This laptop stand mTowers above the rest

With an increasing number of folks choosing laptops over desktops for full-time uses, there's a big market for notebook stands. They're handy when you use your portable as a de facto desktop computer by connecting it to an external monitor. One of the sleekest -- perhaps the sleekest -- of the stands is the mTower from Rain Design.

Unlike some similar products, the mTower holds your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro vertically rather than horizontally. If you're not using your laptop's screen -- say, you have the notebook connected to an external monitor but the lid closed -- this saves a lot of desk real estate. It also helps keep your laptop cool since air can circulate all around it.

One of the great things about the mTower is that works with just about any Apple laptop -- from the 11-inch MacBook Air to the discontinued 17-inch MacBook Pro thanks to the silicon inserts that come with it. Now that's versatility!

Still, it only takes up a portion of your laptop's footprint. In fact, larger notebooks (15 inches and higher) almost seem to be floating when sitting in the mTower. You can set your laptop lengthwise, so the Apple logo is facing you, or "depthwise," so the USB and other ports face you.

Its one-piece, anodized aluminum body and minimalist design is a perfect aesthetic match for all recent Apple laptops. Those laptops easily slide into and out of the mTower. I do wish it provided some sort of cable management system; that would have made the Rain Design just about perfect.

That niggling detail aside, the mTower is a handsome and functional product at a reasonable price (about $50). If your Mac notebook is your main, or only, computer, it would be money well spent.