Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook Review: A Height-adjustable, MagSafe-Compatible MacBook Stand

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The Lowdown

If you use a laptop as your primary computer, the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook is for you. If you use the laptop independently, the HiRise Pro can keep your display at the optimal height for viewing or video calls. If you use your laptop with an external display, the HiRise Pro will keep your laptop’s display in line with the additional display to function as one large work surface. And regardless of whether you use the laptop with an external display or not, if you have an iPhone, you’ll love that it is MagSafe Charger-ready. In all, this is an excellent update to an iconic laptop stand.

Pros

  • Sleek looking and sturdy
  • Adjustable from 2.5 to 6″
  • Rubberized surface keeps the laptop from slipping
  • Designed for use with a MagSafe charger

Cons

  • You’ll need to supply your own MagSafe charger
  • Height adjustment can be a bit wonky when trying to lower it

A little more than a decade ago, I reviewed the Twelve South HiRise Adjustable Laptop Stand. It was impressive. Three years ago, the HiRise became a key part of my wife’s home office when we went remote during the lockdown; I missed using the HiRise. Now, the company has released the new Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook; this new laptop stand is all mine.

Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook retail box

The HiRise was rather innovative when it first came on the scene. Made from durable aluminum, it created a solid, raised platform for my laptop. What made it unique was the height adjustment that raised and lowered the laptop with the turn of a nob. That meant the laptop’s screen could be raised or lowered to offer the best ergonomic placement. That, in turn, meant fewer nights with a sore neck from having to hold my head at an awkward angle to see the screen.

The new Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook builds on the design of the original HiRise but adds some key innovations that bring it up to 2023 standards. Key to that is the built-in housing for one of Apple’s MagSafe charging discs, but we’ll get back to that.

Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook in the retail box.

Twelve South describes the HiRise Pro for MacBook this way:

HiRise Pro does what fixed stands can’t do. It adjusts up and down to the perfect height for eye-level video calls or to align with your favorite external display. HiRise Pro is also the first and only stand that stealthily holds your MagSafe Charger for a streamlined workspace. The metal and vegan leather-trimmed, height-adjustable stand beautifully matches Apple’s Pro accessories.

The Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook

The part of the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook that holds the laptop has a rubberized surface that prevents the computer from sliding around. The lower ends of the rails that hold the laptop rise slightly to keep the laptop from sliding off the stand; it works well.

I especially appreciate the fact that thanks to the open design, the HiRise Pro can hold anything from an 11″ MacBook Air to the large 16″ MacBook Pro.

A monitor set-up next to a MacBook on the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook

The height adjustment of the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook is excellent. It not only lets you raise the laptop off your desk — which is great if you drink coffee in the morning and tend to knock over the mug occasionally — but it also lets you raise and lower the laptop’s display.

That makes using the laptop for an extended period of time more comfortable and means the laptop can become an additional screen when plugged into an external monitor, which is particularly important if you use an Apple laptop like my MacBook Air which only supports a single external display.

With the HiRise Pro, the laptop becomes the second monitor in a dual-display work setup.

At its lowest setting, the laptop sits just 2.5″ off the desktop surface. Turing the nob at the back loosens the piston and allows it to rise enough that the laptop can be as much as 6″ off the surface; by positioning the laptop at the height you prefer and tightening the thumb screw, you can choose any height between 2.5 and 6″.

Twelve South offers other uses for the HiRise Pro that you might not immediately consider, like:

The height-adjustable HiRise Pro allows you to elevate your MacBook 6 inches off your desk, placing your webcam at eye level for more natural video calls. After the call, you can lower your laptop to a comfortable working height, as low as 2.5 inches off your desk.

One of the features that set the new Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook apart from the original version is the built-in housing for a MagSafe Charger.

Built-in housing for a MagSafe charger in the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook

To access this feature, you flip the stand over and remove the gray rubber insert sitting quite obviously in the middle of the base.

This reveals a cutout that is perfectly sized for a MagSafe Charger. A channel leading to the back of the stand holds the charger’s cable securely in place and keeps it out of the way.

Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook with MagSafe charger installed

Once a MagSafe Charger is in place, and the cable is plugged in, charging your phone is as simple as placing it on the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook’s base. As the company puts it, the HiRise Pro “Holds your MacBook. Hides your MagSafe Charger.”

A man places his iPhone on the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook's MagSafe charger

This is a great feature that will help keep desks around the world a bit less cluttered. Unfortunately, Twelve South did not include a charger with the stand, but I guess that prevents people who don’t use wireless charging from having one more thing to toss in a landfill. Plus, since the charger is not built into the stand, you can easily remove it from the base and take it with you when you travel.

Here’s a video of it in action.

It is also worth noting that Twelve South partnered with talented photographers and created a collection of screen backgrounds that connect the laptop’s display with a connected external display.

Shared backgrounds on a monitor and a laptop sitting atop a Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook

The company explains,

We’ve always enjoyed the dual-screen experience, and the best way to make the most of that setup is with gorgeous dual-screen backgrounds. We’ve partnered with some of our favorite photographers to create these collections tailored to your Mac. They’re free to download as our gift to you.

That’s an awesome “extra” that adds to the experience of using this laptop stand without it costing one additional penny.

The author's dualscreen setup using the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook

I am quite happy to have a HiRise laptop stand again. I’ll admit that I thought about taking my original HiRise laptop stand back from Raina countless times but was never able to bring myself to do it.

As someone who only uses wireless charging on my iPhone, I love the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook’s addition of the MagSafe Charger. And while it would have been nice to have the charger built into the stand, by creating a “bring your own MagSafe” stand, they broadened the appeal of the stand beyond just those using iPhones.

Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook Review: A Height-adjustable, MagSafe-Compatible MacBook Stand

Of course, the truly unique feature of the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook is the adjustable height. It works well and makes a huge difference compared to a fixed-height laptop stand.

I do find the adjustment mechanism can be a bit finicky, and, on occasion, I have needed to use two hands and apply equal pressure on both sides of the stand to lower it from its top height adjustment. It’s not a huge issue, but I thought it deserved a mention, as it has happened a few times.

However, I’m pleased with the stand and have permanently replaced the inexpensive, fixed stand I’ve been using all this time.

If you use a laptop as your primary computer, the Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook is for you. If you use the laptop independently, the HiRise Pro can keep your display at the optimal height for viewing or video calls. If you use your laptop with an external display, the HiRise Pro will keep your laptop’s display in line with the additional display to function as one large work surface. And regardless of whether you use the laptop with an external display or not, if you have an iPhone, you’ll love that it is MagSafe Charger-ready.

In all, this is an excellent update to an iconic laptop stand.

The Twelve South HiRise Pro for MacBook sells for $99.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Sleek looking and sturdy; Adjustable from 2.5 to 6″; Rubberized surface keeps the laptop from slipping; Designed for use with a MagSafe charger

What Needs Improvement: You’ll need to supply your own MagSafe charger; Height adjustment can be a bit wonky when trying to lower it

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

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