Way back in September of 2012, I wrote a fairly lengthy review of the HoverBar by Twelve South. The device is a mounting mechanism for iPad. It is not a new contender to the mountable space, certainly not two years later, but it is a well designed product. Twelve South, a South Carolina based company, limits their product development to a low number each year, ensuring proper care is spent on each device they launch.
The HoverBar 3 is an intentional upgrade on the previous generation. The 22″ arm extends from a bi-directional assembly that screws into a metal clamp. Overall, the design and assembly is almost exactly the same. Where the new generation differs is the compatibility for iPad 2nd – 4th generation, iPad Air, and both versions of iPad mini.
As the video exemplifies, HoverBar is perfect for most aspects of your daily routine. My mom loves her HoverBar, which she uses as an addition to her favorite armchair. For the past two years, my HoverBar has been screwed to the cabinets in the kitchen. The biggest opportunity with the new HoverBar 3 is backwards compatibility, along with current generation options.
To accommodate this shift, new HoverBar has a unique locking mechanism for the chassis piece, being the part that actually holds iPad. The device includes three iPad Fit Clips, managing a solution for every generation except the first. Sorry folks, time to upgrade anyway. The Fit Clips are really the way the original HoverBar should have been designed, but bonus points on creative improvement. Because this new locking system is implemented, when you nab the new iPad this fall, there should be a new Fit Clip waiting for you to upgrade your system. The modular approach gets big points with me. You can see how it comes together in the install video below:
You are really going to want to torque everything together. The one complaint that remains is with the goose-neck arm. While iPad mini and Air are significantly lighter, the arm is still not tough enough to hold the iPad at every conceivable angle. Physics just aren’t playing nicely with a broad device dangling at the end of a 22″ bendable arm.
The overview here is fairly short, as my opinion and personal review has not changed that much from my original HoverBar post. I really like the interchangeable system. It really helps around my house, as I use a mini and my wife is an Air user. The new kickstand, “Sidekick,” is a great little piece of added value to a fairly expensive solution. Even Amazon doesn’t offer relief from the retail price of $99.99.
Many competitors offer solutions, even rip offs of the product, at significantly lower price points. However, I am quick to point out, most competitors are not going to utilize a modular approach like a true Twelve South HoverBar 3. If you are looking for a company that stands behind its product, Twelve South will not disappoint.