9 Necessary Accessories That’ll Help You Get The Best Out Of Your MacBook System

Absolutely speaking, if you own a MacBook, you should be happy with your purchase. They’re good laptops. But it’s not hard to see where you might run into some annoyances. Some might be specific to Apple, others might be more general. Either way, they’re a bummer, especially when you’ve paid through the nose to get your hands on one of these gadgets.

So, to help, we’ve rounded up a few simple accessories that can add to your Mac-owning experience in small but useful ways. They may not be applicable to everyone, and they won’t change the MacBook line’s more fundamental issues, but they should help you get more out of the device that’s eaten up so much of your time and money.



1. A storage expansion card

A storage expansion card

If your MacBook’s hurting for storage space, an expansion card like the Transcend JetDrive Lite might be the easiest way to add it. It’s neither as fast as an external SSD nor as flexible as a good thumb drive, but it’s eminently simple to use: You slide it into your Mac’s SD card slot, and it adds capacity that works in conjunction with your original SSD. If that works, be sure to grab the model designed for your particular machine.

2. A portable hard drive

A portable hard drive

Regardless of how much storage you’re consuming (on any computer), it’s always a good idea to keep that data backed up. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is a compact, well-performing portable hard drive that’ll help you do that. It provides good value per naira, with a helpful software suite for managing your files, and a free 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage (for two years, at least).

3. An all-in-one, global power adapter

An all-in-one, global power adapter

Another device that attaches to Apple’s power adapter, the PlugBug World won’t save any space, but it makes things a little more functional. For one, it adds an extra 2.1A USB port, giving you another place to power up a mobile device.

Beyond that, it comes with a five-pack of international wall plugs, allowing you to keep using the charger if you’re traveling around the globe. (Twelve South says it supports outlets in the UK, Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Japan.) It’s worth noting that Apple sells a similar World Travel Adapter Kit for £29, though that doesn’t come with the added USB port.

4. A laptop stand

A laptop stand

The Twelve South BookArc is a tidy, well-built stand for those who tend to connect their MacBooks to external desktop gear. At $50, it’s more of a vanity purchase than anything else, but it looks nice, saves space, and works as it should, with any MacBook model. Its arched design also makes it useful for organizing stray cables.

5. A rugged laptop sleeve

A rugged laptop sleeve

Most people looking for a laptop sleeve will be fine with your everyday neoprene model, but if your MacBook is more or less inseparable from your backpack, a more rugged choice like the Thule Gauntlet might be worth the premium. Its polyurethane shell is sturdy and water-resistant, and its elastic band lets you work within the sleeve when you’re on the go.

6. A USB hub

A USB hub

Whatever MacBook you own, chances are you’re not rolling in USB ports. If you regularly connect external devices to your machine, a USB hub might be necessary.

A 10-port model from Anker remains one of the only hubs that uses USB 3.0, supports multiple 2.1A ports for quickly charging mobile devices, and has a design that doesn’t chew up unnecessary room on your desk. It has more ports than you’ll probably ever need, but even still, it’s a solid value at £40.

7. Griffin BreakSafe USB-C Cable

Griffin BreakSafe USB-C Cable

For new MacBook owners who find themselves missing the easily detachable MagSafe cables of yesteryear, the Griffin BreakSafe is worth a look. It’s a bit chunky, and its magnet is a little more sensitive than Apple’s own solution, but it still makes you less likely to fling your laptop across your desk the next time you trip over your charging cord. (Be it the MacBook, or other USB-C laptops like Google’s Chromebook Pixel.)

8. A Bluetooth mouse

A Bluetooth mouse

The MacBook’s trackpad continues to grow in size and accuracy, but it can be uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. I use Logitech’s Bluetooth mouse every day, and it makes a big difference. It’s small enough to fit in a small bag pocket and Bluetooth, so you don’t have to worry about losing a USB receiver.

9. A Thunderbolt docking station

A Thunderbolt docking station

My must-have MacBook accessory is OWC’s Thunderbolt 2 dock. Using a single Thunderbolt cable, you’re given access to multiple USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI, FireWire, and audio in and out jacks, and an additional Thunderbolt port.

I’ve never noticed any instability or latency when using all or most of the ports. To sum it up, I wouldn’t use a MacBook without one.


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