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The 20 Best Mac Accessories to Help Make the Most Out of Your Precious MacBook

Have you checked out the latest MacBook? And have you already bought one? If yes, then you’re one lucky bastard. If not, that’s completely fine, especially for MacBook Pro users circa 2016 to 2020 who quite enjoy the playability of the touch bar, a not-minor gimmick that really gave gear-heads a more intuitive experience when changing volume and brightness, and selecting text. Too bad, now that it’s removed from the market. Then again, the new 2021 MacBook Pro has ports and a MagSafe charger. Everyone wins.

We get it, you love these Apple laptops, no matter what size or model. MacBook is arguably the world’s greatest laptop (don’t @ me, Lenovo, Dell, and Microsoft zealots). Buying one MacBook is a consequential investment, so it only makes sense to get some good accessories to up your MacBook game, either for protecting it, carrying it in style, or improving its user experience. The world of Mac-accessories is, in fact, a forever-growing ecosystem, and every time a new pair of AirPods or a faster charger cable drops, that world gets a little more cramped.

Regardless of which MacBook you own—Pro, Air, 2015 model, 2021 model, the one with the touch bar—MacBook accessories are like iPhone cases: You really do need them to maximize the technology’s potential, overcome its limitations, and optimize the experience of owning it. If an ergonomic laptop stand for improving your work time is not enough, then an LG monitor might give you the best view. And a case, sleeve, or backpack will safeguard the laptop from all the wickedness it’ll face. Of the 20 best Mac accessories we examined, there’s at least one that’ll give you the impulse-purchase itch. Whatever that product is, it deserves to be paired with your MacBook.

Anchor Sleeve

HERSCHEL

$40 AT HERSCHEL.COM

A sleeve bag is one of the most popular ways to protect MacBooks, and Herschel’s padded sleeve will do it in a distinguished style without unnecessary bulk or dollar bills. Its clean and minimalist design won’t pique the curiosity of pickpockets in the café you frequent every morning. But Herschel’s classic woven logo is enough to still make a statement. It comes in various colors and sizes to fit your tastes, as well as your laptops, whether you own a 13-inch MacBook Air or the largest MacBook Pro.

Explorer Apex Backpack

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TROUBADOUR

$245 AT TROUBADOUR

Your MacBook is a deluxe laptop, so don’t carry it in a backpack that won’t last as long as it does. Troubadour’s Explorer Apex backpack is the premium match for transporting MacBooks. It’s got a padded section to protect your up-to-16-inch device from any external shock or internal disturbance, and its waterproof material will make sure your thousand-dollar gear stays bone dry. Stuff your other Mac accessories in its multiple pockets, and carry it on your back to the office, airport, or gym.

Back to Work Backpack

EASTPAK

$70 AT AMAZON

Don’t want to blow too much on a laptop backpack? Then check out Eastpak’s Back To Work design, which contains a padded tech sleeve for your 15-inch or 13-inch MacBook. It has another spacious compartment for all the other essentials you need to accompany your day-to-day routine. And it is modern, comfortable, and so sturdy it won’t wear out. Just the thing for your MacBook and your commute.

Walnut Laptop Stand

OAKYWOOD

$149 AT BESPOKE POST

Is your WFH setup luxury enough? If not, what you’re missing might just be Oakywood’s walnut laptop stand atop your standing desk or regular computer desk. This accessory is stylish, period, no more explanation needed. Just look at it. And it’s comfortable, because it will provide you the ideal angle for more seamlessly viewing the screen and typing on the keyboard. Bid farewell to neck, eye, hand, and wrist strain all at once.

Adjustable Ergonomic Laptop Stand

LIFELONG

$70 AT AMAZON

It’s only polite to give a formal presentation standing up, even if you’re on a Zoom meeting. This laptop stand will help you raise your screen to the desired height. Fold it down to a compact size and pack it in your backpack. Once at the office, if you need to give a PPT presentation to someone on the other side of the globe, simply let it rise, adjust the height (up to 20 inches) and angle, and start talking. Its sleek silver outlook also matches any color of MacBook.

Wood MacBook Dock

GROVEMADE

$120 AT GROVEMADE

Are you still placing your MacBook flat-down on your desk? That’s so not space-saving. We’re sure your workplace could use the aesthetic upgrade of this elegant, naturally made, wooden dock for vertically storing your MacBook after working it hard all day. It’s both a smart addition to your office and a handy guardian for your laptop. And who wouldn’t look twice, or thrice, at its premium wood grain finish?

MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse

LOGITECH

$100 AT AMAZON

Unpopular opinion: Operating via a mouse is the superior laptop experience. Even Apple’s trackpad sometimes acts up; it doesn’t always register the right clicks, and clicking too hard or not hard enough will trigger completely different reactions. We recommend Logitech’s wireless Bluetooth mouse for precision tracking, scrolling, and clicking. It even has a handful of app customization options to help speed up your workflow, and a wheel to rest your thumb. It’s also rechargeable, but you probably won’t need to charge it all that much, since it can last over two months on full power.

UltraFine 5K Display

LG

$1,300 AT APPLE

The second-to-none monitor for MacBooks probably costs as much as the MacBook itself. It’s true. LG’s 27-inch UltraFine 5K Display monitor is made to work in sync with the Mac, meaning you can adjust the monitor’s volume and brightness directly from MacBook’s System Preferences or keys or touch bar—a harmonious integration that ditches the need for physical buttons. And the visual quality is guaranteed to be superlative—it’s 5K resolution, c’mon—thanks to almost 15 million pixels, probably the most you’ll ever get. All alongside a built-in speaker, camera, and mic.

UltraFine 4K Display

LG

$700 AT APPLE

If you’re still part of the 4K gang and not ready to spend almost twice as much on a monitor, LG’s UltraFine 5K predecessor—the 4K version—is the next-to-best alternative. It comes with the same seamless macOS integration with your MacBook, and it’s got built-in stereo speakers too, although no camera or mic. And really, an image quality of 4K resolution is not all that bad. It’s pretty magnificent, in fact.

Swivel Attachable Portable Monitor

SIDETRAK

$330 AT AMAZON

Some MacBook users just can’t deal with a big-ass, pricey monitor because they live a life on the go, not shut in the home. This portable option can be magnetically attached to a MacBook Air or Pro to double its screen size, and your productivity. For an end-game-level of viewing comfort and flexibility, rotate the monitor itself, or mirror and share the screen display. Entering data on your MacBook while reading a chart from this monitor goes so smoothly.

Tempered Glass Screen Protector

SPIGEN

$31 AT AMAZON

Apple didn’t invent a Retina display MacBook screen so you could tarnish it with dirt, food stains, scratches, or cracks. A hard screen protector is an essential prophylactic accessory for your expensive laptop, and Spigen’s screen protector, made of toughened glass with more durability, will ensure full-screen coverage for your Retina display without chipping away at the clarity. Available in sizes for all MacBook models.

MacBook Cases

INCASE

$50 AT INCASE.COM

Shield your exorbitant but definitely worth-it MacBook Pro or Air from all the scratches, thuds, and blows of life with Incase’s body-hugging, dual-layer, hardshell laptop cases. They won’t cut off your access to any port or key, and they have just enough openness to diffuse the electric heat of your MacBook. Incipio designed them in variants to fit the size of your MacBook, and in colors and styles that can either show off the Apple logo or completely cover it up—for the non-ostentatious folks.

Smart LED USB-C to Lightning Cable

BELKIN

$30 AT AMAZON

There are just way too many types of charger cables nowadays: USB, USB-C, Lightning, micro-USB, and that newfangled MagSafe connector. Just remember, your MacBook Air or Pro might only have USB-C ports, and thus only allow USB-C connectors to be plugged into it—so picky. So we recommend Belkin’s USB-C to Lightning cord for connecting iPhones, AirPods, or iPads to your MacBook for fast charging. It even has an LED light for you to check charging status with one quick glance.

PowerCore III Elite Portable Charger

ANKER

$160 AT AMAZON

We don’t know why you’d ever put yourself in situations where you didn’t have a charger cable or adapter for your MacBook, or where a power outlet was nowhere to be found. But if by some ill-fated chance you face this scenario on a semi-regular basis, make sure you get this portable power bank. While it won’t likely charge your MacBook to full power if you’re exhausting all the battery while it’s being charged, it has enough capacity to give the laptop a high-speed charge when it’s running low, so you can save your work before it dies.

100W USB-C Charger Power Adapter with Cable

IXCV

$40 AT AMAZON

Your MacBook came with a free charging adapter and cable, but replacing those through Apple comes at an unfathomable price. If you’re looking for an affordable, third-party replacement that charges fast—faster than Apple’s—then you’ll want this USB-C power adapter and cable set that can power up your MacBook at 100W. For comparison, you’ll get either a 67W or 97W adapter with the newer MacBook models, both of which cost much more than the 100W one here. Apple did release a 140W option, yowza, but it is 99 bucks. If you just need a replacement, go for budget.

Video Conference Lighting Kit

LUME CUBE

$70 AT AMAZON

This accessory isn’t exclusive to MacBooks, but if you mostly use the laptop for back-to-back video meetings, and you are really, really repelled by the unnatural way your face looks on speaker view, you should get this “ring” light. Designed for video conferencing, it’ll touch up your appearance for team meetings, classes, and job interviews. Simply mount it to your MacBook, turn it on, and you’ll look like the rightful owner of an expensive laptop. By the way, it’s really not your face. It’s the damn lighting.

USB-C to USB Adapter (Pack of 2)

SYNTECH

$10 AT AMAZON

Sly Apple probably swapped USB-C ports onto MacBooks just to reach into our wallets, since we then needed to buy separate Lightning to USB-C cables to connect our iPhones to our MacBooks. But if you’ve resolved not to succumb to Apple, this pack of USB to USB-C adapters will give you the no-strings-attached, USB-port outlet you need for your old cords. It’s not a wireless connection, but it’s a tiny middleman, and we can all appreciate the tidiness. (If you’re already trapped by the almighty Apple, its adapter option will do a great job, too.)

T7 Touch Portable SSD

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS

$110 AT AMAZON

Imagine carrying 500GB, 1TB, or even 2TB in your pocket, or palm. Samsung’s portable SSD can make that happen. Your exquisite MacBook is probably wondering, “Am I not enough for you? You really had to get Samsung, my nemesis, to size me up?” But if you need an external hard drive that has fast transfer speeds (over 1000MB per second) and vast storage, this is the one. It also comes with fingerprint and password security for your critical, classified documents. Or your abundance of legally downloaded movies and games.

USB-C Hub

HIEARCOOL

$25 AT AMAZON

Connect pretty much every gadget you own to your MacBook with this multi-port USB-C adapter hub. Still doing the old-school iTunes way of syncing songs from MacBook to iPhones, iPads, or Android smartphones? This hub will take care of it with whichever type of cable is required. Want to connect your Nintendo Switch with MacBook to show off and play? Consider it done. Have to transfer files between MacBook and Windows Vista computers? No problem. And it’s got several card slots for the older-gen folks who miss the antiquated way of transferring.

Durable Keyboard Cleaning Kit

AISPOUR

$12 AT AMAZON

Do yourself a favor and stop using a toothbrush to clean your keyboard. Not only is it ineffective, it’s also just very funky. Use this comprehensive cleaning kit to dust all the letters, numbers, and symbols on your MacBook. With brushes for cleaning gaps, an air blower and tweezer for the most obstinate soot, pullers for keycaps, and several cleaning wipes, it’ll give your MacBook the monthly spa treatment it deserves. Remember to clean the USB ports, too.

From: Esquire US

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