Review: Twelve South HoverBar Duo – Adjustable iPad Stand

iPad stands are a dime a dozen. A single search on Amazon will offer you hundreds of choices, from the minimalist to the whimsical. However, most of the stands on the market are unimpressive. Nothing truly distinguishes one stand from the other. They’re essentially variations of one another — a mere “copy-and-paste”.

Twelve South’s HoverBar Duo, on the other hand, is a cut above the rest. Boasting high-quality construction, Twelve South’s iPad stand offers two-in-one versatility that makes it a must-have accessory for every Apple user. Use this stand once and it will be unlikely that you’ll want to switch to one that isn’t the HoverBar Duo.

We can’t think of a better time for Twelve South to release the HoverBar Duo. With Zoom meetings becoming the norm, an iPad stand that’s as reliable as this is undoubtedly useful. Now we don’t have to make do-it-yourself stands out of books!

Overview of the HoverBar Duo
The HoverBar Duo was released in March of 2021 by Twelve South, a US-based company that manufactures accessories and cases for Apple products.

It can fit all generations of the iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini. It can also accommodate the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone SE, and other previous generations of the iPhone. Though designed for Apple devices, it can be used with similar-sized gadgets, as well.

The Twelve South HoverBar Duo comes in only one color, Matte Black. It retails for $79.99 and is currently available on the Twelve South website.

Materials and Quality
At first glance, you will notice that the HoverBar Duo resembles the shape of an arm (or the lamp from Pixar’s famous opening sequence, depending on your imagination). It has a shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. The adjustable arm is made of a sturdy metal — one that actually feels like it can support a 1.5-pound tablet — and is mounted on a weighted base.

The arm has two swiveling joints or hinges. The first can be found at the base while the second is located halfway up the arm. Both joints can bend forward and backward. This offers you the flexibility to position your iPad in a way that it’s facing the opposite direction, though we wouldn’t recommend it. While the base of the HoverBar Duo is sturdy, it isn’t heavy enough to prevent the stand from tipping over.

The weighted base or the desk stand is covered in a hard plastic shell. It features a debossed Twelve South logo and a divot for your Apple Pencil. It’s worth mentioning that once your iPad is clipped to the HoverBar Duo, you won’t be able to attach the Apple Pencil to the device itself. If you’re planning on using your iPad for work, you will find the divot extremely useful.

At the topmost end of the HoverBar Duo is the spring-loaded clip. It is made of hard plastic and lined with soft rubber to protect your iPad from scratches. Once mounted, your iPad will fit snugly within the clip and won’t be in any danger of coming off. However, because the clip is so secure, it can be difficult to wedge open.

If you’re tired of unflattering angles, you’ll be glad to know that the HoverBar Duo offers 360-degree rotation. This allows you to adjust your iPad to eye level so that you no longer have to show off your chin or nostrils each time you have a Zoom meeting. Aside from elevating your iPad, you can also rotate it vertically for FaceTime chats or horizontally if you’re planning on using it as a secondary screen.

Using the Shelf Clamp
What’s great about Twelve South’s HoverBar Duo is that it can be converted into a clamp-based arm. By attaching the included clamp, you can fasten your iPad to your overhead cupboards, countertop overhang, etc. so you don’t have to give up precious counter space. The clamp is made of sturdy metal, similar to the base itself, and has rubber padding to ensure that you don’t damage the surface.

Keep in mind that attaching and detaching the clamp will take time. You will have to use the included hex wrenches to unscrew the desk stand and then screw on the clamp. It’s not complicated but it is inconvenient, especially if you’re planning on using the HoverBar Duo for a variety of tasks throughout the day.

Putting the HoverBar Duo to the Test
So, how useful is the HoverBar Duo? We tested it using the iPad 12 which weighs around 1.41 pounds and measures 11.05 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches.

First, we used the HoverBar Duo as a desk stand. Fortunately, the arm and base came pre-assembled, which meant that the only thing left to do was to connect the clip. Using one of the hex wrenches, we were able to set it up in under a minute. Then came the tricky part: mounting the device.

Placing our iPad in the clip took some effort, but once it was mounted, we were certain that it wouldn’t come off. We were able to safely carry the HoverBar Duo with the iPad attached across the room and back.

The flexibility of the HoverBar Duo shone the most when it was used as a desk stand. The ability to adjust the iPad’s angle proved useful during virtual meetings — no more nostrils in sight. We did, however, encounter a slight snag with the elbows. The elbows can be tightened and loosened using the hex wrench but we found it too difficult to turn.

Next, we used the HoverBar Duo in the kitchen. Replacing the base with the clamp was a no-brainer. Using the same hex wrench, we were able to attach the clamp to the arm and then mount it to our counter overhang. We found it helpful to loosen the elbows a bit more as it allowed us to adjust the angle of the iPad more freely. After taking it off, we found no scratches or dents on our overhang countertop.

Overall, the Twelve South HoverBar Duo deserves no serious complaints. Although loosening the elbows was a challenge, it proved that the HoverBar Duo is a secure and sturdy iPad stand.

Our Verdict
The Twelve South HoverBar Duo is a win. It’s a useful iPad accessory that makes it possible to be completely hands-free. If you’re looking for a comfortable stand for your iPad, the HoverBar Duo is the ideal companion for ergonomic work.

While there are cheaper iPad stands out there, the HoverBar Duo is an investment that you won’t regret. It does more than just hold your device — it lets you position your iPad in ways that you never could’ve done before.

We would’ve wanted it to come in other colors, specifically Space Gray so that it would match the iPad perfectly. But since the HoverBar Duo is the first of its kind from Twelve South, we’re crossing our fingers that they’ll release more options soon.

Because of its versatility, Twelve South’s HoverBar Duo is a must-have for anyone with an iPad. It’s the stand that stands above all stands.

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