The Kensington UVStand monitor stand with UV-C sanitization compartment was developed to address the need to have a quick and reliable way of keeping our peripheral devices free of harmful bacteria or viruses.
Of course, UV-C should not be taken as an absolute substitute to using isopropyl alcohol, but as a complementary means of keeping your keyboards and mice clean at all times, especially now, when hygiene has never been more important. The UV lamps have been used for sanitizing electronic devices for almost a decade, but Kensington’s approach is probably the safest I have seen so far because the container will only function when it’s closed, so there is no possible exposure with your skin or eyes and there is enough room to add more than your keyboard and mouse. That’s right, you should be able to insert your smartphones and tablets as well.
It’s worth noting that I have seen another UV monitor stand from Flexispot, but the manufacturer left the UV light out in the open, just positioned underneath the stand itself. And this does come with some potential risks. Direct exposure with the skin can cause rashes and burns and, in no case should you point it directly at your eyes since UVC can and will damage your cornea. Furthermore, Kensington can control the proper flow of radiation that’s given to the surfaces, while an UV lamp has a lower flow and this can lead to improper use (too little time for the disinfection to occur).
Before going forward and checking out the device itself, let me tell you a personal scary story that most people know it can happen to others, but not to them. I got a job as a programmer a few years back and the guy I was replacing quit because he had some new health problems. To be specific, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and the reason why he quit is because he got it from the keyboard at work (it was tested and the bacillus was present on the computer peripherals). So, my then boss was very adamant on us thoroughly cleaning our keyboards and mice every day with isopropyl alcohol and the entire process did take some minutes to do properly. If we were to use a device such as the Kensington UVStand, the process could have been potentially faster, less messy and, perhaps even cheaper in the long run.
The bottom line is that keeping your peripherals clean is something to be taken very seriously, especially if you work in an office, where lots of people come and go.
That being said, Kensington has built the monitor stand to accommodate monitors that weigh up to 40 lbs, so a larger monitor or TV will be handled fine. And to ensure that the stand is solid enough for long-time-use, Kensington has used aluminum for the compartment, but it has also relied on plastic for the front and rear frame. The door is made of SPCC steel, so it will feel a bit different than the rest of the body of the monitor stand. The door can be easily lifted and adjusted into position using the leather tab to allow you to store your device into the compartment.
The entire exterior of the monitor stand is covered by a black matte finish and it does have more of an industrial and practical look, instead of focusing towards sporting a flashier design. So yes, the SMBs and the larger businesses are the targeted audience and for good reason since the highly trafficked offices are the places were germs can more easily have a severe impact on the health of the employers.
At the top of the compartment, there’s a noticeably larger piece (where you can put your monitor or even a laptop) and it’s made of MDF that’s coated by PVC. I am fairly sure that the metallic compartment is going to be the heavy lifter for those larger monitors or TVs, since MDF can bow over time if you put a lot of pressure on it.
On the rear side of the UV monitor stand is a Power connector and, as expected, there are no other openings anywhere around the Kensington UVStand, with the exception of the front-placed door. Inside the compartment, there is no paint, just a simple aluminum finish and there are a few cut-out section on the ceiling to allow the UVC light to shine on your devices. The compartment is quite large, measuring 23.5 x 11.6 x 4.9 inches, so a full-sized keyboard, a mouse and a phone can be inserted with ease, but be aware that only the surface exposed towards the top will be sanitized, so don’t stack devices.
On the right side of the door, there is a rectangular button with an LED that will flash blue while the sanitization process is on-going and, after, it’s done, the LED will become solid blue. In case the device can’t perform the sanitization process, the LED will start flashing red and, if one or more UV LEDs get damaged, meaning that the full scale sanitization of your devices can’t be reached, then the LED will flash red and blue intermittently. What’s interesting is that unless the door is fully shut, the touch-sensitive button will not activate the sanitization process. And this is a good thing especially if you have curious kids, since as I said before, the UVC exposure on the skin and eyes can be harmful.
The entire process takes 10 minutes, regardless of how many devices you add into the container and you won’t hear a sound since it’s completely silent. I would have liked to see some form of scanning, so that the Kensington UVStand sanitization monitor stand would know how large is the surface that needs to be sanitized and the process would not have a fixed timer.
Kensington says that the UVStand is capable to eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on any exposed surface within those 10 minutes, but let’s talk about what’s on everyone’s mind. How effective is it against the latest virus that has been toying with our lifestyle the past two years? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question because at least one source says that the exposure to UV lamps (or, in our case the UV-C monitor stand) can indeed lead to the inactivation of the virus, so it does seem to be effective in this regard. You should still follow all the good practices to make sure you are protected (use isopropyl alcohol, wash your hands regularly and so on).
While the idea is definitely not new, Kensington has managed to create a proper UVC sanitization compartment which won’t potentially harm you in any way and, as a bonus, it does double as a monitor stand. I found that it also works great as a laptop stand since I usually had to slouch over my notebook and now I can get a better posture. Be aware that this is a large device and heavier than you may expect, but it does work as intended and it can help keep your peripherals, as all as your phone or tablet clean of bacteria and viruses. I am not sure how many of you need this type of devices in your home, but in a heavily trafficked office, this is a must.
- Simple to use
- Completely silent
- Solid construction, allowing you to put heavy monitors on top
- The compartment is very large, allowing you to insert more than a keyboard and a mouse at a time
- Will not operate unless the front door is closed
- The timer is fixed to 10 minutes
Mark is a graduate in Computer Science, having gathered valuable experience over the years working in IT as a programmer. Mark is also the main tech writer for MBReviews.com, covering not only his passion, the networking devices, but also other cool electronic gadgets that you may find useful for your every day life.