It’s no secret that we are fans of Apple devices and the accessories that make them look good. From decals to stickers, from stands to cases, Apple accessories are a dime a dozen and for this post, we are going to look into accessories for the MacBook.
This time though, we are changing it up a bit. Instead of the usual, we are featuring accessories that will make using your MacBook a lot easier. Some of them are for managing cables, while others help you save space. Others fix nuisances that litter the regular Macbook user, and we also have one that can help you really multitask across multiple (physical) screens.
Found another accessory that you think should be part of this list? We’d like to hear about it in the comments section below.
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1. Nifty MiniDrive
If you find the 128GB or 256GB SSD on a MacBook Pro a little too small for your liking, you might wanna get a Nifty MiniDrive for an extra boost of up to 64GB.
The Nifty MiniDrive uses a MacBook’s SD card slot to add to your storage space. While conventional SD cards would stick out of the MacBook when inserted, the Nifty MiniDrive uses a MicroSD card so it would sit flush with the body, thereby creating a seamless and clean look.
As of now, it is compatible with the older MacBook Pro, Retina and Air models while support for the late 2013 models are in the works.
Price: $39.99 – Visit website
The PlugBug is a unique add-on for people traveling with iPads. It replaces the original male plug with one that has a USB at the back – this allows iPad users to charge both their MacBook and iPad at the same time.
Besides that, your iPad mini would also charge faster through this device thanks to the 10 watt power output. Although it currently only supports US sockets, more international options are said to be in the works.
Price: $34.99 – Visit website
The ZenDock is a cable management tool that helps you get rid of messy cables on your desk. It has a Firewire, USB, ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, speaker and microphone pass through, thereby creating the illusion that only one cable is attached to your MacBook. There’s even a cutout for the MacBook power cable.
The ZenDock is compatible with the older MacBook Air, Pro and Retina olders and the creators are also planning to release a version for the new MacBook when it’s made available (late 2013).
Price: $159 – Visit website
The MacBook MagSafe is made in such a way that it’s easily removable. However, this also means that when it’s used in bed or on other uneven surfaces, it’ll come off way too easily.
The Snuglet is a small metal device that sits inside the MacBook charger port to prevent the power cable from being accidentally removed when it’s pushed up or down. The Snuglet can be easily removed with a paperclip-like hook and its usage won’t interfere with charging.
Price: $19 – Visit website
5. LapTuk Pro
Here’s another tool to help minimize the usage of desk space while using a MacBook with an external screen. The solid steel LapTuk Pro is designed in such a way that you can slide your MacBook into it. You then place the monitor on top of the top layer of steel – this gives the added benefit of an elevated monitor for better posture.
Since LapTuk Pro is elevated off the table, you can slide things like a tablet or bluetooth keyboard underneath whenever they are not in use, creating a clean and clutter-free desk.
LapTuk Pro has a 4-port USB 3.0 hub that comes with its own power adapter.
Price: $99.99 – Visit website
The LandingZone is a desktop dock for your MacBook Pro or Air that allows you to easliy leave your USB and desktop peripherals in place when you take your MacBook away from your desk.
The most high-end version, LandingZone 2.0 PRO includes 4 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 pass-through ports, a Kensington Security Slot, a Mini DisplayPort and gigabit Ethernet port. The Kensington Security Slot ensures that no one can undock your MacBook while you’re away. The LandingZone also has its own power adapter if you plan to use all the ports at once.
Price: $49 – $179 – Visit website
7. Henge Docks
With Henge Docks, you can have the comfort of working with a desktop while enjoying the portability a MacBook offers as it docks a MacBook vertically, thereby saving lots of desk space for your external monitor, keyboard and mouse.
Once you have to leave the office, simply undock your MacBook to take all your work with you. Henge Docks uses extension cables (instead of built-in connectors) and feeds them nicely to get a clean desktop.
Price: $55 – $74.95 – Visit website
If you enjoy working with multiple monitors, you might wanna consider getting a Matrox DualHead2Go, a device that uses a Thunderbolt port on your MacBook to extend the display up to 2 additional monitors (giving you a total of 3 screens).
The tiny box is powered by a USB port and can power 2 monitors with 1920×1200 resolution. You can choose to mirror the external displays or extend it for greater multitasking possibilities.
Price: $160 – Visit website
Somewhat similar to Henge Docks, mTower is also a device that helps you save some desk space, taking up approximately one third of your MacBook’s footprint (about 114x24mm).
All ports and cables are still accessible when the MacBook is docked, not interfering with the device’s performance. Because of its anodized aluminium body, the sleekly designed mTower also doubles as a large heat sink for your MacBook.
Price: $49.90 – Visit website
The good thing about a MacBook charging cable’s length is that it allows you to charge your MacBook from a power outlet that’s far away. However, that length also means that it is not that easy to bring around with you.
PowerCurl is a simple yet effective solution to the problem – you can use it to hold your power adapter in the center while winding the cables neatly around it. It’s available in 2 colors (blue and grey) and is compatible with both old and new MacBook Pro and Air models.
Price: $9.99 – Visit website
After iPhone 5s, the next obvious version of the line of iPhone is iPhone 6. What is not so clear is what it will look like. So far the iPhone had stayed true to its design, at best ‘growing’ taller and slimmer. But you haven’t seen the iPhone like this.
This is an iPhone 6 concept design created by Nikola Cirkuvic, a mechanical engineering student from Serbia. Aside from a "thin-ness" of 5.3 mm, no other dimensions were released by the creator. In the design, he has removed the bezel from both sides, giving the iPhone a much larger screen but not succumbing to the curve smartphone designs LG and Samsung are adopting.
This concept design only depicted the iPhone 6 in silver and space gray with a not-as-prominent Touch ID sensor but from some angles, you can see similarities of this design with the iPad mini and the newly released iPad Air. The lack of icons also made the design timeless, allowing you to focus on the hardware and not let the software lock it into a timeline. Do you like it or hate it? Sound off in the comments.
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If you read hongkiat.com often, you’d have warmed up to the concept of Wearable Gadgets and the sort of convenience they are capable of providing. Leaving or misplacing your smart device will be a thing of the past and a lot of the interactions will be limited to finger taps and voice commands.
One of the most popular and much-hyped device is the iWatch, which until now has yet to be announced or released by Apple. Apparently, Apple has a team of 100 designers working on the device which may carry biometric features for better security and health monitors on top of a revolutionary (see: curved glass) design.
But while the world waits, some pretty amazing iWatch concept designs thought up by independent designers are already on the streets. Some are understandably going to remain as concept designs while others will make you wish they are going to become real. Bear in mind that we’re not just looking at form, we’re also looking at function and the UI that may change the way we interact with technology, yet again.
Although the iWatch in this concept may be flat, with no room for a lot of gears and screws inside, on the outside, it opens up a world of possibilities: with a holographic interface.
With the iWatch projecting your apps into the air, you can swipe your fingers in the air instead of a metalic surface or glass, and escape the rigid confines of a tablet or smartphone screen. Keep your health stats constantly monitored, video call a friend on the go and even passcode-lock your door with it!
From a holographic surface, we make a return to interacting on a flat screen and this curved corner iWatch design keeps the idea minimalistic and stylish.
Merging the conventional idea of a watch but giving life to the screen this design gives users an interactive screen and three buttons for power and volume control, just like a regular smartphone.
The talk about curved glass being an integral characteristic of the iWatch seems possible with this rendition. At 3.3 cm wide, this watch concept looks like it is a part of the Macbook family, particularly since it also has a touchpad. The screen however is not touch-enabled, and the way the watch bends may not fit onto every wearer’s wrist.
On the bright side, the watch is solar-powered, which will give you motivation to get out more
Don’t let the old-school design fool you. Each part of this iWatch concept serves a purpose that would fit the way we interact with out gadgets in spite of its classic and timeless look. In this shot below you are looking at an e-ink screen that is ‘clickable’, with a camera lens above and a microphone, flanked by two speaker outlets below.
You can choose between Siri or the two side buttons to interact with the apps run on this smart watch.
This particular version does not try hard to reinvent itself because why break something that isn’t broken, right? Just imagine an iPhone at a size that you can strap onto your wrist. By far, this concept should have one of the largest screen sizes among the other concepts in the list, making it the perfect device to watch videos on, Facetime with friends or check Maps on.
However, there is always a problem with large screens – how is this watch going to fit on a wrist?
Like the previous concept, this one also utilizes a large screen size to fully display its contents, from the face of a traditional wall clock to weather conditions, music interfaces to new incoming notifications
The designs are available only in black and white but there isn’t a lot of information on the strap material, the screen or if there are any external buttons.
This iWatch concept design by an Italian team has been making the rounds in tech sites recently and you can clearly see why. Designed to suit the latest iOS interface, the build of the device answers a lot of ergonomic and usability needs potential buyers (will) pose.
The elegant and beautiful final solution of curving the device naturally around the wrist breaks one of the biggest hurdle of turning the design of a smart watch revolutionary yet practical.
The idea of a see-through smart device is far from new, and even ‘farther’ from feasible. But if concept designs have any primary purpose, it is to inspire designers to create concepts that are not only different, but jaw-dropping, and mind-boggling. Remember the iPad?
If the iWatch is not going to fall back on straps, then the idea of fitting different-sized watches will be rather insurmountable. At least this version has sections which you can remove or add, to reduce or extend the length of the watch.
The only physical button here is the infamous Home button although there isn’t more info about what the button (or the watch for that matter) is capable of.
This concept seems to have everything: a large enough touch-enabled screen akin to that of a smartphone’s, the actual face of a watch, external side buttons and a Home button. The design also looks flexible (and rubbery) enough to fit snugly onto a wrist. But will it become real?