I never used to think about what my ideal desk setup would be. In fact, I usually just threw together whatever I could from what was already available. I’ve never tried to customize a set-up for myself. For a long time I actually just wanted a functional physical desk that looked nice in the space I had. Today, my ideas are a little different. I have seen a lot of thought put into how space can work with a desk set-up and it’s made me consider what I could use to make my space functional and look cool at the same time. I have a MacBook Pro (2016, 13-inch) and a 32″ HD Curved Monitor from Viotek on a desktop space that is 23.25″ deep and 59″ wide. So what is a girl to do with that kind of equipment? You introduce a monitor stand that can not only elevate your laptop but also provide storage space for accessories and knick-knacks. I found that with the PLANET 6 Walnut Monitor Stand from Understands.
The PLANET 6 Walnut Stand is part of the PLANET collection from Understands. It features hand-cut dovetail joinery and contiguous wood grain. Each piece of the collection includes an under mount (what Understands is famous for) for an iMac, cable management routing, and secret drawers. The PLANET 6 is the largest of the series of stands and has six built-in drawers. The description from the website states that the design is meant to honor old-world craftsmanship and it’s crafted from sustainable urban walnut (sustainably harvested from northern Illinois) and embodies pride & authenticity.
The iMac under mount is designed to raise the monitor to a more optimal viewing height. The six storage drawers provide enough space for a 9.75″ iPad, smartphones, hard drives and more. The drawer handles are cut from the same piece of wood so the grain is continuous — even across the handles. The drawers are lined with cork for a natural, non-sliding surface. Each drawer has a felt-lined grip to hold cables in place. It’s very convenient for charging devices or even connecting to devices like hard drives. Two of the smaller drawers have smartphone rests built-in and a sliding tray can hold business cards and/or credit cards in one of the side drawers.
In addition to the walnut, premium baltic birch plywood is used to provide additional strength and stability for the internal drawer construction and the iMac under mount. The piece is finished with a lacquer finish to help protect it from aging mishaps. It sits high enough to store an Apple Magic Keyboard underneath the stand (or a closed laptop or tablet) and it’s been weight/stability tested to withstand 150 pounds.
When the PLANET 6 stand arrived, I was so excited to get it out of its shipping box. It was plain and there really wasn’t much worth noting about it. I was very taken with the overall gorgeous style of the stand. It’s a quality woodworking piece and you can tell how much time and patience went into it. It is very much a work of art and I immediately started using it to my full advantage. As I’ve described, I have somewhat of a non-traditional set-up. I have a narrow desktop and quite a bit of equipment covering it. The PLANET 6 was meant to help me curb the clutter and have a more uniform, tidy desk. It has definitely succeeded in that. Even though the stand is designed to work intimately with an iMac, I am using it in a slightly different way — as a laptop stand. As you will see from my photos, I have my laptop connected to a dock, which makes it possible for me to connect easily to the monitor and wired mechanical keyboard quite easily.
For quite some time I was using my open laptop on the flat desk surface. My curved monitor sits off to the side in part because of its size but also because I use it as a drop zone of sorts. I will use it for reference materials and photo editing, but my laptop screen is really my main screen. With that said, having it elevate 4.25″ off of my desk put it at just below eye level and that helped my neck issues greatly. And, I’ve discovered that it’s much easier to switch between desktops with the laptop elevated. I immediately used the stand to store all the random things that were floating around my desk. And even though my mechanical keyboard won’t slide beneath the stand, It does sit right next to it quite nicely.
The quality of the stand is beyond compare. It’s gorgeous and even though I didn’t try to test the 150-pound weight limit, I’m not surprised that it can hold that much. I’ve used the drawer’s smartphone stand feature and it’s worked really well. It holds my iPhone 7 (which is in a case) nicely. It will rest at a perfect angle for viewing the screen. I also discovered that one of the side drawers is the perfect size to hold my wireless mouse. Given the size of my desk, the stand swallows a big part of that, but since it has drawers, the storage makes up for that.
The PLANET 6 Walnut Monitor Stand is a tricky investment to make. It’s pricey (my selection retails for $399), but incredibly well built and designed. It’s beautiful and worth the investment in my opinion. The stand is versatile and looks amazing. I’ve not had any issues with the stand and can recommend it for any user.