Top positive review
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Supporting a front-facing optical drive on a 24" iMac
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.