive, its cast aluminum build matches the MBP line to a tee, and it is reasonably priced at $50.

I’ve tried out quite a few notebook stands in my time, and I’ve looked at even more of them in detail. I am happiest with the mStand. It suits my needs perfectly. However, it is not without faults, as you’ll see shortly. Its Apple-like design and look isn’t executed to the Apple standards.

First, the good:

  • Functional, simplistic and very elegant design
  • Although it is built of a single piece of aluminum, it will not scratch your laptop because it has little rubber contact points where your laptop rests on it
  • All aluminum build means it will dissipate your laptop’s heat fast.
  • The empty space underneath the stand aids with ventilation and also serves as a great place to store the external keyboard when not in use
  • The wire routing hole at the back of the stand looks very similar to the one on iMacs and Apple Cinema Displays and complements their design nicely
  • It blocks NONE of the MBP ports or buttons, such as the IR remote port, the latch for the top lid, or the SuperDrive slot. Of course, it does not block any of the side ports either, as you can see from the photos.

Now, the bad:

  • The paper (recycled?) packaging leaves terrible scuff marks on the stand, which mar its otherwise beautiful design and matte finish
  • The stand itself was covered in a thick white dust when I unboxed it, which caused significant sneezing. I hope it wasn’t harmful to my health, not sure what it was, and it sure didn’t look like regular dust.
  • The edges of the stand are not properly filed, which means they can be literally sharp enough to tear through one’s skin if you’re not paying attention. I had to use a metal file to finish the job they should have done at the factory.

Still, I think this is the best stand for my needs. As you may know, I already tried out the Logitech Alto and the Rolodex Stand, and had already tried other stands through the years, including the original Griffin Curve. I looked at vertical stands as well, like the Docking Stand from Power Support. But none of the stands offered unfettered access to all of the buttons and ports on the MBP, were as stable, and looked as good as the mStand.

While I loved the idea of the Docking Stand, it blocked access to the IR port, the latch button and the SuperDrive altogether, because the laptop sits top edge down in it. Putting the laptop in that stand the other way would cause some serious overheating to occur, since the venting grille is on the lid hinge side.

At any rate, I’m very happy with my mStand. In spite of its faults, which can be easily fixed through better quality control, it looks great and works great.


2 thoughts on “Hardware review: mStand by Rain

  1. Pingback: What's on my desk? « Raoul Pop

  2. Jimmy says:

    great review (as always Raoul). I stumbled upon your site when I was considering getting a western digital external drive and thanks to your work & review decided against it.

    i bought the mstand maybe a year or two ago – glad they finally fixed the one major gripe I had with the mstand, which is that little lip in front. my version doesn’t have a cutout and I think it a little wider, so it blocks the opening button/latch on a macbook pro & either the IR port or part of the superdrive, depending on how you orient it. i’m tempted to get a new one, but i don’t think I can justify the cost of a new one when the old one is still working well (minus that one thing).


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