Do not settle for mediocrity when you can enjoy the Yohann B1 Walnut stand, the champagne of MacBook Stands.
It is saddening to think that we live in a throw-it-away, fast-food, quantity over quality generation. I often have to shake my head at modern toys and electronics, as they do not seem to be built with the same attention to quality and durability. Why is it that my children go crazy over a toy that will last a few hours when many of my metallic childhood toys remain functional? In fact, my parents kept most of my toys in storage and now my children get to experience a part of my childhood. Unfortunately, this trend is not isolated to toys and transcends nearly every avenue of modern industry. With the trend of “Roll Back Prices,” super sales, and bottom lines, it is easy to see why companies use shortcuts, and lesser quality materials to keep costs low.
The Yohann B1 Walnut stand is not your typical mass produced laptop stand. Audiophiles do not balk at the price of a Bowers & Wilkins, a Sennheiser, or other name brand products, nor do automobile connoisseurs shy away from the pricey luxury car. Why then do we look for cheap phone chargers, tech and in this case, stands to hold our multi-thousand dollar MacBook Pro. Sasi Chodagam, with Yohann, reached out to me and asked if I wanted to review their designer Walnut MacBook stand. The product arrived in a 6 13/16 inches wide by 9 1/2 inches tall by 2 13/16 inches thick white cardboard box. Other than the 4 1/8 inches long by 2 3/4 inches wide sticker, folded over the cover/lower panel, the package was devoid of verbiage and imagery. The label sticker provided the Yohann company name, the “B1 Walnut Label,” the ability to use the stand for MacBook Pro with Retina Display, MacBook with Retina Display, MacBook Air. Along the lower panel, I was also able to see the YB1WA model, the YOHANN title, and some additional information about the Swiss designed, Italian made product (in small print). Lifting the lid off of the packaging, I was amazed to find a single piece wooden stand and a bilingual instruction manual.
The instruction manual, like the product, was well designed and easy to use. The stand was designed to improve the MacBook viewing angle, to improve posture, to optimize the ventilation around the MacBook and to work with accessory mouse and keyboards. To use the stand, place the front lip of the MacBook Pro into the felt-lined lip of the stand and gently ease it back. Akin to counterbalance acrobats, the stand relied on the counter-weight of the MacBook Pro to stay upright. I was pleased that the stand was designed to work with the MacBook in open and sleep modes. With the MacBook Pro hovering in space, simply close the lid and your MacBook will go to sleep. The instruction manual further detailed the improved ventilation, product compatibilities, a cautionary statement to avoid placing pressure on the keyboard and an amazing origin story. Each stand originated from a single piece of wood grown in Northern Italy. The company sanded each item individually, coated the stands with oil and wax and sent them to Germany for shipping. The origin story should directly speak to nearly every heart. For the environmentalists, the stands are made from sustainably grown trees. For everyone else, the company employs alternatively abled individuals in Germany to make sure the devices go arrive safely at their final destinations. Yohann could have cut costs and corners in the design and development of this centerpiece, but they chose the higher road. Having received a few emails from Sasi Chodagam, it was clear that this device/team stood behind their product and mission.
I must admit that I was surprised at how well this stand was crafted and how well it enhanced my MacBook experience. Prior to the Yohann stand, I would lay my, UAG MacBook Pro Case protected, MacBook Pro 15″ on my desk/table, on a small children’s table in my living room or simply on the floor. I was never pleased with the need to rest my wrists on the computer or with the trend to type with my wrists in extension. When I read/heard about the stand, I was concerned that I would not be able to use it with the UAG case. I can attest that this fear was unfounded and that the MacBook Pro/case fit perfectly into the stand. I liked that the keyboard was angled obliquely to the table surface and that the screen viewing angle was nearly parallel to the floor, with shoulders back and head in a more neutral position. The stand was secure and did not easily tip over. To remove the Macbook, hold your computer near the hinge on both sides You can then gently lean the computer forward and then slide the device upward and away from the stand. Without the computer, the stand will rock forward and rest with the short arm on the table.
Before you look tatAmazon, BestBuy or Walmart for a generic MacBook, iPad or iPhone stand, I welcome you to look to Yohann. More than a stand, I felt that I was buying into a piece of handmade art. You can choose the darker walnut or lighter Oak colors and pick the best color to match your decor. I personally felt that the Walnut coloration better matched my Nook Smart Desk than the Oak version. The 11.5-ounce, beautifully stained, stand works perfectly for the standing desk movement and for the individual who likes nice things. The mission of the company is honorable and the cost becomes a non-issue when you realize that you are buying into a quality system and not into a throwaway mass-produced item.