I like to keep the iPad at arms length while working at home, and the best way I’ve found to do this is with the Twelve South HoverBar.
The Twelve South HoverBar mounts to a desk, Cinema Display or iMac and offers an adjustable gooseneck arm to place the iPad within reach.
The HoverBar fits the New iPad and the iPad 2 with the same snap in mount. The mount swivels to place the iPad in portrait or landscape mode.
I don’t just use this accessory in my office. It’s also great to clip onto a bedside table or headboard to place the iPad at a perfect angle for watching Netflix without holding the iPad all night. Because the mount attaches to pretty much any 1-inch or thinner surface it also fits in the kitchen or outdoors on a deck ledge.
The Twelve South HoverBar attaches to almost any desk or table, as well as Apple displays and the iMac. The small base station features two mounting points for the adjustable arm to accommodate a vertical or horizontal mount. The clamp matches the look and feel of Apple displays, and the aluminum finish looks good on a desk as well. Inside the clamp are rubber bumpers to protect the finish of a monitor, desk or cabinet.
The Hoverbar includes a small allen wrench to tighten up the clamp. After tightening the clamp, just screw in the gooseneck adjustable arm. Once this is tight it’s time to attach the mount and screw it in place. When it’s all tight, adjust the arm, pivot the mount and snap the iPad in. Uninstalling the HoverBar and moving it to another location takes just minutes.
Using the Hoverbar
I primarily use the HoverBar in my office where the iPad acts as a third screen for Twitter, Yammer (our internal communication platform) or email. I choose to mount it to my desk so I don’t have to worry about moving my Cinema Display while moving the arm. This allows me to place the iPad to the right of my main display where it swivels from portrait to landscape mode depending on the activity.
Most often I will use it to monitor Twitter and Yammer using iPad apps, but when I need more screen real estate and want to respond, I use Air Display to turn my iPad into a monitor. This app lets me drag any Mac App over to the iPad’s display over WiFi.
Video chat is a common use for the iPad in this mount. While I often use the built in camera in my Cinema Display, when I want to focus on the caller I will use FaceTime or a Google Hangout on the iPad. This allows me to always see the person, even if I’m shuffling through 20 open windows. It also means I don’t have to worry about Chrome crashing and ending my Hangout.
Outside of the office I’ve attached it to the headboard of my bed to get a better angle for watching Dr. Who on Netflix or catching up on The Daily Show on Hulu Plus. It’s nice to adjust the angle to a more natural position without the need to hold the iPad for an hour.
At $79.99, the HoverBar isn’t cheap, but it is a great iPad accessory and worth the price thanks to flexibility and good build quality. The iPad won’t fit in the arm with a case, but it works with a skin installed.
iPad owners who want to add a second display or mount the iPad up high for FaceTime calls will find the most use for the Hoverbar, but it’s also a nice accessory for anyone looking to boost iPad productivity.
Students relying on an iPad for college can use this mount to keep the iPad at monitor height and pair with a Bluetooth keyboard for better ergonomics. It should also mount well to most dorm beds or lofts.
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