Where do you put your MacBook when you're not using it? Do you put it back into your laptop sleeve, bag, or off to the side where it takes up valuable desk space in disarray? If headphones have headphone stands, why shouldn't MacBooks have a desk companion too. Unless you're new to Macs or have been living under a rock for the past few years, there's one very such thing. It's called BookArc - a beautifully crafted piece of anodized aluminum made to compliment any MacBook whilst proudly presenting it by vertically elevating it off of your desk. And this one is the much improved version of the original winning recipe.
While this newly redesigned version of Twelve South's BookArc continues serving its original purpose of providing users an organized and efficient way of using their MacBook in a closed-display mode (aka clamshell mode) with an external display setup, it also offers a few other improvements we think are worth taking a another look at.
Twelve South's new and improved BookArc is an architectural masterpiece. A single arc of beautifully crafted metal now fits every single MacBook Apple currently makes. It does so using various sizes of interchangeable silicone inserts which are all included inside the box. This makes the new BookArc immensely versatile and even future-proof should you ever decide to get a different MacBook model. I know I do every other year.
Twelve South didn't change the icon arc shape or functionality of the BookArc, but instead made it slimmer and more refined, trimming away the fat for a sexier and more toned looking design. It's now less bulky than its predecessor so it doesn't take up as much room on your desk or nightstand. Also, the chamfered edges are a welcome stylish addition to the overall design making the BookArc a little more premium looking than it already is.
One of the biggest differences between the old and the new is that the new BookArc is now made out of aluminum instead of a steel alloy, so it's no longer as hefty as the original was and features a finely textured Apple-esque finish. In fact, it's noticeably lighter. But that really doesn't make much difference in the way the BookArc functions. The new design also uses less material and features a slightly higher arc geometry to better hold onto whatever model of MacBook you'd like to use. Speaking of models, the new BookArc is compatible with Apple's 12-inch Retina MacBook, 11/13-inch MacBook Air, 13/15-inch MacBook Pro and 13/15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Beyond its polished-up curvature, the BookArc is a very simple desk accessory in its funtionality. It's designed to hold your MacBook vertically, and it works exceedingly well at doing just that. It saves you space and provides a dedicated place for you to dock your MacBook into whenever you're working with an external monitor or when you're simply not using it. Most importantly, the BookArc holds a MacBook steadily without wobbling or slipping around.
I've been a BookArc user for the longest time now and I'm a huge fan of its usefulness. While it was primarily designed for users who hook their MacBook to an external display, I mainly use mine whenever I'm not using my MacBook as sort of stand that vertically holds my Mac where it's kept safe and in a position where it doesn't take up space as it normally would sitting flat somewhere like a placemat. Needless to say, the BookArc makes your MacBook look even cooler standing up.
As with any product from Twelve South, the BookArc doesn't disappoint in the packaging department. It's beautifully presented inside a rigid box you won't want to throw away. It's safe to say that this is now Twelve South's signature packaging and we love it.
Inside you'll find a a set of silicone inserts you can swap depending on the type of MacBook model you're using. Insert A support the non-Retina MacBook Pro, insert B supports the Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, and insert C can be used with the 12-inch Retina MacBook. Switching our inserts is super simple and requires little to no effort. A user guide is also included of course, which is loaded with informative instructions, as well as tips and tricks on how you can use your BookArc in alternative ways including various other uses for repurposing the BookArc box. If you're using a protective hardshell or skin on on your MacBook, you can use one of the larger inserts instead of the one form-fitted to your model.
At both ends of the BookArc is where you'll find a cable catch system in the form of tightly spaced openings carved out in the Arc's aluminum unibody designed to keep any cables that plug into your Mac from falling to the floor when disconnected. It also helps tidy the most used cables together and neatly routes them out the back and straight back into your external display and power outlet. Although I must say it doesn't work all too well if you have thick cables or simply small cable connectors like the MacBook's USB-C charging cable, which tends to slide clean through the opening.
If I must nitpick some more I'd definitely make note of the pretty limited color options. The BookArc only comes in silver as of this review, and I think we can all agree that a few more color options like Space Gray and gold could look stellar paired up with the right colored Mac.
The new $50 BookArc stand looks better than ever, it's made well, works with every MacBook, helps free up space on your desk while serving as a resting place for your Mac, and is an invaluable addition to any MacBook-connected setup with an external display. It may not have the best cable management system, but we can't see a reason why we shouldn't highly recommend Twelve South's redesigned BookArc to every MacBook owner.