When I moved to a new apartment that actually had a room that I could turn into an office, I immediately jumped into figuring out the perfect home office setup for me. I'm quite minimal, so I've held off on the idea of getting a monitor with a separate trackpad and monitor because of not only clutter but also cost. Plus, I've been working at home from my couch for the better part of a year, so why swing the pendulum so far the other way as soon as the opportunity exists?
I've always been happy working from a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. They're both incredibly portable and, with the new MacBook Air with M1 and 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1, so powerful that a desktop computer is no longer needed for most people. This rang true before Apple released its own silicon as well, but it has never been more true than today.
Therefore, I wanted a desk setup centered around my MacBook rather than a desktop computer or standalone monitor. In what I can only describe as serendipitous, Twelve South reached out asking if I'd be interested in checking out the ParcSlope, their new minimalist desk stand for the MacBook and iPad. I jumped at the chance, hoping that this stand would be the key to my minimalist desk setup for my M1 MacBook Air.
Thankfully, I was totally right.
Twelve South ParcSlope for MacBook & iPad
Bottom line: If you want to run your entire workday from a laptop and not attend Zoom meetings with the camera looking up your nose, this is the stand to get.
- Ergonomics are fantastic
- Cable management is built-in
- Works with all MacBooks and iPads (even the iPad mini!)
- Doesn't fold down to be more portable
- Get a little wobble when resting one hand on the laptop
Raising the standards
Twelve South ParcSlope for MacBook & iPad: What I like
The ParcSlope sets up your MacBook or iPad at an 18-degree angle and, while that sounds insignificant, it is a noticeable difference that makes working from your laptop much more realistic in the work-from-home, Zoom-based world that many of us are living in right now. That 18-degree angle was purposefully chosen as a prime position for ergonomics, and I have noticed that I experience less fatigue in my wrists, elbows, neck, and back at the end of the day. Ergonomics are quite obviously no joke, and the stand taught me to take those concepts more seriously.
One of the annoying things about working from a laptop at your desk is when you take your charging cable out, it tends to slide back and fall behind your desk. Thankfully, Twelve South thought of this as well and added a small hole on the back of the ParcSlope to route your cables through so they stay on your desk when you take your MacBook somewhere else. This is one of those things that sounds small but, after you've had to retrieve your charging cable over and over again, is a literal luxury.
I tried working without it, and I went right back to it again.
However, the standout feature of the ParcSlope for me is that it makes taking conference calls much better. Like many people, I spend a decent amount of time on Zoom and Google Meet, and using the built-in potato camera of my MacBook Pro was compounded by an unflattering camera angle. It's amazing what a little height does to level the camera out and make you look like you know what you are doing with your conference setup. While many will throw their MacBook Air or MacBook Pro on top of some books to achieve a better camera angle, the ParcSlope pulls off both: a better shot for conference calls while still maintaining the ergonomic usability of your MacBook. This alone makes this the ultimate laptop stand for me, and I imagine it may solve those two issues for a lot of people.
The stand is also built really well and designed to work perfectly with a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. The little ridges on the top ensure enough room for the screen to open smoothly, and the bottom is notched so that you can still use one finger to flip open your Mac.
Twelve South ParcSlope for MacBook & iPad: What I don't like
I only have two negative things to say about the ParcSlope, and the first has to do with the stand's portability. Once I got used to using this, I immediately realized that I would want to take this stand to work when I travel (whenever that happens again). Unfortunately, the stand does not fold down into itself in any way, so it isn't the most portable stand.
Of course, this is more of an idea of what Twelve South could do with the second version of the stand rather than a knock against the current version as it is not intended or advertised as a portable stand. That said, if they could pull off a new model that performs at the level of this first version while enabling true portability, it would truly become an all-in-one of its own kind.
The second issue I have with the ParcSlope is that I get a small amount of wiggle with the stand. I should note that this only occurs if I rest one hand on the bottom corner of my laptop, and when both hands are rested on it while I am typing away, this issue goes away. It's really a matter of physics and the fact that the stand does not cover the complete width of the laptop.
I also need to stress that the amount of wiggle I get is so small that I really feel like I'm nit-picking at this point, especially since it disappears once you start working with your Mac like you normally would. However, it was something I noticed, so I wanted to point it out. Perhaps a small increase in the width of the stand could fix this entirely in the next version.
Twelve South ParcSlope for MacBook & iPad: The competition
The ParcSlope has plenty of competition when it comes to stands made for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but I think Twelve South has created a truly unique product when compared to what most stands are designed to do.
Most stands not only raise the back of your Mac but the front too. While this enables you to lift your Mac even higher and provide even better camera angles for video calls, it also makes using your Mac with the built-in keyboard and trackpad so awkward that you're most likely going to buy a separate keyboard and trackpad or mouse at that point.
This isn't a knock against that kind of setup, either. It's another way to go and makes more sense for a lot of people. In fact, if you are considering a setup like this instead, check out our list of the Best Stands for your MacBook and MacBook Pro, Best Keyboards for Mac, and Best Wireless Mouse for Mac.
However, for those looking to stick to their MacBook Air or MacBook Pro and want a stand that elevates that experience, the ParcSlope stands on its own right now.
Twelve South ParcSlope for MacBook & iPad: Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
You want a minimal desk setup built around your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
If you want to up your desk setup but don't want a desktop or an external monitor, this is the perfect companion to build a setup around your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
You want an elegant way to attend work calls from your Mac
While the MacBook's camera desperately needs an update, the stand will certainly fix your camera angle.
You find that you experience fatigue in your wrists, elbows, neck, and back after working from your laptop
I usually experience some pain in my wrists and elbows when I work from my laptop for too long, and the ergonomics of the ParcSlope enabled me to work longer without experiencing any discomfort.
You should not buy this if ...
You need a stand that raises your MacBook to eye level
If you're planning on using an external keyboard and mouse and want to raise your Mac's screen to eye level, you'll need to look elsewhere.
You want a super-portable stand for your MacBook for travel purposes
While this stand is fantastic for building an at-home setup, it currently does not fold down into itself in any way, so it is not the best stand for those who want something while they travel.
I have been incredibly surprised with how useful I have found the ParcSlope. I've always worked from my laptop, and this is the first time I tried out a stand for it. The big tell for me was when I tried to go back to using just my laptop after testing it for a week. I failed. After three days, I pulled it back out again and have worked with it ever since (I'm actually writing this review while using it right now).
The one thing I was unable to test was how it works with an iPad because I actually don't own one right now; however, I can see how creatives may benefit from using an Apple Pencil with perhaps their new iPad Air at a more pleasing angle.
If you want a minimal desk setup built around your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, and you want a stand that doesn't require you to buy an additional keyboard and mouse, this is a great option. It's made from premium materials, provides better ergonomics for long work days, and better camera angles for video calls.
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