Crane Stands Reviewed: Classic & Elevate

Whether you’re a DJ, know a DJ, or have recently seen a popular DJ perform in person, there is a very good chance you’ve been in the vicinity of a Crane Stand.  Crane hardware is widely popular for their laptop stands in the DJ & Musician scene.   Their adjustable stands are used to elevate laptops to comfortable heights in booths around the globe.

Now they’re setting their sights on homes and offices to solve the widespread case of hunched over laptop syndrome.  We won’t beat a dead horse with all the negative side-effects you experience seated for hours curled over a laptop but the usual advice is to follow the practices adopted for desktops and elevate your laptop off the table to a more comfortable position.  We prefer you stand, and Crane stands give you that option.  It’s a product you should absolutely consider owning if you use your laptop for any extended period of time.

Crane hardware sent me two new models, the Classic and the Elevate.  Let’s explore them:

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The Crane Stand Classic

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Made of a powder-coated steel with welded base, this stand feels solid in every way.  There are silicone rings at the base that do a great job of adding traction and keeping it from sliding around.  The stands weighs about 3.5 lbs and folds flat to a 1″ thickness, so it can absolutely fit in a large laptop bag or backpack.

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The angle adjustments are made using a rotating barrel with a quick-release cam mechanism similar to what you would find on a bicycle wheel.   To adjust to pretty much any position of your liking: You unlock the cam lever, loosen the tension knobs, adjust the base or the tray and then re-tighten the knob and then lock off the cam lever.  When adjusted completely upright the maximum elevation is approx 13″.

The Classic comes with a nylon drawstring carry bag & there’s a 1 Year Limited Warranty.

My only minor gripe:  Quick release mechanism doesn’t lock at any position.  Weight is held up by friction and therefore some care & effort is needed to tighten it enough to support weight at certain angles or it can sink if it’s not tight enough.  Not a deal-breaker, just something that requires a bit of attention while setting up.


The Crane Stand Elevate

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This premium model is made of an ultra-lightweight forged 6061 aluminum and carbon fiber which makes it almost a pound lighter than the Classic and better suited for portability.  The Elevate’s hinge barrels have ‘teeth’ which means that less force is needed to lock the joints in place.  You twist to unlock, adjust and then twist the knobs again to lock into place.

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Height adjustment knobs are unique to the Elevate model and they allow you to adjust the body height to a maximum of 15″.

Like the Classic, it also folds down to 1″ flat for travel but the Elevate comes with a nice fitted & zippered faux-leather carrying case.


Differences and Conclusion

The main differences that stand out between the models are the materials and the adjustment mechanisms.  While I couldn’t see much use in adjusting the height on the Elevate’s body,  it may serve someone else’s needs.  Both these stands can be used on their own as laptop risers for standing, or can be used along with an existing standing desk to elevate your laptop screen to eye level.

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I’d say that if you travel around a lot, get the Elevate.  One pound may not seem like much but trust me every ounce counts when it’s hanging off your shoulder after a while.  If I had to choose one for myself, I’d actually go with the less expensive Classic.  It’s because I believe it’s an unbelievable value for the quality, I actually preferred the solid steel build & weight added slightly more stability.

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Either way you can’t really go wrong.  Both these stands are versatile and extremely well-built stands that will position your laptop at your will.  They’re also both fully self-contained, no loose parts, hardware or assembly required.  They’re quite possibly the best in their class due to the quality materials and attention to engineering details.

  • downshift

    Got one and love it, thanks!