The almighty Mac-only accessory maker they call Twelve South is at it again, striving to reach new heights with its latest and greatest HiRise. One of two available models for MacBooks and iMacs, the HiRise we're going to be taking an in-depth look at is a stand designed for iMac and Apple Displays. Hold on to your hard drives, because this is no ordinary stand, but a stand of epic proportions. Having only tilt and no height adjustment options, the iMac not always sits at a comfortable height that best suits your desk setup. The HiRise elevates either an iMac or Apple Display to best meet you on an eye-to-screen level. There's a lot more behind this striking marvel, and our full review is only a few inches below!
Twelve South is a magical company for Mac users. In some ways you can say Twelve South is the Willy Wonka of accessory brands because you'll never guess what they'll come up with next. The HiRise is one of those things that really makes us go - "Take my money!". Speaking of money, the HiRise will set you back $80 of the money you were probably going to spend on some other Twelve South product, weren't you. Admittedly, I had my skeptical moment when I first heard about the HiRise.
After spending roughly a full month with it though, I can see the value in it now that it found its way into my somewhat cluttered desk setup environment. Having a higher viewing angle is much more comfortable and ergonomic as oppose to settling with what the iMac's or Apple Display's fixed height has to offer, which for the most part is too short unless you're able to adjust the height of your desk. But that isn't going to fix other problems you might have that the HiRise offers to fix.
The HiRise arrives in a big, typical yet well invested Twelve South box packaging that you won't want to throw away. Inside you will find loads of foam padding, a quick guide, and a packet of small hex screws with a small tool that you'll need to get up and running.
What is it exactly? The HiRise is made out of a heavy-duty metal construction that as expected, is designed to seamlessly fit together and match your aluminum iMac or Apple Display in perfect harmony. Be it a magnificently humongous 27-inch iMac or Apple Display, the HiRise is built to carry that weight with no complaints. Although the height can be adjusted using the HiRise adding up to 4-inches of additional height, it was specifically designed to have a height level which addresses the issue people were having when using a 27-inch iMac as a dual-display setup alongside a Thunderbolt Display. The HiRise lets you perfectly align the two screens for the ideal multi-tasking even goodness by adjusting the inner aluminum shelf.
This thing is really well made too. Each part slides into place like a precision-made part and with ease. But most importantly the HiRise is stupendously easy to set up. Putting it together requires sliding the two large bottom and top halves to form one body, while the back perforated plate screws in using four screws that secure and keep everything in place as one solid unit. But not before you insert the aluminum shelf into one of the 6 level grooves in which set your desired height for placing your iMac or Apple Display on.
I found that positioning the shelf starting from the middle and up will provide the best elevation whilst leaving empty space around the bottom for additional storage. The base of the pedestal simply slides into the HiRise and rests on top of the inserted shelf. Anyone can put this thing together without instructions. It really is on the verge of having an Apple-like design.
And we weren't kidding, flip the HiRise on its side and you've got yourself a mini Mac Pro look-alike. Obviously the perforated aluminum design of the HiRise meets with the bottom speaker grille of the iMac and Apple Displays. It's even an exact enlarged replica of Twelve South's BackPack 2 shelf, which is yet another iMac and Apple Display accessory we highly adore.
After you've inserted your display into the back of the HiRise, you have the option of attaching the specially cut perforated back plate which lets you route cables thru if you decide to store a few hard drives inside. Both of these can either be screwed on using four screws, or simply held by the four small embedded magnets that do their job very well keeping the plates in place. Further more, the magnets actually snap into their respected position thanks to the recessed placements on the perforated plates. To keep the aluminum from potentially getting scratches, the HiRise is fitted with a silicone-like bumper all around the back opening where the base of the iMac or display resides.
If uplifting your iMac or Apple Display wasn't enough, the clever people at Twelve South not only designed a clean looking perforated front, but also designed the HiRise to store a bunch of things inside of it discreetly including a Mac mini thanks to plenty of ventilation due to the perforation. It just goes to show how well the HiRise can help you create an all-in-one Apple Display while neatly tidying up your desk space. One way of looking at it is like an inconspicuous little safe. You can put your hard drives inside and lock the front plate using the four screws for a more permanent storage solution. Or let the magnets do the job if you need quick access to the inside compartment.
Underneath, the HiRise is fitted with two long strips of anti-slip feet that help ground the whole unit firmly to your desk. The last thing you want is a rattling and slippery iMac. It may be hard to see, but the two perforated front and back plates are situated flush top and bottom so only the base of the HiRise actually comes in contact with your desk. This also lets you place stuff on top, like an iPad mini as a dedicated charging bay. But really, the possibilities using the HiRise is all up to what you see fit for your personal space. Although it does take up a slight extra amount of desk space when at the base of an iMac or Apple Display, it definitely makes up for all of that and then some.
Sure you might not like the look of a bulky, aluminum slipper invading the slim profile of your iMac, or again, an Apple Display, but you can't deny the fact that the HiRise works as it was intended. To elevate the screen to meet a more ergonomic viewing height, align a dual-Apple display setup and offer a discrete storage solution for hard drives, a Mac mini or anything in between. We were so impressed with the HiRise's exceptional build quality and performance that we think its worthy of our Editors' Choice award, and high recommendation. The HiRise is a beautifully matching Mac accessory that's useful in more ways than one.