Anker PowerPort II – A Great MacBook Charging Alternative (Review)

Anker PowerPort II USB-C Charger

When it comes to charging your Apple MacBook, the included 30W charger from Apple is, of course, a great answer.  But if you are looking to pick up a second, say for your travel back or one you keep at the office, the idea of paying another $49 for it can be a bit daunting. That is where Anker and their PowerPort II comes in handy.

Providing a USB-C connector as well as a USB-A port for charging your iPhone at the same time, the Anker PowerPort II is a similar size to the Apple branded 30W charger, but has a lot more to offer at a price that is $20 less.  I recently picked up the PowerPort II to keep with me during my travels with my 2017 MacBook.  I’ve found it to be a great alternative to the Apple branded charger and one I can confidently recommend to readers.

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Apple Quietly Eliminates Rose Gold Color for MacBook

MacBook Color Options

With all the hubbub and focus on the updated MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iPad Pro, Apple made a small little change to the MacBook lineup today too.  The Rose Gold color option is no longer available.  You can now only get it in Silver, Space Grey, and Gold.  That Gold color has also been updated to the same gold finish of the new Air so everything is all matchy-match.

It is unclear why Apple eliminated the somewhat popular color.  It could have been for lack of sales but given that Rose Gold remains for the Apple Watch and iPad line up, it is a bit of a head scratcher.

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Where to Watch Today’s Apple Event from Brooklyn

Apple Event Invite - October 2018

Today’s Apple event in Brooklyn, New York has been hotly anticipated for the past few weeks.  At the event, it is expected that we will be treated to a refresh of the iPad Pro lineup, as well as a new MacBook, an updated Mac mini, and other Mac related updates.  Oh, and iOS 12.1 is coming today too!

So if you are like me and millions of other Apple fans who didn’t get an invite to the event, don’t fret.  It is actually really easy to watch the event live from your Mac or iPad.  It is even easier from your Apple TV.

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Apple Store Goes Down Ahead of Today’s Apple Event

Apple Store Offline Banner

With the countdown well and truly underway to this morning’s Apple Event in Brooklyn, New York, another key moment has begun with the Apple Store.  If you navigate your way to the Store this morning and attempt to make a purchase, you get greeted with the now familiar “Be right back” banner.

For those readers who may be new to this whole Apple thing, this banner and the store’s ability to complete a purchase is normal on these big event days.  Apple is in the process of updating the store with the new devices and accessories that are expected to be announced today.  Shortly after the event is over, the store will come back online and you can order or pre-order the newest tech from Apple.

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Style and Performance – The Satechi USB-C Pass Through Hub (Review)

Satechi USB-C Hub for MacBooks with Multiple Drives Connected

When it comes to USB-C hubs for your MacBook, there are plenty to chose from out on the market.  One of the best and certainly one of the most stylish comes from Satechi.  The San Diego, California based company makes a wide range of accessories for Macs, iPhones and iPads, all of which have a touch of style while giving great performance.

The Satechi USB-C pass through hub is a great example of this functionality-meets-style.  Designed to precisely fit in the USB-C port of your MacBook, the hub sits next to your MacBook, almost as if it were a built-in extension.  It provides pass through power of course but also gives you a wide range of ports for SD cards, MicroSD cards, and two USB-A ports that support USB 3.0 speeds.  Top it off with Satechi making these hubs available in all the colors that Apple offers on the MacBook, you have an accessory that truly looks like it belongs with your 12-inch laptop.

I recently picked up one of these hubs to use at home on my MacBook.  After using it for a few weeks, it is a hub that I recommend for its clean design and excellent performance.

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Apple Bans Bloomberg From The October 30 Apple Event

Apple Event Invite - October 2018

With the Apple Event tomorrow and invited media already starting to descend into New York for the event, there is going to be one noticeable absence from those in attendance.  Bloomberg.

It seems that Apple has banned Bloomberg from attending the event where the latest generation of the iPad Pro and sweeping updates to the Mac lineup are expected.  The news of the banning came from BuzzFeed.  The ban extends from the universally denounced story run by Bloomberg that Apple’s iCloud servers were physically hacked with a small chip placed in them.  Apple, along with Amazon who were named in the story, quickly rebutted the story and now independent consultants and experts have concluded that the story was not true.

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Powerful Portability – The MacBook May Be The Ultimate Answer (Review)

2017 MacBook

If there was one thing that I truly missed about using my Google Pixelbook as my daily driver laptop, it was the size and portability. When I moved back over to iOS and MacOS after years on Android and Chrome OS (you can still read my exploits at ClintonFitch.com), I went back to my trusty MacBook Pro 15″ from 2015.  It is a solid device and powerful but its big and its heavy and frankly, for what I do, a bit of overkill.

The big and bulky bit of the MacBook Pro is significant for me.  I travel, a lot.  This year I will push over 100,000 miles of air travel which is a typical year for me.  The smaller I can make things and the lighter they can be, the better it is for me.  That is what initially caught my attention about the 2017 MacBook.

The 2017 iteration of the MacBook is the third since the line was introduced back in 2015.  Sharing the same fundamental design of previous iterations, the mid-2017 model brings significantly improved internals that make this MacBook snappy and a joy to use.  It also brings the next generation of Butterfly Mechanism keyboard which has a much better tactile feedback than the first generation.

That said, the 2017 version of the MacBook still isn’t perfect.  The single USB-C port is a show stopper for some, especially considering it doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3.  Also, the 480p webcam is lackluster on a good day.  But if you are looking for power and portability, and you want a Mac, this MacBook should be on your short list.

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Today’s Deal – Anker PowerPort II USB-C and USB-A Charger for $30

Anker PowerPort II USB-C Charger

Today’s Deal is on the Anker PowerPort II USB-C charger for your MacBook and other USB-C laptops.  The wall charger with collapsable AC prongs, sports a single USB-C port to charge your laptop as well as a standard USB-A port to charge your iPhone or iPad at the same time.  Right now on Amazon you can pick one up in either white or black for $29.99.

The PowerPort II can output a maximum of 19.5W on the USB port while the USB-C port can output 30W.  The standard USB port also support Anker’s PowerIQ 20 technology for the fastest charging possible with steady current to prevent overcharging of your device.  

Read moreToday’s Deal – Anker PowerPort II USB-C and USB-A Charger for $30

Apple Sends Invites for The Apple Event on October 30

Apple Event Invite - October 2018

After much speculation and anticipation, Apple has announced a new Apple Event where we expect to see new iPads and potentially a refresh of the Mac mini and MacBook.  The event will be held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House on October 30.  It will start at 10:00 am Eastern, which is 7:00 am Pacific.

The big product announcement for the event is expected to be the new iPad Pro lineup.  Sticking with the LCD display, it is expected that the new iPads will sport a near bezel-less design and will ditch the Home button, just as the new iPhone lineup has done.  It is also expect that the iPad Pro will move to USB-C charging versus Lightning, brining it inline with the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro devices.

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MacOS Mojave Officially Released – Time to Upgrade

MacBook With MacOS Mojave

MacOS 10.14, also known as MacOS Mojave, has officially been released from Apple.  The update was released just a few minutes ago and brings a wealth of updates and changes to the Operating System.  It has been in beta testing since June after being announced at WWDC.

You can download it directly at this link

The update, which is available for just about every Mac device made in 2012 or later, can be found in the MacOS App Store under updates.  It is a hefty download so be prepared for about a 30 minute update cycle depending on your Mac’s speed and your download speeds.  Also keep in mind that you will not be able to use your Mac during the upgrade process so plan that into your schedule today when you plan on upgrading.

If you aren’t sure if your MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, iMac Pro, or Mac Pro is going to get the update, check out my handy guide on which devices will have the update available to them.

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