Earlier this year, Twelve South refreshed one of its more popular desktop accessories with the debut of the new HiRise Pro. Packing a few new tricks over its predecessor alongside the usual Twelve South quality, I’ve been putting the stand to the test over the past couple of months to see if its $100 price tag is worth a spot in your desktop MacBook setup.
Hands-on with the new Twelve South HiRise Pro
By and large, Twelve South’s HiRise Pro remains unchanged from its predecessor. Now equipped with a Pro moniker in the naming scheme, that add-on is really indicative of what you’ll find from the whole experience overall. This isn’t a redesign from the ground up; it’s a new and improved version of a beloved MacBook companion that arrives at the $100 price point.
All centered around an adjustable design, Twelve South has employed much of the original mechanism that lets you elevate the height of your MacBook by raising or lowering the HiRise Pro. It has a spring built into the base that can be pushed down and secured in place with a knob on the back or released to get some extra distance between your machine and the desk. It can climb up to a 6-inch height, which is more than enough to close the gap between your screen and a position much more in-line with eye level.
As for what has actually changed, the experience is now even more premium. Starting at the base of the stand, the Twelve South HiRise Pro now features a leather pad that covers the accessory’s footprint. It has a soft touch finish that complements the metal build quite well on its own and also serves as a notable spot to rest your iPhone during the day. Leaning into that use case even more, Twelve South has embedded a notch underneath for you to slot in one of your own MagSafe chargers.
So while it’s not capable of doing this right out of the box on its own, the HiRise Pro can also double as a streamlined iPhone 14 charger – of course, on top of its MacBook stand duties. The idea has largely been something that sounds better in theory than it works in practice. Don’t get me wrong. Having an easy-to-access MagSafe pad just always around my desk has been a huge help, but the position means I end up neglecting my phone while it charges. I suppose if you’re trying to use your iPhone less during the workday, then this is an unintentional perk, but for me, it’s a feature that isn’t quite as handy as I was imagining.
Working upwards, the v-shaped platform where your MacBook rests still has that same open design for ventilation. But new this time around is a refreshed rubber pad for your device to sit on, which has a different pattern than its predecessor. This should likely help it hold up better over time while still gripping your device enough to keep it from sliding around while resting on the accessory. The even bigger adjustment though is that the platform now tapers off into two sections that hold your machine in place.
The tilted design of the Twelve South HiRise Pro means that your device could slide down, but now the company has fixed that with a second measure to ensure your machine isn’t going anywhere. In practice, that has been very much the case, too.
Right off the bat, I’ll say that I adore the Twelve South HiRise Pro. It’s one of the sturdier MacBook stands I have used over the years and delivers a premium design to match. Normally with any review here at 9to5Toys, we’re ultimately left with a question of not just whether we like whatever toy or piece of tech we’re taking a look at – but whether or not it’s worth the cash.
So me saying that the MacBook stand has become a staple in my workstation that’s bound to hang around for the foreseeable future isn’t the full picture. At least not when you have the original, non-pro version of the Twelve South HiRise to consider. There’s a $20 price gap in their MSRPs, and when on sale, the original version tends to trend far lower than its shiny new sibling.
For me, all of the quality-of-life tweaks and added features stack up to a final product that easily justifies the price difference. But for more casual MacBook users, I am really left reflecting on just how good of a value the original Twelve South HiRise is. If you’re undecided, what really set it over the edge for me was the addition of the MagSafe charger. But more importantly, the redesigned pad which your MacBook sits on really makes a difference if you’re rocking a 14- or 16-inch device. The friction fit for a 13-inch MacBook Air will likely be fine for most, but that extra bit of support for keeping everything in place definitely has come in handy.