Twelve South BaseLift for MacBook: Ultra-portable stand

Twelve south baselift for Macbook. Photo via Twelvesouth.com

Twelve south baselift for Macbook. Photo via Twelvesouth.com

On the first day Apple World Today was open for business (Feb. 9, 2015), our first published review was about the Twelve South ParcSlope (US$49.95, affiliate link), an aluminum stand for MacBook. While the ParcSlope gathered a five-star rating from AWT for its sleek design and solid construction, it's hardly a stand that you can take with you everywhere. Little did we know at the time that Twelve South had another, much more portable MacBook stand waiting in the wings. The BaseLift for MacBook ($39.99) is now available from Twelve South, and it can be used anywhere to give your laptop a lift and your thighs some insulation from the heat (or cold) of your favorite Apple computer.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions (flat/lap mode): 7.1 x 8.74 x 0.14 inches (181 x 222 x 3.7mm)
  • Wedge height (folded/typing mode): 1.26 inches (32mm)
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces (119 grams)

Design:

At first glance when opening the typically swanky Twelve South box, you might think that you've mistakenly received an Apple iPad SmartCover. The BaseLift looks quite nice, featuring a soft-touch material similar to that used on the SmartCover. It comes in one color duo -- black, with a red interior that is visible when the BaseLift is in use.

When installed, BaseLift lays flat against the bottom of your MacBook, held magnetically until you need a little lift. Then you simply pull the lower part of the flap out, fold it over into a small wedge, and it's magnetically fixed into a stand that's perfect for giving the MacBook just enough of a lift to make typing more comfortable.

Done using the MacBook? Just fold the BaseLift flat again. It adds almost nothing to the weight and thickness of your laptop.

Functionality:

Sadly, I'm in between MacBooks right now, trying to figure out if I want one of the new 12-inch Retina MacBooks that will be out in less than two weeks or a more powerful 11-inch MacBook Air. Fortunately, BaseLift works with every model of MacBook. There are two different "Fit-strips" that come with the BaseLift. If you have an 11-inch or 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Air, you don't use a Fit-strip. Have a 13-inch MacBook Air or MacBook Pro? There's a Fit-strip specifically for those models. And if you have a 15-inch MacBook Pro, there's a wider Fit-strip included.

Installation is done by peeling a backing off of a sticky material, the aligning the BaseLift properly on the bottom of your MacBook. Press the BaseLift into place, along with one of the Fit-strips if needed, and you're ready to go. 

The idea behind the BaseLift is to provide two functions: lift the back of the MacBook slightly to make typing more comfortable and give the screen a more vertical orientation, and to insulate your thighs from the MacBook's metal exterior. If you've ever had a hot-running MacBook or brought one in from a cold car, you know that using it on your lap can be a shocking experience... The thin material of BaseLift is just enough to keep you comfortable.

The magnetic material built into the BaseLift lets the stand snap into place and keeps the foldable bottom "flap" from drooping then the stand isn't in use. The black and red color scheme of the BaseLift might not be for everyone, but it looks good with just about every current Apple laptop with the possible exception of the gold 12-inch MacBook.

Conclusion:

With the BaseLift, Twelve South is continuing a long streak of "wins" in designing and manufacturing quality accessories for Apple hardware. Pricing is in line with the similar Apple iPad Smart Cover, so you're getting a well-built, unobtrusive, and useful accessory at a fair value price.

Apple World Today Rating (out of five stars): ★★★★★