I write a ton of hardware reviews for TUAW, and I really get tired of seeing overpriced stands for MacBooks. The idea of these things is to just put your device into a comfortable position for typing while you're using the laptop on a flat surface or lap, but some of the accessory designers think that you want an expensive museum piece instead. Not so with the BlueLounge Kickflip, a US$19.95 (for 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display) or $17.95 (for 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display) adjustable stand that adds no bulk and almost no weight to your favorite Apple laptop. The Kickflip was released today by BlueLounge, in an act of perfect timing for the back-to-school crowd in another month.
The Kickflip is made of a piece of black polyurethane that is hinged in the middle. It's attached to your MacBook Pro (or in my situation, a Speck SmartShell case) with a special gel adhesive band that makes it possible to remove it without damage.
Normally, the Kickflip adds just a little height -- maybe about a quarter-inch -- to the back of your MacBook Pro. But when you flip down the hinged piece it raises the back of your laptop by about 1-1/4 inches, enough to really make a difference.
Installation of the Kickflip on either a "naked" MacBook Pro or on a shell like that I have installed on my MBP is quite simple -- you just remove a piece of paper off of the gel adhesive, align the top of the sticky portion with the back of your laptop, and press it into place. The adhesive has a strong grip and inadvertent removal of the Kickflip should not be an issue.
So, now you're typing away on your MacBook Pro and need a little bit of angle to the keyboard to make it a bit more comfortable? Just reach under and flick that "kickstand" down and you're good to go. Ready to pop your MacBook Pro back into its carrying bag? With one hand, you can flip the Kickflip back up and get it out of the way.
I'm a sucker for well-designed products that are inexpensive, and the Kickflip from BlueLounge fits that bill. It works with either size (13- or 15-inch) MacBook Pro, and as you can see in my photo at the top of the page, it's also compatible with third-party shells. I just wish it had the ability to lock into one more interim position as well in order to give it just a tad more flexibility.
Rating: 3-1/2 star rating out of 4 stars possible