Must-have accessories for the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Here's my list of must-have accessories for this popular mobile notebook. All of these are products that I rely on daily to get my work done, and all have been field tested for durability and reliability.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro accessories

If you have a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or perhaps even one of the new MacBooks that only have the single USB-C port, then here are a list of accessories that you might want to consider.

Here's my list of must-have accessories for this popular mobile notebook. All of these are products that I rely on daily to get my work done, and all have been field tested for durability and reliability.

In this list you'll find everything from cables to mass storage devices, with prices ranging from $10 to almost $1,000.

OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock

The OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock features:

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 2
  • 5 x USB 3.0 (including two high-power ports for fast-charging devices such as smartphones and tablets)
  • 1 x FireWire 800
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4b with 4K display support
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio input / mic
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio output / headphone

Can theoretically connect up to 78 devices over a single Thunderbolt connection.

Price: $250.

OWC Envoy Pro EX

The 480GB OWC Envoy Pro EX is an ultra-portable, SuperSpeed bus-powered external SSD storage solution built around OWC's Aura Pro SSD, which is a fast SSD capable of transfer rates of up to 500MB/s.

Price: $349.


The Snuglet is a precision-engineered metal ring that attaches to the MagSafe 2 connector that increases the strength of the magnetic connection while still allowing you to attach and detach the connector normally.

Price: $20.

OWC Envoy Pro mini

Here is the 240GB OWC Envoy Pro mini (also available in 120GB). On the outside this looks like a regular USB thumb drive, but it is in fact, a desktop-class SSD in disguise capable of transfer rates up to 433 MB/s. This performance means that you can move large files back and forth, run virtual machines off the drive, and even boot up an OS.

Price: $199 for 240GB

Matrox DualHead2Go Digital ME

The Matrox DualHead2Go Digital Mac Edition (ME) external multi-display adapter adds up to two monitors to your laptop or desktop computer.

Price: $150.

NewerTech miniStack MAX

The NewerTech miniStack MAX puts the diverse functionality of a high-capacity hard drive, Blu-ray/CD/DVD optical drive, SD card reader and USB powered hub into a single elegant aluminum finish enclosure.

Storage options from 0TB (add your own drive) to 6TB.

I find this handy when using my MacBook Pro at my desk because nt only does it offer me storage, but also ports and an optical drive.

Price: From $159.

Monoprice USB-C cables

If you've got Apple's new MacBook featuring the single USB-C port then you're going to want some cables, and after testing a few I think that Monoprice delivers the goods at a decent price.

Price: From $10.

Nifty MiniDrive

The Nifty MiniDrive makes use of the MacBook's SD card slot to add to additional storage space.

Price: From $35.

Twelve South PlugBug

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.

Price: $34.99.

OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 edition

The first and only software RAID 5 technology developed for the Mac with the ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition. Featuring dual Thunderbolt 2 connectivity and offering up to 35 percent faster RAID 5 performance and exponentially faster rebuild times than comparable hardware based RAID arrays.

Storage options from 4TB to 24TB.

This is what I now use as my main backup system.

Price: From $818.

SKB iSeries 1813-5 waterproof laptop case

The SKBi Series 1813-5 is a hard waterproof laptop case manufactured to Mil-Spec, TSA-approved lockable case can take a notebook up to 17-inches, and has space in the lid and underneath the notebook for stuff.

Price: $199.99.

SanDisk Flash Drive

The SanDisk Flash Drive features a standard USB 3.0 Type-A connector on one side and a USB Type-C connector on the other, making it ideal for the new MacBook featuring a single USB-C port.

Price: From $50.

Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter

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

Since I take a lot of photographs, and I back up to a NAS box, I need a fast connection, and this dongle gives me just that.

Price: $29.

Western Digital My Passport Pro drive

The 2TB My Passport Pro houses two drives for added data security. Using the supplied software you can configure these drives as RAID 0 or RAID 1 (depending on whether you want speed or data duplication) or you can set them to appear as separate drives.

Price: $299.

Apple AirPort Time Capsule

The Apple's Time Capsule isn't cheap, but it does make backing up Macs a breeze, and because of this it is well worth the money.

Price: $299 for 2TB, $399 for 3TB.

G-Form MacBook sleeve

The G-Form Extreme Sleeve is constructed from RPT - Reactive Protection Technology, a composite blend of PORON XRD material and proprietary G-Form materials and technology - and is designed specifically for laptop users on the go.

Price: $79.99.

Apple USB Superdrive

Despite Apple's belief that optical discs are dead, some of us still need to use them.

The Apple's USB Superdrive is no bigger than a CD case, and that means that it is ultra-portable, and only needs a single USB cable for both data transfer and power means I don't end up with a huge kludge of wiring.

Price: $79.

Western Digital My Passport Ultra

The Western Digital MyPassport Ultra is a portable drive that you can slip into your pocket, and yet it features 256-bit hardware encryption and integrated local and a cloud backup solution that allows you to make use of your Dropbox account for create a separate backup.

Price: 1TB for around $80/2TB for $120.

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