The new Twelve South MagSafe charging stand launched earlier this week with a minimalistic, clean look and a design that leaves your iPhone 12 floating in midair. We have been fans of the brand for a quite a while now, but with Apple reintroducing MagSafe tech this generation, it’s time to give Twelve South’s first crack at the technology a run for its money. Head below for our hands-on Twelve South Forté review.
Forté Twelve South MagSafe charging stand
Twelve South’s first MagSafe charging stand has finally landed – and in a pleasingly much heavier little box than I expected. The admittedly simple stand is anchored by a heavy, flat, white metal-feeling base with a simple “dove gray” plastic arm perched atop to support your Apple MagSafe Charger. The arm affixes to the bottom plate with a single included screw. It’s a smooth installation process and everything tightens up securely — the bottom plate is heavier and more stable than I expected, and there is absolutely no wobble on the arm at all.
The whole thing comes together quickly and in a particularly weighty and reliable package that looks super clean on the desktop. A set of rubbery silicone feet keep everything in place on the tabletop as well.
Apple MagSafe Charger-ready
Your Apple MagSafe Charger puck drops right into the receptacle resting on the arm — everything fits snugly and as expected here. There is a small cable channel running along the back of the arm to guide the clutter as much as possible, and it mostly does the job here. You still have to sort of run the cable freehand around the neck of the arm and to the front of the round receptacle to get everything in place, which doesn’t feel like the most elegant way of doing this. but in the end, it the look and feel of Forté remains extremely pleasing and clean — especially when your phone is on it.
One thing to keep in mind here when stringing your MagSafe Charger up is that you’ll need to leave some extra slack when wrapping it around the front of the receptacle. This will leave enough slack for rotations and angle adjustments.
Your MagSafe charger easily pops out at a moment’s notice if you need to grab it and go as well.
Adjustable floating design
The Twelve South MagSafe stand employs a hinged design, allowing users to tilt the receptacle and your your iPhone 12 up to 70 degrees — essentially not quite all the way vertical to completely 90 degrees flat. So far so good here. The hinged connection feels quite robust, all things considered, with just the right amount of resistance to feel like your iPhone 12 is safe floating at any angle Forté provides. I can’t say for sure how this hinged connection will feel in a few months from now, but it, much like the weighty base, is shooting slightly above its pay grade thus far.
And an AirPods stand too…
This would probably be a suitable time to mention the sort of add-on feature here. Since the MagSafe receptacle can tilt all the way back, it can also create a flat power station platform for your wireless charging-ready AirPods as well. They don’t look particularly elegant sitting up there, but that’s probably why this is being marketed as a “bonus” feature.
The overall experience is one of the highlights for me. Pulling the iPhone 12 on and off Forté is smooth, almost addictive even. Maybe it’s the heavy bottom platform that deserves the credit here, but the iPhone detaches with the kind of grace you could only hope for. More seriously speaking, it works great, and the thing doesn’t tip and topple over in the most annoying way ever when you’re trying to grab your phone and go.
Floating hands-free on a Zoom call, one-handed grab-and-go action, and an adjustable hinge you don’t have to fiddle around with or worry it’s going to break once a week — I guess this is the difference between $40 and a $10 knock-off.
This Twelve South MagSafe stand is very clean with almost no branding. In fact, the only branding seen outside of the bottom side of the base plate is a beautiful embossed and subtle Twelve South logo. It’s the perfect little touch. The terrible text slapped across some of these accessories (or even just one odd-looking/placed logo) can completely ruin things for me and make my credit go running for cover, but Twelve South nailed it here.
Another highlight is the silicone insert to keep your MagSafe charger in place. You won’t find one of those annoying sticky pads that makes your MagSafe puck nearly impossible to pull out. Twelve South’s solution keeps everything tight, secure, and accessible if you need to scoop it up for another application.
The only really negative for me here is twofold: The cable management system is less than elegant and just makes me wish there was an even more expensive option with the MagSafe puck already in there, cables hidden (as much as possible). That’s not going to work for folks looking to keep their iPhone 12 accessory budget at bay, but I for one would have just purchased the built-in version from Twelve South and not paid for Apple’s if it was possible. Oh, and I also wish there were other colorways, despite most folks likely appreciating the clean, stark white approach here.
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