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 How to Turn Your  MacBook Into an Effective Desktop Mac

Image Credit: digitaltrends.com

MacBooks flourish at being lightweight and portable workstations and possess some of the market's best battery life. With the right accessories, they also produce capable desktop devices. Here's how to turn your Apple laptop into an Office-compatible workstation.

Using External Monitors with MacBook

Connecting an external monitor with a MacBook can be transformative. You can use your laptop screen with an external monitor or connect multiple monitors and place your MacBook out of the way. macOS remembers things like your desired resolution and window settings whenever you connect or disconnect an external monitor.

It's important to understand the limitations of your MacBook. Its age and hardware specs will determine what you can and can't do with it. The best way to discover this is to look for your model on the Apple support website.

For instance, searching for a “15-inch 2016 MacBook Pro” produces technical specifications for the 2016 base model. The “Video Support” section states that this model supports two external monitors with a resolution of 5120 x 2880 at 60Hz or four monitors with 4096 x 2304 resolution.

Choosing an External Keyboard

If you use an external monitor as the main display and put your MacBook elsewhere, you will need a device to type. The obvious choice is Apple's Magic Wireless Keyboard. If you prefer to have a numeric keypad, you can get the magic keypad with a numeric keypad.

While Apple makes a robust keyboard, there are several other options out there. Almost any wireless or keyboard USB should work with your Mac computer. You can also use applications like Karabiner-Elements to personalize the look of your keyboard. Likewise, you can remap the keys - such as the Windows Alt-to-Command key - to use them on a Mac.

Controlling the Mouse Pointer

Most regular mice are supported on Mac, whether wired or wireless. Some wireless mice require that you connect an RF dongle via the MacBook's USB port. In this case, Apple's Magic Mouse will do the job, but so will many cheaper options. Although most of these Mice will work with a Macbook, make sure that it is explicitly specified for any mouse you choose to buy.

There are several options if you desire to prevent wrist problems. Ergonomic mice are built for people who spend hours a day at the office, clicking, scrolling, and dragging. There are many incredible and fantastic models to choose from, including upright mice that stand sideways and trackball mice that allow your fingers do most of the moving.

Storage is Important

One of the major restrictions to modern laptops is memory size. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are swift and durable but are still quite expensive than mechanical hard disks. If you want your MacBook to become a dual-service desktop, you'll probably need some external memory.

Docks and Hubs Simplify the Setup

The docks really shine when used as a single point of connection for all office peripherals. If you connect all your monitors and other peripherals to a dock, you can connect your Mac to a docking station when at home!

Image Credit: imore.com

Portable hubs are inexpensive, offer limited expansion, and take up very little office space. Something like the Anker 7-in-1 USB-C Hub or Satechi Multi-Port Adapter will offer ample expansion in a relatively small setup.

There are hubs for every requirement and budget, so search to find the one that best fits your home office setup.

One MacBook Can Handle All

If you're trying to justify buying an iMac, your cash could be better spent on external displays or other peripherals.

In the future, the gap will certainly widen between Apple silicon processors built for desktop and mobile usage. Presently, however, there is very little to separate the M1 MacBook Air from the M1 Mac mini.

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