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on September 21, 2013
A little fiddly to install, but ultimately very pleasing: when front mounted, this can hold an optical drive if secured with a velcro strap.

I got this to mount on the *front* of my 24" Early 2008 iMac, with the specific intention of supporting an Apple USB Superdrive (an external optical drive). I wanted to mount the drive high enough so that I could easily insert and eject DVD discs without them hitting the keyboard. (Just setting the drive on the iMac's "foot" didn't work well.) I also wanted a nice, clean look, that would still hold the drive securely.

At first, I wasn't sure if the newest Backpack version would even fit on my aging Early 2008 24" iMac, but "Bridget" at Twelve South support answered my email query within half an hour and assured me that the #4 inserts would work for my iMac. Great customer support!

The Backpack arrived in beautiful packaging. It reminded me of Apple's lavish product packaging, but Twelve South definitely has their own style. The packaging made me think that this would make a wonderful gift to an appropriate person.

In my opinion, the shelf itself and its accessories are made to a very high quality standard. Very nice.

As for the installation... well, that took a fair bit of fiddling. First, when mounted on the front of the iMac, the Backpack shelf is really only about 3.5" deep (front to back), after accounting for the screw heads and the angle inherent in the stand. This makes it too shallow to hold a 5"+ optical drive without some way of securing the drive. I used a velcro strap, and it did the job admirably, without being visible from any reasonable angle. (You can see part of the black strap in one of my uploaded pictures.)

I did find the adjustment and tightening a little tedious for my application. I think this is largely because I wanted to mount it as high as possible while allowing some small amount of clearance between the optical drive and the bottom of the iMac screen. Of course I wanted it level and centered, too. This took several tighten-loosen-adjust-retighten sequences until I was satisfied.

However, satisfied, *I am*. The final result is aesthetically pleasing and perfectly functional. The external optical drive looks like it's floating in the air (see my uploaded pictures). More importantly, it works great too -- the drive is held quite securely (with the help of the velcro strap), and it's at the optimal height for discs to easily clear the keyboard. My desk has never looked better!

Note: there are different versions of this product. My comments apply to sku: 12-1302.
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on May 23, 2013
Like most 12-South products, this looks the part of a proper Apple accessory and is well constructed. However, I was a little disappointed that once installed it seemed a little flimsy. I bought the backpack to be a HDD holder on the back of my iMac 27". It installed OK, but the clips that attach the unit to the base of iMac pedestal are not tight enough. I had to shim them with a little piece of plastic to make a snug fit. YMMV.
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on January 18, 2014
I'm using this to hide 3 external drives on the back of an iMac. Works just like the manufacture says. The knobs you tighten are slightly awkward but not terrible. I'm using the included posts to keep a gap between each drive, which are sitting on their sides to help with cooling. If you have easy access to the back of your iMac, mounting won't be any issue. If you are like me and have a desk against a wall, it took a little more time to adjust the clamps and tighten than it would have if there was standing room behind the Mac. Great way to keep an external drive out of sight! Not as terribly expensive as some of Twelve South's other products.
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VINE VOICEon August 10, 2013
It looks much larger in the photos than it really is. Its much more narrow than i had hoped for. while it is made very well and was fairly easy to attach, in my opinion its only good for a cell phone because its way to narrow.
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on November 18, 2015
I bought two of these. One of them arrived with a broken or missing weld that's supposed to affix the screw to the clip in a load bearing manner. I contacted Twelve South's customer service and they're sending out a replacement clip, but I no longer feel confident that I should be using this product to hold something as fragile as a disk drive -- or a Macbook Air (as they show in their photos).

If the BackPack shelf fails and drops a $1500 computer, it won't do much good if they offer to replace the $35 shelf or a 30 cent clip.

A bracket broke on the 2nd BackPack today. Two BackPacks, both failed. This, combined with the other reviewers here reporting the same issue, leads me to strongly recommend that you DON'T BUY THIS PRODUCT.
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on November 2, 2014
This is a great way to help pull items off your desk and store them behind your monitor. I was a little disappointed with this version because the shelf is pretty thin and can't hold much weight. I had earlier versions of this product and they could hold larger items, such as a 4TB external HD. This version can hold small items, but it can't hold my external HDs. It is still a great product if you are trying to move smaller drives or small items. It really helps to clean up your desk.
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on January 28, 2014
This is an excellent product that works exactly as advertised for my purposes.

The shelf itself has a weighty feel to it and seems durable and well made. It's beautifully designed and matches the iMac aesthetic perfectly. It includes easy to understand instructions that allow for a variety of configurations (high install, low install, front install, back install) on a number of iMac computers and Cinema displays.

The shelf support clips work well enough, but if I was being picky (and I am, given the high price of this product), I'd wish that the screws held more tightly. Having said that, I haven't experienced any slippage during the two weeks I've owned the product and I have mine installed high on the backside of an iMac 27" (late '12 model). I'm using the shelf to support less than one pound of total weight, so I can't attest to the claim that it can support up to 3.5 lbs. (greater than the weight of an iMac Air) but I can tell you that when I apply some downward pressure on the shelf (to simulate more weight), it slips a little because the screws don't hold their position tightly enough within the rear support rail. Sure, it's an unscientific test, but I don't think I'd fully trust this to hold an iMac Air. Greater holding power would give me piece of mind and although I'm relatively certain my shelf won't slip, I'm still nervous enough to check it every few days.

Other than that, the product came slightly over-packaged in my opinion. Although I do appreciate good packaging, I feel that much of it is unnecessary given the durability of the actual product. It arrived with an outer carton/sleeve that was glue-dotted around a clear PET/PVC box which was cradled inside of a fairly high quality textured carton lid. When you open all of this, you find the shelf, some instructions, and yet ANOTHER box with a flip-top lid that has thick foam padding glued to the top and bottom to house and protect the various clips and vertical support pegs. Some of this was appreciated (like the thin paper insert telling you which support clips you need for your particular install) but packaging should strike a balance between protecting the actual product and looking good or giving people that quality unboxing experience. This packaging does way too much to protect the actual product and goes overboard just to enhance the unboxing experience. I'd be okay with this if Twelve South was sucking up the cost, but at $35 for a tiny computer shelf, give me less packaging fluff in exchange for screws that hold more tightly in place.


This was really a 3.5 out of 5. I'm docking 1.5 stars for the high price and for the screws not holding as securely as I'd want, but it was an easy choice for me to round up since I haven't seen any slippage for my current (lightweight) load.

Therefore, if you have a lightweight load to support and you're okay with spending a lot of money on a computer shelf, go for it, but if you're looking to support an iMac Air or heavier, I wouldn't be surprised if you see slippage with all that weight.
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on December 26, 2013
Simple and easy to setup.
Holds my Mac Mini Server with a 2.5mm firewire Hard Drive.
Can't beat the price.
Keeps everything looking neat.
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on March 1, 2015
This piece of $h!t came apart after 9 months. The ONLY thing that I left on this trash was my external HDD which weighs less than 1 lbs.
DO NOT buy this. It does look cool and yeah sure the color matches well with the display but NO. It will come apart. Please do not waste your money. You can spend your $40 elsewhere and get more out of it.
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on December 1, 2013
One of the two fixing screws broken just after I put my Mac Mini on it. My Mac Mini has now a few scratches. I send a email asking to a new suport but they didn't answered. The device only support light things.

The company after my complaint finally send me spare fixing parts.
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