Best MacBook Accessories 2023: Bags, storage, monitors & more
Getting a MacBook is only one step toward your next perfect laptop. You need accessories, but you don’t need to settle for just Apple’s own. Here are our favorites.
The MacBook is back on top as one of the best purchases you can make for all your laptop needs. With an incredibly powerful chip inside the ultra-portable devices, you’re never too far from having one of, if not the best laptop experiences around right now.
However, the device by itself might be powerful, but the accessories front from Apple is a little lacking. In fact, we’ll probably only be recommending one direct Apple product from their accessories line up and it’ll most likely surprise you.
Outside of this, we’ll be looking at monitors, hubs, and bags, as well as some additional accessories we think you might need.
The best mouse for MacBooks: Apple Magic Trackpad
This will probably be down to personal choice, and personal choice alone. However, we won’t be recommending Apple’s Magic Mouse. Not only is it a bad design, but is fundamentally flawed when compared to the thing we’re actually going to recommend.
Yes, the Apple Magic Trackpad is going to be your best pal through your time with macOS. The various shortcuts that can be done with the hand gestures never feel entirely right through the keyboard and it’s genuinely very comfortable.
It charges through an included Lightning cable and has been one of, if not the best purchase we’ve made when using the device docked up. It’ll also feel more natural to shift between your regular setup to be on the move.
Outside of this, if you don’t mind losing access to the various shortcuts available through mouse gestures, we’d recommend going small and wireless. That’s why we’d probably say to look up the Coolermaster MM712, which we reviewed. It’s a comfortable, lightweight mouse that can be Bluetooth as well as wired or dedicated wireless over 2.4GHz via a dongle.
The best premium Keyboard for MacBook: Keychron
After fixing the MacBook keyboards from the butterfly design, it’s still debatable as to whether Apple actually makes a “good keyboard” or not. With this said, we’re snobs around this stuff and it all depends on what you want out of it.
While you could go with Apple’s official keyboards for the included fingerprint sensor, it’s probably worth it to invest in something with a much better typing feel. Gaming isn’t really a thing on Mac, so we’ll steer clear of that for now.
What you want to be looking at is things like the Keychron lineup. These offer a fantastic, mechanical, and typing feel, while not being too expensive. They’re fully customizable if you don’t enjoy the switches that come with them, and are one of few companies that seem to prioritize macOS layouts over Windows, with most promotional images coming with the Mac keys already on.
There’s a massive selection, that is always growing and best of all, they come in wireless designs and fit snugly into some bags.
The best budget keyboard for MacBook: JLab Epic keyboard
If you’re after a more basic keyboard, and often work in an office and are used to a chiclet-style keyboard, then the Jlab Epic might be your first port of call. It doesn’t break the bank at just $69.99, and offers a fully-sized board for all manner of applications. You can even use it wirelessly, with Bluetooth and 2.4 Ghz connectivity options, too. The backlit keys also allow you to use it even at night.
While this is a membrane board, there is a lot of value on offer here, with a 2000 mAh battery inside, and a media knob to control your device’s volume. It’s ideal for those with multiple devices, too.
Given that this is a membrane board, you have to keep your expectations in check, but they won’t annoy your spouse, or any nearby co-workers, either.
Best bags for the MacBook: Manfrotto Advanced 3
Here, we’d probably recommend going for something a little durable. While the metal casing can take a bit of a beating, it is doomed to be scratched at some point. Rather than risk it getting damaged any further, it might be best to consider something like a camera bag.
Amazon is filled with a lot of cheap cases and bags, but getting a proper one that is designed from the ground up for protection is always your best bet. Plus, it’s not going to disintegrate at the faintest whiff of damage coming its way.
The Manfrotto Advanced 3 and the Advanced 2 offer superb protection and enough room for a whole host of goodies on the inside.
Good quality camera bags often come with things like sections and velcro, allowing you to carve out your own style inside and fit everything into its own place.
The best Monitor for MacBooks: LG Ultrawide Ergo
We fully recommend the LG Ultrawide Ergo monitor, which not only has a cool look but will boost your productivity while using the Macbook with an external monitor.
As of right now, you want something that isn’t going to draw too much resource out of your device. This is why we’d recommend something on the 1440p, ultrawide scale to ensure that you get the most out of your device.
It is designed to keep your desk super clean, with no real stand and it lives on an arm. It has served us well these past couple of years, and using macOS on it is sublime.
However, if you’re using this for creativity apps, like DaVinci Resolve or Photoshop, you might want to consider a color-correct monitor. Even Apple’s own color science isn’t great, and for this, you’re going to start seeing the numbers explode on the price tags.
Best monitors for creatives on macOS
For those on a smaller budget, you might want to consider the ProArt monitors, while those with a blank check, should absolutely look into the Eizo range. These are essentially the god-tier for consumer-grade monitors for any color-accurate media work you might be doing.
For those who don’t want to spend the extra cash for this kind of work, we’d say to calibrate your MacBook’s display instead.
The best premium MacBook Dock: Corsair TBT200 Thunderbolt hub
Despite the Pro line of MacBooks fixing their issues, they’ve still come equipped with four USB-C ports. Thankfully, they’re still Thunderbolt as well. For the absolute best in hubs, it will have to be a recommendation of the Corsair TBT200 Thunderbolt 4 hub, which splits out to an additional three Thunderbolt ports, as well as an additional SD card and USB-A ports for all your accessories.
It even comes with two additional cables for DisplayPort and HDMI inside, so you can hook up your MacBook to your setup.
For those just needing an HDMI port and some USB-A ports on top of their USB-C device, literally, any pick of the litter on Amazon will suit you just fine.
The best MacBook Dock for productivity: UGreen Revodock Pro
If you’re looking for a portable dock that won’t break the bank quite as much as Corsair’s offering, then the Ugreen Revodock Pro might be your next port of call. It boasts a litany of ports, including Ethernet, USB-A, USB-C and dual display adapters with a choice between HDMI and DisplayPort.
It even offers charging passthrough, so you can get all of this expandability with just a single wire connecting your device. It changed the game when using our MacBook Air at our desk, and allowed us to connect multiple devices, as well as hook it up via ethernet. This is a professional solution and will run you back a few hundred dollars, but it’s more than worth it for the kind of expandability you get, especially if you do not require Thunderbolt 4 capabilities.
The best portable charger for MacBook: UGreen 145W 25000 mAh
UGreen’s 145W 25000mAh portable battery pack is one of the only power banks on the market that we would safely recommend for those running MacBook devices, whether that be a MacBook Pro or Air. This is due to the device’s charging speeds, which are suitable for charging the most demanding of devices, to boot.
Even after using it on a flight, we managed to extend the life of our MacBook Air significantly, so you don’t have to twiddle your thumbs if your device runs out of battery while you’re in the air. Additional fast-charging ports will also keep your other devices in check and charged if you choose to use all three ports at once to boot. At $149, it might be pricey but might be the last portable charger you ever need to buy, as noted in our review.
The best MacBook Storage: Samsung T7
For the MacBook, we fully recommend an external SSD. While your laptop should house enough, it should really only be used for things that you need directly on the device. Software, maybe a few files here and there. Outside of this, we say to either upload to iCloud or grab an external SSD to shift things over to. Remember, with a modern MacBook, there’s no way to replace the parts inside, so you might find yourself relying on external drives a little more often.
To keep things small and compact, the Samsung T7 is probably your best bet. It’s a diddy little thing that can store up to four terabytes. Other than this, SanDisk and Seagate have two fantastic offerings that haven’t caused us any issues.
For those wanting to go with the more “customizable” approach, you might want to get an NVMe and enclosure instead.
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