After getting an iPad mini it became apparent quite quickly that it was going to need regular charging. Taking it off and fumbling about with a cable, then forgetting where I’d left it, probably wasn’t the best option so I decided a nice charging stand would be nice. I have the Apple Smart Case on my iPad, so it needed to work with that on it too. All the reviews pointed to just one – the Twelve South HiRise. It works with the iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPad Mini and, more importantly, was adjustable for use with cases. It looked brilliant – all metal, it really looks the part. Yet when I got it, I was left feeling decidedly underwhelmed.
Normally I talk about product packaging later on in a review but, this time, it needs tackling first. Around the centre of the box is a cardboard band with product details on. Seems fair, so I went to slid it off – it wouldn’t budge. In the end I had to tear it off, only to find it had been glued into place. For no reason. Anyway, that’s wrapped around a thick 1 transparent plastic box. Take that out and you have a thick brown cardboard box – the kind of thickness that’s usually reserved for board games. That’s the back and sides. Sitting inside this is another, also quite thick, red box with cut-outs on top to show off some of the product inside – these you can see through the transparent front. Inside this there is a thick moulded card interior to hold everything in place. Too much? Well, now you have another box which holds the various side clips (these are used to hold the lightning cable at different heights, depending on the case you have) and 4 hex screws. That’s right – hex screws because, believe it or not, for the money this is costing you have to build the stand yourself. I was expecting a complete item but, no, this is flat-packed. The stand comes in 3 main parts – the bottom stand (with a removable plastic section to hide the cable, even though it’s underneath so nobody will see anyway), a stubby upright section that the phone/tablet sits on and, finally, a longer vertical section that the device rests again. Both of these upright pieces are held via the hex screws (you get a little tool to do this) and the rear section is adjustable for different thicknesses of device.
In the box you also get an instruction manual (which I didn’t find particularly clear) and a guide to which clip to use. Sadly this is out of date and only tells you for the iPhone 5 so I had to just guess for my iPad. Oh, and some Twelve South stickers (who wants these?). Bizarrely, there’s also a packet of silica gel inside – something I’ve not seen in a product such as this before. You use your own lightning cable too but there is a nice grippy foam underside.
Impressed? Not at all.
So, having waded through more packaging than even an iPad comes in, I end up with something I have to make myself. And the end result is…. okay. It looks more impressive when something is docked (which might explain why all the promotional pictures show exactly that) but, on its own, it looks, well, a bit rubbish. It is, after all, just two bits of metal sticking out of a stand. There’s no side support for the iPad and locating the socket over the lightning connector can be a tricky process. Let’s compare and contrast – the promotional image along with my own…
The stand doesn’t even look the same colour – a dull grey compared to the silver in all the official photos.
In use, yes, it works. It charges the device. But at this price? Oh, and with all that packaging I still had some damage to the top of the stand.
- you know the type – you can easily cut yourself on the edges