The Fluidstance Slope Reminded Me That Writing Stuff Down Rocks

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $60
The Fluidstance Slop with notes written down
Cam

Think about the last time you wrote something down. Like, with a pen. On some sort of writing surface. For me, that’s been quite a while—until I got the Fluidstance Slope for review, anyway. Fluidstance describes the Slope as a “personal desktop whiteboard,” but I just call it a quick place to jot down ideas. But it’s also something I didn’t realize how much I needed until I got it.

Here's What We Like

  • Writing stuff by hand is actually cool
  • It's robust and sturdy
  • Thoughtful touches, like the phone stand and padded feet

And What We Don't

  • It's pricey for what it is

I’ll readily admit that when I first saw the Slope that I giggled at the idea—“what a quaint little thing” I thought to myself (or something condescendingly similar). I didn’t really think much of it after that, at least not until after I reviewed the Fluidstance Level deck and they asked if I’d be willing to check out the Slope next. Sure, why not—let’s see what a $60 slab of curved steel that you can write on is all about.

I unpacked the Slope, dropped it on my desk behind my keyboard, and left it there. At 20 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 3.5 inches tall, it’s actually a bit bigger/bulkier than I expected, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing—just something worth noting. The Slope gets its name from the angled design, which is said to offer a better angle for writing. The fact that it’s raised also means that it’s a great place to hide your keyboard if you need a little extra desk space. I like that.

The Slope behind the Logitech MX Keys keyboard for scale
Cam

There’s also a bit of extra utility by way of a little phone/tablet tray at the back, which I was kind of excited about because I routinely have a handful of phones on my desk. The good news is that when the tray works, it’s fine. The bad news (as implied by the existence of the good news), is that the tray doesn’t work for all phones. Some phones don’t “lock” into the holder because there’s no lip, so they just slide out. If you have a case on your phone—especially a bulky-ish one—it’ll work better.

But there are plenty of phones stands out there, so that’s not the main draw of the Slope (see what I did there?). It’s the whiteboard. It comes with a dry erase marker that’s ready for you to do all sorts of jotting the instant you get it. I’ll be honest: I let it sit on my desk for a couple of days before I wrote the first thing on it. I know, bad reviewer. Bad.

That’s because I’m used to just keeping all my thoughts in Google Keep. I routinely have to go through and archive old notes and such, but it’s my digital whiteboard for everything. But some thoughts just don’t translate as well on a digital list, and one day last week I was doing some brainstorming for the site. So, I started writing my thoughts done on the Slope.

The phone stand on the Slope, showing the cable port
There’s no lip to hold your phone in place, so it may slide out. Cam

The flow was shockingly cool. As I said earlier, I haven’t really written anything down in any meaningful capacity in a long time, so I forgot how natural it feels to let thoughts flow onto an actual writing surface. But at the end of my little brainstorming session, I had the Slope filled with all sorts of ideas, numbers, and thoughts I needed to keep straight. Seriously—the whole thing was full.

I was able to take all that data and come up with a bigger plan that I then put into Keep. And that’s what I realized the true value of the Slope—it allowed me to quickly and easily organize my thoughts in a way that simply doesn’t work for me on a digital medium. When I was done, I snapped a quick pick of everything I wrote and wiped the board clean.

Now I have a to-do list for the day in the top left corner to help me stay on track. Any thoughts or ideas get quickly jotted down on the right side until I can explore them enough to make something real out of it (writer life, y’all), which then gets transferred to my Keep list or Trello board.

The Slope has a lot more utility than I expected, but we have to talk about the price. At $60, it’s pretty expensive for what it is. In fact, you can get similar products on Amazon for half the price (or less). I can’t speak to the build quality of those products, of course, but I can tell you that the Slope is well-made and robust, so that’s something. It’s also designed and made in California. Buying small and buying local always costs more, but is oftentimes worth it.

A poorly hand drawn version of the RG logo
This is supposed to be the Review Geek logo. I am not an artist. Cam

So, here’s who I’m thinking the Slope would be good for: almost everyone. If you already write things down, save the paper and write your thoughts on this (you can always take a picture if you need to save it). If you don’t write things down, well, you might end up like me and realize how natural it is when you take a break from the keyboard for a minute.

Either way, I’d call that a win.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $60

Here’s What We Like

  • Writing stuff by hand is actually cool
  • It's robust and sturdy
  • Thoughtful touches, like the phone stand and padded feet

And What We Don't

  • It's pricey for what it is

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-to Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. Read Full Bio »

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