Laptop Stand, External Monitor Or Both?: A Productivity & Laptop Performance Perspective

Part of my home office revamps included the addition of a laptop stand and external monitor. This article will explore how the laptop stand and external monitor affected my productivity and performance of my laptop. It will also explore whether you should get a laptop stand, an external monitor, or both.

Get both laptop stand and external monitor to improve productivity and laptop performance – the laptop stand will help with laptop performance as it will help it with heat dissipation while the external monitor will help with productivity with more screen real estate.

Although having a laptop stand could help with the performance of the laptop through the dissipation of heat, just having the laptop stand by itself is not enough.

*This post/page contains affiliate links. While I am an affiliate for these products, I could be an affiliate for many different products but I specifically chose these products because they are the products I actually like and recommend. By using my links, you help support this website.

How to use a laptop stand and external monitor to actually improve productivity and laptop performance

Through observing my own laptop, I’ve realised since having a laptop stand that my laptop’s fans do not whirl as much as before when it didn’t have a stand. But having a laptop stand itself is not enough because a laptop stand elevates the keyboard, making it uncomfortable to type and use the trackpad.

To strike a balance between laptop performance and comfort, if you want to have a laptop stand, it would be advisable to get a wireless keyboard and mouse as well.

The wireless keyboard and mouse that I’d recommend is the Logitech K780 (affiliate link) and Logitech MX Master 2S (affiliate link). They are not only reliable and cost-effective. They also allow for instant switching at the press of a button between multiple devices.

Through using my laptop stand, I also found out that another benefit I had from getting it is that it allows for a more ergonomic viewing angle of my laptop screen.

Considering that I spend more than 8 hours a day in front of my computer, I’d say that getting a laptop stand, wireless keyboard and mouse, is well worth the money.

Unlike the laptop stand, just having an external monitor by itself can often be good enough to improve productivity.

Before you decide on one though, you may want to ensure that the stand of the external monitor allows for height adjustments for maximum productivity. You will also want to ensure that you get a monitor that is VESA compatible so that you can easily mount it onto a monitor mount should you decide to get one in the future.

Alternatively, what I’ve found very useful to have is to get a monitor mount (affiliate link) – I’ve got one and have found it to be immensely space-saving for my already small desk.

If you do happen to already have an external monitor that doesn’t have an adjustable stand and the timing isn’t right for you to get a monitor mount, then what you could do is either adjust the height of your chair higher/lower so that the top of the screen is where your eyes are or, make the screen go higher by placing it on top of objects like paper reams or books.

More tips with using a laptop stand and external monitor for productivity and laptop performance

Using a laptop stand

  • Get a laptop stand with rubber / silicone grips at the base and at the area where the laptop comes into contact with the laptop stand.
  • Keep it cheap – about $10 – $20 will get you a decent laptop stand (affiliate link) that is good.
  • Place your laptop/stand in a well vetilated area.

Using a external monitor

What if you had to choose between a laptop stand or external monitor?

If you had to choose between getting a laptop stand or an external monitor, I would say to go with the laptop stand first because it is the cheaper option to improve the conditions of any working space.

But because there are so many different possibilities on what your priorities might be if you’re deciding between a laptop stand or external monitor, I’ve created a simple breakdown of key benefits for each item that could facilitate your decision-making process:

Key BenefitsLaptop StandExternal Monitor
Improve ProductivityYesYes
Improve Laptop PerformanceYesNo
CostGenerally Lower (Cost of wireless mouse and keyboard factored in)Generally Higher
More Screen Real EstateNoYes

Pros of a laptop stand

  • It improves productivity by providing for a more ergonomic and comfortable viewing experience
  • It improves the laptop’s performance by elevating it and thereby allowing for better heat dissapation
  • The cost of a laptop stand, even if you got the wireless mouse and keyboard totals about USD 120

Cons of a laptop stand

  • Doesn’t allow for a bigger screen, in fact, the laptop screen could get further from you, potentially causing some eye strain

Pros of a external monitor

  • Improves productivity by giving you more space to get things done on the computer
  • Has no bearing on the performance of your laptop

Cons of a external monitor

  • The cost of getting a external monitor with average specs is about USD 177

How does an external monitor affect laptop performance?

I have a 2018 Macbook Pro, based on my experience, having an external monitor doesn’t adversely affect or improve my laptop’s performance much, if at all.

What does affect the performance of my laptop is the opening of too many programs at once causing too much CPU to be consumed. When that happens, I’d start to hear the sound of my Macbook’s fan start going crazy.

While I’d imagine that such adverse effects on laptop performance are more possible with 2 screens, I found that as long as I kept an eye on what I was keeping open, my laptop’s performance wasn’t negatively affected.

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