An iPhone or iPad dock is a very nice thing to have for keeping one’s desktop regimented and tidy, but they have drawbacks.
Category: Docks / Stands
Works With: iPad, iPhone
For one, a dock that you buy for one generation of iPhone might not work if Apple changes the handset design in the next generation. In addition, iPhone and iPad docks tend not to be cross-compatible, so if you have a dock that fits your iPhone, you usually can’t force an iPad into it, and vice versa. And then, of course, there’s the case problem. Docks and cases tend not to play well together, but most of us like to use a case to protect our devices. That means we usually go without a dock.
Twelve South’s latest product, the HiRise for iPhone and iPad mini, is a combination dock and stand that very cleverly finds a way around all of these problems. We love using it, but putting it together? That’s another story.
Twelve South just sort of effortlessly makes killer iPhone and iPad accessories. Everything they do is beautifully designed and packaged, and the HiRise is no exception.
Like all great designs, the HiRise is simple in execution. It basically consists of just three parts. You have an aluminum base, a short solid arm with a Lightning connector at the end, and then a longer arm behind it that keeps your docked device steady. It’s very simple, and very elegant… and the benefit of this design is that as long as your device docks with a Lightning adapter, it’s one-size-fits-all.
Here’s the other cool thing about the HiRise. Got a case? The HiRise will still fit your iPhone or iPad, almost literally without fail. The HiRise ships with three different Lightning adapters, each of which extends the Lightning connector enough to fit into the deepest of cases. Bottom line is that if your iPad or iPhone has a case where the Lightning port is exposed, the HiRise can fit it.
In other words, the HiRise is a $34.95 stand (cheap!) that looks great, is made of solid materials, fits both an iPad and an iPhone at the same time, works with cases, and best of all, will almost definitely work with all future iterations of iPhone and iPad that have a Lightning connector.
So what’s not to love?
One thing that I think really defines Twelve South as a company is just how incredibly put-together their packaging is. These guys take an Apple-style approach to packaging, and it shows. No matter what you buy from Twelve South, it will be beautifully and tastefully packaged, in as small a form factor as possible.
With the HiRise, I feel like Twelve South let the goal of shipping a product in as small of a box as possible get in the way of the consumer experience. While beautifully packaged, the HiRise comes disassembled, like something you’d buy from IKEA. That’s not a big deal, but Twelve South wants you to assemble the HiRise with IKEA-like tools — hexwrenches — and unfortunately, I found it a maddening experience putting together. The screws didn’t want to fit, the hexwrenches were so small that they hurt my fingers to use, and even after I put the HiRise together, the two arms were very slightly crooked from one another.
Once the HiRise is put together, I don’t have a single complaint about it. But I never want to put one together again.
The HiRise by Twelve South is another winner of a product from one of our favorite Mac and iOS accessory companies. It’s an attractive stand that looks at home connected to any Mac that docks iPhone and iPad alike, no matter what kind of case you’re using… and it’s future proof, meaning you’ll probably have your HiRise for years to come. We wish, though, that the stand itself came pre-assembled. Your mileage may well vary, but it was the one tarnishing experience in an otherwise excellent product.
|Product Name: HiRise
The Good: Beautiful construction, works with any Lightning-compatible iPhone or iPad, works with pretty much any case you throw at it.
The Bad: If you hate building IKEA products, you’ll hate putting it together.
The Verdict Flawless, but putting it together might break you.
Buy from: Twelve South