The Apple MacBook is an excellent productivity machine. Whether you prefer to work on a lightweight MacBook Air or a powerful MacBook Pro, it puts a veritable plethora of tools at your disposal that you can use to handle a wide range of tasks. Like any laptop, though, the MacBook does have its limitations. Fortunately, there is no shortage of accessories you can use to overcome many of them, all while enhancing your overall experience working with Apple’s notebook computers.
These MacBook accessories will help unlock your laptop’s full potential.
Nonda USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapter
The Thunderbolt 3 port on modern MacBooks are great. Problem is, they’re not compatible with older USB accessories, making them impossible to use with older storage drives, drawing tablets, and similar peripherals. This little dongle makes them compatible to those older accessories, making it extremely useful for folks who still rely on older USB-A devices they’ve accumulated over the years. It even comes in a unibody aluminum housing that matches the space gray, gold, and silver colors of Apple’s laptops.
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SightPro Magnetic Privacy Screen
MacBook displays come with wide viewing angles that make it easy to see what’s onscreen even when you’re looking at it from side angles. This makes it easy to share what’s on your screen to co-workers. Problem is, it also makes it hard to keep what’s on your screen private, which can be a problem when you’re working on sensitive materials in a public location. This screen magnetically attaches to your MacBook’s monitor and makes it practically unviewable from side angles, as you have to look at the screen straight on to see anything in clear detail.
Prefer working on a larger external monitor than your MacBook’s built-in display? This accessory holds your laptop upright while you do that, allowing you to keep it nearby without taking up too much desk space. It fits all MacBooks from recent years, all while allowing for unimpeded airflow to keep the machine cool while it runs. Features include SECC steel construction, a weighted design to keep it from tipping over, contact pads to keep from scratching your laptop, and anti-slip rubber feet.
A laptop stand, this accessory can elevate your MacBook up to six inches off the table surface, allowing you to place the monitor at eye level for a comfortable working posture. Unlike many laptop stands, it’s not fixed height. Instead, you can easily adjust the height using a locking screw in the back, allowing you to fix it anywhere between two to six inches, allowing you to dial in your ideal viewing ergonomics. It comes with non-slip V-shaped arms with silicone grips that can easily support anywhere from an 11-inch MacBook Air to a 16-inch MacBook Pro, while Teflon rails at the base ensure it doesn’t scratch you desk even if you move it around.
Satechi’s plug-in GaN charger comes with three USB-C Power Delivery ports, allowing you to charge your MacBook, along with two other devices, at high speeds. The main port supports up to 100W charging, while the other two can handle up to 88W, although using multiple charging slots together restricts you to a maximum output of 108W. The fact that it’s a USB-C charger means you will find this useful not just for MacBooks, but for most new devices that come out in the near future. And yes, the plug can be folded, allowing you to easily stash this in a small pocket or pouch.
If nothing else, modern Apple devices are notorious for minimizing port availability, which is why a USB hub is a requirement for anyone working with a MacBook. This device adds a healthy selection of ports to your laptop, giving you access to a 4K HDMI slot, an Ethernet port, a USB-C PD charging slot up to 60W, a card reader, and a trio of USB 3.0 ports. Not only is compact enough to squeeze in your bag, it comes in familiar MacBook colors, complete with a premium aluminum build to match.
If you love your MacBook’s trackpad, but prefer to mount it at an elevated angle for better ergonomics, you can enjoy the same precise control using Apple’s standalone trackpad. It supports the same multi-touch gestures, while employing the same sensors that can detect the amount of pressure you’re applying, so you can use it the exact same way as the MacBook’s built-in trackpad. Features include Bluetooth connectivity, a large edge-to-edge glass surface, and a battery that can last a month or more between charges.
This wedge-shaped accessory can serve as a laptop riser to hold your MacBook at a tilted angle on the desk, all while adding a veritable gaggle of ports to your laptop. You get three display slots (4K HDMI, 4K DisplayPort, and VGA), although you can only use one at a time (connecting a third monitor just mirrors the second one), as well as two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a gigabit Ethernet slot, card reader, 100W PD passthrough, and a 3.5mm slot. We especially love the fact that it pulls double duty as a riser, allowing you to hide it under the laptop, with all the connectors sitting neatly away from sight.
If you love the MacBook’s keyboard, but find an external keyboard a lot easier to use for your workspace setup, you can get the same elevated experience with the Magic Keyboard. This full-size model pairs automatically with your laptop, all while delivering a comfortable typing experience, with large keys, excellent travel, and access to dedicated arrow and number keys for quickly gliding through any repetitive typing tasks you need to perform. It even comes with a TouchID button for quickly logging in to various services, paying for purchases, and downloading apps.
Some people just work best on a compact keyboard with the satisfying feel of mechanical switches. If that’s you, then this made-for-Mac Logitech model just might be the keyboard upgrade your workspace requires. Unlike the Windows version, this model doesn’t give you an option for clicky or linear switches. Instead, it sticks to the Tactile Quiet variant, which gives you that tangible feedback that makes mechanical keyboard so fun to use without the distracting noise, which could be problematic in shared workspaces where everyone’s using quiet Apple keyboards. Features include the ability to pair with up to three Macs and iPads at the same time, programmable backlighting, and a rechargeable battery that can keep it running for 15 days straight.
This power bank comes with a 26800mAh battery that will let you fast-charge your MacBook using either of its two 100W PD-enabled USB-C ports when you need the power without an outlet in sight. A fully-charged power bank should let you charge most laptops two times over (sometimes with extra juice to spare), while an additional two USB-C ports can output 20W apiece. Do note, maximum output is 138W, so you can only charge one laptop using the 100W output at a time. It’s the maximum size battery you can take on most airlines, too, making it extremely handy for taking on the road.
Yes, there are plenty of cheaper external SSDs you can get. If you need a true pro-grade performer for your creative projects, though, you’ll want this premium upgrade, which comes with a Thunderbolt 3 connection for maximum read and write speeds while still being compatible with USB-C machines. When used with a Thunderbolt 3 cable, it boasts read speeds of 2,700MB/s and write speeds of 1,900MB/s, allowing you to make quick work of those large 4K video files and max resolution images. Designed for rugged use, it comes with a housing that can resist crushing pressure up to 4,000 pounds, shrug off drops from 6.6 feet, and keep out water in accordance to IP68 standards. Comes in 1TB and 2TB models.
Single monitor not enough for the kind of work you do on your MacBook? While you can easily use a second monitor on your workspace, it becomes a little more challenging if you spend a lot of time working on the road. If you still want an extended display even on the go, you might want to consider this 13.3-inch monitor, which sticks to the back of your MacBook using magnets that you mount on the four corners of your laptop’s lid. Once installed, you simply slide out the display to use it and slide it back in once you’re done, so everything looks neat and tidy. It comes with 1080p resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a built-in kickstand, in case you prefer separating it from the laptop and standing it on its own.
While there’s a wide selection of options in monitors you can use with your MacBook, we’re really partial to this LG model, which was specially designed to work with Apple machines, going so far as to use the same display technology as iMac devices. It’s a 27-inch IPS display with 5,120 x 2,880 resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, 500 nits of brightness, and 99 percent DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, making it an excellent monitor for your creative projects. Designed to bring versatile function to the workspace, this Thunderbolt 3 monitor comes with built-in stereo speakers, a webcam, a microphone, and three USB ports that you can use to charge your devices.