Product Review: BackPack for iMac

The first time I read about the twelvesouth BackPack adjustable shelf, I thought it was the stupidest idea I had ever seen. Really, why on Earth would you need a shelf on your iMac? What’s it going to hold, items you want to get dusty? But of course, I’m a fair guy, so I contacted the crew at twelvesouth and they sent me a free one for review purposes. A week or so later one showed up at the door and I decided to give it a shot.

The packaging itself is very Apple-esque, with a minimal design and compact packaging. Everything you need is clearly labeled inside (as you can see from the first pic after the jump) and tightly packaged so there’s no waste. Inside is a series of plastic mounts for various models of iMacs, a rubber tray liner, and the BackPack itself. Setup takes about 5 minutes, which is enough time to determine what model iMac you have, and put the plastic inserts in the metal sliding tabs. Then you simply screw it into the backpack (picture two after the jump) and it’s ready to mount.

The adjustable system utilized to mount the backpack is pretty nice. It makes it easy to pick where exactly on your iMac you want the backpack to be, which means that if you wanted more shelves, you could do that as well. I put mine just above the stock wire grommet, but their site has some other options shown which also look appealing.

So the big question is, what do you do with it? Since this has been out for a bit, I started searching around for ideas. Some people use it to hold art deco pieces or trinkets, but most use it for an external hard drive. It’s an easy way to mount your Time Machine backup drive, yet still keep it out of the way so it doesn’t mess with the aesthetics of the iMac. Since that was one of my problems, I decided to give that one a shot, and that’s what’s pictured above.

The results? I gotta say, I like it. This is one of those weird products that I never saw a need for until I had it, and now that I do, I want more. Seriously, I could see mounting three of these on the back of the iMac: two hard drives and one USB port. It keeps everything off the ground and away from sight, but doesn’t look hacky or cheap, either. It’s a well designed product that flows with the look of the iMac, making it seem like a natural extension of the product. Frankly, if I didn’t know that Apple didn’t make iMacs that way, I would’ve figured it was standard fare.

At $29.99, it’s not cheap, but in my mind, it’s worth it. It’s an easy way to clean up the desk clutter that so many of us have and loathe, without sacrificing the looks that, let’s face it, many of us love about our Macs.If you’ve got an iMac, this should be your next purchase.

As promised, pics of the setup after the jump.

Kevin Whipps

Kevin Whipps is a copy editor, writer, photographer and custom car builder based in the Phoenix, Ariz. area. For the past 10 years he's been building his portfolio, mostly in the automotive publishing industry. When he's not wrenching on cars, most of his time is spent discovering new gadgets and toys, and of course, using everything Apple. Whipps is also married, and has a baby boy, Kevin Whipps Jr., coming on February 7, 2010.


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  1. yes this is a cute thing to have…I am the Apple Expert at Best Buy and we sell them…they are a cute accessory to have…love the fact that it looks like it belongs to the mac

    thanks for the article