Tag Archives: gear

Review: The Roost Laptop Stand


v1_unmountedFront In 2013 The Roost was successfully crowd funded via Kickstarter.com. I was lucky enough to stumble upon the project. It was an easy sell; I jumped on board and backed it.

The Roost was a unique product. It folded flat for easy transport and converted to a laptop riser like a transformer (sans sound effect). The Roost lifted the laptop at the hinge point. It would wedge itself at the hinge and the base of the laptop would sit on the lower crossbars. There were four contact points: two at the hinge area and two at the base.

The Roost (ver1)

The Roost version 1 with a MacBook (2010).

v1_mountFocus v1_mountFocus2

The Roost ver 1 + hinge mount

The Roost version 1 with focus on the hinge mount area.

There’s a slight flaw. None of the four contact points have any traction. It is smooth plastic or smooth resign material. This left the laptop to The Roost mount a little squirrelly. Any sudden jarring (like a bumping of the table or nudge on The Roost/laptop) and the laptop would come off the hinge (literally).

Fast forward to 2015. The Roost comes back with a version 2 offering. Since I backed the original Kickstarter project, I was notified of the second project. I was still using (and liking) The Roost (version 1), but I also liked the redesign of the 2nd version.

The Roost version 2 still used four contact points, but it no longer used the hinge as the main anchor/support. The main support will fall on the base of the laptop falling into a C (it’s more like a “G”) channel. The channel/groove has a rubber-like grip to it, so the laptop is more secure. This resolves the issue I had with the fist version. v2_unmountedv2_mountSolid

Another addition to the redesign makes the second version adjustable in height. There are three locking positions in which to set the laptop. You can pretty much get it to a position to meet your ergonomic needs. The original version was not adjustable in height.

Now let’s discuss the bad. There is a little hazard when adjusting the height level. You need to depress the white trigger to unlock the height setting. If you’re not careful, you can pinch a finger (or two)… and I did (check it out on the video).

The second flaw is the C/G channel in which the laptop base sits in. From the looks of it, The Roost version 2 was designed to fit laptops of a specific size. I’m guessing 2014 MacBook Pros and smaller. I’m still using a 2010 MacBook (the last plastic kind before Apple changed to an all aluminum body). My MacBook is fatter than the current Apple laptops (current MacBook, the MacBook Pro line, and the MacBook Air line). It barely fits. For fatter laptops, like my Lenovo G505, it kinda fits. The G505 does fit in the channel, but it has an awkward tapper shape that dislodges from the channel when trying to adjust the height of The Roost.v2_mountSolidBitev2_mountZoomed

The two flaws that I found in The Roost version 2, can be avoided by the user. The fix is to not mount the laptop until the desired height is set. Do not try to adjust the height when the laptop is mounted on The Roost. You can, but you have to be aware of the finger pinch factor, and if your laptop is a little fat, be aware that it can get unseated from the channel during the height adjustment.

Overall, I dig The Roost. I was happy with the first version. I’m even happier with the second version. For more info go to: http://www.therooststand.com/

digital torque adapter from Harbor Freight Tools

Digital Torque Adapter

I keep a torque wrench in the trunk of my car. Unfortunately, I’ve stored the wrench loaded all this time. The wrench was actually set and locked at 78 lbf.ft. The wrench is a mechanical click type. By storing it loaded, the pressure on the spring will eventually weaken it. Resulting in an inaccurate torque reading. It’ll click before reaching the desired torque setting. (Check out this article from www.hotrod.com)

I did some searching and stumbled upon digital torque adapters. Digital torque adapters measure the torque applied to a nut/bolt and displays the pressure applied on a digital screen. This can convert any socket wrench into a torque wrench. It will not prevent over torquing, but will signal (via audio and/or visual markers) when the target torque setting is reached.

Another feature of digital torque adapters allows the user to test the accuracy of their torque wrench. By knowing how far off the wrench is reading, the user should be able to fine tune the wrench.

I picked up a Pittsburgh Professional Digital Torque Adapter a my local Harbor Freight Tools brick and mortar store. After a 20% discount (via email coupon), the total only came out to $26.39. Harbor Freight always gets knocks on the quality of their goods (rather, lack of quality), but this device is fairly accurate (check out this article from www.hotrod.com).

I tested the two torque wrenches that I own. One is a Craftsman and the other is a Gorilla Automotive wrench (the one improperly stored). The Craftsman wrench was stored properly. In fact, the only way for it to fit in its storage case is when the torque setting is set at the minimum value (~ 20 lbf.ft). The Gorilla Automotive is smaller in size and can fit in its case on any setting. The Craftsman pretty much matched the digital torque adapter… maybe off by 0.1 lbf.ft. The Gorilla Automotive was off by 4-5 lbf.ft… it clicked before reaching the desired torque setting. I did weaken the spring on the wrench.

It took awhile, but I was able to adjust the Gorilla Automotive wrench to within 0.5-0.8 lbf.ft. I only use this for my lug nuts and that’s accurate enough for me. For added security, I’ll store the digital torque adapter in the trunk and use it whenever I use the Gorilla Automotive wrench. Big props to dail2fast on YouTube. He did a great review on the Pittsburgh Pro Digital Torque Adaptor (link here) and a guide in calibrating a torque wrench (link here).