PNY ThinkSafe for Mac review: Chain your MacBook up with this security lock

The PNY ThinkSafe for Mac is an innovative MacBook lock that gets around the absence of a Kensington Lock slot on newer MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display models.

There are lots of people using MacBooks on the move these days, and any visit to a local coffee shop will show half a dozen people using a Mac in public.

Taking your Mac with you and working in a local Starbucks is a sweet experience, but the thought of leaving £1,000 worth of Apple laptop alone is enough to fill anyone with dread. The only bad thing about working from a coffee shop is that you have to pack up your MacBook whenever taking a coffee break.

See: MacBook Air review

Unless you invest in a lock like this: the PNY ThinkSafe for Mac. This is a secure cable with a loop on the end attached to hinge lock with a combination code.

There are two ways to attach the ThinkSafe to your MacBook, the first is if your Mac has a Kensington Lock slot (this is the small square hole found on older MacBooks and the MacBook Pro without Retina Display). However, the modern range of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display with do not have the Kensington Lock slot. In this case the PNY has a trick up its sleeve in the form of a Patented Hinge-Locking system.

Attaching the PNY ThinkSafe Lock

The way this works is that a thin curved piece of metal slips through the gap between the display and the keyboard. Once in place it provides a slot for which to attach the lock to your MacBook. You then loop the cable around something non-movable (like a bolted down table leg or pipe) and your MacBook will be secure.

If no object is available for you to wrap the cable around, then you can also use this cable with a PNY ThinkSafe Portable Security Clamp. This enables you to clamp and lock a MacBook directly to a table surface.

See: MacBook Pro with Retina display review

Just how secure is up for debate: we certainly wouldn’t want to try breaking the display of a MacBook just to see how easy it is to bend the Hinge through the gap. We doubt if it’d stop a determined thief, but it’d certainly slow one down – so it’s pretty much ideal for using in a coffee shop. People who use Apple computers in trade show demonstrations will appreciate being able to lock the system down as well.

The lock attached to MacBook using the Hinge system

A nice touch is an online service from PNY that enables you to store and memorise the four-digit code online (of course, you need to store it with another password but this might be one you’re less likely to forget).

For the most part this is a straightforward and easy to attach solution that will give some protection to a MacBook and hopefully stop a thief from attempting to steal your laptop.

OUR VERDICT

The PNY ThinkSafe is a great way to protect a MacBook. We’d rather use the Kensington Lock system (which we know and trust) but after Apple failed to include it on the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with Retina Display then PNY have stepped up to the plate with an innovative idea.

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