Review: Twelve South’s New ‘HiRise Wireless’ Converts From Stand to Mat for Charging iPhone and AirPods

Twelve South today announced its latest HiRise accessory, called the "HiRise Wireless," and it's available to purchase now on Twelve South's website. The new accessory is a multi-purpose wireless charging stand with two distinct positions: you can charge your iPhone upright in a traditional stand position, or pop out the Qi-certified Power Disc for a miniature device that's perfectly sized to charge AirPods, or to bring with you when you travel.


The Power Disc is also USB-C compatible, so that when you bring it on a trip you can leave the included power cord at home and use the USB-C cable that comes with the latest MacBook and iPad Pro models to charge your iPhone or AirPods on the mat. Twelve South built the accessory with size in mind, ensuring that it has a small footprint in both charging positions: the main base of the accessory measures 3.5 inches across all sides, while the Power Disc is an oval that measures 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches.

Design


I've had a chance to use the new HiRise Wireless stand over the course of the past week, and it's quickly replaced the previous Choetech wireless charging stand I had next to my iMac. The design of the accessory matches the quality of Twelve South's previous HiRise products, with a soft-touch leather padding that looks nice alongside the device's chrome detailing.


The HiRise Wireless is reliably sturdy, and there's a small bump on the base to keep your iPhone upright when it's charging. The stand has a nice heft to it, which helps ensure that it won't budge when you interact with it; a rubberized coating under the stand aids this as well. There's also very little setup, since all you have to do is remove the Power Disc, pass the USB-A to USB-C cable through the oval opening, plug it into the Power Disc, and replace the Qi mat into its slot.

To remove the Power Disc, you simply apply a small amount of pressure to the back of the raised portion of the stand, and the Power Disc pops off with ease. It also remains in place with a firm grip when it's vertical, and I haven't seen the Power Disc fall off or move when I didn't want it to in my testing. After interacting with the accessory for a few days, the black leather and chrome areas do attract smudges and dust easily, but it's also just as simple to wipe clean once in a while.


The accessory's quality design extends to the Power Disc itself, which has a soft leather coating that won't scratch the back of your iPhone if you don't use a case, and a rubberized lining on its back to help make it a bit more stable. There's a small LED on the back to let you know if your device is charging, finished charging, or if there's a foreign object on the mat. Besides a HiRise logo on the back, a Twelve South logo on the front, and the USB-C port, the Power Disc is otherwise a plain and unobtrusive smaller-than-palm-size Qi mat.

Performance


In normal daily use, I've found the HiRise Wireless to perform at the same level of other 10W wireless charging mats. This means the stand provides a solid trickle charge to your iPhone and is perfect for overnight charging. I use Apple's Smart Battery Case on my iPhone X, and for the past few nights the HiRise Wireless has managed to fuel up my iPhone X from around 50 percent to 100 percent, and fully charge the Smart Battery Case.


The accessory works with most iPhone cases, similar to every other Qi mat, so you don't have to worry about taking off your silicone or leather cases to use the HiRise Wireless. With a Smart Battery Case extending my iPhone X's lifecycle I don't necessarily need a wireless stand on my desk when I work, but I prefer to have one since it provides super convenient at-a-glance notification readouts. Because of this, HiRise Wireless was perfect as a desktop companion to my iMac and iPad setup.


The accessory transitions seamlessly into a horizontal charging mat with the Power Disc removal, but there can be some awkward moments where you have to move your iPhone around a bit to find the Qi hotspot. Of course, your iPhone won't be as snug as it is on the full vertical stand, and a good portion of it will be hanging off the Power Disc. I wasn't worried about damaging my iPhone X, but it should be noted that anyone who prefers full-length horizontal mats will likely be disappointed with the tiny Power Disc.

On the other hand, if you plan to use the Power Disc for AirPods charging there are very little downsides. The oval Qi mat is a perfect match with Apple's 2019 AirPods update, which include the Wireless Charging Case. I leave my AirPods charging on a Qi mat in my kitchen so that they're easy to grab as I head out the door, and for the past week I've used the HiRise Wireless in only its Power Disc mode more than anything.


The small device blends perfectly into my kitchen's dark countertops, and it's so inconspicuous that it's easier to miss when compared to full-sized mats, like the Belkin accessory I was previously using to charge my AirPods. With the small design of the wireless earphones, there's also no problem with finding the Qi hotspot on the Power Disc, and I found the charging as reliable as it was for my iPhone X and Smart Battery Case.

Bottom Line


There's a lot of functionality to Twelve South's new HiRise Wireless stand that makes it easy to recommend, but you'll be paying a premium price of $79.99 for the new product. While this is around the same price as Twelve South's other Qi mat (the PowerPic), it exceeds the cost of low-to-average priced mats, which can be as cheap as $10, and still dependable thanks to companies like Anker.


But, if you're looking for a wireless charging mat with utility, you can get your money's worth out of the HiRise Wireless. The accessory offers solid iPhone and AirPods charging speeds in both horizontal and vertical positions, and the quality of its craftsmanship and small footprint make it an ideal desktop charging mat.

How to Buy


You can purchase the HiRise Wireless on TwelveSouth.com for $79.99 starting today.

Note: Twelve South provided MacRumors with one HiRise Wireless stand for the purposes of this review, and no other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Twelve South. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.


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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a BookBook for iPad Pro, an AirFly and CableSnaps from Twelve South

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Twelve South to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a prize pack that includes a BookBook vol. 2 for iPad Pro, an AirFly, and a set of CableSnaps.

The BookBook vol. 2, priced starting at $89, is Twelve South's newest addition to its popular BookBook lineup. The BookBook vol. 2 is designed for the 2018 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.


Like other BookBook cases, it's handmade from leather and is designed to look like a classic book. A built-in shell holds the iPad in place, and when the book-like case is opened up, the cover serves as a display stand or a wedge for typing and sketching.


The BookBook vol. 2 features a holder for the Apple Pencil so it doesn't get lost, and there's a camera cutout for the rear camera at the back so you can still take photos.


An interior pocket holds documents or a slim keyboard, and the hardback covers and the spine make sure your iPad is protected when it's zipped shut.


Along with the BookBook, the Twelve South prize pack also includes the AirFly, designed to work with the AirPods, Powerbeats Pro, or other Bluetooth headphones. The AirFly is an adapter accessory that lets you use your Bluetooth headphones with a wired headphone jack.


This is useful in situations where there are no Bluetooth connectivity options, such as on airplanes or when using gym equipment. In-flight entertainment systems, for example, often require wired headphones to hear sound, but with the AirFly, you can plug it into the jack and then connect to your headphones.


The AirFly, priced at $40, is similar in size to the AirPods, and it comes with a travel pouch for portability. It uses a built-in battery that lasts for approximately eight hours before you need to recharge it.


The last item in the Twelve South prize pack is a set of $20 CableSnaps, designed to keep your cords organized. CableSnaps come in a set of three and are sized for different cables and use cases.


Made from leather in black, teal, or cognac, the large CableSnap is ideal for wrangling a USB-C charging cable, while the smaller versions are perfect for Lighting cables or earbuds that have a cord.

Each CableSnap is a strip of leather with a metal snap that keeps everything tight and secured. A cable loop is included so it can stay attached to your cords with a cable loop.


We have three prize packs from Twelve South to give away. Winners will be able to choose a BookBook in their preferred size, CableSnaps in their preferred color, and will receive an AirFly. To enter to win our giveaway, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

Twelve South Giveaway

The contest will run from today (June 14) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 21. The winners will be chosen randomly on June 21 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.


This article, "MacRumors Giveaway: Win a BookBook for iPad Pro, an AirFly and CableSnaps from Twelve South" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Twelve South Launches New BookBook Volume 2 for 2018 iPad Pro Models

Twelve South today announced a new version of its iconic BookBook case for iPad, which has been designed for Apple's latest 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.

BookBook Volume 2, like other iPad BookBooks, is a handmade leather case that's been designed to look like a classic book.


There's a built-in shell that holds your iPad Pro in place, and when opened up, the leather case serves as a display stand when the inner shell is lifted up or, when the cover is folded back, a wedge for typing and sketching.


Inside, there's a spot where you can hold your Apple Pencil so it doesn't get lost, and there's a camera cutout for the rear camera at the back, which is new to the BookBook.


An interior pocket lets you hold documents or a slim Bluetooth keyboard, and the hardback covers and the spine offer all-around protection when the case is zipped shut.


There are dual zippers so you can keep the case closed while leaving room for the USB-C cable for charging purposes, and the aforementioned display mode is ideal if you want to use it with an add-on keyboard.


You can get the new BookBook Volume 2 from the Twelve South website, with the 11-inch version priced at $89 and the 12.9-inch version priced at $99.


This article, "Twelve South Launches New BookBook Volume 2 for 2018 iPad Pro Models" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Twelve South Updates BookArc With Compatibility for 2018 MacBook Air

Twelve South this week announced a new update to its BookArc accessory, which now fits the MacBook Air with Retina Display that launched in October 2018.


The aluminum stand also includes inserts to fit a wide range of other Apple notebooks. These include the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro (USB-C), the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Air with Retina Display, and the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Otherwise, the new BookArc looks and performs similarly to previous models, providing a place to rest your MacBook while you tether it to an external display for a more comfortable workflow. BookArc can also be used to charge and display a MacBook. Twelve South shared a video about the origins of BookArc, which was the company's first product.


The updated BookArc is available on Twelve South's website for $49.99, and will launch in retail soon. Existing BookArc owners can buy just the insert for the MacBook Air with Retina Display for $9.99.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Twelve South. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.


This article, "Twelve South Updates BookArc With Compatibility for 2018 MacBook Air" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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MacRumors Exclusive: Get Ready for Spring Break With 20% Savings on Twelve South’s Travel Accessories

As we near the end of winter in the northern hemisphere, many schools around the country will begin their Spring Break holidays very soon. In celebration of the upcoming holiday, MacRumors and Twelve South are partnering up to offer our readers an exclusive 20 percent discount on six of the company's most useful travel accessories, which will be perfect additions to any Spring Break trip or vacation planned for later this summer.


Those interested can visit TwelveSouth.com and browse the six items listed below, add one or more to your cart, and enter the promo code SPRINGBREAKRUMOR during the checkout process to take 20 percent off your order. The code is live beginning today, March 11, and will be available to use through Sunday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

MacRumors readers around the globe will be able to enter the code and take advantage of the discounts, but shipping costs will vary by regions. For United States residents, Twelve South offers free FedEx Smart Post on all orders (5-10 days estimate), and if your order exceeds $95 you'll gain free 2-day shipping.

The products can be purchased individually or in groups, and the 20 percent discount will be taken off from the total of the order, excluding shipping. Also note that you won't be able to combine our exclusive promo code with any other offers on Twelve South's website. Below you'll find the full list of Twelve South products offered as a discount exclusively for our readers.

AirFly



Promo Price: $32.00, down from $39.99
Colors: White
Compatible Products: AirPods, most Bluetooth headphones
Description: AirFly connects to wired headphone jacks and transmits audio wirelessly to your AirPods, perfect for watching movies on in-flight entertainment systems or syncing to TV audio in a gym.

AirSnap



Promo Price: $24.00, down from $29.99
Colors: Cognac, Deep Teal, and Black
Compatible Products: AirPods
Description: AirSnap protects your AirPods charging case in a full-grain leather case, incorporating a bottom cutout for Lightning charging and a secure snap closure to keep the AirPods secure while traveling.

PlugBug Duo



Promo Price: $40.00, down from $49.99
Colors: Red
Compatible Products: All Apple USB-C, MagSafe 2, and MagSafe Power Adapters
Description: The upgraded PlugBug Duo supports global charging for your MacBook (in over 150 countries with 5 included adapters), and adds two USB-A charging ports that results in an easy all-in-one charging solution perfect for those traveling out of the country this season.

RelaxedLeather for iPhone



Promo Price: $32.00 - $40.00, down from $39.99 - $49.99
Colors: Black, Marsala, Earl Grey, Indigo, Deep Teal, Cognac, Dried Herb, and Warm Taupe
Compatible Products: iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus
Description: The RelaxedLeather Case will protect your iPhone from drops and spills on any trip, and if you opt for the version with pockets you can store your driver's license or a few credit cards right within the case.

Journal CaddySack



Promo Price: $72.00, down from $89.99
Colors: Leather brown
Compatible Products: Charging accessories for Mac, iPhone, and iPad
Description: Twelve South's Journal CaddySack provides a neat and organized location to pack all of your Lightning cables, USB-C adapters, Apple Pencil, charging bricks, Apple Watch Bands, and more when you're traveling.

TimePorter



Promo Price: $40.00, down from $49.99
Colors: Black
Compatible Products: Apple Watch
Description: TimePorter offers a travel solution for your Apple Watch accessories, built with a compartment that holds your charging cable, an extra band, and USB charging brick, all within an accessory that's about the size of an eyeglasses case. As a bonus, you can pass through the Apple Watch inductive charging puck and sit your Apple Watch on top of the TimePorter to charge it.

Head over to our Deals Roundup for even more of the latest offers happening this week, and remember to use the exclusive Twelve South promo code before it expires on March 24.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Twelve South Launches Updated BookBook, Journal, and SurfacePad for 2018 iPhones

Twelve South today announced updated versions of its BookBook, Journal, and SurfacePad case accessories, which were built to fit the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.


BookBook combines an iPhone shell case with a wallet case that can hold five cards, and includes a pocket for cash. The case also folds into a display stand for hands-free usage, and if you ever want to remove the iPhone from the wallet, the separate shell case keeps protecting the smartphone.

BookBook comes in black and cognac, and costs $59.99 for the iPhone XS version, and $69.99 for the iPhone XS Max and XR versions.


Journal has many of the same features as BookBook, but with a straightforward leather design. This case is available in black and cognac as well, priced at $69.99 for the iPhone XS version, and $79.99 for the iPhone XS Max and XR versions.

Lastly, SurfacePad provides more minimal coverage for the iPhone. It protects the front and back of the smartphone, but doesn't included a separate shell case that can be detached. SurfacePad has two card slots, a viewing stand, and provides wake/sleep functionality on the iPhone X, XS, and XS Max.


SurfacePad is available in black, cognac, and a deep teal. All versions of the case for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR run for $59.99, but as of writing the XR SurfacePad is temporarily out of stock, with more expected for next week.

Twelve South has released a few new products recently, including an updated CaddySack, new Journal cases for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and a new Qi wireless charger called the PowerPic.


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Review: Twelve South Offers a Creative Solution to Wireless iPhone Charging With the ‘PowerPic’

Since the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus introduced Qi wireless charging into Apple products for the first time last year, more and more users have begun hunting for the best wireless charging pad out there. We've detailed this topic in numerous posts over the past year, and in the end, many buying recommendations for Qi mats come down to support for Apple's 7.5W fast wireless charging and overall design.


In both categories, Twelve South's all new PowerPic Frame for iPhone excels. The accessory is a wooden picture frame that fits any vertically framed 5"x7" photo, while also charging any Qi-compatible smartphone. In Apple's lineup of devices, that means it supports the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, XS Max, and XR, but if you use Google or other Android smartphones that have Qi wireless charging, you can use the PowerPic as well.

Setup


PowerPic essentially comes in three pieces: the wooden picture frame, the back plate that makes up the main charging section of the device, and a small metal support arm. The support arm connects easily into the back of the PowerPic, and a little cutout allows for cable organization.


The included cable is a 1.5m USB-C to USB-A cable. PowerPic doesn't come with an AC adapter, so if you want to plug it into a wall then your outlet will need a USB socket, or you can use any traditional wall adapter brick.


To change the image in the frame, PowerPic is built like a regular picture frame. The back has small clips that hold the charging plate in place, and if you swivel these clips away, the plate will disengage from the wooden frame. Even with the added weight of the charging plate, PowerPic didn't feel particularly heavy to me, and the support arm kept the accessory nice and sturdy wherever I placed it.
Continue reading "Review: Twelve South Offers a Creative Solution to Wireless iPhone Charging With the ‘PowerPic’"

Twelve South Expands Journal Line With CaddySack, New Options for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

Twelve South today announced new additions to its Journal line of products, including Journal options for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and a new Journal CaddySack for storing accessories.

The MacBook Journal, priced at $149.99, is designed to work with 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models and the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Air.


We had a chance to check out the Journal for MacBook ahead of its launch. It features rich, soft leather in a cognac color that will take on a unique patina as it ages, and the exterior, as the name suggests, looks like a journal complete with spine.

The leather exterior is accompanied by a soft black microsuede interior that keeps your MacBook from getting scratched and offers some light padding. When expanded, the bottom of the MacBook sits on top of the bottom of the Journal, while the top is held in place by two pieces of elastic.


Inside, at the bottom of the Journal case, there's a hidden interior pocket where you can keep documents safe. The entire Journal features a zipper closure with dual zippers so it won't come out during transport.


Twelve South is also introducing the Journal CaddySack, an alternative to the BookBook CaddySack it already offers. Priced at $90, the Journal CaddySack is designed to match the Journal for MacBook and the Journal for iPhone.

It too is made from a supple cognac leather that will develop a one-of-a-kind look over time, with an attractive gray tweed interior.


Several elastic and velcro straps inside of the CaddySack can hold a MacBook power adapter, charging cables, dongles, an Apple Pencil, and other accessories. There's also a zippered pocket at the top for other small odds and ends.


All of the straps inside of the CaddySack are adjustable, which gives you flexibility when deciding what you need to carry inside for day to day use. Like other Journal products, the CaddySack zips closed to protect everything located inside.

Twelve South's new Journal products can be purchased starting today from the Twelve South website.


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Twelve South Launches ‘PowerPic’ Wooden Picture Frame With 10W Qi Charger for $80

Twelve South today launched the "PowerPic," a traditional wooden picture frame that includes a hidden, 10W wireless charger. You can place any 5" x 7" photo in the PowerPic, and then to charge an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, XS Max, or XR, you simply place the device on top of the photo.


Twelve South says that the idea behind the PowerPic was to create a Qi charger that would not add to the clutter of a bedside table or desk, so that when your iPhone (or any compatible Qi smartphone) isn't charging, it just looks like any other framed picture in your home.


The main visual difference comes at the back of the frame, where a small status light lets you know when the smartphone is fully charged. The light can also alert you if a foreign object in a wallet case, like a bank card with a chip, is preventing the iPhone from charging. The PowerPic includes a 1.5m USB-C to USB-A cable, so the device can be plugged into any traditional USB 3.0 port.


The company also notes that there are potentially inventive ways for customers to use PowerPic, like taking two separate images -- one for the frame and one for your iPhone -- that when placed together are completed. Twelve South has a few ideas of its own to inspire users, offering a list of frame and iPhone wallpapers themed around New York City, Paris, the holidays, and Rockefeller Center, downloadable for free here.

Those interested can purchase the PowerPic for $79.99 in White or Black on TwelveSouth.com starting today.


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Review: Twelve South’s $50 PlugBug Duo is a Useful Travel Companion

Twelve South has long offered a PlugBug accessory designed to provide interchangeable plugs for travel purposes, but earlier this month, an updated version debuted that adds an extra USB port.

The new Twelve South PlugBug Duo is an ideal travel accessory because it adds international plugs to your MacBook adapter and it lets you charge accessories like an iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch while charging your laptop.


Design wise, when it comes out of the box, the PlugBug Duo is similar in shape to the power adapter for a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air. To use it, though, the bottom portion snaps off to reveal a slide and hook mechanism.


Attaching it to a MacBook power adapter requires popping off the plug part of the adapter and replacing it with the snap-on PlugBug Duo component. It's a simple replacement that took me a few seconds to do.


PlugBug Duo is made from a bright red plastic material that's quite eye catching, and while the quality of the plastic doesn't quite measure up to the Apple power adapter, it's not far off.


The PlugBug Duo can serve as a permanent replacement for the plug portion of the power adapter, for use both at home and when traveling. Size wise, it lines up well with the 87W MacBook Pro charger, but it's larger than the 29W/30W and 61W chargers for the MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

In my photos, for example, I've attached it to the MacBook charger. It's wider on the right side than the power adapter and it adds more than an inch of bulk at the top due to the two USB ports, but it takes up less space than separate charging bricks for my iPad and iPhone.


The PlugBug Duo does add extra size to a power adapter, but I didn't feel like it was so bulky that it became less portable.

It's worth noting that with the PlugBug attached, you're not able to use the Power Adapter Extension Cable. If you want to use the Extension Cable, you will need to remove the PlugBug to attach it to the power adapter. I don't normally use the Extension Cable, especially when traveling, so I didn't have a problem with the tradeoff.

There are two USB-A ports on the PlugBug Duo, one that's 2.1A and ideal for charging an iPad and one that's 1A, which is suitable for an iPhone or Apple Watch. You can also use the 2.1A port to more quickly charge an iPhone, but this isn't an adapter you'll want to use for something like two iPads. I found it particularly useful for charging an iPhone in the 2.1A port and an Apple Watch in the 1A port.

While you can use the PlugBug Duo at home to add extra USB ports to your power adapter, where it really shines is travel. It's useful not having to take along extra power adapters for all of your devices. As with the standard power adapter, the prongs on the PlugBug tuck in when it's not in use (this is limited to the U.S. and China adapters).

PlugBug Duo is ideal for international travel because the plug portion snaps off and Twelve South ships it with several other interchangeable adapters that can be used in other countries.


There are adapters for Europe, China, Australia/New Zealand, North America, and the UK, with more than 150 countries covered in total. I didn't travel out of the country during my time testing the PlugBug, but I can say that it's pretty simple to swap out the plugs when needed.

Even if you're not traveling abroad, PlugBug Duo has the potential to be useful just because it lets you charge a MacBook and two other accessories at one time.


I do wish that Twelve South had included some kind of little pouch to keep the adapters in place when not in use, but with no pouch, I'm using the box, which does have convenient cutouts for each one.

I also wish that the PlugBug Duo had a place to wrap up the cord when packing it up for travel, but Apple's own USB-C power adapters don't offer that functionality either so I can't complain too much.

PlugBug Duo worked well with the two USB-C power adapters I tested it with, but it's also compatible with all MagSafe 2 power adapters, all MagSafe power adapters, and the 12W iPad power adapter.

Bottom Line


The PlugBug Duo is a great little travel accessory that offers a lot of utility, offering up different adapters for travel and two USB-A ports so you don't need to carry around additional adapters for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.


It's not cheap at $50, but the utility that's offered seems worth the price if you travel on a frequent basis.

How to Purchase


The PlugBug Duo can be purchased from the Twelve South website for $49.99.

Note: Twelve South provided MacRumors with a PlugBug Duo for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


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