Twelve South HoverBar Duo
Twelve South HoverBar Duo Review
I receive several review items every month. I own a desk and a credenza. Both are usually filled with USB-C hubs, hard drives, laptops and several other types of accessories. This creates a challenge for what to do with the devices I always want access to, especially those that perform better when near each other, like a Mac and an iPad. The $79.99 Twelve South HoverBar Duo exacerbated that problem at first and then alleviated it. On the desk, it was just another thing taking up space, but once I removed the base and attached the HoverBar to the lower part of my credenza’s display shelves my iPad Pro could hover over my Epson RR-600W, and it became accessible at the edge of my main display, without taking up room on my space-starved surfaces.
What we like
As with all their products, the Twelve South HoverBar Duo shows deep engineering prowess and a bias toward high-quality materials, construction, and coatings.
The big innovation with the Twelve South HoverBar Duo comes in the clip that allows for a quick switch between the clamp and base (see the video below). Owners will need to secure their devices (or remove them) before switching between stand and clamp because the arm with just the iPad can be a bit awkward to handle. This video from Twelve South illustrates the ease of removing and reconnecting the arm.
In desk mode, the HoverBar Duo moves between a near-surface level height for drawing on the iPad to two feet above a surface to better align with faces for reading or video conferencing. The heavy base easily anchors even the heaviest of iPads.
While the HoverBar Duo works great for Apple’s Sidecar or as an extended screen with macOS Ventura’s Universal Control, it may play a bigger role as the main computing device when Apple releases iPadOS 16.2 and support for external monitors on the M1 and better iPad Pros.
The HoverBar Duo is available in white or black.
What could be improved
In stand mode, tightening down the armature so it didn’t sag took more effort than it should have. Yes, I was maximizing its tolerances with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a case from Zagg (the removable one that works with Zagg ProKeys). I would tighten down the screw, wiggle the iPad and go, “OK.” Returning, for instance, from dinner, I would find the iPad woefully engaged in a deep head bow.
My other suggestion to Twelve South would be to replace the stretch-type mount for the device with one that is more mechanical, like a screw, allowing the user to expand the opening and then tighten down on the device like the KobraTech iPad Tripod Mount Adapter. Though not as reliable in an area with a lot of activity, a magnetic mount would be an ideal solution or option. For now, the HoverBar Duo only employs the stretch approach to inserting devices. Owners must be cautious when placing their devices into the HoverBar Duo’s jaws (or removing them), lest they snap and hurl the iPad in the opposite direction of the stand.
I’m sure the engineering, quality materials and dual mount account for the price, but $79.99 makes for an expensive stand. If you don’t need a convertible stand, then you may want to look for a less expensive solution—but many of those are also less robust. Remember always that you get what you pay for.
Twelve South HoverBar Duo: The Bottom Line
Twelve South offers another excellent engineering marvel in the HoverBar Duo. For those looking to bring their iPad eye-to-eye, no other stand I’ve seen equals the quality of the HoverBar Duo. And if workflows call for movement between a desk and other places, the shelf clips make the HoverBar Duo a no-brainer.
The Twelve South HoverBar Duo, however, isn’t perfect. The arm sometimes finds it hard to resist gravity unless the ball and sockets are very tightly turned, and the stretch approach to inserting the iPad needs the same engineering love as the arm, base, and clamp.
Twelve South provided the Twelve South HoverBar Duo for review. Images courtesy of Twelve South.
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