Most of my work day is spent at a 27-inch iMac, circa 2009. It’s admittedly getting a bit long in the tooth, but buffed up with as much RAM as it can take and a homemade Fusion Drive, it still gets the job done.
One complaint I have about the iMac, though, is that the screen is actually a little too low by default. Resting on my desk, the center of the iMac’s screen doesn’t exactly line up with my line of sight. Over an entire day, that can result in neck pain and bad posture.
And so, over the past few years, I’ve experimented with a lot of stands to lift the iMac up a couple inches to more naturally line up with my line-of-sight. Of all the ones I have ever tried, though, the Walnut Monitor Stand by Portland’s Grovemade is my favorite. After using it for the last few months, I can comfortably say it’s a perfect fusion of design and functionality.
The Walnut Monitor Stand is part of Grovemade’s Desktop Collection, an assortment of accessories for the wood lover’s desktop that includes a gorgeous iMac keyboard holder (review coming soon!), an iPhone dock, a paper clip holder, a mouse pad and a keyboard wrist pad. It’s an attractive assortment of beautiful and useful objects, hewn out of walnut by hand.
The Monitor Stand is definitely the centerpiece of the collection, though. A beautiful, beveled arch of walnut, it hikes an iMac (or, for that matter, any computer monitor or all-in-one weighing less than 200 pounds) up about 6 inches off the surface of your desk.
This has a couple of benefits. For one, it lifts your monitor up to something closer to eye level, which prevents you from slouching and can decrease issues like neck pain and bad posture. In fact, using a stand, I find that I sit up a lot straighter throughout the workday than I do without one.
But just as importantly, a stand can, at least in theory, make your desk tidier. This is certainly true of Grovemade’s Walnut Monitor Stand: Not only does it elevate my iMac by about half a foot, but it gives me a little cubbyhole underneath my Mac where I can squirrel away a USB hard drive and snake through my Lightning and USB keyboard cable. It also allows you to treat the top of the stand as a shelf: Since I often switch between an Apple USB keyboard and the Apple wireless keyboard throughout the day (depending on whether I need the number pad), I’ll neatly stash whatever one I’m not using on top.
One of the things I love most about the Walnut Monitor Stand is that it’s very straightforward. Before the Walnut Monitor Stand, I used Twelve South’s HiRise for iMac, and while it was, perhaps, a more natural extension of the iMac’s all-aluminum design language, in practice, I found it very fiddly: The magnetic front panel would fall off, and it was hard to adjust the height exactly. By comparison, all you need to do to install the Walnut Monitor Stand is slap your iMac down on top of it.
Perhaps more importantly, though, I dig the Walnut Monitor Stand’s aesthetic a lot more than the HiRise. I could go on until I’m blue in the face about how much I love the feel and texture of wood, especially in juxtaposition with gadgets. The truth is, though, that the Walnut Monitor Stand is just as much a beautifully designed piece of furniture and a finely crafted example of woodworking as it is a useful Mac accessory.
Is it expensive? At $119, the Grovemade Walnut Monitor Stand costs more than, say, the $80 Twelve South wants for the HiRise. But I can reasonably say that if you buy the Walnut Monitor Stand, it’s something you will in all likelihood keep on your desk as long as you have a Mac. It’s not just a Mac accessory; it’s a piece of furniture meant to last a lifetime.
You can purchase one here. I highly recommend it.