Mounting your Mac onto an external Apple Display can be a challenging mission, unless you have the right tool for the task. And we're not talking about duct tape. Just Mobile is one of our go-to names for all-things Apple accessories, and its got just the thing. The AluRack is a brilliant piece of kit designed to mount any MacBook or large external hard drive onto the back of your iMac, Thunderbolt Display or Cinema Display. Just Mobile's AluRack is clearly not the first of its kind to offer this sort of mounting capability, as we have already reviewed a similar mount, albeit with a limited mounting threshold, by Twelve South called the BackPack 2. The more robust AluRack mount would be a better alternative for MacBook Pro mounting in theory, but is it any good in practice? Find out in our in-depth review below.
Not to disrespect the BackPack 2 shelf mount, it is still one of our favorite hard drive and MacBook Air mounts for the iMac and Apple Displays. But if you're in need of a more robust mounting solution, then the AluRack is a step up in that regard. It's a better designed dedicated MacBook mount whereas the BackPack 2's core concept is to store external hard drives as a shelf. Just Mobile's AluRack will also cost you more at $60 compared to the $35 BackPack 2. Much like Just Mobile's AluBase stand for MacBooks, the Danish designed AluRack is another accessory that has been created to appeal to the shiny aluminum-loving Mac user who seeks to improve its tech life with modern convenience.
Like the BackPack 2, the AluRack uses no adhesive or clunky mounting brackets to attach itself onto your setup. The AluRack is designed to mount directly onto your iMac (yes, even the new thin iMacs) or Apple Display's stand thru the cable hole where it sits flush against the back of the stand's "neck". The AluRack's two-piece assembly, comprised out of one solid piece of curved aluminum and a plastic mounting bracket, meet together with the hollowed round plug screw at the opposite side of the stand which secures the mount tightly and seamlessly against the back of the display's stand. There's no other way of putting it, the AluRack matches wonderfully with the rest of the aluminum Apple design as if it were an optional Apple display accessory.
Mounting is very easy, and only requires you to route the appropriate cables thru all three parts of the AluRack including your iMac or Apple Display's stand before attaching the AluRack into position. There's a channel underneath the AluRack where cables can be neatly routed with just enough give to allow the display to tilt as it would normally. No need to worry about scuffing or scratching your aluminum finish, the AluRack features rubber feet along the inner plastic mount which comes in contact with your display's aluminum stand.
Soft rubber covers both the back and bottom areas of the AluRack to ensure no damage will be caused to your MacBook or external hard drive. The rubber also provides anti-slip traction which helps keep the device firmly in place.
The one big advantage of using the AluRack is that you can mount any heavy MacBook Pro from a 13-inch to a 17-inch including the Retina models, unlike the BackPack 2's limit capacity of just a 13-inch MacBook Air. The AluRack's great build quality and mounting affixation makes it an extremely sturdy and stable platform for you to place or hang your Mac on without thinking twice about it.
So what's the point in using the AluRack? In addition to gaining more valuable desk space and a cleaner looking environment, you're essentially turning your Thunderbolt or LED Cinema Display, into the sexiest all-in-one iMac look-alike. Forget about having a separate MacBook hooked up to an external display, the AluRack is designed to give you the luxury feeling of spacious freedom. So much so that for weeks, I neglected to review the AluRack simply because it seamlessly hid itself behind my LED Cinema Display; and I've completely forgotten about its presence for weeks. Suffice to say that the AluRack has fulfilled its job admirably. And for that, we can highly recommend it if you're looking for a similar Mac setup to call your own. If all you've got is a MacBook Air however, the BackPack 2 is another great alternative at a more affordable price.