Home Tech Twelve South’s MacBook Laptop Stand Had One Function and Failed

Twelve South’s MacBook Laptop Stand Had One Function and Failed

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Top and side view of laptop stand composed of 2 connected curved metal rods

I have never jumped I took the opportunity to use a stand for my laptop. I prefer to use an external monitor and laptop stand, with my MacBook as a second screen. It’s been my setup for the past seven years and, until now, I had no desire to change it. But when Apple released the 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 technology and support for two external monitors (as long as the lid is closed), I realized I would have to defer to the world of vertical laptop stands to properly test it. I didn’t have space on my desk to lay it flat.

These stands are not the most aesthetically pleasing. I’m not that picky about my desk accessories, but I don’t want a clunky, annoying stand. And I felt like that was all there was out there. I was very excited when Twelve South reached out to test their BookArc Flex. It is a beautifully designed laptop stand, with a minimalist design that would match my desk very well. It is also compatible with a wide range of MacBook models.

I was sure this would be the answer to my problem. At WIRED, we have had great experiences with Twelve South products. Many of the company’s products appear as top recommendations in several buying guides, including the StayGo Mini hub, Forte iPhone stand, HoverBar Duo 2.0 stand, and more. These accessories work well and looking good. Unfortunately, only the latter applies to the BookArc Flex. And that’s not enough to justify adding it to your workspace.

Proceed with caution

The BookArc Flex has a very distinctive design, complete with a metal arch on each side and a flexible rubber base in the middle. When you place your MacBook on the rubber piece, the laptop stand uses the weight of the laptop to lock the arches against the lid and base of the machine. It’s also raised, which Twelve South says is to improve airflow and heat dissipation (to prevent the MacBook from overheating) and also to keep it safe from accidental spills.

Photography: Brenda Stolyar

In theory, it seems easy to use. Take it out of the box, place it on your desk, and place the MacBook on the stand. It was not necessary to read the instructions. But I was wrong. Every time I placed my 15-inch MacBook Air on the stand, it would rest against one of the arches and fall. At one point, I thought I had to somehow mold the center piece to fit the laptop. After some adjustments, I was able to get it to sit securely. But the slightest movement caused him to fall.

After this happened several times, I decided to resort to the brief Owner’s Guide, which clearly states that you should “place the MacBook or laptop hinge down,” meaning the logo should be facing up. I was doing the opposite: placing the MacBook with the logo facing below. “Surely this had to be the problem,” I thought.

But I was wrong. Yes, placing it face up kept it upright instead of tilting it to the side of the stand. However, it did not help decrease his sensitivity to movement. It still fell over every time I reached over to turn on the lamp behind it, accidentally bumping it too hard into my desk, or brushing my hand against the edge of my MacBook while moving the mouse.

I hated how careful I had to be in her presence, especially when I had any type of liquid on my desk like a cup of coffee or a can of Monster. I was afraid I would knock over the laptop stand and cause the MacBook to crash into the cup or can, sending liquid all over the keyboard and monitor. I couldn’t even leave my MacBook on the stand when I left the room. The slightest movement would cause it to fall onto my desk and damage both the MacBook and my peripherals.

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