After Apple cleaned up and redesigned the MacBook Air in October of 2010, Apple fans everywhere were dying to get their hands on the thin mobile powerhouse. Because of this, mobile accessory manufacturers decided to embrace the MacBook Air by releasing a ton of new and cool docks, cases and other accessories for the Air. Below, I have crafted a list of my top four MacBook Air accessories. While this article is geared towards the 11-inch MacBook Air, most of these accessories are available for the 13-inch model as well.
Henge Docks AirDock
A lot of Mac users have started to use the MacBook Air as their main machine by using an external display such as the Apple Thunderbolt Display. While this is a great idea in theory, you’re often left with a mess of wires coming from all ends of your desk. Henge Docks has decided to fix this issue by making an upright dock for the MacBook Air with built in cable management. This allows for a clutter-free desk and a cool looking MacBook. While the AirDock will run you $55-60 depending on the screen size of your Mac, I think this dock is a must-have for any external display-wielding MacBook Air user.
Speck SeeThru Satin
While the MacBook Air is an extremely durable computer, the aluminium is prone to scratching when coming in contact with sharp or pointy objects. The only real way to avoid this would be to throw a form-fitting case over your MacBook. While I’m personally against putting cases over MacBooks, I think I’ve found one that doesn’t suck: the Speck SeeThru Satin.
I’ve been a SeeThru Satin user for a couple years. It all started when I (reluctantly) purchased one for my 13-inch MacBook Pro in early 2009. I immediately fell in love with the soft-touch finish, which hides scratches and feels nice when held. When purchasing my MacBook Air, I couldn’t resist buying a Satin to protect it from everyday scratches and minor drops onto the coffee table.
Keep in mind that the standard SeeThru case is a lot different from the SeeThru Satin. This is because there is no soft-touch finish, so scratches tend to show on the case. As of now, I can only recommend the Satin as it feels nice, hides scratches and protects your Mac. Want to buy one for yourself? They retail for $49.95 and can be found on Speck’s website and can be bought in seven different colors.
SPIGEN Leather Case Gariz Modern Series
SPIGEN is known for their high quality cases and screen shields for mobile devices. Their latest case, the Gariz Modern Series for the MacBook Air, doesn’t disappoint. This specially fitted sleeve for the 11-inch MacBook Air is handmade from a high quality Italian leather, making it not only look good, but making it durable as well.
Personally, I think the Gariz case looks classy and definitely adds a luxurious edge to the MacBook Air. The actual case is designed and manufactured by Gariz, a popular camera accessory company, while the case is distributed by SPIGEN. This combination ensures that the case will feature the luxury of Gariz while keeping the excellent customer support offered by SPIGEN.
All in all, I think the SPIGEN/Gariz combo is a great sleeve for anyone who wants a classy looking way to carry their MacBook and has a few extra dollars in their wallet to spend. I say this because the Gariz case retails for $109.99, which may be steep for the average user.
Photo Credit: Cristiano Betta
ZAGG, a mobile accessory company, was originally made famous for their InvisibleShield product, which is sold for many types of consumer electronics. The InvisibleShield is a pretty basic product: it’s an extremely thin, liquid-applied clear film for your device. The plastic material which is used in the InvisibleShield was originally developed for helicopter blades, so you can be completely sure that your Mac will be safe from everyday scratches and scuffs when applied.
The MacBook Air variant of the InvisibleShield features full exterior scratch protection as well as trackpad protection. This is great as it protects your trackpad from grease, smudges and spills while the exterior is protected from scratches and dings. If for some reason your InvisibleShield ever gets scratched or damaged, ZAGG will replace it free of charge.
While the InvisibleShield does a stellar job of protecting your MacBook Air, it does come with one major downside: the installation process. To start, the installation process is pretty horrible as it forces you to put a wet piece of plastic over your MacBook and to squeegee the solution away from all ports and fans. After performing the process a couple times, I can assure you that it isn’t fun.
Even with the installation process in mind, I can still highly recommend this shield as it offers full scratch protection while adding virtually no bulk to your Mac. If you want to pick up an InvisibleShield for your MacBook Air ($54.99), head on over to ZAGG’s official website for more information.
Now that you’ve taken a look at my favorite MacBook Air accessories, what do you use to protect your Mac? Let us know in the comment section below this post!