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New MacBooks incompatible with Kensington cable locks

updated 09:35 pm EDT, Thu October 30, 2008

MacBook Kensington locks

The late 2008 aluminum MacBooks and MacBook Pros are allegedly incompatible with Kensington locks. Apple lists the feature as a "Kensington lock slot," but owners have reported that the thickness of the aluminum prevents the standard locks from being used. A response from Kensington's technical support department was claimed to read "we are sorry to inform you that the security slot of your laptop 'late 2008' Aluminum MacBook is not compatible with Kensington locks."

The solution recommended by the lock manufacturer involved a K-Slot adapter, but that would require gluing a plastic piece to the case of the notebook. Gluing an object to a MacBook would not be attractive for most owners.

It is unclear if the issue only applies to certain lock manufacturers. Kensington lists the thickness tolerances for the lock slot depth as 2.5mm to 4mm. Companies could already be working on new locks to fit the design, but detailed information regarding the new lock slot is limited.

[Credit for tip goes to Michael]

by MacNN Staff





  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I am glad it is thicker. Perhaps Apple will gain a reputation for having more secure laptops from this. You can (not-easily) yank a Kensington lock out of plastic laptops and the older alu 'books, but not solid aluminum.

  1. Zkatz007

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just wait

    How much you wanna bet there'll be some "false advertising" lawsuit coming from this!

  1. solefald

    Joined: Dec 1969


    mine is working...

    my kensington lock is working just fine...

    i have this one and it fits perfectly

    Master LockŪ Universal Notebook Security Lock

  1. dxtr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    my are working also

    We have a MacBook and a MacBook Pro on display at my store and the locks work fine... Although I do not see our model on the Kensington page.

  1. rmansfield

    Joined: Dec 1969


    mine works

    I used it earlier this week.

  1. que_ball

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Remove the "washer"

    Most of these locks have a spacer or washer on them. I have gotten other brands of locks where a package with various sizes of this washer were provided.

    Is this simply a case of removing the washer/spacer?

    I do not have a kensington branded lock here right now but this generic brand one works fine.

  1. mullum

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Perhaps Apple will gain a reputation for having more secure laptops from this."

    How can they be more secure if the lock doesnt fit, lol.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Turn the brain on, folks. With old presses aluminium, or plastic, you had to tug (really hard) and you could just break that aluminium (or plastic). The new MB(P)s are solid, thick aluminium. No amount of hand tugging will break that. All you need is a lock that actually fits and the thief would have to cut the cable in order to take your MB(P) away.

    Obviously, if Kensington themselves reports on their support site that some of their models won't fit, then it means that it isn't the question of just removing some washer or similar. The thickness of the aluminium bust be borderline, so the lock barely doesn't fit.

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Data secure too!

    As an added bonus, Apple was smart enough to have the Kensington lock secure the battery and drive bay on the machine. When you attach the lock, you can't open the latch to gain access to the drive.

    This way, a thief couldn't pop open the bottom and steal your drive if you have the machine secured. With the older MacBooks, this could have been done with just the removal of 2 screws and about 30 seconds of work.

  1. OS2Guy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not true...

    I bought the new aluminum MacBook to replace my former BlackBook which used the Keinsington digital lock and it works exactly as it did on the BlackBook. Inserts, locks and keeps my MacBook safe. BTW, my current BlackBook is now on eBay for those who demand a Firewire port on a professional BlackBook.

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