I take a ton of video calls with my coworkers using the webcam perched on top of the external monitor in my office. But when I’m on a virtual date or meeting friends, I don’t want to be locked in my home office or sitting at my desk. And it wouldn’t hurt to be framed up close and without lens distortion.
That’s where Twelve South’s HoverBar Duo comes in. This is a smartly designed stand that supports all iPads and works in different orientations, so you can use your tablet hands-free to draw, watch videos, or follow recipe instructions. I’m especially happy with the way it works for video calls.
The HoverBar Duo is designed to work with iPads of all sizes, even with thick cases attached; you can also insert phones larger than 5 inches into the clip. The articulated arm can extend to a length of 38.1 cm (15 inches).
It also comes with a clamp so you can remove the arm from the base and install it on your kitchen cabinets, workbenches, or anything up to 3.5cm (1.4 inches) thick. Once you’ve done that, the arm will stay in place the way you set it.
There are also a few little touches that make the Duo easy going. The base has a full-width dimple to place a stylus and keep it from rolling off your desk. In addition, if you are using your phone, the clip that contains your device has a cutout so you can connect your charging cable while it is still in the cradle.
Using the HoverBar Duo
The stand comes with a heavy metal base and an articulated arm paired with a handle that spins on a spherical end. It’s pretty easy to set it to any orientation and angle you like, and it won’t tilt easily.
For video calls, I prefer to install the HoverBar Duo on my dining table or even my coffee table, with my iPad in portrait (vertical) orientation. This allows for a much more natural viewing experience and a better camera angle for the front shooter. He also beats by using an assortment of pantry boxes and containers to prop him up, just like before.
The Duo can also hold your tablet in place while you read, jot down documents, or jot down notes. It’s not perfect, though: Even with its heavy base and sturdy construction, the arm wobbled a bit when I wrote on my 3rd gen 10.5-inch iPad Air with a stylus. I didn’t mind writing and highlighting text much, but I imagine it’s not the best replacement for an easel if you’re working on photos or creating art.
Should you buy the HoverBar Duo?
If you take a lot of video calls and don’t always want to use your laptop, you’ll want to invest in a booth like this. The Twelve South model is well built and flexible enough that you can find many ways to use it around the house.
That said, a quick glance at Amazon tells me it’s one of the pricier out there at $ 80. So it’s worth considering cheaper alternatives like this one from Lamicall which costs less than $ 30, as well as other models from different brands available at a lower price.
Twelve South has been involved in this Apple accessory game for over a decade, so he knows how to make good things. For the higher asking price, you are guaranteed a quality product and the possibility of using it with its base or the included clamp.
For my part, I’m just glad I no longer looked like an idiot in a cramped room with my face stretched out on dates with Zoom.
Find the Twelve South HoverBar Duo on the company’s website, where you can pre-order it for $ 79.99; it will start shipping on March 15th.
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Published March 10, 2021 – 11:55 UTC