Best MacBook Air & MacBook Pro Accessories- The Definitive Guide, 2018
Note- These products are available in USA and UK.
Unparalleled precedence shall be the perfect expression to describe Apple products, making it the uncrowned king in gadget kingdom. MacBooks shall be called the Holy Grail in the product line, not simply because it’s a fancy Apple product but there is something much more on this device making it stand out in the crowd. The peculiar features come in lists, but mentioning some like build quality, mind-blowing design features and after sales support would be adequate. When Steve Jobs unveiled the predecessor of MacBook in 2008 Macworld conference, nobody would have thought that this sleek aluminum plate would infect peoples mind like a virus! Today, MacBooks are presented as one of the world’s best professional computing device. While the list of pros would take you on an upside-down journey, joy doesn’t come cheap. Unlike competitors, the MacBooks are priced around $899 ~$2000, which in fact would smoke your pocket to make you think twice.
If monetary concerns are kept aside, a MacBook (be its Pro or Air) is worth every penny you spend on this device. While exterior gives a butter treat, the hardware packs in another punch with highly optimized software and decent specification. Mac OS is what makes the game interesting, with developers as good as the best in the world, their OS can run the heavy duty tasks without any glitches. To garnish the fandom, MacBooks has an impressive battery backup giving an average of about 10+ hours depending on the usage.
Well, while MacBooks are beast, let’s have a look into some of the accessories that stand on par with the device expectation. This review shall run through some of the best in class accessories that are compatible with MacBook’s. Without further say, let’s jump into a list of accessories that will juice the best out of the device.
1) External HDD
While it’s true that MacBook’s SSD works like charm, the limitation in space might be a worrying factor. MacBook come’s in 128 and 256 GB variants where the extra space is at the liberty of your wallet. HDD or Hard drive disk is a memory storage device which is portable and connected to laptops usually via a USB 3.0 cable. Comparably they are cheaper to other storage options out there. An external drive or a portable hard disk might come handy if you’re a MacBook user.
- Cheaper in comparison
- Comes with USB 3.0
- Can easily be formatted to comply with Mac OS and easily be converted to Windows format too.
2) External SSD
Yeah, we got what’s in your mind. SSD storage is already featured on your device, then why would you need to go for an external one? The answer is simple, with your need for an additional storage and preference to make your MacBook ultra-portable, an external SSD is better than an external HDD. Reinforcing this idea will be the fact that SSD’s are ultra-fast than HDD’s and comes with many advantages like silent working, less power consumption, and better durability. However, one disappointment would be price/GB which is ten times greater than conventional external HDD’s.
- Ultrafast file transferring
- While the product claims 415 Mb/Sec, a decent 300 Mb/Sec shall be expected.
- The USB 3.0 cable provided is flimsy but doesn’t comprise on speeds, however.
- USB 3.1 Gen with Type C connector, however, it is compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0 as well.
- Product claims 515 Mb/Sec, but a whopping 400 Mb/Sec is what unofficial reports suggest, which is great!
- Fastest on the list, with an actual transfer rate of 450 ~ 470 Mb/Sec*, where the brand claim is 540 Mb/Sec.
- While it comparably costly, the build quality would never disappoint you.
- USB C- C and C-A connectors are included in the box.
3. & Micro SD Card Adaptors
Though MacBook users would whine about limited storage memory, it is worth noting that they are equipped more than enough choices to make up for that carefully sculpted memory downside.
Storage Expansion Cards come from almost all mega brands mostly in 128 or 256 GB variants. It’s a plug and plays multi-level cell (MLC) SSD card designed for MacBook users. Though not ultra-fast like external SSD’s they serve a decent job with comparably higher read and write speeds.
A micro SD adaptor, on the other hand, ensures that your normal micro SD cards could work fine on MacBook. They are nothing but a converter that accepts micro SD card to suit with MacBook’s SSD card port.
- Available in 3 storage sizes- 64, 128 and 256 GB.
- Snug fit and software optimization ensures least unmounting during sleep and restarts.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Comes in iconic polished silver color.
- Supports up to 200 GB micro SD card.
- The build quality justifies each penny being paid.
4. Vertical Laptop Stand
Wait, did we just say ‘Laptop Stand’? Yes, that too a vertical one. It may not sound cool unless you know how important your tablespace is. If you are a guy with OCD, then this stand will fit your meticulous gut in quite beautifully. A vertical stand would hold your MacBook upright on the sides, thus giving a better aesthetic appeal to your desktop module. Mainly this accessory could be used to setup up a modular desktop using MacBook by connecting it to a full sized keyboard, mouse, external display, and a sound system.
4.a) BookArc for MacBook
- The design is awe-inspiring and ergonomically suitable for MacBook
- Can be used for both MacBook Air and Pro
- Comes in both iconic silver and gray.
4.b) Jarlink Vertical Laptop Stand
- This is a universal laptop stand which grips with almost all laptops
- There is an adjustable slider held by Allen screws to suit your laptop’s width.
Trackpads are great, but if your entire scuffle with the MacBook is a time-consuming process, they often don’t make it easy for your fingers. Mice come to your aid most time, and thanks to the tech industry, there is an arsenal of choice to run down before you stop with choice fatigue. Majority of users today prefer a wireless mouse due to the undenied fact that they are easy to play with.
To make it easy for you we have 4 classes of suggestions handpicked from the best.
5.a) Apple Magic Mouse
- Magic Mouse 2 is the latest version of mouse sold by Apple.
- It is a rechargeable wireless variant with a built Lithium-ion battery
- The tactile response of the mouse is exceptionally optimized for MacBook’s giving a soothing user experience.
- The design aspect is highly futuristic and diffuses with your Mac device.
- However, like all Apple products, this mouse comes with an exorbitant price tag
5.b) Vertical Mouse (Ergonomics)
Again might sound strange, but there is this vertical mouse with a phenomenal ergonomics, carefully sculpted for mouse potatoes. Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) comes into play when you use the mouse for an extended period of time. The vertical design could bridle it and restrict unwanted hand movements thus making it super cozy for the user. To start narrowing the list down, let’s run down the some of our picks:
- Build quality is really good at this price point
- Has 3 DPI levels (800/1200/1600) and 6 buttons to compensate left, right, scroll and DPI.
- Most budget friendly in the list and highest rated.
- Works on 2 AAA size batteries
- Build quality is commendable at this price point
- Tacking abilities are fairly good with 3 levels of DPI settings (800/1200/1600)
- Works with 2 AAA batteries
- User experience is satisfying where Anker is one of the popular choices out in the market
5.b.c) J-Tech Digital V628 (Gen2)
- Build quality is best at the expense of few bucks.
- Comes in wired, wireless and wireless- Blue LED variant, where later one is a visual charm.
- Features a removable palm rest, however, there is no scroll button click available.
- Button placement is excellent compared to Anker.
Evoluent is the mother of vertical ergonomic mice. This brand had mastered the design aspect such perfectly that all the doppelganger would never stand a chance to compete with Evoluent products. They feature a wide range of products having wired/wireless & left/right variants to choose from. If user experience is your highest priority, then without a setback you could go with any of the Evoluent products. It is worth noting that the mouse comes in right size and mass to fit into your palm so perfectly, rendering the best tactile feel. Well, older the wine higher the price tag, so don’t expect a competitive pricing for Evoluent products.
5.c) Wireless mouse
This is the common stuff you might be familiar with. In general, when someone addresses a wireless mouse, it is likely to be a wireless one with a Nano receiver, which is today’s standard. Mostly these mice work on either AA or AAA batteries. Though there are hundreds of products in this line, we have come up with 3 of the best:
- Works on 2 AAA batteries
- Slightly smaller than usual wireless mice
- Build quality is decent
- Best value for the money
- Comes in a huge range of color choices
- Plug and Play across all OS’s
5.c.b) Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse
- Popular mouse around
- Works on 2 AAA batteries (included)
- Best use of electronics giving extended battery life.
- Most rated on the list.
6) Keyboard cover
Keyboard cover is a standard practice which solely would contribute towards the longevity of keys. It protects the keys against dust, mild spills, discoloration, and fading. It is often prepared from non-toxic silicon, which in fact improves the life of the product. The silicon pad will grip itself above keys and doesn’t exhibit any resistance to keystrokes.
Our Pick: Mosiso Keyboard Cover for MacBook
- Fit seamlessly on the MacBook Air and Pro
- Has a huge range of color codes (25+) to choose from
- Washable and fade resistant
- Though its not spilll proof, it can reduce the damage to an extent.
7. Privacy Filter
It is nothing but a strip of the plastic cover made from a special material whose refractive index is carefully engineered to prevent light from traveling sideways. This prevents dodgy eyeing while you are out in the public or using a laptop when people are around, simply leaving a black shade for them to look at. Though you could find many of similar products in the market, only a few of them had proved to be working as advertised since the underlying technology needs precise engineering.
Our Pick: 3M Privacy Filter for MacBook
- Ultra precisely cut for MacBook models
- Easy application with the help of attachment strips
- Matte finish gives a better look
- Only 30o viewing angle on both sides of the user
8. Screen protector
These are the Shield of Achilles that protect the display from minor scratches and spills. It is obvious that the displays would focus on better color reproduction and transmittance, where the outer safety needs a reinforcement. Screen protectors are often made of polymers or tempered glass which has harder scratch resistant coating against daily life objects like keys, coins etc.
Our Pick: Supershieldz- Anti-Glare & Anti-Fingerprint (Matte) Screen Protector
- The product has a matte finish with anti-glare coating
- Smudge-proof prevents oil and dust deposits
- Precisely cut for MacBook Air
- Doesn’t leave glue mark when removed.
9. Screen Cleaner
Dust and dirt deposit would hinder the good display capability of MacBook. Though screen protectors could reduce this, they don’t prevent it. A good quality screen cleaner is really important for crystal sharp retina display. They are often made from high-quality cleaning solutions which don’t damage the outer coating of the display.
- Best rated in the market
- Comparably cheaper
- Comes with a superior quality microfiber cloth for perfect cleaning
- The solution doesn’t leave any residues behind
- Alcohol and Ammonia free
- Has anti-static, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
- The solution is organic and doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction
- Comes with a microfiber cloth in the pack.
Customization has never been into boredom since the invent of gadgets. MacBooks never got left out when it comes to customization especially when they have lots of spaces all around the silver metallic body. Decals and stickers are often the favorite choices for many especially on the sides of palm rest and the rear portion of the screen. If the creative beast in you is unchained, simply run through Amazon, Walmart or E-Bay, and all you have to deal then would be your choice fatigue to cherry-pick from thousands of designs. Sites like printvenue.com and decalgirl.com, definitely worth a check.
11. DVD Writer Drive
Well, DVD writers may be an obsolete add-on, however still there are users who would prefer the old school tech to transport data. Sadly MacBook air doesn’t tender a DVD writer, but that is nowhere a reason to stop using DVD’s. Mac accessories also come with a wide range of portable DVD writers chiefly for MacBook Air users to compensate this omission.
- Dimensions are pretty sleek and compact to carry around
- Is USB 3.0 compatible and works on a USB 2.0 interface.
- Gives a 24X CD write speed and 8X DVD-R write speed
- Plug and play with MacBook Air
12. Connector Cables
If it’s a MacBook, then it’s pretty sure that you might want to expand the functionality over other devices too. MacBook can couple with TV’s, Projectors, A/V receivers, Gaming consoles, Camcorders, Set-top boxes, Blue-ray players and Digital cams. All these connections might demand an extra connector cable, unless its wireless. Here are our best picks from 5 types of connector cables:
- Thunderbolt is the one of the latest connector interface included in the MacBooks.
- HDMI cables from monitors, projectors etc. can be connected to MacBook Air’s display port using thunderbolt to HDMI connector
- The cable body is braided and features an aluminum shell in the connector ends.
- Connectors are gold plated copper ensuring better transmission stability.
- HDTV, monitors, projectors etc. still hosts a VGA cable which can be connected to MacBook Air via Thunderbolt DP.
- VicTsing’s Thunderbolt to VGA connector supports 1080P video transmission without hindering resolution
- Connectors are gold plated to enhance performance and durability
- One year warranty is included
- Available in two colors- Black and White,
- Since MacBook’s doesn’t host a direct Ethernet port this connector is real handy
- RJ45 Adapter to USB 2.0 will ensure that common modems could be directly connected to MacBook Air using an Ethernet cable
- There is an inbuilt LED indicator to signal transmission.
- If running around with individual connector cable doesn’t seem right for you, 3-in-1 DP to DVI, VGA and HDMI might be your bite.
- However, only one output port works at a time
- Best in class and build quality is amazing
- Aesthetics and space management had trimmed down a number of USB ports from MacBook design
- Anker USB extender could accommodate 4 USB 3.0 connections simultaneously
- Metal built is super sturdy and portable
- Can be used with other OS and Interfaces too
- The cable is 2ft long made from high-quality plastic
13. Power Adapter
As usual it is highly recommended to get your old power adapter repaired from an authorized Apple service center, however, if you are still looking for a cheap alternative, we will have two suggestion for you:
- Most reviews suggest that product is exceptionally good
- It works as fine the standard in-box charger
- The magnetic t-tip ensure a snug fit with proper guidance into the port.
- Compatible with other MacBook models post 2012
- Enough LED indicators are included which signals proper docking, charging and full charge.
- Exclusively for MacBook 11” and 13”post-2012.
- Works as fine as the standard charger.
14. Bags for MacBook Pro and Air
Bags are one common accessory that most people would be dying to buy for the MacBook. Lightweight profile of the device would make it easy to carry around and thanks to hundreds of creative brands, now it’s a bliss. There are various types of bags to choose from, let’s make it easy for you by putting out some of the creative ones.
- Perfect fit for MacBook Air
- Comes with mind-blowing design and patterns
- There is 6cm thick cushion inside, protecting your laptop from shocks
- The front row could accommodate a mouse, power adapter, mobile, wallet etc.
- Made of Lycra (spandex) and comes in various colors
- Exterior is padded with diamond foam, cushioning shocks and impacts
- The bag is ultra-thin and snug fits into the device.
- Zipper runs along the width of the laptop bag making it easy for access.
HSEOK Laptop Sleeve Multifunctional Protective Case Cover Bag
- The utilitarian handle on the top makes it easy for transportation
- Inner surface is padded with polyester foam and exterior is lined with spandex
- HSEOK offer lifetime warranty and 24×7 customer support
- The bag has 360o padding which is ergonomically superior to other laptop bags.
- The zipper could literally open all the way around making it easy for accessing laptop
- Product is spill and drop resistant
- Has additional compartments to accommodate laptop accessories as well.
15. Protective Cases
MacBook has their trademark polished metal surface, which is aesthetically awesome but prone to scratches and dirt. Protective cases are a cheap remedy to prevent external scratches. While they are meant to prevent scratches, some creative mind found out that there is an undiscovered scope for customization with these cases. And today majority of protective cases features artworks, graffiti works, slogans, captions etc. There are basically two types:
15.a) Fancy protective cases: You can find these sort of cases from E-bay, Walmart or Amazon for few bucks. Adding charm, cases for MacBook Air often comes with pre-defined sizes so that there shan’t be any worry about fit.
15.b) Hard/Rugged cases: Well, this is a serious business with safety against drops and shocks. Rugged or hard cases often feature protruded ridges and deep grooves to give maximum protection against drops and hits.
Our Pick: NexCase Hard Case Cover with TPU Bumper
- Bevels on the edges are rugged to absorb impacts
- Proper cooling vents carved carefully for unrestricted air circulation.
- Can protect the laptop from scratches as well.
That’s all folks!