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I work for a company renting office space from a downtown skyscraper. In order to deter casual theft from building employees and cleaning staff my company prefers we secure our laptops to our desks using Kensington locks. With the last MacBook Pro (the 13" one with the slot-loading optical drive) this was no problem, as it had the slot for the lock.

And then I asked for (and got) a recent MacBook Pro with Retina. One of the things none of us really thought about was its lack of a slot for the lock.

So I've investigated the options and none of them are really confidence inspiring.

The prevailing logic is to buy this thing from MacLocks. However, it has very mixed reviews, it requires grafting something onto your rMBP (which, for what its worth, I don't care about for cosmetic reasons, but rather the idea of having to screw something onto the bottom of the thing is a little unnerving), it has very mixed reviews, the website itself looks shady (the JavaScript bot pretending to be a human asking me if I need help is bothersome), and it's sort of expensive ($70) considering all of the above.

Most of the other options I see are no longer on the market (either for lack of sales or effectiveness, I assume) or are precluded on the idea of things like alarms going off should they be removed (which is going to be pointless if the casual theft were to occur after hours). One solution was a "locking case" which reportedly had overheating issues.

As it stands now I'm just tossing the thing in a drawer at the end of the night and locking the drawer which is a pain and doesn't allow me to let tasks like app submission go on so I can leave for the day, but it's potentially the only real option other than MacLocks.

So what other options are there for locking a rMBP to a desk? Has anyone here tried the MacLocks solution? Or is the rMBP mostly a "take home at the end of the day or don't worry about it" device for most people? I'm not taking mine home because I have my own rMBP in my backpack and the nature of what I'm currently doing precludes me from working from home anyway.

For what it's worth I did see this question but it's for a MBA, it's four years old, and the accepted solution (loud noise when the adapter is removed) isn't going to work for me as I mentioned above)

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    How do they do it in the Apple Stores? – Mike Chamberlain Sep 14 '15 at 20:17
  • @Chamberlain Apple doesn't sell anti-theft solutions but they patented theirs, they use an adhesive-backed system on a cord. It was co-developed with Eight Inc. – dhchdhd Aug 29 '17 at 6:18
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I know SE is not a place for product recommendations, but this Henge Dock sounds like something that might be useful to you.

The dock hugs the MacBook Pro from both sides (inserting a plug into all the available ports), and has a Kensington lock port on the back.

I do not own this product but I have been considering it.

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    I'll float this past the boss man but $399 is a lot of money. I have the regular vertical Henge Dock at the house and I thought of floating that but it wouldn't solve the lock issue, it's not cheaper, and it requires some investment (extra connectors, KB+TP) and foregoes the Retina display (whereas this horizontal one doesn't). To say nothing of the fact that Henge Docks are aimed at people who come and go a lot and I'm aiming to leave my rMBP in place most of the time. Thanks for the tip though. – Tom Kidd Sep 8 '15 at 19:55
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    Ya I didn't see the price until after I posted. That's pretty steep. Also I don't know how the dock secures the laptop. It must be able to slide in/out somehow to allow the unit to be docked. One would assume that with the Kensington lock in place it would not allow undocking. But maybe the lock slot is just to keep people from stealing the dock and not the laptop? I have this problem where I apply stupid things like logic to situations where none is warranted :-) – Wes Sayeed Sep 8 '15 at 20:27
  • Similar docking stations from Dell are $170/220. With the Henge Dock being a low volume part vs Dell selling docks with a large fraction of it's Latitude laptops I can't call it unreasonably expensive. If it saves more than a few minutes fumbling with something else it'd still pay for itself within a year; never mind the several years you'll probably be using that laptop. – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight Sep 8 '15 at 20:38
  • @WesSayeed my guess would be that the thing that makes this expensive is the (motorized?) connections to the various ports on your machine, so perhaps with the lock in place it refuses to let go if OS X is locked? (the green button apparently ties into some tray app you run). Dunno. – Tom Kidd Sep 8 '15 at 20:59
  • $500 to add locking is overkill. Plus, it's not portable. – dhchdhd Aug 29 '17 at 6:11
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Why not connect a display or cheap display simulator and keyboard to let your Mac run in closed clamshell mode.

You can then just get any acceptable locking mesh or physical barrier you chose. Even letting it run in the locked desk is viable and if you were really lazy (like I am), you could run a second power adapter into the drawer.

Any handy fabricator could make steel or aluminum box or grates you could bolt onto the desk where convenient. A nice solid padlock would be far more secure than anything that emulates a small Kensington slot.

The MacLocks bracket is quite elegant IMO and uses the screws that secure the bottom case to secure the locking shim to the MacBook frame. There is nothing shady there and it's better than a Kensington slot which seems to meet your business expectations for adequate protection.

If you save 5 minutes each work day, it's hard to see $70 being expensive unless your hourly rate is minimum wage.

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  • That's not a bad suggestion, although I'm currently also using the keyboard and display of the MacBook itself (in addition to hooking it up to two 1080p monitors) since it's the only Retina display of the three for @2x testing as well as the fact that I'm just really accustomed to using the keyboard/trackpad. Good point on the 5 min/day thing. – Tom Kidd Sep 8 '15 at 17:15
  • @TomKidd yes - the cost issue seems a red herring. Take the replacement cost of a dozen Macs and factor in your business deductible for loss. One nice security camera system would likely be cheaper than half measures. Clear video evidence of casual theft protects far more than just a few metal boxes. – bmike Sep 8 '15 at 20:41
  • Can you say "scratches?" – dhchdhd Aug 29 '17 at 6:09
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There is currently no good solution.

The wedge and screw replacements are easily defeated.

Maybe violate taboo by getting a very good machinist and mill in a micro K-slot. While you're at it, retrofit with MagSafe 1 (just kidding, but it would be nice).

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Mitigation and deterrence instead of prevention

Locks make it harder would-be thief to take your stuff, but it is not the only way to reduce theft-related risks.

Publicly visible cameras, among other things, would signal to a would-be thief that they are likely to be caught and thus deter theft - especially if the building is not completely public, and the cleaning staff and employees of other tenants wouldn't expect to be anonymous there.

And assuming that most data is constantly securely backed up online (which may not be the case for you, but is so for many configurations) it may well be that simple insurance is cheaper than fancy $70-$399 locks, and it also would protect you from other risks than theft.

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    The $399 isn't for a lock. It's for a docking station that happens to have a lock as one of its features. Although you're right about deterrence. I once had my car broken into. I had a bunch of laptops in there, but the thief only took one of them -- the only one that did not have a property tag and a "police trackable" sticker on it. I never knew how well those things worked until then. – Wes Sayeed Sep 11 '15 at 16:15
  • You can't "mitigate" crack addicts stealing your laptop on CalTrain. And for chrissake, don't be a retard dbag that interrupts busy people to ostensibly "watch it for you." Other people have things to do and aren't your butler. Take it with you. – dhchdhd Aug 29 '17 at 6:23

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