Has your life been graced with a Twelve South product yet? The company’s Mac-only accessories line is imbued with such cleverness, it’s difficult to avoid complete ubiquity in the home or office. While I’m fond of many of their products — I use the PlugBug every day — it was their HoverBar that actually changed my life. All it required was a change in how to use the HoverBar.
Works With: iPad
The intention of the “Tony Stark-inspired” HoverBar is to provide increased screen real estate on the iMac with a cool opposable arm. The mounting brackets fit an iPad 2, 3 or 4, providing the user not just with more screen real estate, but with touchscreen real estate. (Win!) I use an iMac primarily for film editing, so having an iPad near allows me to check email while I have all 27 inches of the iMac devoted to a project. The problem for me is that access to an iPad during this time is just a distraction.
Creating a distraction turns out to be the HoverBar’s greatest asset. My iPad is a purely recreational device; if I use it for work, I won’t get any work done. It’s a device I use literally every day, but only for activities like reading, playing Dungeon Raid or beaming movies up to my television via AirPlay. I also use it when I go to sleep, and that is how the HoverBar came to be the most glorious lifehack in the apartment.
Seeing as I was getting very little done with an iPad growing out the side of my iMac, I unscrewed the HoverBar and clamped it to the top of the headrest of my bed. Has this been great? Oh, it has been great. Like millions of people worldwide who neglect the advice of the medical community, I watch loads of video in bed. Whatever dreams I may have, I like falling asleep to the Bavarian cadence of Werner Herzog or the erudite screwball antics of Frasier. Having an adjustable, hands-free, non-television in the bedroom has been wonderful. It distracts me from the niggling thoughts of pre-sleep. Did I turn the stove off? Should I call my mother tomorrow? I wonder what the living room would look like if I had that console table from DwellStudio? (Amazing. It would look amazing.)
The HoverBar enables me to sleep with the distraction of sound. For that, I am grateful.
The Slightly Less Good
After repeated use, the arm will require some serious TLC with a can of WD-40. Squeak is not the correct term. The HoverBar will give a forceful mechanical groan if not cared for, waking sleepy bedmates prone to grump, or officemates accustomed to working in an atmosphere of oppressive silence. So give it some love.
Additionally, I have found that the mounting brackets loosen up over time. This is a recent problem for me, and I’ve been using the HoverBar for months. It does, however, make one nervous about the iPad crashing down in the night. I’d say if you were using the product as intended, with the iMac, this will never be a problem. But if you wish to indulge in late-night Netflix, you ought to make sure your baby is stuck in there tight. The Twelve South site also suggests clamping the HoverBar to a kitchen cabinet. Due to the repeated handling of the iPad, I would suggest taking care when using it this way, too.
I understand that I’m using the HoverBar in a way which is different from many, but changing its use has unveiled what I see as its true potential. It’s the best overhead iPad arm you can buy, and for $80, you’ll feel you get your money’s worth after one show marathon and complete distraction from your nighttime thoughts.
Product Name: HoverBar
The Good: Sturdy stand which makes a great mounting arm for your iPad near your Mac, your kitchen or even the bedroom.
The Bad: Bring some WD-40: After a few months, this thing groans when you adjust it
The Verdict: The best iPad mount money can buy!
Buy from: Twelve South