For those of us who work entirely from a laptop, working on the go is a perfectly fine experience, however when we get back to the office / home / base, we want to be able to plug it into a bigger screen to give us that Desktop Experience. When I first transitioned to my Macbook Pro Retina 15″, I HATED plugging it into an external screen because the external screen just wasn’t Retina (and once you’ve gone Retina, you just don’t want to go back). Later on I bought a beautiful Dell 2715Q (absolutely LOVE it!) and all of a sudden working on an external screen was a joy and a pleasure. As I’d gone 27-inch at 4K I didn’t really want to use Multi-Monitor any more, so I quickly stopped using my laptop as a second screen, but that left me with a 15″ Macbook Pro Retina sat on my desk, taking up valuable worktop space. What to do with it?
Enter Twelve South with their BookArc range. These products are designed to stand your Macbook on end, allowing to reduce its footprint but still give you access to the ports on each side of the laptop, all while using beautiful design and materials to give an iconic and ‘zen’ look. Twelve South have two ranges of these products for the Macbook Pro / Retina – the BookArc and the BookArc möd. The original BookArc is made of a single piece of curved aluminium with a grey silicon insert (this is also available for the Macbook Air). The BookArc möd version is instead made of natural wood with a black silicon insert, and comes in Espresso (Dark wood finish), Birch (Light wood finish) and Walnut (Brown wood finish).
The version that I have just bought (thanks to Amazon Prime and their Prime Day sales) and will review is the BookArc möd Birch.
First Impressions of the BookArc Mod
The box itself just oozes quality, from the GoPro-style clear top-cube style to the textured material of the lower half, there is nothing about the packaging that says that this is anything but a high quality product.
From the moment you open the box, you can tell it is a high quality product. The smell of wood is hits you as soon as you crack the lid. It’s not strong or overpowering, but natural. Taking the stand out the box is a pleasant experience, and everything from the feel the weight is the signature of a well designed product.
The surface of the BookArc Möd is that of a natural piece of wood. While it looks smooth and varnished, it is in fact more textured than that. In the centre on one side of the stand is a brushed metal ’12’ Twelve South logo, which is embedded within the wood, but with a very slight raised feel to it. The side of the wooden frame (on this Birch version) shows individual wooden layers that exist in its structure – it is very reminiscent of a wooden recurve bow, and looks fantastic.
The centre silicon insert that holds the Macbook stationary has a premium feel to it, and is attached to the wooden frame very securely. At no point does it feel like it is going to move, however it is still relatively easy to remove and change out for the other thinner insert that is included in the box.
Moving to the bottom, four small cork feet are located on the corners of the wooden frame, and on the bottom of the silicon insert are two hooks (one at each end) which can be used to secure cables that run between the front and/or back feet.
What’s in the box?
Once you open the packaging and attempt to remove the BookArc from the box, you realise that there is a smaller box located under the arch. Inside this little box is an instruction manual, an additional insert, and a silica gel pack.
The additional insert is supplied for users of the Macbook Pro Retina range. As I quickly discovered, the standard insert is designed for the Macbook Pro range of laptops, and is just too wide for the Retina range. This insert could be useful if you’re planning to use your Macbook Pro Retina in a shell case, and still wish to use the BookArc Möd
The manual is a fairly simple affair, which explains how to replace the insert, and the best way to use the hooks to run your cables, but other than that, its pretty straight forward.
How does it work?
Well, its a stand for your Macbook. It works!
Oh, you want more than that? Well it does its job VERY well. Once I had the correct silicon insert installed, my Macbook Pro Retina 15″ sat safely and securely in the BookArc and really did look the part! Positioning it on the desk with the SD-Card slot towards me gives me the impression of a very slim mini-tower case sat on my desk. Using it like this gives me easy access to a single USB port and the SD Card slot while keeping the power, Thunderbolt and second USB port toward the back. As my external monitor connects via Thunderbolt, this is the perfect configuration for me.
For my use-case, there are no drawbacks, however I can see that if you use EVERY port on the laptop then you’re more than likely going to have cables that feed under the feet of the BookArc, which I guess somewhat reduces the ‘Zen’ factor that it promotes, however even in that situation it is still a fantastic product. Obviously once you install the Macbook into the stand there is no way to power on the device, but that is more due to the design decision Apple took when putting the Power Button on the keyboard. If you’re using a Retina, just press it, close the lid and stick it in the stand. if you have a non-retina Macbook, maybe do it a little more cautiously as powering on the machine will start the hard-drive spinning, and changing the orientation of the laptop with a hard drive platter spinning at 5400rpm/7200rpm ‘could’ result in lots of nasty noises coming from your storage bay, however in today’s world of SSD’s, this is probably a moot point. It would be nice if there was a way of powering on / off your laptop through the Thunderbolt connection, but I guess that’s what ‘Sleep’ mode is for.
So would I recommend the Twelve South BookArc möd for the Macbook Pro / Retina? Absolutely! It is the perfect high-quality product to go with your Macbook, and it does its job very well. The guys at Twelve South have definitely done an excellent job when designing this! It looks great on your desk, and while the Macbook range is a beautiful but clinical piece of engineering, the BookArc Möd gives it a bit of warmth, to what otherwise could be a slightly sterile environment. Alternatively, for those of you who do prefer the clean look of aluminium, it does come in the original BookArc Aluminium edition.
Purchase the Twelve South BookArc Möd from Amazon UK
The 770’s are available in two models – at time of review, these are just a touch over the £100 mark
- Twelve South BookArc Möd Birch. (as reviewed)
- Twelve South BookArc Möd Espresso.
- Twelve South BookArc Möd Walnut.
- Twelve South BookArc Aluminium.
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This review is not sponsored or commissioned by Twelve South, Amazon or any of their affiliated companies.
Twelve South BookArc Möd was a personal purchase from Amazon UK, and not supplied as a review sample.