Best Upgrades for MacBook
It should come as no surprise that the first upgrade I am going to recommend you do is to upgrade memory on your MacBook, as MacBook memory is so cheap, you can max out the ram on your MacBook for under $100, in fact – way less than that with a 4GB RAM Memory kit for Apple MacBooks costing you less than $50.00 for 2×2 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066 SDRAM sodimms. This total gets cheaper too if you sell your older or factory MacBook RAM that you pulled from your MacBook to make room for the newer, bigger, 2GB MacBook RAM chips. RAMJET, OWC and OEMPCWORLD are just a few memory stores that will buy back your old MacBook RAM.
Installing the RAM upgrade on your MacBook is easy too. Flip the MacBook over on it’s backside, remove the cover and battery, make sure you are well grounded as we don’t want to have any accidents when it comes to static electricity as the RAM memory you bought for your new MacBook, while cheap – doe not like static electricity at all. If you’re concerned about installing MacBook RAM yourself, just take the RAM and MacBook to an authorized apple dealer so you don’t void the warranty on you MacBook and for a fee, you can get the RAM installed without having to worry about static electricity. But I don’t think you need to take your MacBook in to get serviced and you can do it yourself. Just don’t wear a wool sweater with wool socks on a shag carpet on the coldest day of winter to upgrade the MacBook RAM. Touch the MacBook’s metal parts such as the MacBook chassis and you’ll be fine as any static electricity you’ve been keeping will discharge. If you’re all concerned about upgrading the RAM on your MacBook, don’t be. Apple even says it’s OK for you to upgrade your own MacBook RAM and provides you with easy to use and follow instructions to do so. The result will be an upgraded MacBook running twice the factory installed 2GB of MacBook Memory.
**MacBooks come out of the box with a one year warranty, so unless you do something silly like, oh, drop the MacBook or spill coke all over the MacBook there’s a little chance you will need an extended warranty, right? But for the rest of us that use the MacBook like the small, durable portable it was designed to be and actually go outside with the MacBook and take it to school, office or your local starbucks it’s no a bad idea to buy AppleCare from Apple that offers extended warranty. You’re still hosed if you drop or spill on your MacBook as Apple did not design their consumer notebook to suffer that fate, but for the stuff that is considered a manufacturer’s defect wouldn’t you like to know you’re covered for longer than the original year that Apple includes for free with every $999 MacBook. **
AppleCare is a great deal and for just pennies a day, you’re insured for 3 years on both limited warranty, and the telephone support for your MacBook too. Out of the box, the MacBook only comes with 90 days support, but AppleCare gives you 3 years. The warranty allows you to take in your MacBook to any Authorized Dealer or Repair Center and applies not only to the MacBook, but all the accessories too such as power adapters, RAM (this assumes your factory memory) and even the Apple Display if you bought it too at the same time as your MacBook.
All this is just $250 for two more years of limited warranty coverage from Apple and two years and 9 months of free MacBook telephone support compared to just the 90 days. The $250 price works out to another $125/year for the additional warranty coverage or ten dollars a month for MacBook to be covered in full for the three years. LCD displays are expensive. So are motherboards on your MacBook that might heat up and decide, nope it’s not going to work anymore.
AppleCare is a good deal if you plan on keeping the MacBook longer than a year.
For a lot of us, this might not be an issue and the 250GB storage space the MacBook ships with will be more than enough for school papers, recipes, MP3’s or photos and audio files, but in 2011 there’s two ways that you could upgrade your MacBook with either a bigger hard drive, or much faster hard drive depending on what you use the MacBook for.
Hard Drive upgrades are available from a variety of hard drive manufacturers and at very least you would want to double or even quadruple the hard drive space on the MacBook. The MacBook uses 2.5 inch SATA notebook hard drives that on the MacBook are easy to replace or upgrade. At the time I write this, 500GB notebook drives are available for about $50, and 1TB hard drives for MacBook run about $100 or so
External MacBook Hard Drives
Of course, there’s also external storage for the MacBook, which is a great solution for backups or just when you need more storage than what the MacBook offers internally but don’t need to keep all the files on the MacBook at the same time. A Seagate 1tB external hard drive for MacBook costs just under $100 and if you’re in the market for a pocket hard drive for the MacBook then you might want to consider the Lacie all terrain rugged pocket hard drives that are smaller and easily fit into your MacBook case or bag and are available in both 500GB and 1TB sizes.
SSD Hard Drives
Both of these hard drives are the standard platter type hard drive which work similar to a turntable might, and the data is read off of platters that spin and the arm on the drive seeks for the data the MacBook requires at the time. The advantage of these drives is that the technology has pretty much been the same for years now, and the costs for hard drive space in 2011 are pretty cheap as $100 gets you a whole whack of storage space. **But there’s a new hard drive technology in town called SSD hard drives **which are solid state hard drives that feature no moving parts and are substantially faster than a standard hard drive could be, thanks to zero seek and read times, the data on the SSD hard drives are available much faster than standard drives resulting in no wait time and much faster startup times on the MacBooks.
The disadvantage of SSD hard drives for MacBook is the price. As this technology is still relatively new, maximum sizes are limited to about 250GB SSD Hard drives and the price is much higher with street prices of about $500 common. SSD Hard drives for MacBooks are still an upgrade to consider thanks to the increased performance. You could use the factory MacBook hard drive as an external hard drive with the addition of a USB or Firewire external enclosure but the SSD hard drives are still a bit pricey still when compared to more traditional hard drive solutions.
The Apple MacBook ships from Apple with some very powerful software right out of the box with iMovie, iTunes and the iLife software suite included with each MacBook today. But there are times when you need to get more done with your MacBook than what’s included with the MacBook out of the box.
Microsoft can make some pretty questionable products and it’s my opinion that as good as Windows 7 is, the Mac OS still reigns supreme, but despite that fact, if you write a document, make a presentation, work with numbers or any other numerable tasks that require you to work and share with your Mac and PC friends in a format that is easy to open and read and free of headaches, then you do need to buy Microsoft software for your home office and school needs as it’s been that way for years, and despite the fact Apple has iWork, Office for Mac is the leader when it comes to Apple productivity software.
One of the best things about the Apple MacBook is that you can work all day with Microsoft Office, and then with about $50 worth of software, the MacBook becomes the ultimate gaming machine, something Apple really hasn’t paid attention to. (Mind you, they’ve got the smartphone and MP3 player market pretty much wrapped up)
Anyway, this version of the popular simulation gaming franchise features a living world of Sims featuring romance, drama, and enhanced lighting and special effects. This game is more popular than Microsoft Office so if Apple Gaming is your thing, be sure to pick up this latest Sims Game.
Do yourself a favor and shell out the forty bucks or so that Quicken costs and get your finances in shape today. This software does so much when it comes to managing your money, I simply cannot imagine owning a Mac without it. Too many features to list really with this personal finance money management software, but a few and most important is that Quicken can show you where to save more and spend less. This software should be a requirement as standard equipment on every Mac, not just the MacBook.
Unless for some reason you bought your MacBook with the intent of plugging it in at your desk and leaving it there, there will come a time when you want to take your MacBook with you, and you’ll need a case, bag, backpack – whatever name you want to call it to carry your MacBook in something that’s both fashionable and will protect your MacBook form the bumps and grinds of daily life.
Notebook bags tend to be a personal decision and I think that the decision is up to you as a lot depends on how you use your Mac notebook for everyday use as well as style and type of notebook case such as messenger bags or backpacks for notebooks or even notebook sleeves made of neoprene might be what you’re after. But here’s a few good deals on MacBook bags, cases, whatever you want to call ’em.
This looks to be a pretty good case, and offers a nice look, lots of room (will hold a 17 inch MacBook Pro too) and a padded computer compartment that allows for easy removal for TSA scanning on airports. The fact that this notebook case is on sale at over 60% off doesn’t hurt too. One of the best notebook cases available today.
I doubt you guys will like this one much, as it looks a little too purse-y, but for you ladies sick of slugging around a standard looking laptop case, this tote fits up to a 15 inch notebook, which is lots of room for the MacBook and even some MacBook Pro’s. Inside, there’s not only room for the MacBook but pen and pencil loops and an internal zippered pocket too , great for power adapters and the like.
With this messenger bag from the Sharper Image, I have listed every different type of notebook bag for MacBook available and this particular mdoel should appeal to both sexes thanks to it’s over the shoulder, rest on the hip design. Able to carry notebooks up to 15.6 inches, this notebook bag can hold MacBooks, but also windows notebooks too with ease. Lots of pockets make this an excellent choice for a stylish notebook bag on sale.