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Concerns regarding ventilation and quality
on January 14, 2014
I am going to attempt to help you make an informed decision with all of the knowledge I have.
Some reviewers have mentioned concerns that the PS4's primary ventilation is through its sides. They believe that you will be blocking those vents if you use this stand, because the PS4 would be standing on those vents, and this stand doesn't have any airflow capabilities built into it.
While it is true that the PS4 will rest slightly "inside" this stand, as that is how the stand "grips" the PS4 to hold it in place, it is not true that this is the primary, or only, location for heat dispersal on the PS4. When the PS4 is laying flat, you'll notice a recessed divider running horizontally from left to right - this is where you'll insert discs and plug in USB cables. This recessed divider continues along the sides of the console. Within this recessed divider are some small air vents. If you now turn the console on its side, this recessed divider will be partially covered in the Letek stand. It will still have about a half inch of airflow at the front and back of the stand, as the recessed part of the PS4 rises above the stand - the stand grips the main part of the PS4, but nothing blocks this internal center part. This provides substantially less airflow than if it were sitting flat, but I have a few opinions about this:
This is not the primary location for heat dispersal on the PS4. That recessed area on the sides - the same section that has a pair of USB ports and a disc drive located in it along the front - is just a flat, shiny panel along both sides. There is no ventilation built into it. The ventilation ports are next to it, on the main 'brick' of the console, pointing inward at each other. Now let's look at the BACK of the PS4. Roughly 1/4th of the back is used for various ports (power, hdmi, ethernet, etc.) and the rest is all venting. Even this recessed area, which isn't nearly as recessed in the back, is loaded with vents. This is your primary source of ventilation.
As I said earlier, the Letek stand WILL block some of the airflow from one side of the PS4 - not all airflow, but some - and though it is an insubstantial pair of vents compared to the rest of the PS4, keep in mind that the PS4 doesn't utilize a separate power brick. The Xbox One does, and even has a fan built into the external power brick. What I'm saying is, if either console is going to have overheating issues, I'd put my money on it being the PS4. The design is significantly more compact with less room for airflow, and the exclusion of a power brick are potential factors. Partially blocking an air vent - even a seemingly insignificant one - is always going to carry risks.
This is a judgment call. If you do plan on purchasing this stand, I'd recommend keeping your PS4 in an open airflow area. I currently have mine in a semi-enclosed space, and even with the front glass doors left open, the heat pouring out of the PS4 after an hour or two, frankly, scares me. Now I pull the PS4 forward when in use and wait for it to cool down afterwards before I return it to the entertainment center. Not my ideal scenario, but a necessary precaution.
This, however, is not so much a concern I have with the stand as it is what I would consider a console flaw.
To the reviewer(s) who was upset that they paid $20 for two cheap pieces of plastic: Yes, it's made of plastic. Most plastic is cheap, so again, they were correct. Negative connotations? Unnecessary. Everything in the world is made of cheap plastic. Think of that the next time you drive your car to work. Look at the PS4 itself. Pop off the shiny cover above the disc drive (you can do this - it's part of Sony's design to let you replace the hard drive, just like they did with the various PS3 models.) If the console is laying flat, just slide that shiny part to the left with slight pressure. Now hold it up and look at it. It's a cheap piece of plastic. Shiny, isn't it? The point in purchasing this stand is because it is currently $20 new, versus $50 new for the official Sony stand.
And the official Sony stand looks nice, btw, but it doesn't have increased airflow built into it, and it's a stand. A STAND. The Letek stand looks just as good. Not as fancy, but still - IT'S A STAND. I personally took a black magic marker to the LETEK logo in the front. My PS4 sits in a low-light area and the marker won't be noticeable... but neither will the LETEK logo now, thankfully.
I believe the official Sony stand has a gripping mechanism that is much more likely to hold the PS4. But listen to what I'm saying here. Do not put your PS4 upright if you have running, screaming toddlers, or if you don't have a safe place to put it. It doesn't matter which stand you buy if your PS4 gets knocked over - you're not going to look at your officially licensed Sony stand afterwards and say, "Phew! My PS4 is in chunks, but at least the stand is still attached!" This concludes the segment on common sense.
So I'm giving this 4-stars based on the market (I haven't seen this mythical ventilated stand with turbo jet engines and a refrigeration unit yet) and the fact that it's a suitable, cheaper alternative to the officially licensed stand, which doesn't offer anything substantial over this one. Yes, this is a flimsy piece of plastic. Yes, it has a logo that doesn't say "Sony" or "PS4". Yes, it's $20 as I write this. But if the risks I've illustrated don't bother you, you'll just have to ask yourself if $20 is worth it to say "but look - it's on its side now."