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Tidy up your desk with HiRise 2 and BackPack by Twelve South

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Despite best efforts, my desk has a natural tendency to get cluttered. Some of it is just temporary, like a new gadget I am reviewing. Other clutter is longer-lived and thus harder to get rid of. In this article, I will show how I uncluttered my desk from cables and self-adhesive strips with products from Twelve South: HiRise 2, a beautiful iPhone charging dock and BackPack, a sleek shelf for the iMac.

Shop mentioned products

HiRise 2 Deluxe by Twelve South

A few weeks ago, I reviewed another Twelve South gadget, the Fermata charging stand for my Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones. The Fermata has a spare USB port that I could connect to my iPhone dock via a regular Lightning cable. As practical as that was, the white dock and cable didn’t look good next to the black charging stand. In fact, it looked untidy, and I didn’t like it.

Tidy up your desk with HiRise 2 and BackPack by Twelve South

Not messy but iPhone dock adds clutter to my desk

Twelve South must have felt my pain because they agreed to send me a review unit of their HiRise 2 Deluxe charging dock. I asked for the black model, which includes a Lightning cable in the same color. As you can see in the before and after photos, the HiRise 2 visually uncluttered my desk.

Tidy up your desk with HiRise 2 and BackPack by Twelve South

Tidy desk thanks to HiRise 2

Key Features of the HiRise 2

The HiRise 2 is not limited to charging your iPhone. In fact, it supports a variety of Lightning-connected devices, including:

  • iPhone 5s and newer
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
  • Apple TV Siri Remote
  • AirPods charging case
  • Apple Magic Keyboard
  • Apple Magic Trackpad 2
  • And more!

The HiRise is also available in a Deluxe version that comes with a Micro-USB in addition to a Lightning cable. As a result, you could charge Android and other Micro-USB compatible devices as well.

Additionally, the HiRise is flexible enough to support iPhone cases, including battery cases like the Mophie Juice Pack. That’s incredible, and it makes the HiRise my favorite iPhone charging dock yet.

You can learn more about the HiRise 2 on Twelve South’s web page.

BackPack for iMac

I don’t look at the backside of my iMac often, but I like to keep it neat regardless. That applies mostly to cables but also to externally connected storage devices.

As I outlined in the article about my data backup strategy, I mirror the internal hard drive of my iMac to an external drive every night. I have connected that external drive via Thunderbolt to the iMac. In the past, I placed the drive underneath the iMac. At some point, I added a second drive for testing beta releases of macOS. It looked cluttered, and so I decided to find an alternative solution in the form of self-adhesive strips.

Using those strips, I affixed the two drives to the backside of the iMac’s stand. It worked but didn’t look great. But at least, the drives were out of sight.

The issue with that approach was that the heat the iMac produces could weaken the glue on the adhesive strip. I didn’t want to risk the drives coming crashing down, and so I decided to give BackPack a try.

Sure enough, when I removed the strips, they came off super easy, a sign that the adhesive had already started to weaken.

Key Features of the BackPack

BackPack is a sleek, sturdy shelf designed exclusively for your iMac or Apple Display. This gorgeous slice of steel makes a perfect perch for hard drives, USB peripherals or business cards. Included vertical support pegs prop up tall drives, Time Capsule or even your MacBook Air. BackPack hangs on the back (or front) of your iMac using two clips and gravity. Built-in cable management rails hold your power cords in place for grab-and-go convenience. BackPack is here to help you create the minimalist zen-like workspace your Mac was made for.

The advantage of the BackPack is that you can install it on the front or the back of the iMac. It also supports Apple’s now-obsolete Thunderbolt Display as that uses the same stand.

The BackPack is incredibly versatile as it can store a variety of devices of different shapes and sizes, including:

  • MacBook – up to the 13-inch model
  • Magic Keyboard
  • External hard drives
  • Mac mini
  • And much more

Installation

The installation of the BackPack took only a few minutes. I spent most of that time, trying to adjust one of the plastic inserts that wrap the iMac stand. Somehow mine didn’t want to get seated properly. To prevent scratching the enclosure of my external drive, BackPack comes with a thin silicone sheet that you can place on the shelf to protect any device you put on top.

I had to find a longer USB cable for my SanDisk Solid State Disk (SSD) because the one it came with was too short to reach the USB port on the iMac.

You can learn more about the HiRise 2 on Twelve South’s web page.

Tidy up your desk with HiRise 2 and BackPack by Twelve South

I am a huge fan of Twelve South and their innovative products. With HiRise 2 and BackPack they have yet again proven their ability to deliver beautifully looking, yet versatile products that add value to my life.

About the Author Michael Kummer

I was born and raised in Austria. I speak German, English, and Spanish. Since moving to the U.S., I have lived and worked in Alpharetta, GA. In my twenties, I was a professional 100m sprinter. These days I do mostly CrossFit. I'm a technologist and Apple fan. I love science and don't believe anything unless there is proof. I follow the Paleo diet and intermittently fast every day. I'm married and have two trilingual kids. My goal with this blog is to share what I learn so that you can spend time on something else.

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  • Raymond Tan says:

    Really nice implementation.

  • Tiago says:

    Pretty cool gadgets Michael.. I am all about 0 clutter so I can feel your pain.

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