Twelve South HiRise stand for iPhone 5 & iPad mini review

4 out of 5
£45

For

Keeps cords hidden, makes information accessible without taking your hands off the keyboard, very stationery, Apple-like build, compatibility with iPhone 5(S) and iPad mini

Against

Set-up process seems daunting, Lightning cable not included (you'll need to buy another), not heavy enough for one-handed removal, can slip around on wood

Charging your iPhone at your desk should be an easy experience. Not that it's hard to connect the device to a charger by any means, but when you're working, you should be able to access information as it pours in. You don't necessarily want to take your hands off the keyboard and pick the phone up every time you hear "ding, ding, ding" just to see what your boss needs or what your friends want.

Accessory-maker Twelve South has built the HiRise desktop stand for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPad mini. This sleek, well-built stand hopes to be a stationary cradle for your iDevice.

But if you're like us, you may have scoffed at the idea of sitting your iPhone up-right on your desk. Heck, why not just set it down? Twelve South thinks it's on to something with the HiRise, so we gave it a shot to see if it could change our perception.

Setup

The HiRise is unlike most iPhone/iPad accessories in that it actually requires a set-up process. Usually, you can just rip the packaging open and you're off to the races. With HiRise you'll have to read the instructions - we know, we know - and whip out the included hex tool to build the silver brushed-metal stand.

 

Included in the box are four screws, three Lightning cable clips - which will help you adjust to the girth of the holding case - the base cap, base, rear support and front support. 

An Apple Lightning cable isn't included though, so you'll need to make sure to have one on hand as it'll be more-or-less fixed into the construction once you're done. This can prove a tad troublesome if you need to charge your iPhone or iPad in two places. Put simply: you'll have to buy a spare, so there goes another £15.

If you're not into DIY then the setup process may seem a bit daunting at first, but it's not a hard process once you get into it.

Charge and sync

As you'll have built it with your device in mind - and there are three clip sizes to cater for additional cases, even to OtterBox proportions - there's really no hassle sitting your device on the HiRise. This is what we like most: once it's built, it's built.

The HiRise doesn't change the way charging happens - you just plonk your iPhone or iPad mini onto the exposed Lightning port. The high-quality build ensures that the desktop stand stays in place as you make the downward motion due to the pad on the base. However, if your desk is wood like ours then it may slip around, which is a bummer.

When you're ready to retrieve your device from the HiRise's clutches, you will need to use both hands: one to hold the base, and the other to lift because the HiRise isn't heavy enough to stay on your desk.

A heavier base plate would have made a lot more sense, or another method of ensuring the HiRise remained in place at all times.

At a glance

The best part of having a desktop stand is that while you're working all of the information just streams by in view. You don't have to pick up your handset or tablet. If someone calls, you can swipe to ignore or to answer.

But given the HiRise's fixed angle, it's not comfortable to keep an iPhone or iPad mini on the stand to text or browse the web for long periods. If you need to type a paragraph to a friend explaining that you can't have distractions while working, you'll need to remove it from the stand to type.

However, the HiRise is very handy for video conferencing or setting up your iPad mini as a dedicated Twitter, Facebook or other social media stream.

Verdict

Twelve South is known for creating high quality accessories, and has done well again with the HiRise. If you're looking for a convenient way to charge and sync your iPhone or iPad mini, while still having access to information, then the HiRise could well be for you. 

At £45, the HiRise may seem a HiPriced, especially considering you'll need to invest in another Lightning cable on top of that. But given several weeks of use, we've found that price tag to be worth it.

We really love the HiRise's Apple-like design, convenience, build quality and the way it matches iOS devices. It's a simple and sleek desktop stand for iDevices. We're converted.