Review: Twelve South is the Best at Organizing Tech with Style

Twelve South brought sophistication to the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook with its all-leather BookBook line of cases. But Twelve South also tackles organizing work spaces. And they do a very good job at it by providing products that go beyond the basic plastics and pleather of its competitors. Twelve South products bring an air of elegance to any environment they grace. And they lift your devices above the dust, memory sticks, SD cards, sticky notes, and pens that clutter the workspace. I’ll go device-by-device to show off the incredible line of tech accessories your desk is craving. From iPhone to Headphones, Twelve South is the best at organizing your tech with style.

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iPhone/iPad: HiRise 2 Deluxe ($59.99)

The HiRise 2 Deluxe takes the normally horizontal iPhone and lifts it a few inches off the desk. The HiRise 2 refines the HiRise with a smaller footprint and heavier base for stability. It’s polished exterior fits with nearly any decor. The HiRise 2 not only charges the iPad or iPhone via the included MFi-certified Lightning cable but transforms the iPhone into a more effective speaker phone. The adjustable height of the Lightning connector comes via a selection of mounts. HiRise 2 even accommodates iPhones sporting charging cases via the included Micro-USB cable option.

Headphones: Fermata ($79.99)

If your headphones need a charge to keep the tunes playing, the Fermata literally brings a new level to charging solutions. Like everything else in this review, the Fermata is designed to lift the headphones above the desk with a flexible power cord that keeps your Bluetooth or other powered headphones charged. And it comes with an extra USB port for charging something else. And yes, you can daisy chain a HiRise 2 to a Fermata. The reversible Micro-USB cable makes it easier to plug in headphones without worrying about connector orientation. The rubberized micro-USB cable further neatens the desk by remaining tucked away in the Fermata’s post when not in use.

AppleWatch: Forté ($59.99)

Apple Watch Forte Review Twelve South

Twelve South clearly designed the Forté for Apple Watch to complement it. It is beautiful even when the watch isn’t on it. The chrome stand lifts the watch above the leather-wrapped base that’s designed to protect the band. Until recently, Apple hadn’t released the Apple Watch charging puck, thus the Forté requires that the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable be woven into the dock. With a 40-degree angle, the Forté arm is tilted just enough to invoke Nightstand mode, but it also works just as well in portrait mode. The actual connection point covering the charging puck is plastic rather than metal and is a design point, not a flaw: Twelve South protects the delicate underside of the Apple Watch by making this choice.

The lack of a charging cable is the only downside to the Forté. I don’t like to wind and unwind charging cables, due to both convenience and personal experience with some frayed Apple cables used for travel.

MacBook: HiRise ($69.99)

Macbook HiRise Review Twelve South

HiRise for MacBook hoists the MacBook above the desk. The adjustable stand brings the computer up to a half foot off the desk. While billed as exclusively for MacBook, HiRise works for other notebook computers of similar sizes. The open space creates room for a keyboard and mouse to hide while not in use.

Up, not Out

For many of us, desks have become a cluttered pile of devices. These four Twelve South solutions for Apple tech owners helps bring some order to the chaos while freeing valuable working space from the digital invaders. With all of these on my desk, I now have a place to write, doodle, and read big books without removing anything first.

 

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Daniel W. Rasmus is the Founder and Principal Analyst at Serious Insights. Rasmus is the author of Listening to the Future and Management by Design. Rasmus teaches at Bellevue College where he teaches Social Media and Personal Branding. He is also the Chief Knowledge Officer with the Virtual World Society.