The iMac as a travel computer

I’m in Barcelona, putting my feet up after a day of tourism, following a week of covering Mobile World Congress, a wireless industry conference attended by more than 100,000 people from around the world.

The press room is massive, with three working areas and space for hundreds and hundreds of journalists. The conference organizers set up working rooms for journalists, with rows of empty tables, with power supplies and Ethernet and WiFi connections.

Here’s a photo to show you what it looks like in use. Everybody here brought their their own laptop or tablet. You can see about a fifth of the available space for journalists. Everything about this conference is HUGE.

This is my third time at the annual Mobile World Congress. Every year, there’s this ONE GUY who brings, not a notebook or a tablet, but rather a full iMac. Here it is this year:

I talked with him this year. His English is not very good, but I was able to glean that he does video production, and just needs the power and screen size, so he shleps that iMac from wherever. Makes sense … but still, it looks odd, and it must be really difficult to work on an airplane tray table!


That last line really got me, lol.

I mean, if they guy has the means and shipping it to and from isn’t a big deal for him, why not? :slight_smile:

Personally, I wouldn’t do this, lol. But that’s me.

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Mobile World Congress bounces from continent to continent every year, if I remember correctly, so it would take a really disciplined traveler to haul that around. Stowed in the overhead I assume. If he’s doing video then I wonder if he’s also carrying that kit around too?

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I’ve never hauled around an iMac, except for one time when I moved a few states over and needed to work in a hotel for a few days. But there was a time a number of years back when my laptop died, and I started carrying my Mac mini around and using that as a “portable” computer. It worked for a time! I eventually did get a new MacBook Pro, but I still have fond memories of showing up at coworking spaces and whatnot and whipping a Mac mini out of my backpack. :wink:

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The mini would work even better with an iPad and Luna Display.


We take my wife’s iMac all around the country in our RV. I made a device to lock it down to the desk so it can’t move when traveling. Handy to have the big screen.

I’ve considered moving from my aging MBP to a mac mini. My iPad serves me well for most portable needs. I could put a small display in the RV and have a big display at home. Even something as small as a 19” would be far larger than the 15” I now deal with.

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I bet he has a trashcan Mac Pro for all his video editing needs… until the graphic cards burnt out. Heh heh.

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MWC has been in Barcelona at least 18 years. That’s how many a colleague has been to. They’ve done a satellite MWC in LA recently. Other places too iirc.

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I remember borrowing one of these to travel one time with my 128K Mac! I thought it was so great at the time how “portable” it was…



A friend had a Kaypro “luggable” he lugged around Manhattan as a computer consultant many years ago. He said he liked it because he could put it down and sit on it if he had trouble getting a taxi.

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In 1986 the first purchasers of the Mac Plus also got an Apple carrying bag. I used mine a surprising amount. It weighed 17 pounds, which is half-way between the current 21.5" and 27" iMac.

Suddenly feeling nostalgic for the time when that machine was state of the art.

Jokes aside…does it qualify as a carry-on item? From a quick search, it looks like it’s too large in at least one dimension (the 27" is 65cm wide). Does he check it in his luggage?

In retrospect I can’t figure out how I lasted as long as I did with that terrible, clunky, too-high keyboard, though…

Compared to the Apple IIe, the Mac Plus Keyboard was low.

I had both (actually, the earlier Apple //+, with Integer Graphics Card, and cassette tape drive!). But I actually used the Mac to write papers (printed to an ImageWriter II) - many, many papers, using WriteNow. Don’t know how I did it without killing my wrists.

I looked into taking a 27" 5K iMac to trade shows to show off our software, with our Mac version on the left and a Windows VM on the right. The 27 inches proved to be too much, but I did find a carrying case for the 21" iMac that was purported to fit in an overhead bin. Never followed through, though.

I’m pretty sure that iMac would not fit as carry-on.

I think this is how it’s done:

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From the [](http://iLugger FAQ page):

Are any of the iLugger cases compatible for airline carry-on?

Due to the constant changes in the requirements and dimensions that different airlines allow, we would ask that you please contact the airline you are planning to use to determine if our bags will qualify as carry-on luggage. We do not recommend that you check the iLugger bag as it is not meant for the rough handling that checked luggage receives. Please feel free to call our support line with any other questions.

So, they don’t recommend checking the bags and they punt the question re: can they be used as carry-on luggage.

This model won’t even fit the iMac under discussion. You’d need the next lager one for a 21.5" iMac, and that’s even larger.

A quick perusal of carry-on requirements of major airlines suggests it would have to be checked.