Getting a new Mac is a great experience; Apple have worked for many years to make the unboxing experience memorable and special. People talk about it, document it in photos or in video. But what happens when you've had it for a few weeks, months or years? It gets scratched, damaged or dirty. That "yummy new shiny machine" feeling disappears. So why bother caring for your aluminium MacBook Pro? If you want to sell it after a year or two to upgrade to a newer model, having a clean and scratch-free laptop allows you to sell it for a bit more (money you can then put towards your new model!) Meanwhile, if you choose to keep it, you can show up to a meeting with a beautiful and fresh-looking computer.
These top tips to keep your Mac from showing age are guaranteed to work an awful lot better than anti-ageing creams!
1. Protect the case
Do the same to show some personality or, if you want to be more graceful, you can use one of the many amazing skins now available online:
- Hokusai's wave (17")
- Gorgeous colourful bookshelf (15")
- MC Escher's drawings (15")
- Never Mind by Stella im Hultberg (15")
- Black & White Swan by Si Scott
Alternatively, at least be sensible enough to use a laptop sleeve like the Black LaRobe sleeve to keep it protected when you're carrying it around.
2. Fix your mistakes
Put tons of stickers on your aluminium MacBook Pro case and changed your mind about them?
In my case, I had to hand the laptop back at work. Everyone sniggered it would look like hell after I destickered it. But fear not, you can very easily remove stickers from the aluminium laptop case with a small dose of WD-40 and a bit of patience.
First, peel off the vinyl stickers that come off in a single piece; they're the ones that feel rubbery and shiny. Then peel off what you can of the top layer of the paper stickers. These will leave a white paper layer or at least some sticky glue on the laptop. That's when you get the WD-40 out; close the laptop lid first, spray WD-40 lightly on a white kitchen roll. Rub it in gently onto the paper or sticker glue area and let it "soak" slightly. Once the WD-40 works its magic, it should be very easy to rub off the sticker glue off. Buff the laptop cover gently with a soft cloth when you're done to bring it back to its original shine!
[If you're worried that you might do damage, start with a small area of the laptop on the underside of it to check that it won't stain or discolour it. This tip worked wonders for me, but comes with no guarantee. If you've done weird stuff to your laptop beforehand, don't hold me responsible!]
3. Take care of your screen
Aside from the obvious care tips like not stabbing your screen with pens and dirty fingers, the best way to keep your screen, glossy or matte, in good condition is to give it a light clean every so often.
As much as possible, I try to use the cloth that came with my latest pair of glasses and warm breath, but to remove oily marks, the best product (and afaik only one endorsed by Apple) is the iKlear screen cleaning spray.
Follow the instructions and be gentle. You need to stare at that screen for days on end, so best take care of it!
4. Don't squeeze me too tight
I've recently noticed a rising number of people who treat their laptops like they're made out of steel armour plating. It's still a fairly fragile construction, even the fancy latest unibody machines, so throwing it into a backpack or piling books on top of it can quite easily damage the screen!
5. Get AppleCare
This one is a question of personal preference, but ever since I've started buying Macs for myself, I've insisted on having AppleCare - Apple's own protection plan, which covers you for much of the likely problems
It doesn't replace being careful (eg. dropping your laptop or spilling beer into it won't get it replaced) but will cover you for most hardware issues. As far as I'm concerned, if your computer ever leaves your desk, it's worth having insurance on it.
Just be smart!
If you want to have a throw-into-a-bag-and-go laptop, get an ASUS Eee PC or similar netbook, Hackintosh it if you must. Or use the tips above to keep your aluminium MacBook Pro in the best condition possible to resell later!