Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My review of Twelve South BookArc - Vertical stand for 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

Twelve South BookArc
Twelve South BookArc
Twelve South BookArc is a vertical laptop stand designed to prop up a MacBook Pro.  After having purchased a new 15-inch Haswell MacBook Pro with Retina display last week (my review is here), I decided to get a vertical stand to save some desktop space.

Vertical Stands for MacBook Pro

When it comes to Retina MacBook Pro vertical stands, there are only handful choices available:  Rain Design mTower, Cooler Master Clutch, Just Mobile AluBase, and Twelve South BookArc.  All of them cost about $50, which is quite insane given what they are: a chunk of aluminum with silicone insert!  But I do love my new computer, so I decide not to go cheap now... but I digress.

Since I decided to get a hard-cover case for my new MacBook Pro, I had to ensure that the stand would be able to accommodate the notebook with the cover on.  As it turned out, only Just Mobile AluBase and Twelve South BookArc would provide different inserts to accommodate a Retina MacBook Pro or the thicker non-MacBook Pro.  I decided to go with BookArc; its design seemed more elegant - I'm spending almost $50 on a stand, so it might as well look good!

Box Content

For $50, you also get a very nice box
For $50, you also get a very nice box
Inside the box, you will find the aluminum base, two silicone inserts, some stickers and instruction.  The aluminum frame feels very high quality, essentially having the same "finish" as Apple, and it looks like it's made for the MacBook.

The Stand

Out of box, the BookArc frame has the non-Retina MacBook Pro silicone mold installed.  When I switched it with the narrower Retina MacBook Pro insert, it looks like this with my naked (i.e. no case/cover) Retina MacBook Pro:

Twelve South BookArc with a naked 15-inch Haswell MacBook Pro with Retina Display
It has very snug fit, and it felt secure and steady.

But does it work with a case?

Along with many accessories I got for my new Retina MacBook Pro, I wanted to provide some anti-scratch protection; so I got a iPearl mCover case, which fits very well.  With the cover on, I couldn't use the narrower silicone insert; it was just way too tight and I would be really forcing it.  However, with the wider silicone insert, the Twelve South BookArc stand is able to accommodate my protected Retina MacBook Pro.

Twelve South BookArc with a 15-inch Haswell MacBook Pro with Retina Display in iPearl mCover case
Now, there is a bit of gap but it is still tight enough to hold the notebook in place.  Yes it does lean on one side, however it won't tip over - far from it.

Leaning ever so slightly


If you are looking for a vertical notebook stand for your new 15-inch Haswell MacBook Pro with Retina DisplayTwelve South BookArc is a good solution.  It looks great and you also have the option of using it while having a hard cover on.  The only down side really is the price - $50 is pretty steep for what it is.  But if you decide to keep it, you will appreciate it whenever you use it.  :)

Disclosure: While I am not paid by anyone to write this review, I may be compensated if you purchase products through links on my blog.