The very first impression upon unboxing the Alto is one of black, sturdy and rubberized excellence. This impression is not diminished when you separate the keyboard from the stand that acts as its cradle; the two are not joined by cheap clips which may break or catch, but by one of the most elegant magnetic systems I’ve come across. Not only does this hold the keyboard securely in place, but it’s great for paper-clip competitions on those long, boring office afternoons.
While officially the Alto only supports Windows XP and Vista, it had no trouble whatsoever working with my Eee PC running Linux. In terms of portability, keep in mind that the Alto won’t fit in a 15in carrier bag or backpack, and at just over two kilos will add a fair bit of weight.
When you flip up the stand’s angled support, you notice the leg meant to hold up your machine is relatively flimsy. Having said that, this is only in comparison to the extreme sturdiness of the keyboard and base, and it coped with my 15.4in machine (which is the maximum size it is designed to hold) without bending or flexing. Overall, with a bit of care the Alto cordless should last as long as you want it to.
The angle of elevation is not adjustable, but that is hardly a problem as it raises laptop-screens of most sizes to a fairly ideal height. You might not realise how much this relieves strain and stress on you neck and back until you actually use it.
The finish on the stand is a mixture of matte and high-gloss, mirror-finish black, with a rubberized section that protects your notebook’s fascia – and possible media-keys, depending on your model – from wear and scratches. Since Logitech has decided that orange is the new blue, two LEDs in this colour indicate wireless status, below a small ‘connect’-button.
Overall the effect is classy, with the only blemish being a small, ugly red section in which the Alto logo is inscribed. Unfortunately this remains visible when a laptop is in situ. The only other minus points about the base are that two of the hub’s ports are located at the rear, making them difficult to access, and that if your notebook has front connectors or optical drives, you will be unable to access them.
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