Category Archives: Accessory

Mac Accessory Release – USB Type-C Most Versatile eyeBattery

eyebatteryIcon

Product Announcements – QuickerTek of Wichita, Kansas, a technology leader in mobile power and wireless networking products for Apple computers, has released the USB Type-C Most Versatile eyeBattery. This battery is the only product of its kind, featuring the USB 3.1 adapter cable necessary to power and charge the 2015-2017 MacBook and MacBook Pro 13″ and 15″. Users of these newest model MacBooks can now travel freely and charge their computer anywhere, not just where there is a power outlet.

This battery has been especially designed to provide a portable power source for MacBooks with USB-C 3.1 ports. It is created with Lithium-ion power cells for the highest charge density possible, adding up to 18 hours in extra run time for the USB-C MacBook and 16 hours for the 15″ USB-C MacBook Pro. For even more productivity, the Most Versatile eyeBattery also charges and powers the MacBook simultaneously. It is ideal for extended travel as well as outdoor time.

Every battery is shipped with a 120/240 Vac external smart battery recharger and USB-C (3.1) adapter cable, for immediate use. No drivers and no extra cables are needed. It is no longer necessary for users to carry an Apple recharger either. This battery also includes a USB type 2/3 charging 5.1 VDC at 2A for most USB devices such as iPhones and iPads.

The total recharge time for this battery is two hours. Smart circuitry in the battery prevents overcharging and overheating. The anodized, machined aluminum case features a 10-LED power gauge to show percentage charge levels of the external battery. Each battery is tested before shipment by running movies on a MacBook continuously.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.125″ x 8.25″ x .875″
  • Weight: 2.2 lb.
  • Chassis: anodized machined aluminum

The USB-C MacBook External Battery is only $399 (USD). This battery is also compatible with QuickerTek’s USB Type-C Solar Panel Chargers.

Advertisements

MacBook Accessory – USB Type-C Solar Juicz Chargers

Product Announcements – QuickerTek of Wichita, Kansas has released their 30 Watt and 60 Watt USB Type-C Solar Juicz Chargers. These solar panels are the only products of their kind, featuring the USB 3.1 adapter cable necessary to power and charge the 2015-2017 MacBook and MacBook Pro 13″ and 15″. Users of these newest model MacBooks now have access to the convenience of solar power and the satisfaction of protecting the environment.

These solar panels are available with either 30 Watt or 60 Watt of solar power capability to extend the MacBook’s run time and include a Type-C USB (3.1) cable fully utilizing PD protocol. To use, they can be plugged directly into the MacBook’s special USB 3.1 adapter ports. These solar products power the computer battery for use while simultaneously charging the internal battery. Other photovoltaic cells can’t offer this same advanced capability.

They have also been created with practicality in mind – featuring water resistant, foldable and durable photo-voltaic cells. Each panel is light weight for easy travel, weighing in at 3 pounds, including with accessories. They are also powerful enough to charge the MacBook as quickly as an Apple AC charger, minimizing down time.

30 Watt Specifications:

  • Dimensions folded: 9″ x 7″ x 2″
  • Dimensions deployed: 35″ x 18″
  • Weight: 3 lb.

60 Watt Specifications:

  • Dimensions folded: 13″ x 7″ x 2″
  • Dimensions deployed: 48″ x 52″
  • Weight: 3 lb.

QuickerTek is offering the 30 Watt USB Type-C Solar Juicz Charger for $499 (USD) and the 60 Watt USB Type-C Solar Juicz Charger for $999 (USD). These solar panels can also be used to charge QuickerTek’s Most Powerful eyeBattery and Most Versatile eyeBattery.

Mac Accessory – Laptop Lift 90

laptop-desk-stand-colors

Product Announcements – newPCgadgets of San Diego, California has announced Laptop Lift 90, a laptop organizer, riser and space-saver all-in-one. According to newPCgadgets, “The Laptop Lift 90 is the only laptop stand on the market that offers this unique combination of features.”

As a laptop riser, the Laptop Lift 90 raises the back of the laptop 1″ to improve performance and increase ventilation. As a laptop stand, the Laptop Lift 90 holds laptops upright freeing up valuable desk space. To make their new laptop riser stand out, newPCgadgets is offering the Laptop Lift 90 in four high-gloss colors including: pink, blue, white and black.

According to their president Michael Schriner, “With our new Laptop Lift 90 we have created a new way to organize the desktop, improve laptop function and save space. We have also enhanced the look of the work space by offering vibrant colors that really stand out.”

The dual function Laptop Lift 90 is constructed from high-gloss acrylic. Non-slip neoprene pads hold the laptop in place. The product dimensions are 8 “W x 4″D x 2 1/2 “H. The Laptop Lift 90holds all popular Laptops including: The MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and dozens more. The Laptop Lift 90 is designed for both home and office.

Mac Accessory – Wakefield Air Porter and Air Caddy

AirPorter-AirCaddy-Canvas_1024x1024

Product Announcements – In collaboration with customers and seasoned travelers, San Francisco maker WaterField Designs set out to create the preeminent carry-on system to improve the experience of frequent fliers. The resulting feature-rich Air Porter travel bag and Air Caddy duo facilitates in-case MacBook Pro charging, accelerates time through TSA security, and maximizes in-flight leg room while maintaining easy access to essential tech, travel and personal items. Available in tan waxed canvas or black ballistic nylon, each with premium leather accents, the sophisticated Air Porter moves easily from the airport straight to a professional meeting.

“What I love about getting customer input on multiple iterations of our design is that we end up with a bag that has unique and thoughtful features that we know will benefit those who use it,” explained owner, Gary Waterfield. “The Air Porter and Air Caddy work as a modular system, helping travelers on long or short flights stay productive and comfortable.”

The Air Porter is a handsome multi-compartment carry-on bag to organize everything needed during a flight. Travel-friendly features include a built-in, padded laptop sleeve sized for up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, plenty of carefully-thought-out pockets, and three carry options: dual handles for a briefcase look, a suspension shoulder strap for carrying messenger style, and a wheeled-suitcase handle pass through for a hands-free carry from curbside to airport gate. The slim, TSA-friendly Air Porter stands on its own under an airline seat leaving ample leg room while maintaining significant capacity for tech items (laptop, iPhone, chargers, cords, headphones), personal items (wallet, books, toiletries) and travel documents (passport, tickets).

The coordinating Air Caddy zippered pouch is designed with pockets to hold the accessories air travelers need to access easily while seated, such as an iPhone, pen, iPad, book, glasses and snacks. The Caddy is designed to fit into an open-topped front pocket under the Air Porter’s leather flap during transport and transferred to the airline seat-back pocket for convenient in-flight access.

Travel-friendly Air Porter features:

  • Slim and stands upright under airline seat leaving ample legroom
  • Dual main compartments keep tech and personal items separated
  • Waterproof exterior zippers and water-resistant lining help block the elements
  • Zippered pocket under front leather flap grants quick-but-secure access
  • Leather flap closes with magnets at two settings allowing front pocket to be fully or partly packed and remain secured
  • TSA-friendly laptop-sleeve compartment opens flat; dual handles facilitate quick grab after TSA screening
  • Padded laptop sleeve with corner cut-outs permits laptop charging while inside case
  • Water-bottle/umbrella pockets snap closed when not use in keeping bag svelte
  • Interior key fob stores home keys for easy recovery after a long return flight

Pricing and Availability:

Air Porter carry on:
Price: $359.
Colors: Black ballistic nylon with oil-tanned, full-grain black leather; tan waxed canvas with naturally-tanned, distressed, full-grain grizzly leather.
Dimensions & weight: 15 x 10.25 x 4.5 inches; 2.4 lbs.

The Air Caddy
Price: $59.
Colors: Black ballistic nylon; tan waxed canvas.
Dimensions & weight: 12 x 7.25 x 1.25 inches; 5 oz.
Air Porter + Air Caddy modular set
Price: $379.

Pre-order today. Next production run ships September 15, 2017.

Review of the Anker USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

41hHebwWo9L._SX425_

Product Review – A few months ago my home suffered a lightening strike that. among other things, broke the ethernet port on my Mac Mini. While I have been able to use the built in IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) connection, I prefer a hard wired network connection.

A few days ago I found the Anker USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter on Amazon and thought it would be just the accessory to put my Mac Mini back on the wired network. I ordered it and it arrived yesterday. I was able to install it easily: connect a RJ-45 cable from my Ethernet switch, then just insert the adapter into a free USB port on my Mac Mini.

The new connection was immediately recognized by macOS and I was back to using the wired connection. While I have only been using if for just about 24 hours it has worked perfectly so far.

PROS

  • Easy to install
  • Low cost ($13.99 as I write this review)
  • USB 3.0 compatibility, backwards compatible with 2.0/1.1
  • Gigabit Ethernet support
  • Portable if needed
  • Compatible with macOS and Windows
  • Powered by the USB port

 

CONS

  • Does require committed use of a USB port

 

CONCLUSION

This is a product that I would recommend to anyone who needed to add a wired Ethernet connection to your Mac or PC. You could also use this to add a higher speed or second Ethernet connection to your computer.


See my other Mac and OS X articles


 

Mac Accessory – Zip Brief

Zip-Ballistic-Chocolate-Front_1024x1024

Product Announcements – WaterField Designs of San Francisco, California  has released Zip Brief. Ideal for the minimalist professional, the ultra-slim Zip laptop bag looks sleek from every angle, yet holds a full array of tech and personal necessities. The briefcase unzips around three sides to lie flat for TSA-airport security and slips over a wheeled suitcase handle to help travelers easily race from curb to gate. Increased depth and a pleated front pocket allow the new Zip laptop bag to hold a MacBook and an array of necessities while maintaining its slim profile, and the comfortable yet sophisticated look works well with everything from a suit to a casual Friday wardrobe.

“Based on customer feedback, we added a bit of depth and a pleated front pocket to the Zip Brief so it now holds more while retaining its efficient form,” explained owner Gary Waterfield. “The Zip sports a clean, attractive look for MacBooks of any size and is ideal for darting through airports.”

The Zip Brief is carefully designed to hold the essentials a professional needs for a day at work – a laptop or tablet, power supply, cables, small hard drive, iPhone, pad of paper and Apple Pencil – all organized and protected in one compact bag. Inside, a padded laptop compartment with cut-out corners allows users to charge a device while it remains protected inside the sleeve. Two internal mesh pockets hold additional accessories and a slim enclosure stows the Apple Pencil, Surface Pen or other writing instrument. A few files or a notebook fit easily between the laptop sleeve and mesh accessory pockets. For quick-access items, a pleated front pocket with an internal Ultrausuede(R) iPhone pocket, zippers securely closed.

The checkpoint-friendly briefcase can be fully opened at airport security while contents remain safely secured, and a pass-through panel slides over a rolling suitcase handle for easy transport. Dual leather handles and a removable shoulder strap provide two additional carry options. The meticulously-crafted Zip Brief is available in handsome, tan waxed canvas with grizzly or chocolate leather trim, or black ballistic nylon with chocolate or black leather trim. The laptop bag closes with waterproof zippers to keep contents safe from the elements. Three size options fit PC laptops, 15-inch, and 13-inch MacBook Pros.

Dimensions/Weight:

  • Small 13.75 x 9.75 x 2 inches; 1.4 lbs.
  • Medium 15.5 x 11 x 2.5 inches; 1.7 lbs.
  • Large 16.5 x 12 x 2.5 inches; 2.1 lbs.

The Zip Laptop Brief is available in three sizes: Small $219. Medium $229. Large $239 (USD). Pre-order now. Shipping begins August 4, 2017.

Color/Materials: Tan waxed cotton canvas with naturally-tanned, full-grain grizzly or chocolate leather trim, or black ballistic nylon with grizzly leather or black oil-tanned leather trim. Bag includes two nylon handles and a detachable suspension shoulder strap.

Cheap, Easy Cable Tags

IMG_0954

Tech Tip – I saw this in a Life Hack article. Many bakery products come in plastic a bags like the bagels and english muffins shown above. Many have a little plastic tab (red and white above) that holds the bag closed. Generally we just throw these away when we are finished with the product. These can be saved though and reused in an entirely different way.

IMG_0955

Those tags can be reused as cheap and easy cable tags. I have saved up a few and just today bought a Sharpie Fine tip marker (I tried using a regular Sharpie and the results wasn’t very readable).

IMG_0952

I made tags for some of the cables that are plugged in to my USB Expansion. Why would you want the cables tagged? I am often changing things around in my office and want to remove one cable and add another. These tags let me know at a glance what the various cables are attached to without tracing the cable back to the device it is plugged into.

Pros

  1. They are free, though it takes time to accumulate them
  2. They do come in different colors

 

Cons

  1. They don’t fit tightly on all cables (see standard white Apple USB to Lightning above)
  2. Colors are limited to what the products you use come with
  3. The space to write on is limited to 1″ x 1/2″

Mac Accessory – Bolt Crossbody Laptop Bag

Bolt Crossbody

Product Announcement – WaterField Designs of San Francisco, California, a designer and manufacturer of custom laptop sleeves, bags and device-specific cases, debuts the slim-profile Bolt Crossbody vertical laptop bag. Available in three sizes to fit Macbooks, iPads and other devices, each Bolt includes a padded laptop compartment and a mix of functional pockets. Like bags long-popular in Asia and Europe, the compact Bolt Crossbody provides a convenient and handsome carry for commuters, professionals and adventure seekers alike.

The Bolt Crossbody Laptop bag easily holds a day’s necessities ” Macbook or iPad, water bottle, wallet and travel documents. An extra wide, zippered opening allows easy access to the main compartment that houses a padded laptop sleeve, and simple pockets to keep the Apple Pencil and smaller items easily accessible. A premium leather flap closes with a silent magnetic snap over an expandable front pocket. Inside, a hidden scratch-free Ultrasuede(R) hutch cradles the iPhone 7 or a similarly-sized smartphone.

For frequently-used items, a body-side pocket closes with a self-locking zipper for added security. The Crossbody’s gold, water-resistant lining boosts visibility of bag contents. An adjustable shoulder strap can be worn diagonally or off one shoulder, and a rear grab handle comes in handy for retrieving the Bolt from overhead bins or the trunk of a car. Because of its shape and wide zippered access”even when filled to capacity”the bag remains lean and comfortable to carry.

The Crossbody’s universal style fits with professionals and travelers of all ages. Offered in rugged black ballistic nylon or tan waxed canvas, each with full-grain leather highlights, the Bolt Crossbody is meticulously crafted and built to last. The comfortable Bolt hangs naturally and its clean design complements any look. Three compact sizes provide unrestricted motion yet contain ample space. The Bolt Crossbody joins other hard-wearing, stylish bags in the Bolt Collection: the Brief, the Duffel and the Backpack.

The Bolt Crossbody:
Small: $199.
Dimensions: 11 x 9.25 x 2.25 inches; 1.35 lbs.
Fits 10-inch iPad, most tablets

Medium: $209.
Dimensions: 12.5 x 11 x 2.25 inches; 1.65 lbs.
Fits 12-inch MacBook, 13-inch MacBook Pro (2016), Microsoft Surface Laptop, Surface Pro 4.

Large: $219.
Dimensions: 14.25 x 12 x 2.25 inches; 1.85 lbs.
Fits 13-inch MacBook Air, 15-inch MacBook Pro (2016), Surface Book.

Colors: Tan waxed canvas or black ballistic nylon with naturally-tanned, full-grain grizzly, chocolate or black leather flap and details.mThey can be ordered through the website.

MacBook Pro Accessory – Gumdrop Case

untitled.484_d94a4134-ca7f-4e79-9896-3f52758fd919_1024x1024

Product Announcement – Gumdrop Cases of Walnut Creek, California has announced that its 13-inch MacBook Pro case is available online. Like all portable laptops, it’s easy to drop or ding the MacBook while carrying it around the office or house. Any visible damage can void the warranty, since Apple does not cover accidental damage. The new DropTech case from Gumdrop Cases is the best way to prevent damage from everyday accidents and mishaps.

The DropTech MacBook Pro 13 case not only protects from scratches and splashes, but also from disastrous, damaging drops. It’s Gumdrop’s most rugged case design yet! The DropTech’s unique design strategically employs a combination of rugged and high impact materials that have no problem protecting the edges and corners of the MacBook from normal use and repeated abuse.

The bumpers in each corner are made from 10mm of silicone to maximize protection without being overly bulky. Beneath the protective bumpers is a transparent Polycarbonate inner top shell. The shell is tough, and lightweight, allowing for lasting protection from general wear-and-tear. Plus, it’s easy to clean and can show off the iconic Apple logo, asset tags, school logos, or anything else you need to add to your MacBook Pro!

Installation is a snap! No tools, no sweat. Just slip it into the case, and give it a simple snap and click! It will stay on when you open and close your MacBook Pro, allow access to all ports, and provide proper ventilation so your MacBook doesn’t overheat!

Why are cases so important?
Case protection is incredibly important for keeping a MacBook Pro within warranty, and saves customers from spending a considerable amount of money on repair (or even full replacement cost!).

You can settle for a hard shell case, or a sleeve of some kind, but those may only help protect from scratches and splashes. Zippered sleeves can get left behind. Clip-on shells pop-off at the first hint of trouble and don’t always offer adequate protection. Any decent drop can crack the screen or casing, or damage the insides (including the battery) – even with your MacBook covered in a hard shell or sleeve!

FYI: Apple’s warranty DOES NOT cover damage caused by accidents! If they see any damage on the outside, it will most likely void your warranty and you will have to pay for repair or full replacement.

In fact, just a single 1-foot drop can dent the casing, so it’s better to protect your MacBook as soon as possible to keep it looking great and free from damage.

Never dropped, or banged up a laptop? You don’t have to be a klutz or walking disaster to worry about your computer hitting the ground or getting scratched up from regular use. You could simply be:

  • Someone who uses their MacBook in the field and need something to protect it
  • A student who carries their MacBook between home and class
  • A commuter who knocks out some work with a MacBook on their lap
  • An employee carrying their MacBook around the office and into meetings
  • A teacher who stores MacBooks in a cart
  • Someone who slips their MacBook into a briefcase or bag often

Whatever the situation, if you’re a mobile, on-the-go Mac user you should protect your new MacBook Pro with a DropTech case! And, if you are a bit of a klutz, then you shouldn’t need any further convincing to protect a computer that cost you over $1000.

The DropTech case for the new MacBook Pro is now available in a Black/Smoke color combination for only $69.95 (USD) and fits MacBook Pro 13″ models A1706, A1707 and A1708.

macOS New Tutorial Plan – Noteboom Tutorials

Product AnnouncementNoteboom Productions, Ltd. of Holland, Michigan has announced Pay What You Want Pricing for their membership site, Noteboom Tutorials. Noteboom Tutorials has over 50 tutorials with over 1,500 easy-to-follow video lessons on the Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch designed to give users a better understanding of how to effectively use Apple devices.

Membership is subscription based and includes instant access to all the tutorials. Membership also includes access to new tutorials as they are released. Users can watch the tutorials on any device – Mac, iPad, or iPhone. The site tracks the tutorials users are enrolled in as well as a user’s progress by tracking individual lessons as they are viewed. Select tutorial can also be downloaded in the iBooks format for members.

Mac tutorials include:

  • Tutor for Mac: The Basics
  • Tutor for Mac: Beyond The Basics
  • Tutor for Photos
  • Tutor for iMovie
  • Tutor for Mail
  • Tutor for Calendar
  • Tutor for iCloud
  • Tutor for Safari
  • Tutor for Contacts
  • Tutor for Preview
  • Tutor for Final Cut Pro
  • Tutor for Filemaker Pro
  • Tutor for Pages
  • Tutor for Numbers
  • Tutor for Keynote
  • Tutor for Word
  •  Tutor for Excel
  • Tutor for tap Forms 5

iPad tutorials include:

  • Tutor for iPad: The Basics
  • Tutor for iPad: Beyond the Basics
  • Tutor for iMovie
  • Tutor for Photos
  • Tutor for Calendar
  • Tutor for Safari
  • Tutor for Contacts
  • Tutor for Mail
  • Tutor for Office

iPhone tutorials include:

  • Tutor for iPhone: The Basics
  • Tutor for iPhone: Beyond the Basics
  • Tutor for iMovie
  • Tutor for Photos
  • Tutor for Calendar
  • Tutor for Safari
  • Tutor for Contacts
  • Tutor for Mail
  • Tutor for Apple Watch with watchOS 2

Membership is subscription based and includes instant access to all the tutorials. Users decide what they want to pay for membership. Membership also includes 14-day free trial.