Designed by tech company Twelve South, the HoverBar Duo is one of the latest releases in their range of iPad stands. Featuring a flexible arm that is easy to pose, it's a great way to raise your iPad up to eye level to otherwise free up your hands. Whether you're streaming movies, filming a video or part of a work video call – the HoverBar Due is a great accessory for any iPad enthusiast. You can even use it as a second, smaller screen for your Mac if you so desire. As the name suggests, the Duo has two different viewing modes thanks to the included weighted desk base and shelf clamp, meaning it can either sit on a worktop or be attached to a shelf/surface via the clamp.
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As an artist, I primarily use my iPad for digital art in Procreate. Sadly, the HoverBar Duo isn't ideal as a stand for drawing. The weight of an iPad adds a significant wobble once attached to the clamp and drawing felt unsteady. I tried tightening each screw to make sure it wasn't a loose connection but the problem persisted. After extended testing, I concluded that the wobble is mostly due to the QuickSwitch tab. When slotted into place, it doesn't seem to sit entirely flush. Although this was disappointing on a personal note, the HoverBar Duo isn't sold as a stand directed at digital artists and as a stand just for viewing purposes, I had no issues whatsoever. It's easy to adjust and the tablet feels secure.
I also noted that if the iPad is pulled too far forward whilst the lower half of the arm is vertical, there is a significant risk of it tipping over. This was a real shame and poses a risk of damaging your tablet, so make sure to test the exact positioning limits to avoid this.
It's important to note that once the tablet is in the clamp you cannot attach your (2nd generation) Apple Pencil magnetically to charge. To combat this issue and make sure you don't lose that beloved accessory, Twelve South has added a curved groove into the base. This helpful little slot ensures your pencil is securely stored with no chance of rolling away. The HoverBar Duo is also fully compatible with all iPad types and can even hold other tablet models if you so desire.
The second generation of the HoverBar Duo has introduced the new QuickSwitch Tab. This handy little button means you can easily transition between the desk stand and shelf clamp with just the press of a button. The arm itself feels sturdy and can fit the iPad Pro, and you can tighten up the adjustment knob on the clamp to adjust how easily you can change the angle of your tablet. The HoverBar Duo comes packaged with a variation of spare bits and various hex keys to tighten up any pesky loose screws which is a nice touch.
Twelve South design their products specifically for Apple tech, so it's no wonder the HoverBar Duo feels like a natural extension of the iPad itself. It has a decently heavy weight and the matte finish of the base looks and feels like a premium piece of kit that upgrades your set-up. Retailing at $79.99/£79.99, the HoverBar Duo isn't exactly cheap. It's a considerable price for a product that has no tech involved, but it is a good extension of your tablet if you use it for a lot of general use as mentioned above.
Should you buy the HoverBar Duo?
With a high price tag of over $70/£70, the HoverBar Duo isn't exactly a cheap iPad accessory that you would buy on a whim. But you get what you pay for, and the stand has a really nice solid build as well as a premium Apple-style finish. As an artist, I was slightly disappointed in the slight wobble and risk of tipping when applying pressure to the tablet – but the HoverBar Duo is sold primarily as just a stand for viewing purposes and I appreciate it not being marketed towards artists considering these small issues. The QuickSwitch Tab is an excellent feature to easily transition between the desk base and clamp if you're moving the stand around, and overall I would recommend the HoverBar Duo if you're looking for a great way to display your iPad.