As an owner of the LG UltraFine 5K Display, I often find myself using my 2016 MacBook Pro in closed-display (clamshell) mode with a keyboard attached to the display’s USB-C port. This allows me to enjoy the best of both worlds — a portable machine for when I’m on the go, and a 5K desktop setup for when I’m stationed at my desk.

Anyone who uses closed-display mode on a regular basis knows that having your MacBook Pro sitting flat on your desk takes can take up a significant amount of prime real estate on the desk top. It’s why vertical stands like Twelve South’s BookArc have been so popular with MacBook users over the years.

In this brief hands-on video, we take a look at the recently-updated BookArc, which includes a new rubber insert that’s specially designed to make the vertical stand play nice with the 2016 MacBook Pro.

Twelve South notes that the BookArc helps MacBook users enjoy a variety of handy benefits:

  • Closed-display mode affords a more comfortable desk setup
  • The vertical stand frees up prime work space by elevating the MacBook vertically off the desk
  • A specially designed cable catch on both ends of the Book Arc keeps cable connections from falling when disconnected

I can also note a few other positive properties about the BookArc. The chamfered edges lend the stand a high-quality look and feel. There’s also the rubber insert that keeps the MacBook Pro secure, free of nicks and dings, and rubber feet that prevent the stand from sliding around on your desk.

Twelve South BookArc video walkthrough

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Twelve South includes several rubber inserts in the box to accommodate multiple MacBook models, including the 12-inch MacBook, 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air, 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro, and 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.


While I’ve always been intrigued by the BookArc, this is my first time actually using one. In hindsight, I realize that I probably should have invested in one of these units a long time ago, because I often use my MacBooks in closed-display mode.


At $49.99, the BookArc is a great option for users who regularly take advantage of closed-display mode on the MacBook Pro. I do, however, wish the BookArc came in a Space Gray color to match my Space Gray machine, but that’s pretty much my only complaint about the product after a few days of solid usage.


A clean setup: the BookArc next to the Akitio Thunder3 eGPU

If you already own a 2015 model BookArc, then TwelveSouth is selling the 2016 MacBook Pro insert separately for $9.99 on its website. By simply purchasing the insert, you can effectively upgrade your BookArc to work with Apple’s latest and greatest without dropping the full $49.99 asking price.

Do you use your MacBook with an external display? If so, do you often take advantage of closed-display mode? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

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About the Author

Jeff Benjamin

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.