iPads got a new wingman in town, and it’s HoverBar. HoverBar, by TwelveSouth, is a Tony Stark inspired 22 inch adjustable arm for your iPad. Mount your iPad to the back of your iMac, to a kitchen cabinet, to a desk, table, ledge…anything really! HoverBar is completely adjustable and still sturdy enough for all of iPads needs. It works with iPad 2 and even the New iPad 3.
HoverBar consists of three parts, all heavy duty, durable, and secure. There’s the two-way clamp, the arm, and the iPad Holster. The two-way clamp is named so because the arm can either branch off of the clamp at a 90 degree angle (up), or at a 180 degree angle (out). The two-way clamp is padded on both sides so to not cause harm whatever it’s mounting to. It can mount to anything up to one inch in thickness.
The whole setup is very straightforward and barely requires the manual. You can start off by hand tightening the clamp around a sturdy object 1″ or less in thickness, then finish tightening with the included allen wrench. The adjustable 22 inch arm screws into one of the two holes on the two-way clamp. iPad snaps into the holster, and lastly, iPad’s holster screws around a ball bearing at the other end of the arm.
Once attached, the arm is very sturdy, but can be easily adjusted any which way by applying some pressure. The iPad holster is attached to a ball bearing that allows it to swivel in any direction.
The HoverBar offers iPad a whole new realm of usage opportunity. Of course it’s Tony Stark inspired, because it’s one of the best and least intrustive ways to mount your iPad as a heads up display for weather, news, media, and even security. It’s easy for anyone to set up and you don’t have to drill holes or permanently ruin any of your stuff. It’s great in the kitchen, office, DJ booth, workstation, and dare we say…bathroom. It elevates to a safe level away from danger. In the kitchen it can elevate to eye level which is perfect for referring to recipes or creating the perfect playlist.
With all of the remote desktop iPad applications, like Air Display, you can easily use iPad with HoverBar as a second monitor. It fits all iPad 2 models, and even iPad 3 / the new iPad models (tested). It attaches to all iMacs and Apple displays with an L-Shaped desk stand, or any other sturdy surface or edge up to one inch thick.
The HoverBar really is as easy as we make it sound. It takes just a couple minutes to securely set up. Once it’s set up you can bend and play until you have the arm shaped ideally. Once the arm is set, iPad is secure enough to do anything on. In terms of flexibility, usability, and practicality the HoverBar excels. With that said, the only drawback is finding a sturdy one inch thick surface for HoverBar to clamp on to. In my apartment I was only able to find a few good spots to clamp iPad to: a desk and a portable table. Both were converted into efficient working stations for me to blog away. The inner Tony Stark in me really wanted to hover iPad somewhere near the bed, but unfortunately I had nothing to mount to. In the kitchen, I can clamp the HoverBar to the cabinets, but it would prevent me from opening the cabinet doors. If TwelveSouth made an optional base for the HoverBar to stand on, it’d really be the ultimate iPad accessory. You can feel if the HoverBar has been well mounted, so the safety of iPad will not come into question. The only actual issue I had with HoverBar is that some of the black coating around the arm chipped off the first time I used it. It’s not noticeable, but it made a little mess.
Twelve South’s HoverBar is really a fantastic device in a category of its own. It allows you to mount iPad at nearly any practical height, any angle, and in any orientation. It allows you to use iPad in places you never thought possible, like eye level in the kitchen. The only real problem is that you’ll want to HoverBar your iPad everywhere, and unfortunately it’s not always possible. The 22 inch arm is adjustable and sturdy. The HoverBar, by TwelveSouth costs $79.99. If you think you have a good spot for it, then it’s not a bad price by any means. It certainly does not feel like an inexpensive product. Also, you can be sure we wouldn’t be risking our New iPad’s safety without 100% confidence in the product.
04-06-12 Update: Twelve South was more than happy to replace our faulty model upon hearing about the flaking paint. We put the new model to the test by bending the arm every which way and are happy to report that there was no shedding.
The Good: Sturdy, Durable, Safe, Easy to Use/Setup, Mounts iPad at New Angles, Heights, and Orientations
Paint Shed off Arm During First Use, Can only Mount to 1″ or Less