There are times when typing at a flat angle is uncomfortable. It is most noticeable when using my MacBook Air 13″. All of the keyboards I use, including Apple’s standard wireless keyboard, are angled for ease-of-use. Contrary to standard keyboards, Apples laptop line sits flat on the resting surface.
Asking to “kick it up a notch,” Bluelounge released the Kickflip just a few weeks ago. Hoping to increase productivity and ease everyone’s wrists, the Kickflip does just as the name suggests: props your laptop with just a flip.
Form and function
Using a small footprint, the Kickflip makes a large difference in typing placement. Kickflip is 9″/23 cm and 11″/28 cm for 13″ and 15″ MacBooks, respectively. It is originally designed for a MacBook Pro, but works just as well on my MacBook Air. The device clings tightly to the laptop using a German engineered gel adhesive. The bond is fairly strong, but easily releases if tugged intently. Most importantly, the gel does not leave a residue and can be re-used by washing with mild soap and water.
The gel is a new direction for Bluelounge, which has used micro-suction padding in the past. Currently, I have no preference over one or the other. But, it is nice to see a company thinking ahead for its customers. Too many products are made for a one-and-done application. Any semi-permanently installed accessory is best designed with a re-usable technology.
When the kickstand is flipped out, it adds a little less than a one inch raise on the laptop backend. It still make a very noticeable difference. When closed, there is not a giant difference in the elevated height of the device.
Where you will run into trouble is form fitted laptop sleeves or accessories. I utilize a zippered sleeve for my MacBook Air on a daily basis. Because there is a little play in the Kickflip spring hinge, I must be careful when inserting the MacBook into the sleeve or it could catch. Just holding the MacBook level, the Kickflip dangles away from the bottom laptop casing. Consequently, I hold the Kickflip against the laptop while putting it away for the night. For hardshell cases, I presume the Kickflip’s gel adhesion strip would work just fine on the exterior. This would allow you to still enjoy the added angle, while keeping your MacBook protected in a clip shell.
Usually, I have a review prepped for the day-of launch for Bluelounge products with a positive review ready to roll. However, I took extra time with this review to determine my true feelings. Even chatting with another fellow review editor about the product helped me form an opinion. The Kickflip is a solid product, fixing a common problem for all users in a simple way. After all, that is what all Bluelounge products manage to accomplish.
The dangling Kickflip arm is the most troubled issue for me. I really wish the hinge held the arm taught against the bottom of my Air. I am only talking about 2mm of space, but it is enough to snag something and rip the device off the laptop, even from just inserting it in a sleeve. It is more of a pet peeve than an actual design flaw.
As I mentioned, everything else is great! The device is well cut and molded. The Bluelounge logo is debossed on the stand in a non-distracting way. The angle is great for typing and the gel adhesion is perfect for being re-used. Even better, the price is right on target at $17.95 for the 13″ version, and $19.95 for the 15″ version, which you cannot always say for Bluelounge accessories. Thankfully, a stand like this does not require MFi certification, which keeps licensing costs to $0, allowing a reasonably priced accessory for the consumer.