Emily Ferron January 13th, 2017
The Boost case, currently on Kickstarter, would eliminate the 12-inch MacBook's need for unwieldy, expensive power packs, adapters and dongles
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Apple's 12-inch MacBooks are light, capable and generally well-favored amongst the Apple crowd, except for one thing – the single USB Type C port. The all-in-one Boost protective case (currently on Kickstarter) would overcome that limitation with an external battery and a slew of built-in expansion options.
The Boost case would do the work of several dongles and adapters, and according to press photos, would maintain much of the streamlined profile of the original machine. It sheaths the chassis in a hard-shell case and adds a small amount of thickness to its base. Closed, the company says the whole case would measure 1.96-cm (0.77-in) thick.
The Boost case contains two 3,300 mAh batteries that extend the MacBook's life. Even when the laptop's not in use, you can use the case to charge your other devices. This would be a welcome reprieve for many iPhone owners, since on their own, 12-inch MacBooks have no place to plug in the phone's USB-A-to-Lightning charging cord.
The case includes several expansion options: microHDMI, SIM and SD card slots, an audio jack and USB-A x 2 (one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0). The SD card slot is "invisible", meaning that the card does not stick out once inserted, though the company hasn't clarified whether any brand of SD will achieve the same end (we reached out for clarification but have yet to hear back). The idea, at least, is you can leave the card in the machine when you're on the go, without the risk of card or slot damage.
To charge the case and MacBook, you can use the Apple USB-C charger much like you normally would. It fits into the USB-C port on the side of the case.
The Boost case represents an Apple brand loyalty phenomenon that is fairly unusual: Rather than abandon Apple products, fans shell out extra cash to eradicate their shortcomings. At the time of this writing, Boost has raised over US$11,000 of its $15,000 Kickstarter goal, so there is evidently some demand.
The Boost case has 51 days left to go in the campaign and the company claims it has working prototypes. Boost case rewards require at least a $129 pledge and are compatible with 2015 and 2016 versions of the 12-inch MacBook. If all goes according to plan, the company expects backers to receive their units in April.