Twelve South Forté

My nightstand is fraught with cables. Other Apple enthusiasts may suffer the same fate. I’m looking at an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods charging cables, along with a lamp and clock. It’s cluttered, at best, and not uncommon to have all devices charging at once. After becoming flustered with the mess, I turned to Twelve South to help solve some of my cable woes. I was also running out of room on the table top. My thanks to Twelve South for sending three of their top chargers for comparison.

HiRise Wireless

Twelve South HiRise Wireless

Most versatile of the three devices, HiRise Wireless is both a desktop, iPhone, AirPods, and travel charger. Offering Qi compatible wireless charging abilities, just placing iPhone against the stand initiates power transfer. There are several standout qualities for the HiRise. Most notably, the leather and chrome stand is very heavy, which ensures it stays put. The center, oval puck, “Power Disc,” detaches and offers great portability.  This part of the device is extremely lightweight, which goes a long way in a carry-on, or even as an every day carry.

I really appreciate the Power Disc having rubberized rims. These nonslip rings are on the top and bottom, preventing both the charger from moving when laying flat and iPhone from slipping out of place while charging. I have used a glass topped charger in the past, which looks nice, but often my iPhone slipped off the charging target. The charging target or coil size on Power Disc seems ample and I had no difficult repeatedly hitting the sweet spot, with the charger upright or flat.

Perhaps Apple would call the HiRise a “Pro” device, as it comes with a USB A to USB C cable. The switch to USB C is an incredibly welcomed move. The included cable is 1.5m, but does require you to supply your own power brick, which seems cheap at the price point. Power Disc takes USB C, which means if you have a newer MacBook/Air/Pro, and/or iPad Pro, you could carry a single USB cable to charge all of your devices…including the wireless AirPods charging case! Huge win.

HiRise wireless is available on Amazon for $79.99.

Forté

Twelve South Forté

Until receiving the Forté, I was just slapping my Apple Watch down on the regular ol’ hockey puck charging cable, like an animal. For clarity, Forté still requires the use of your own Apple Watch charging cable, but offers a premium pedestal.

The stand just looks, well, fancy. Professional, even. Rimmed in high polished materials and padded with a leather base, Forté is sharp. If you are just looking for an Apple Watch charger, I would highly recommend this stand. The hefty base also keeps it from moving on your desk, table, or nightstand, and adds to the premium feel. But, at roughly $48 via Amazon, it is not for the budget conscious.

There are a couple of noted areas for improvement. I was disappointed at the price point, that the cover piece for your personal Lightning cable is made from shiny plastic. I really expected everything to be metal. Also, placing Apple Watch on the stand does require a little precision to have it remain upright. If using an Apple Watch Sport Band, you will almost always need to loop the band closed, in order for it to sit properly on the puck. Admittedly, I’m being a little picky, but at the price point, it opens itself up to a consideration of the finer details.

Overall, considering the three chargers, I prefer it for sole Apple Watch charging. If I was just looking for a stand upon which to charge my watch, it would be the best nightstand companion for overnight charging. It is even great for an office environment, if you need something classy.

HiRise Duet

Twelve South HiRise Duet

Saving my favorite for last, the HiRise Duet is a great combination charger for both Apple Watch and iPhone. The absolute best part is the reduction to a single cord. HiRise Duet is certified by Apple as a Made for iPhone (MFI) product. …all of their products are for clarity, but I love that this charger has its own wall brick and cable. Instead of using your personal Apple Watch puck or Lightning cable, the puck and Lightning tip are built into the stand.

The stand is very slightly adjustable, back-and-forth, to accommodate very small cases. I do not envision being able to use a case much thicker than an Apple leather case. The Apple Watch puck is built into the stand and requires the watch to sit in Nightstand mode, as pictured above. A nice soft leather base keeps your Apple Watch protected and metal bands, scratch free.

Given my test driving experience, I wish the base was much heavier. Although already weighing at one pound, given the tight Lightning connection, springing-free my iPhone required two hands each time. Finally, I do not mind the device only accommodates small cases, as I always go case free, but it is important when considering your own purchase. HiRise Duet is available on Amazon for $119.

Conclusion

In summary, my goal for this project was to determine a way to charge my devices in a more minimal way. With a lamp, clock, iPhone Pro Max, Apple Watch, and iPad Pro sharing my nightstand, eliminating charging cables became important. HighRise Duet does exactly that: helped me combine two charging cables into one. More importantly, it stacks my devices, taking up even less surface area on my table, charging my iPhone above the Apple Watch. As a bonus, the HiRise Duet charges iPhone 40% faster than conventional USB wall blocks. Its great!

However, if you have wireless AirPods and hope to charge them in your setup as well, you may prefer the Qi compatible HiRise wireless. For me, it was about Apple Watch and iPhone, which the Duet resolves.