Taking on board comments from the initial version of the Alto notebook stand, Logitech has separated the keyboard and made it wireless.
The Alto Cordless is a rugged stand that will take even the largest desktop replacements with ease. The rubberised grip at the bottom ensures that things won't move, while the flip out stand is strong enough to take most weight. The stand itself is connected by a single USB cable (behind which is some handy cable management loops), and then requires mains power for operation of the wireless keyboard, itself powered by a pair of AAA batteries.
A display on the stand itself lets you know when you've hit caps lock or num lock, however once you get into the 17-inch notebook space this is obscured. Its usefulness is also questionable if you're going to be sitting some distance away with the wireless keyboard -- we'd have preferred the indicators were on the keyboard itself.
The keyboard features a number of function keys that would normally be found on a notebook -- power down, volume and media controls, as well as application shortcut buttons for things such as Internet and e-mail. Another three USB ports are supplied so you can keep your accessories plugged into the stand, and not the notebook.
We managed to walk to a distance of 10 metres before we ran out of room, and the keyboard still worked fantastically. Setting the keyboard free has come at a price though -- the unit desperately needs a mouse, as you can't reach your touchpad when at a distance. While a full sized mouse might not be feasible, perhaps one of those great capacitive touchpads that are on Microsoft's entertainment keyboards wouldn't go astray, or even a full sized touchpad embedded into the generous wrist rest. Either way we feel like we've been gypped a little, especially at the glass-of-water-spitting price of AU$199.95.
If you need a notebook stand to make your life that little more ergonomic, Logitech's Alto Cordless is certainly the Rolls Royce. Just expect to pay the same sort of premium as well.