Welcome to IRL, an ongoing feature where we talk about the gadgets, apps and toys we're using in real life and take a second look at products that already got the formal review treatment.

IRL: Roost's portable, foldable (and kinda pricey) laptop stand

As someone who spends an abnormal amount of time glued to an LED display, I jumped at the chance to back the Roost portable laptop stand on Kickstarter last year. My MacBook Pro found rest on its carbon fiber shoulders only moments after it arrived at my doorstep, and I've rarely taken it off.

Hunching and blogging are two things that seem to go hand in hand, especially if you use a laptop (and don't we all?). Desktop setups are by nature more ergonomic, and that's what I've been able to emulate with the Roost. Only it's a much more portable solution that's been a cinch for me to pop up on my desk, at rest areas while traveling, fast food tabletops and anywhere else I've needed to make camp. The device collapses down to a 1.5-inch diameter tube of lightweight plastic and carbon fiber support rods, roughly the length of a Pringles container. So it easily fits in most of my shoulder bags alongside my Logitech K750 wireless solar keyboard and M510 mouse.

After only a few months with the new rig, I can say with confidence that my neck, shoulder and wrist areas have changed for the better. By perching my laptop's display at eye level, I'm required to maintain more neutral postures. My vision isn't the best in the world, so keeping a healthy distance between the screen and my eyes is important as well. At $80, the Roost is one of the more expensive laptop accessories I've whipped out my wallet for. But it's an understandable investment for those of us who earn our keep chugging away on chiclet keys. Plus, it's got a techie/neatness factor that makes for a great conversation starter. If reading this piqued your interest, you'll find a list of compatible laptops right here.