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Twelve South Curve Riser review: A bit too much of a rise

Twelve South Curve Riser Review
(Image: © Adam Oram / iMore)

Our Verdict

Bottom line: Twelve South's Curve Riser is super sturdy and very well built. While it offers useful storage space for smaller desks or neat freaks, it's simply too tall to be ergonomic for most iMac or Apple Studio Display users.

For

  • Sturdy build
  • Built-in shelf

Against

  • Too tall for most use cases
  • Fixed height
  • Only comes in black (which shows a lot of dust)

With the work-from-home life seeming to be here for the foreseeable future, more folks are ensuring they have a proper place to work from home. With Apple just launching its own external display, and the iMac getting a new lease of life in the last couple of years, a decent monitor stand is now something that a lot of Mac users ought to consider grabbing for their home desk setups.

Twelve South, a purveyor of quality Apple-related accessories, is often one of the go-to brands for filling this type of niche that Apple leaves open, but its Curve Riser iMac stand is a rare miss from the company.

Twelve South Curve Riser: Price and availability

Twelve South Curve Riser Lifestyle

Twelve South Curve Riser Lifestyle (Image credit: Twelve South)

Twelve South's Curve Riser is available for $80 directly at Twelve South's online store, though you can often pick it up at third-party retailers like Amazon for less than that.

There's just one version of the monitor stand on offer right now with black being the only color and just the one size option.

Twelve South Curve Riser: What's good

Twelve South Curve Riser Review

Twelve South Curve Riser Review (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

Like basically every Twelve South product I've tested out over the years, the Curve Riser is a well-polished and well-made offering.

One thing you want from your monitor or iMac stand is for it to be sturdy so you can rest easy knowing your expensive display isn't going to wobble off without warning.

I can leave my desk looking tidy after work.

The Curve Riser really nails this. In my couple of weeks of testing, I never once felt like my iMac was at risk of toppling over even when raising or lowering my sit/stand desk.

This is partially due to the build quality of the stand which feels more heavy-duty than other stands I have used and the fact that the underside offers silicon strips to keep everything in situ.

Twelve South Curve Riser Review

Twelve South Curve Riser Review (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

I have also found the built-in shelf to be a useful space for storing (or just hiding away) various small items that tend to live on my desk. I've primarily used it to store my multi-port desktop charger, various cables, and a portable SSD while keeping a wireless charger conveniently stowed underneath. When finishing work, I can even tuck my keyboard and trackpad under it if I want to leave my desk looking clean and tidy.

The shelf is perforated which helps to maintain airflow for accessories that may heat up in use, such as USB hubs or something like the aforementioned desktop charger.

Twelve South Curve Riser: What's not good

Twelve South Curve Riser Review

Twelve South Curve Riser Review (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

Despite the stellar build quality of the Curve Riser, I find it difficult to recommend it — at least to most iMac or Apple Studio Display users. Simply put, it's too tall.

At 4.2 inches, it raised my 27-inch iMac much higher than is comfortable to use and left me having to look up at the display even after trying to adjust my desk and chair to the added height.

This one-size-fits-all product actually serves relatively few users.

The M1 iMac is smaller so this problem may be slightly less pronounced, but I expect it still wouldn't be particularly comfortable for even the tallest of iMac users.

The Apple Studio Display and Pro Display XDR are going to pose similar problems, though users of smaller external displays from brands other than Apple may be able to get by.

Unlike Twelve South's other iMac stand, the HiRise Pro, the Curve Riser is not adjustable, meaning that this one-size-fits-all product actually ends up serving relatively few Apple computer users.

Another quality of the product that I wasn't too satisfied with the limiting color option. Personally, I like the look of the matte black finish but found that it picked up dust very quickly. Some people might not like the color for other reasons, such as the fact that it likely won't match every desk or office space. It's a shame Twelve South hasn't made it available in silver, white, or, even better, the various colors of Apple's M1 iMac.

Twelve South Curve Riser: Competition

Twelve South Hirise Pro Lifestyle

Twelve South Hirise Pro Lifestyle (Image credit: Twelve South)

The Twelve South Curve Riser is certainly not the only monitor stand available, but it is one of the better-made options which will appeal to Apple users.

As mentioned, Twelve South's own HiRise Pro offers a decent alternative, particularly for those that are happy to trade off a little storage space for the added benefit of adjustable height. It's much more expensive at $170, though.

Satechi Imac Hub Stand Hero

Satechi Imac Hub Stand Hero (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Another multifunctional iMac stand we love is the Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand and Hub. As well as offering easy-access ports along its front edge, it's also a little shorter which makes for a more ergonomic setup. At $90 and 1.6 inches tall, it's probably a better pick for most people, as we found in our review of the product.

Twelve South Curve Riser: Should you buy it?

Twelve South Curve Riser Review

Twelve South Curve Riser Review (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

You should buy this if ...

  • You need to raise your monitor way up
  • You want a well-built monitor stand
  • You want a monitor stand with built-in storage

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • Your display doesn't need to be raised by much
  • You need an adjustable monitor stand
  • Black accessories don't suit your workspace

If you are really tall or want your iMac or monitor to be raised by over four inches, the Curve Riser is a sturdy way to do it. The extra clearance leaves plenty of storage space for your desk knick-knacks, too. Plus, it's perforated so you won't have to worry about your accessories heating up due to the increased airflow.

Most iMac and Apple Studio Display users, however, will find the Curve Riser elevates their monitor too high up to be comfortable, which makes it hard to recommend. Additionally, if you work out of an all-white office or some other color that doesn't complement black, you may not take a liking to the limited color option.

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.

2 Comments
  • How tall are you? I'm 6'1" and Apple's stupid non-height adjustable stands drive me nuts; this seems more elegant than the stacks of old textbooks I'm currently using to raise my display up.
  • I'm not saying you're wrong, but this is quite a silly review in that it just goes on about the thing being "too high". To high for who? How high is your desk? How do you normally sit? Not taking any of that into consideration makes the whole thing useless. Ergonomically, a person should sit with their feet flat on the floor and their legs and thighs making a 90 degree angle. The desk height should be set so that when your arms are at a similar right angle the forearms rest lightly on the desk surface. If all that is true and you are staring straight ahead without slouching, the monitor should sit directly in your line of sight with the eyeline striking it just above the centre. Is all that true? Is it not? Again, without knowing, just saying it's "too high" is meaningless.