No MacBook is an island. While your Apple laptop makes you a productivity powerhouse all by itself, you need some additional hardware to make the most of it, whether it’s a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air, running on the classic Intel or new Apple M1 silicon. After all, having just Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C ports in the late models of these iconic machines can mean you need some extra gear to work around their minimalist nature.
We’ve collected a variety of MacBook accessory options that’ll save you time and avoid frustration (or even disaster). Check them out below. If you’re interested specifically in a larger connectivity solution in the form of a MacBook-optimized docking station, we have a guide to our favorite MacBook docks here.
Best USB Type-C-to-A Adapter: Nonda USB-C to USB Adapter
While there are many benefits to the Thunderbolt 3 ports on modern MacBooks, backward compatibility with thumb drives and other traditional USB devices isn’t one of them…unless you buy an adapter.
The Nonda USB-C (male) to USB-A (female) adapter is a widely popular solution for MacBook owners. The alloy-cased Space Gray adapter matches the aesthetics of modern Macs and allows data transfer speeds up to 5Gbps. Inexpensive adapters like these are must-have accessories, unless you’ve somehow replaced every single USB Type-A device in your life with a USB-C equivalent.
Best USB-C to Lightning Cable: Aukey USB-C to Lightning Cable
Sometimes a wired connection is simply the easiest way to go if you ever want to directly charge your iPhone from your MacBook Pro or Air, or need to download a lengthy video without waiting for a wireless file transfer.
Rather than relying on the standard (cheap) Lightning cable that comes with your iPhone, consider upgrading to a reinforced 90-degree cable like the Aukey USB-C to Lightning Cable ($15.99). This 3.3-foot cable features a 90-degree connector on both ends and a braided nylon wrap over the wire insulation to help prevent fraying and breakage. (It’s rated for over 6,000 bends.)
Best USB-C Hub: Anker 8-in-2 USB-C Hub
You can avoid the need to use multiple adapters if you pick up a single USB Type-C Hub with multiple ports. The Anker 8-in-2 USB-C Hub ($69.99) plugs into your laptop’s two Thunderbolt 3 ports to give you eight connectivity options: one multi-function USB-C port, one USB-C data port, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, one SD card slot, one microSD card slot, and a Lightning audio port. The HDMI port delivers 4K resolution to an external monitor at 30Hz, and the multi-function USB-C port can drive a 5K external monitor at 60Hz.
Best Wireless Charging Dock for Apple Accessories: Mophie 3-in-1
If you’ve jumped headfirst into the Apple ecosystem, you might appreciate a way to make your MacBook Pro or Air, iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch work together seamlessly.
A Qi-compatible wireless charging pad such as the Mophie 3-in-1 ($139.95) will fast-charge your iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch via a single platform covered in premium ultrasuede fabric that prevents scratches to your expensive Apple products. Engineered to deliver up to 7.5 watts of power to your iPhone, the pad can charge through lightweight phone cases up to 3mm thick. It has dedicated spots for your Apple Watch and AirPods, letting you use the former in Nightstand Mode.
Best USB-C External SSD: WD Black P50 Game Drive Portable External SSD
External data storage is more important than ever thanks to massive video files and high-res photos. While cloud storage solutions are ideal for most people, sometimes you just need to have a local storage option when Wi-Fi or broadband internet isn’t available.
The 500GB or 1TB version of the WD Black P50 portable external SSD ($134.99 or $199.99, respectively) is a solid-state drive the size of a business card, yet it delivers data transfer speeds as high as 2,000MBps. This external drive is ideal for mobile professionals and outdoorsy types because of its rugged aluminum construction. As the name suggests, the WD Black P50 Game Drive is also compatible with modern consoles such as the PS5. (See our roundup of more top-rated portable SSDs.)
Best USB-C Battery Pack: RAVPower PD Pioneer 20,000mAh 60-Watt Portable Charger
Ever been traveling with your MacBook and needing to finish an important assignment—with a battery that’s nearly dead and no power outlets in sight? After the first time it happens, you’ll learn to carry a USB-C portable battery pack like the RAVPower PD Pioneer 20,000mAh 60-Watt Portable Charger ($53.99).
This device (model RP-PB201) has one Power Delivery (PD) port and one QuickCharge (QC) port so you can charge your laptop and phone simultaneously. Its 60-watt PD output means it can charge your Apple laptop just as efficiently as the original charger, bringing a 13-inch MacBook Pro to 60% charged in just an hour. Alternatively, its high capacity means it can charge an iPhone 11 Pro Max from empty to full 2.6 times before draining.
Best Portable External Monitor: Asus ZenScreen (MB16ACE)
Macs have always been essential work equipment for multimedia pros, but serious video and still-image editing typically requires two displays. This is where a portable monitor like the Asus ZenScreen (MB16ACE) ($229.99) is worth every penny.
This 15.6-inch full HD (1,920 by 1,080) display features an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, a blue light filter, and flicker-reduction technology to minimize eye fatigue during prolonged use. The monitor senses whether it’s in landscape or portrait orientation and weighs just 1.5 pounds with its smart case/stand and cable. (See our roundup of more top-rated portable monitors.)
Best Wireless Mouse: Logitech MX Master 3
Apple’s MacBook trackpads are famous for delivering some of the best touchpad experiences of any laptops. Unfortunately, Apple’s track record with external mice has been hit or miss.
The Logitech MX Master 3 ($99.99) isn’t the smallest or lightest Bluetooth mouse for macOS, but this is one of the best mice you can buy in terms of ergonomics, controls, customization, and tracking sensitivity. Logitech’s Darkfield 4,000dpi sensor means this wireless mouse works on virtually any surface (even a glass table at a fashionable coffee shop). USB-C quick charging means the battery inside the MX Master 3 will last an entire work day after charging for only three minutes. If you let the battery charge completely, then Logitech claims this mouse will keep working for up to 70 days. (See more of our top-rated mice.)
Best USB-C Car Charger: Anker PowerDrive Speed+
Just about every Apple road warrior needs a way to charge their MacBook Pro while on the road. Consider a USB-C car charger like the Anker PowerDrive Speed+ ($32.99). This two-port charger can charge USB-C laptops, phones, and tablets with up to 30 watts, while its PowerIQ 2.0 port delivers full-speed charging for USB-A devices.
Best True Wireless Earbuds: Apple AirPods Pro
While Apple’s diminutive wireless AirPods ($159 with charging case, $199 with wireless charging case) have been a runaway hit for use with the iPhone, they’re just as useful for MacBook owners. These convenient ear buds connect to your laptop or smartphone via Bluetooth and deliver up to five hours of listening time on a charge.
We like their upgraded Pro version better, though. For $249, the AirPods Pro offer a customizable fit, sweat and water resistance, and active noise cancellation. (If you’re not all-in on Apple or don’t own an iPhone, also check out some of our top-rated true wireless earbuds.)
Best Bluetooth Speaker: OontZ Angle 3 Ultra (4th Gen)
A Bluetooth speaker might seem like another iPhone accessory rather than something for your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, but the reality is that audiophiles are going to want something better than the laptop’s built-in stereo speakers.
Check out the fourth-generation OontZ Angle 3 Ultra Bluetooth portable speaker by Cambridge SoundWorks ($39.99) if you’re looking for impressive sound quality in a mobile-friendly speaker that will survive drink spills at the office or the occasional drop from your bag. The latest iteration of the Angle 3 Ultra speaker delivers better clarity at maximum volume (ideal for office conference calls or parties) and its IPX7 fully waterproof certification means this speaker can handle a rainy day with no problem. The 9-ounce speaker can play for up to 20 hours on a charge and fits in your car’s cupholder. (See more top-rated Bluetooth speakers.)
Best MacBook Charger: Satechi 75W Dual Type-C PD Travel Charger
Apple has stopped including chargers with new iPhones in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and the mining and use of precious materials. Now that MacBooks can be charged over USB-C, it’s only a matter of time before Apple stops including chargers with MacBooks as well.
The Satechi 75W Dual Type-C PD Travel Charger allows you to charge your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air and a USB-C smartphone at the same time thanks to two USB-C PD ports, one 60-watt and one 18-watt. If you’re still using legacy devices that charge over USB-A, this charger also includes two USB-A ports that charge at 2.4 amps.
Best Insurance Policy: AppleCare+
This might sound like an odd addition to our list of MacBook accessories, but the reality is that accidents happen with mobile electronics. While AppleCare+ isn’t the kind of option you’re going to use every day, it just might be the most valuable addition to your laptop in the event of a drop or an electrical surge.
New MacBook Pro and Air models come with 90 days of complimentary technical support and one year of hardware repair coverage through Apple’s limited warranty. AppleCare+ for Mac extends your coverage to three years and adds two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $99 for screen or enclosure damage or $299 for other damage. You’ll also get 24/7 phone and chat access to Apple tech support experts.
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