Tested: Twelve South’s refreshed Backpack shelf perfectly complements Apple’s M1 iMac

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Twelve South has a habit of improving the experience offered by Apple’s own devices with its series of popular accessories. The latest of these just launched as the new Backpack for iMac, this time updated to complement the M1 version of desktop Mac. Delivering an aluminum shelf to rest hubs and other gear on out of sight behind your machine, our latest Tested with 9to5Toys looks at just how valuable the add-on really is.

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Hands-on with the new Twelve South Backpack

Just refreshed last month, Twelve South finally updated one of its original and most popular accessories to fit in with Apple’s latest desktop machine. Arriving with a new design to go alongside the M1 iMac, the latest edition of Twelve South Backpack carries over the same focus as before.

Centered around an aluminum shelf covered in a white coat of paint, the new Twelve South Backpack measures the exact length of the M1 iMac stand that it is designed to complement. It rests right below the hinge in order to hide everything from hard drives to hubs that are more permanently a part of your setup in place. But does tidying up your machine justify the $45 price tag? Let’s take a look.

Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:

  • BackPack helps create an organized workspace by elevating hard drives, cables, and dongles off your desk and giving them a dedicated space out of the way 
  • By mounting on the back of the M1 iMac, BackPack saves valuable desk space. 
  • Included high quality strap helps to keep hard drives or peripherals from moving and allows them to be stored on the top or bottom of the BackPack shelf 

9to5Toys’ Take:

Shortly after launching just over a month ago, I got my hands on the new Twelve South Backpack and have been putting it to the test. We’ve been big fans of the company’s gear in the past, and as a quick spoiler that same sentiment is carrying over to its latest accessory.

Right out of the box, the build quality is the first thing that really caught my eye. There isn’t too much included in the packaging, just the shelf itself as well as the companion accessories and a short pamphlet. But it’s the simplicity of the Twelve South Backpack that really shines.

Everything is centered around the aluminum stand, which now comes with a series of ventilation holes throughout the build. Everything fits together quite nicely, with tight tolerances that ensure the shelf won’t be wiggling or moving too much on the back of your machine.

Because it has been updated for the new M1 iMac and its sleek stand, the shelf also had to come up with a new way to prop itself. Luckily Apple built a convenient spot for Twelve South to make its move, which allows the included clear plastic adapter to fit into place. Then the shelf slides right on top in order to stay in place without cluttering the back of your machine.

As far as its actual usefulness in my setup, the Twelve South Backpack is perfect for pairing with an M1 iMac in a lot of use cases, but not all. Measuring just over thee inches across, there isn’t all that much room to actually fill. But there is just enough to hold everything from hard drives to even larger accessories like Thunderbolt docks and more.

I’ve been using the shelf with one of CalDigit’s popular Thunderbolt 3 docks and find that it is almost a match made in heaven. The form-factors blend together quite well and it lets me hide one of the larger accessories on my desk while also keeping cable clutter to a minimum.

I will say though, the included velcro strap isn’t going to be the most useful inclusion. It’s not too shabby for securing smaller drives and accessories, but anything on the larger side just won’t be able to take advantage of it.

All in all, the Twelve South Backpack immediately proved its usefulness to me for keeping my workstation as tidy as possible. The build and design back up that utility, and the $45 price tag isn’t all too hard to stomach either. It does exactly what you’d expect it to do with premium materials that will match your Apple machine. So while there might be more affordable options out there, none are going to look quite as nice. I easily consider this in the must-have accessory category when it comes to M1 iMacs and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to keep their setup a little more streamlined.

Buy the Twelve South Backpack for M1 iMac

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