Review: Logitech Alto™ Stand (USB Hub)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thegoldenmackid, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #1
    See Post Below for updated review with PICTURES.

    The Official Name: Logitech Alto™ Connect Notebook Stand + 4-Port USB Hub

    Before the Box:
    I purchased this at my local Apple store, actually shocked that they had it, and was excited to take it home and try it.

    My reasoning behind purchasing this despite owning two Rain Design products (M-Stand and iLap) was that I no longer was as focused on keeping my computer cool, which the aluminum did a fabulous job at and mainly because I needed USB hub. I figured rather then cluttering my desk with more things, this seemed to be the correct solution. Also, I seem to be heading into a glossy black phase (Marble Desk, Logitech diNovo Edge, Samsung SCX-4500) so the M-Stand was looking out of place.

    Out of the Box:
    It requires limited assembly:
    Step 1 - Take the two pieces that form the X and the power adapter out of the box.
    Step 2 - Take the items listed above out of their respective foam.
    Step 3 - Place the two pieces on top of each other to form an "X", don't worry there is only one way the fit together so you'll be able to tell if it's not the right way
    Step 4 - Plug in the AC adapter
    Step 5 - Pull the USB chord out of its cave inside the right part of the X (untwist tie if necessary)

    After that grueling set-up and assembly process was done I place my notebook ontop of the stand, plugged in three USB devices in the back (listed below) and then plugged the USB chord into my notebook.

    (That's all for that portion, no software necessary)

    Thoughts:
    The ergonomics is great for what I can tell, but I'm still a teenager that likes to curl up in the backs of people's trunks - so who am I to say. However, there is a significant difference between the height and position of the screen versus something like the iLap. One user (on Amazon or CNet) suggested that (s)he couldn't type on this. While it wasn't ideal for me, I was able to type this sentence without much trouble. However, this will affect ergonomics, but really this only becomes an issue on where you place your notebook - although your arms would probably become tired if you had to reach up for the keys. With all of the comments about ergonomics above - I must say that I am not an expert and really my only expereince involving ergonomics involved a video at a law firm that told me how valuable sitting up straight was...(in other words, I am no expert here)

    The USB hub managed to work nicely, there are three ports in the back and one in the front which is labeled as "Media." The four don't differ in technology, just the one in the front is really nice for flash drives and charging my iPhone (and every other USB device that you may need to constantly plug in and out of your computer.) Nothing about the stand makes the ports on the back in any way inaccessible, it's just a matter of what you as a user place behind the stand. The ports are obviously powered so there was no problem charing an iPhone, iPod 60GB and a shuffle at the same time as having my MX Revolution hub plugged in, however, when you unplug the USB cable from your notebook, the iPods/iPhone would not charge. I ran a simple speed test, used a flash drive and transfered a file with just my iPhone charging in one of the USB ports and timed it both times, it took 8 seconds both times - that's about all for thegoldenmackid's approach to benchmarking.

    I have in the back hub: MX Revolution USB Receiver, Alesis Multimix, Samsung SCX-4500; the front will change, mostly between the iPhone and the flash drives.

    Other Thoughts:
    There were no noticeable changes in heat, I didn't run a fair test, but I didn't see any difference that caused any alarm or notice between the Logitech and either of the Rain Design products. In a way iThink Logitech should have added more ports, they have a whole other side of the stand that is empty. Now, I realize this would likely cause some wiring to be done by the user, but 7 ports would have been nice. The price is sorta steep $59.95 at your local Apple Store; considering Logitech charges $30 for their four port hub and stand without USB range from $30-40; it seems justifiable.

    It is really nice having an all-in-one and USB hubs given my lack of neatness seems like things that would float around my desk, this was an ideal solution. The biggest gripe for me as a Powerbook/non-unibody MacBook Pro owner is the Superdrive. Sure, I really don't use it very often; but it's blocked, and there's no way around this, besides moving it heavily-off center and then my OCD-ness kicks in. Not a problem for the iBooks, MacBooks or any Unibody Apple notebook, but if you needed that Super Drive - you are going to have to get used to moving your notebook around.

    Pictures are coming I promise, uploading 30 to Flickr right now.... I'm here to answer any questions...

    My Review of the Logitech diNovo™ Edge Mac Edition and Logitech MX Revolution
     
  2. thegoldenmackid thread starter macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    Updated thoughts here.

    A couple of brief updates:
    -Apple no longer carries them in most retail stores
    -The price has not really changed
    -Logitech had to replace mine because the Media drive failed (the forward USB port)

    Also, how do 455 people view this thread and not say anything? I must have: misspelled something, said something controversial or missed some question on whether you should buy the 13" MacBook (Pro) or the 15" MacBook Pro.
     
  3. kmac88 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    AUSTRALIA
    #3
    Hey, thanks for the review of the product. Been looking at this stand for sometime. It looks neat and convenient. But i am quiet hesitant about buying it because of lack of cooling feature of the stand. Would you be able to do some test on this?

    Once again thanks for the review. very comprehensive one.

    cheers

    btw, About your ADC questions thread, if you email in your student documents they can approve it alot sooner than faxing it in. I bought mine and emailed them my details and got it approved the same day. But i guess it depends on how often they check their emails
     
  4. thegoldenmackid thread starter macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #4
    On the new review I sort of sided with the "I didn't really tell a difference." That runs contrary to the 1-2 degrees I noticed when first using the product. Overall after owning a significant amount of the stands on the market (mStand, iLap, Griffin Elevator), none of them really produced a significant drop for my current MacBook Pro, on an older Powerbook, which I believed had had some issues draining out the air, experienced a decreases via the Elevator, but the Griffin showed no improvement on the current one.
     

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