Six 'must-have' MacBook Pro accessories

Six 'must-have' MacBook Pro accessories

Summary: Here are a list of must-have accessories that I have bought to augment my new MacBook Pro.


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  • Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter

    In an effort to make the MacBook Pro as thin as possible, Apple has done away with the gigabit Ethernet port. So this isn't something that I use all that often—Wi-Fi has all but replaced it—but there are times when I have to resort to a wired connection.

    This is where Apple's Thunderbolt to gigabit Ethernet adapter comes in handy. I can throw it into a notebook bag and it's there waiting for me when I need it.

    Price: $29.

    Image source: Apple.

  • Twelve South PlugBug

    I love my gadgets, but more gadgets means more chargers, which in turn means having to have more wall outlets.

    The Twelve South PlugBug solves this problem by combining the MacBook Pro charger with a 2.1A USB charger. The output of the USB charger is powerful enough to charge an iPad, which means having to carry one less wall wart.

    Fantastic idea.

    Price: $34.99.

    Image source: Twelve South.

  • Apple USB Superdrive

    In the pursuit of offering a device that is as thin as possible, Apple kicked the optical drive to the curb along with the Ethernet port.

    Being without a CD or DVD drive on the MacBook Pro wasn't a deal-breaker for me, but I still use disks often enough that having a drive I can take with me is handy, hence the reason I grabbed Apple's USB Superdrive. Being no bigger than a CD case means that it is ultra-portable, and only needing a single USB cable for both data transfer and power means I don't end up with a huge kludge of wiring.

    Price: $79.

    Image source: Apple.

Topic: Apple

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  • Hmm

    Must Have = I just Bought this and think you should too.

    Reality = up to 4% of the population are likely the only people you can target for MacBook Pro accessories.

    Bottom line, get rid of MacBook Pro and say must have accessories for x or y laptops.
    • Or just add number 7 to the "must have" list

      Revolving Credit
      William Farrel
    • Reality is in the eye of the beholder!

      That 4% market share you quote is just not accurate, slickjim. Or, at the very least, HIGHLY misleading.

      Take this study done in March of 2011 - almost two years ago. (And, for the sake of argument, let's assume the Apple world wide market share has either stayed the same or increased slightly.)

      The study quoted can be found viewed on this link:

      I claim your 4% market share figure is MISLEADING because it doesn't take into account market share broken down by geographical sectors.

      For example, according to that two year old study, Mac OS X market share for the United States was reported as 15.36 percent. (A reasonable figure)

      Canada reported a 14.03% OS X market share. Australia and New Zealand posted 13.94 and 12.84 percent market share respectively.

      If you wish to break down those market shares by world region, the numbers shake out like this.

      North America: 14.09%
      Oceania / Australia: 13.71 %
      Europe: 6.23 %
      Asia: 1.61%
      Africa: 1.47%
      South America: 1.08 %

      In the two years that has elapsed since that study was taken, most would agree that the Chinese market has started to embrace Apple products more and more. (Sorry about that vague figure but what can I say.)

      You are right that Europe, Africa and South America are minor Apple OS X markets but even then, Europe posted an OS X usage rate over 4 percent.

      Since I live in the "Good Ole US of A", your 4 percent market share quote was HIGHLY misleading.

      Perhaps in Great Britain, a strong WinTel Market, Apple's market share might be around your 4 percent.

      However, in North America, perhaps one out of every seven computer users might might find AKH's blog points useful.
      • It is also a pretty safe bet that

        people using the Mac are doing so by their own choice and not because they are forced to.
        • Yeah

          And it is also a pretty safe bet that nobody is forced to use any computer or OS in the USA or world for that matter.

          People buy what they can afford and as for me, I also built my computers so, I wasn't forced to run any system and have even had OS X on these boxes before.
          • You need to come tell that to my workplace

            and tell them that I get to choose my own computer and operating system.
      • Umm

        It was an estimate but worldwide they are not above 6% and for a man who makes his living off of Articles, he has to realize he is seriously limiting his target audience.
      • the problem with your argument

        is that mac =/= mac book pro, and not all of these accessories are the same things you would get if you had a different type of mac

        not to mention the 22% drop in mac purchases last quarter
        • The majority of AKH's accessory suggestions can be used by all OS X users.

          My original comment concerned worldwide OS X market distributions. In which case, Mac = Mac Pro since both use OS X but that was not the main thrust of your comments.

          Let's examine your observation that "… not all of these accessories are the same things you would get if you had a different type of mac."

          Of the six accessories mentioned by AKH, four could be used by all OS X users. (USB Superdrive, Time Capsule, Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter and the SanDisk Cruzer Fit) The other two are designed for mobile OS X machines.

          Your other argument is irrelevant or, at the very least, inconsequential. BTW, sorry about being blunt regarding your statement "… not to mention the 22% drop in mac purchases last quarter."

          However, think about your statement for a moment, theoilman. How would that reduction significantly effect the ratio of OS X machines to WinTel machines worldwide IF PC purchases had also declined? As it stands, for the past two years, PC purchases have declined from the previous quarter more often then the Mac purchases have. And, only the desktop iMacs significantly contributed to the 22% reduction in purchases from the previous quarter - due to product availability constraints and the "Osborne effect". Laptops sales were basically flat. (A concern to Apple but not so much for me)
      • Why bother...

        ...responding to cunts like that? It's a waste of time.
    • The key to getting a valid statistical result is

      to get your sample right. The people reading ZDNet are not the general populace, but people specifically interested in tech. And since ZDNet covers Apple tech, a large number of Apple users will come to this site. It's a safe bet that much more than 4% of ZDNet's readers own or are interested in owning a Mac.
      • Wow

        You guys are still a large minority on this site or any other. Crud, I can almost name the lot of you on one hand.
        • Assuming that every reader also

          posts on the talkbacks is just as flawed as assuming Mac usership among ZDNet readers equals that of the general population.
  • The PlugBug wins

    my that's so insanely simple it's brilliant award.
    • Unlike slickjim, I actually was impressed with PlugBug myself.

      I just may get one - but it is not on my immediate short term shopping list.
    • Why?

      MacBooks have USB ports, just plug your device into that and save yourself $40.
      Fred Fredrickson
      • There's something to be said for not having stuff

        hanging off your macbook Pro ports when you're trying to use it or carry it somewhere. PlugBug allows me to charge an item independent of the computer.
      • Duh

        The MBP USB ports cannot charge an iPad.

        As for slickjim and others. Why did you bother to read this if you do not have a MBP or at least an OSX machine. I have retina MBP and my wife just got an Air. We find the prices horrendous, but still worth it. Why does that bother you so much? If don't like them, don't buy one.

      Yes, it looks neat, but isn''t it kind of short. My experience is that when I go to customer sites, the Ethernet ports are mounted on the wall about 18 inches or so from the floor. Quite uncomfortable I would imagine.