Apple Adds 2016 MacBook Pro Without Touch Bar to Refurbished Store

Apple recently updated its online store for refurbished products to add the 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar, which was originally released in October of 2016.

There are a limited number of models available for purchase with various processor, storage, RAM configurations. Prices are discounted by up to $390, with Apple offering 12 to 16 percent off depending on a machine’s configuration.


Only higher-end models with upgraded processors, RAM, and storage are available at the current time, but earlier today, at least one lower-end machine was available for purchase. Apple’s refurbished stock fluctuates often, so if you’re hoping to get a specific configuration, it’s best to keep a close eye on the refurbished store.


13 and 15-inch 2016 MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar are not currently available from Apple’s refurbished site, but could be added soon based on the availability of the non-Touch Bar model.

All of Apple’s refurbished products go through a rigorous refurbishment process before being offered for sale, which includes inspection, repairs, cleaning, and repackaging. Refurbished Macs come with a one-year warranty that can be extended with an AppleCare purchase. For more tips on purchasing a refurbished product, make sure to check out our dedicated guide.

Review: Twelve South’s MagicBridge is a beautiful way to join Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2

Twelve South is known for making some of the best Apple accessories available and this past week I’ve been using their new MagicBridge which joins Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2together. Read on for a hands-on review.

 

Since 2011 I’ve been using MagicBridge’s predecessor, MagicWandand I’m happy to say MagicBridge is a slick improvement in a few different ways.

I really enjoy the updated trackpad on the 2016 MacBook Pro with its large size and Force Click feature. I also love the feel of the new keyboard, so I decided to invest in the Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Keyboard for my desktop setup.

Since I was used to the clean design and useful function of MagicWand I was glad to get my hands on MagicBridge to provide organization and a clean look and feel to my desk. Let’s dive into the details!

In the box

It’s no surprise that MagicBridge comes in clean and simple packaging like the rest of Twelve South’s products. Inside is MagicBridge along with a paperboard insert that has a keyboard image on one side and instructions on the other. A few Twelve South stickers are also included.

MagicBridge Magic keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 accessory

Build and materials

Twelve South uses precision crafted polycarbonate as their material of choice as it doesn’t hinder Bluetooth signals and is very lightweight. Before I used MagicBridge I thought I might want a silver finish, but the matte white finish (only option available) looks great in use as it blends in nicely with the all white trackpad and white keys of the keyboard.

The other aspects of MagicBridge’s design and build are what set it apart for other similar products on the market. You’ll notice in the photo above there is a gray riser, this slides to either side allowing you to place your trackpad on the right or left and keep both accessories at the proper height. Another well designed aspect is the silicone pads on the interior of the accessory. You’ll also find silicone feet on the bottom for a non-slip grip.

MagicBridge accessory for Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2

The last couple simple and useful features are a grill on the rear that allows access to the Lightning charging ports and power switches and circular cutouts to push the keyboard and trackpad up from the bottom if you’d like to remove them.

In use

Like I mentioned earlier I decided to spring for the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 as I first came to enjoy the key feel, Force Click, and size on the 2016 MacBook Pro. The other aspect that made it worth the money for me to upgrade these accessories was the built-in rechargeable batteries via Lightning.

My batteries on the previous generation Magic Trackpad and Apple wireless keyboard would usually go out in the middle of use as I didn’t make it a habit to power up my rechargeable AAs overnight. Although the MagicWand provided nice function and a minimal design, no matter your setup you’d have one battery door covered and one power button covered and need to remove your keyboard or trackpad for access.

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MagicBridge’s rear grill is one of my favorite features as it retains the seamless experience of the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2s Lightning charging while remaining in place.

MagicBridge accessory for Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2

There’s not too much else to say about day-to-day use. It’s sleek, beautiful, functional and does its job well. I really enjoy being able to join my keyboard and trackpad into one unit, especially when I use it on my lap or use when I AirPlay my Mac to the TV.

Even without the times I use the keyboard and trackpad off my desk I still find MagicBridge worth $34.99 as it brings a polished look and feel to my setup. Also, I’ll likely use it for 4+ years.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to simplify and organize your Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 setup while keeping Apple’s design aesthetic, I think MagicBridge is the best choice on the market. With a well thought out design, option for trackpad on the left or right, rear grill, and ease of use, it’s definitely worth picking up. You can buy MagicBridge on Amazon.

This Macintosh-inspired $15 Apple Watch stand could be the cutest one yet

We spotted what could win the award for the cutest Apple Watch stand yet, the Elago W3. Just insert your own charging puck and slip your Watch into the slot to turn it into a miniature replica of the original Macintosh.

 

The stand emulates the general shape of the Macintosh from the side as well as the front, though it is angled back for easier Nightstand viewing.

It’s made from soft silicon, so there should be no risk of scratching the Watch and it ought to stay put well on your bedside table. I think I need one of these.

The Elago W3 stand costs $14.99 from Amazon.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock helps you get the most out of your MacBook Pro

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Accessory maker Elgato unveiled its new Thunderbolt 3 Dock at CES, offering a way for users to connect a pair of 4K displays to their new MacBook Pro, in addition to plenty of other legacy connection options.

Costing $299, it promises to stand in for the plethora of dongles you’ll need as the tech world makes the jump to Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C.

It comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a single DisplayPort, three USB 3.0 ports, microphone jack, headphone jack, a gigabit Ethernet port and more.

At its price point, this is probably going to be aimed at higher-end “pro” consumers, but it’ll certainly save you the hassle of having to sort through a ton of adapters to get the most out of your new MacBook. There’s sadly no SD card reader, though.

Elgato’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock is set to arrive in Apple retail stores this month.

HomeKit extender

The Thunderbolt 3 Dock isn’t the only nifty Apple-related product Elgato is debuting at CES. Its Eve Extend device also offers a means by which to extend the Bluetooth range of HomeKit devices by connecting to your home Wi-Fi.

That’s particularly useful if you have a big house, or simply want to place HomeKit-compatible devices on the edge of your Wi-Fi network. You can operate multiple Eve Extend devices at the same time — and even use them to control connected devices outside your home, provided that’s not out of range.

No pricing has yet been announced.

How to network two MacBook Pros together via Thunderbolt 3

Instead of using Target Disk Mode, there is another way to quickly transfer files between two MacBook Pro machines using Thunderbolt 3. Thunderbolt networking provides a peer-to-peer connection at 10 GbE speeds for super fast local transfers. In the following brief step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how.

Step 1: Connect both Thunderbolt 3-enabled Macs together with a Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Step 2: Open System Preferences →  Network on the Mac you wish to connect to, and you should see a Thunderbolt Bridge with a Self-Assigned IP. If you don’t see the Thunderbolt Bridge, simply click the + button to add one, and note the IP address.

Step 3: Ensure that the Thunderbolt Bridge is enabled on the second Mac that you’re connecting from.

Step 4: On the Mac that you’re connecting to, open System Preferences → Sharing, and enable File Sharing.

Step 5: On the Mac that you’re connecting from, open Finder → Go → Connect to Server.

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Step 6: In the Server Address box, type the IP that you noted in Step 2, and click Connect.

Step 7: On the dialogue box that appears, enter your login credentials for the machine that you wish to connect to and click Connect.

Step 8: Select the volumes that you wish to mount and click OK.

Step 9: Once connected, the volumes that you selected will show up as shared drives. You can now utilize Thunderbolt 3 to transfer files between both machines much faster than using something like AirDrop.

Step 10: Once finished, eject the drive and disconnect the Thunderbolt cable.

If you’d prefer not to fool with network settings, you can use Target Disk Mode along with a Thunderbolt 3 cable to transfer files quickly between two MacBook Pros. I personally prefer to use the Thunderbolt Bridge method, because it allows me to keep both machines booted into macOS while performing the file transfer.

New MacBook Pro Has Already Outsold All Competing Laptops This Year

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Slice Intelligence says the new MacBook Pro accumulated more revenue from online orders during its first five days of availability than the Microsoft Surface Book, ASUS Chromebook Flip, Dell Inspiron 2-in-1, and Lenovo Yoga 900, based on e-receipt data from 12,979 online shoppers in the United States.

The new MacBook Pro generated over seven times the revenue that the 12-inch MacBook did over its first five days of availability, according to Slice Intelligence. If accurate, that means it took the new MacBook Pro just five days to accumulate 78% of all the revenue generated by the 12-inch MacBook since its April 2015 launch.

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The data follows Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller’s claim the new MacBook Pro had received more online orders than any previous MacBook Pro as of November 2. Apple has also reportedly told its overseas manufacturers to expect strong MacBook Pro shipments to last until at least the end of 2016.

The new MacBook Pro’s apparent early success may come as a surprise to a vocal crowd of professional users who have criticized, among other things, the notebook’s lack of ports and limited RAM. Schiller said the early criticism and debate has been “a bit of a surprise” to him, but common for any new Apple product.

Slice Intelligence extracts detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts. The research firm has a panel of 4.4 million online shoppers signed up for its services such as Slice and Unroll.me. It is also the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.

Apple Drops Prices on USB-C Adapters

To make it easier for customers who purchased a new MacBook Pro to make the transition to USB-C, Apple has dropped the prices on all of its USB-C adapters by $6 to $20.

The simple USB-C to USB Adapter, formerly priced at $19, is now $9, while the more expensive USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter, formerly $69, is now available for $49. Even Apple’s newly released Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter has seen a price drop from $49 to $29.

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A full list of prices on the adapters in the United States is below:

– USB-C to USB Adapter – Was $19, now $9
– Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter – Was $49, now $29
– USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter – Was $69, now $49
– USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter – Was $69, now $49
– USB-C to Lightning Cable (1m) – Was $25, now $19
– USB-C to Lightning Cable (2m) – Was $35, now $29

Apple is also dropping the prices on all third-party USB-C peripherals available from Apple,com and Apple retail stores. USB-C accessories will be discounted by about 25 percent, with some accessories, such as SanDisk’s USB-C SD card reader, seeing a steeper $20 discount, dropping the price from $49 to $29.

Apple’s price cut on USB-C adapters and accessories may assuage customers who have been dissatisfied with the high price of the MacBook Pro coupled with the need to buy a wide range of adapters to use the new notebook with older peripherals. Apple’s lower prices also make its adapters more competitive with the wide range of third-party adapters available on the market. Apple explained the pricing cut in a statement that was given

“We recognize that many users, especially pros, rely on legacy connectors to get work done today and they face a transition. We want to help them move to the latest technology and peripherals, as well as accelerate the growth of this new ecosystem. Through the end of the year, we are reducing prices on all USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 peripherals we sell, as well as the prices on Apple’s USB-C adapters and cables.”

Apple did not mention a solution for customers who have already purchased adapters to use alongside their new MacBook Pros, but recent purchases can still be returned to the Apple Store and repurchased at the new lower price.

Apple will refund the price difference for customers who have already purchased adapters for their MacBook Pros. Customers who still have orders pending will also automatically see a price drop.