One of our favorite accessory design shops is Twelve South, and they’re our heroes for a couple of reasons. First, they design and manufacture useful and stylish accessories for Apple products only. The second reason? Everything they make is top quality. The latest product to emerge from Charleston, SC is the ParcSlope desktop stand for MacBook (US$49.99). Check out our review, then enter for an opportunity to win a ParcSlope from TUAW and Twelve South.
- Dimensions: 2.8″ high x 8.3″ wide x 9.6″ deep (7.1 x 21.1 x 24.3 cm)
- Weight: 2 pounds (.91 kg)
- Angle: 18 degrees
ParcSlope was designed as a hybrid laptop stand instead of the traditional stand that lifts the MacBook off of your desk, requiring you to acquire and use a totally separate keyboard and pointing device. Instead, ParcSlope lifts the back of your MacBook up off of the table, bringing the screen up a bit higher for more comfortable viewing and typing.
Made of solid aluminum, ParcSlope works with any MacBook. It doesn’t matter if you have a current 11-inch MacBook Air or one of the discontinued 17-inch MacBook Pro monsters, it’s going to work for you.
As with all other Twelve South accessories, ParcSlope is designed specifically with Apple products in mind. There are some ridges on the top of the unit that allow for screen clearance when the screen is opened on an 11, 13, or 15-inch MacBook (the 17-incher will be off the top of the ParcSlope, so it doesn’t need a ridge).
There’s a silicone lip holding the MacBook in place, and rubber feet on the bottom to keep your desk or table from being scratched.
In case you’re wondering about the “ParcSlope” name, well – Park Slope is a trendy neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, and the “Parc” pays respect to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where Steve Jobs and other Apple employees had their first look at a graphical user interface for a computer.
My test of the ParcSlope was done with a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. Setup of the stand is drop-dead simple; you just put it on the table. You’re done. Plop the MacBook Pro on top, open the screen, and get to work.
There’s some cable management built into ParcSlope as well – there’s a hole in the back of the aluminum through which you can weave your power cable, USB cables, Thunderbolt cables (this is perfect with a second display, by the way), you name it. The cables are held in place by the stand when disconnected from the MacBook.
Since I usually type on a gently angled Apple Wireless Keyboard that’s placed flat onto a desktop, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the steeper angle provided by the ParcSlope. As it was, the higher placement of both the MacBook’s screen and having my arms and hands a bit higher up actually felt better than typing on a flat MacBook keyboard. Your mileage may vary; you can get a feel for how the ParcSlope holds the MacBook by grabbing something just under 3 inches in height and sticking it under the back edge of the computer.
As usual, Twelve South has knocked another one out of the park (or should I say “parc”?) with the ParcSlope. It’s solid and should last you through the next ten generations of MacBook, and it makes any MacBook a more comfortable and usable member of the Mac family.
Those of you who have dual-screen setups for your Macs are going to love the nice Christmas gift that accessory manufacturer Twelve South is sending your way. The company has partnered with San Francisco photographer Scott Gordon to create sets of dual-screen backgrounds that you can download and install for free.
According to Twelve South Creative Director and Co-founder Andrew Green,
“I’ve always enjoyed the dual-screen experience with my Macs, and the best way to make the most of that setup is with gorgeous dual-screen backgrounds. In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve partnered with San Francisco photographer Scott Gordon to share a stunning set of dual-screen backgrounds with you. Happy Holidays from everyone at Twelve South.”
The collection of backgrounds is titled “Collection 1: Fall in San Francisco”, which seems to be a subtle hint that there will be future collections coming from Gordon and Twelve South. Visiting the page for the collection, you have your choice of four different wallpaper duos — Golden Gate, Nightscape, Cloudveil, and Soma — all of which come in a variety of sizes and resolutions.
Frankly, this is tempting me to get a 27-inch iMac with Retina display to sit next to my “old” 27-inch iMac so I can get a stunning set of San Francisco images… Many thanks to Andrew Green, Twelve South, and Scott Gordon for this fun and useful gift.
While the case may look the same from the outside, it’s actually different from its predecessors. First, the BookBook now features a distressed internal wallet with five (iPhone 6) or six (iPhone 6 Plus) slots for credit cards. There’s a window pocket for your ID, and a full-size pocket for cash – you do remember what cash is, don’t you? – or receipts.
Next, the BookBook used to use a leather holder to keep the iPhone in case, which I found to be rather floppy in practice. The company has replaced that with a thin plastic shell for the iPhone that can be easily removed from the BookBook for more lightweight use or charging.
Finally, the “old” BookBook design of three years ago was just a leather case that … flopped open. The new one? It can be used as a stand for all sorts of fun hands-free purposes!
As seen in the video below, the BookBook can still apparently help you get dates if you’re young and good-looking. That’s one feature that hasn’t changed at all. We’ll have a full review of the BookBook for iPhone 6/6 Plus soon.
For all of its greatness, Apple Pay hasn’t nearly killed the need to take your wallet with you wherever you go. But if you are like me, it has lightened your load a little bit. Instead of carrying around 5 credit cards, I now carry around one each of debit and credit. Combine that with some other de-Costanzifications (scan insurance cards and health club cards for instance) I’ve made recently, I can now consolidate my wallet into a few card slots.
What I’m getting at here is that I can follow the lead of my wife and now consolidate my iPhone and my wallet finally. I’ve chosen two amazing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases from my favorite iPhone case manufacturers to get me there: Pad and Quill’s Little Pocket Book ($60 -$10 off for Black Friday) and Twelve South’s $39 Surfacepad…
First up here is the Twelve South Surfacepad for iPhone 6. If you are at all familiar with Twelve South’s lineup, which has been around for 2 years, you know you are getting a top notch hand-crafted cover for the iPhone 6. On the inside you have a soft leather that provides an automatic dust cover/wiper for your iPhone, and on the outside you have quality stitched leather in four color options. I chose white to match the white/silver iPhone 6.
The back is ‘stickied’ onto the iPhone 6 and can be removed and added again a number of times (I am about six add/removes in and it still works great).
I beat the Hell out of my iPhone and these leather cases hold up for many months – perhaps even a year under harsh conditions. This year with the bigger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Twelve South added two slots for credit cards or a driver’s license which is huge. You can double up and maybe fit four cards in the ‘wallet’, but then you are already compromising the tight fit and finish of the case when it is closed.
The downside of the SurfacePad from Twelve South is that it doesn’t provide side impact protection for the iPhone 6. While this keeps the package slim, it kind of eliminates the whole reason to have a case to begin with: protection. You are pretty much naked when dropping the iPhone on its edges here. Sure the back and front are covered, but the edges are where you are more likely to take a hit.
And that brings up my second issue: although I’ve slimmed down my wallet, I do need to carry around a few more cards. That leads us to…
iPhone 6 Little PocketBook by Pad and Quill ($10 off today/Monday only). So my card usage is down, but I still need to carry around a license, a credit card and a few miscellaneous cards (and cash!) that blow out the SurfacePad. Not so for the luxurious Little Pocketbook by Pad and Quill. Like all Pad and Quill cases before, this is a serious wow! item with thick leather bound by heavy duty stitching and wood interior.
Like a Bentley or Rolls Royce of iPhone 6/Plus cases, this one is also very large as you can see in the gallery below, but you can pretty much drop this from your roof onto a diamond floor and expect not to see even a scuff. As for the leather, it is much, much thicker than the SurfacePad and will easily outlast your iPhone 6’s usability
I ended up going with the Little Pocket Book by Pad and Quill after using both for a few weeks. The SurfacePad is awesome and will have many happy users, especially at its $39.99 price tag, pleasant color selection and super-thin profile.
And don’t forget you can always get best iPhone 6/Plus wallet cases deal from our iRumors store.
Mac Pro owners now have another choice at how to position their beautiful cylindrical powerhouse on a desktop. Twelve South today announced the BookArc Stand for Mac Pro (US$59.99), a shiny little chrome-plated rack onto which you gently place your computer on its side.
What’s nice about the design is that by placing the Mac Pro on its side, it takes up only 7.5 inches of vertical space rather than 14 inches when it is placed upright. That means that you can place the Mac Pro inside a studio rack if you want, getting it out of the way, yet cradling it securely atop other gear.
The BookArc Stand for Mac Pro joins Twelve South’s other useful and stylish stands for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iPad. It’s available immediately, and I’m sure that any of your friends or co-workers who own Mac Pros would appreciate a BookArc Stand for the holidays.
The team at Twelve South has done it again; yesterday, they released theRutledge BookBook for MacBook, an “artisan leather case” for MacBook. Using the familiar antique book format of the classic BookBook, the Rutledge BookBook uses a special process to make each case subtly different. Buying one, you can be assured that you have a completely unique way of protecting your MacBook. According to Twelve South”
“We developed an entirely new technique for applying multiple layers of color, then carefully removing selected elements – revealing a radiant tapestry of hues and patterns. Each cover reveals a slightly different finish, as the brilliant tones follow the natural grain of the leather itself.”
- Price: US$99.99
11″ MacBook Air – 12.3″ x 8.3″ x 1.25″ (312mm x 211mm x 32mm)
13″ MacBook Air / MacBook Pro – 13.4″ x 9.8″ x 1.25″ (340mm x 249mm x 32mm)
13″ MacBook Pro w/Retina Display – 13.0″ x 9.3″ x 1.25″ (330mm x 236mm x 32mm)
15″ MacBook Pro w/Retina Display – 14.9″ x 10.5″ x 1.25″ (378mm x 266mm x 32mm)
Twelve South is known for its design work, with products like the BookArc, the Compass 2 for iPad and iPad mini, the BackPack for iMac, and PlugBugall having a signature style and class that make them stand out. The Rutledge BookBook for MacBook is no exception. While it’s essentially a riff on the original BookBook case (still available for $79.99), the Rutledge BookBook adds a gorgeous patina to the leather cover that just can’t be described. There’s a depth and warmth to the finish of the cover that makes it look like a museum piece.
But you won’t want to hang the Rutledge BookBook on the wall; it makes a great protective cover for your MacBook as well. I always wondered if “hiding” a MacBook or other device in a book-like cover would keep the electronics from being stolen; now the Twelve South site specifically points out that they have many letters from customers who have had a house or car broken into, but the BookBook-disguised MacBook wasn’t taken.
The inside of the case is covered with a black, somewhat spongy material that should protect your electronics from the occasional bang or drop, and there’s a set of small elastic bands to hold the case onto the MacBook’s display. A zipper runs around all but the spine of the BookBook, with two leather zipper pulls making it easy to open and close.
Finally, on the spine of the Rutledge BookBook is embossed with gold foil highlights, a title and volume number. In a word, it’s beautiful.
The Rutledge BookBook may look great, but it’s also an excellent way to keep your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro looking new. You should note that if you’re going to stow the BookBook and MacBook in a bag for travel, you’ll need to get a bag that can carry a MacBook “one size larger” than the one you have. For example, for a 13″ MacBook Pro w/Retina display, you will want to make sure that your bag can hold a 15″ MacBook Pro. For a 15″ MacBook Pro, get a bag that holds a 17″ laptop.
Anyone looking for a unique and beautiful way to protect a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro should consider the Twelve South Rutledge BookBook for MacBook. It’s classy, each case is literally one-of-a-kind, and it might just disguise your MacBook enough to keep it from being a target for theft.