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2015: 'Must-have' MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro accessories

An array of accessories to boost your productivity when using your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.

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Topic: Hardware
MacBook and MacBook Pro accessories
1 of 18 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro accessories

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.

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OWC Envoy Pro EX

Apple charge an arm and a leg for storage, and even if you decided to give your wallet a good workout and spring for the 1TB option it still doesn't feel like enough, especially if you're into photography or video.

Enter the OWC Envoy Pro EX.

Small, thin, light, beautifully designed, and packed with super-fast storage, this external flash drive is ideal for any professional looking to augment the internal storage. And despite being an external drive, the OWC Envoy Pro EX is fast enough to keep up with the most demanding of tasks.

Price: Starting at $219 for 240GB.

Anker PowerCore 20100
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Anker PowerCore 20100

The Anker PowerCore 20100 is a beast of a portable power pack. It has enough power to charge an iPhone 6 seven times, a Galaxy S6 five times or an iPad mini twice.

It also features an output of 4.8 amps which provides enough power to simultaneously charge any combination of devices at full speed.

Price: $40.

OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
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OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock

You want ports? You got them! The OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock is a single sleek dock is home to a vast array of ports:

  • 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

Price: $229.

OWC Envoy Pro mini
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OWC Envoy Pro mini

The OWC Envoy Pro mini 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: From 118.

Incase Hardshell
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Incase Hardshell

Protect and personalize your MacBook with a lightweight, form-fitting Incase Hardshell case which offers protection without sacrificing access to ports, lights and buttons. This durable cover features sophisticated styling, injection-molded construction and rubberized feet to keep your laptop cool and firmly in place.

Price: From $50

OWC 1TB Aura SSD
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OWC 1TB Aura SSD

The OWC 1TB AuraSSD for 2012-Early 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina display features a suite of industry leading controller technologies for performance and reliability.

  • Global wear leveling algorithm automatically distributes data evenly and manages program/erase count, maximizing SSD lifespan.
  • StaticDataRefresh technology manages free space, gradually refreshing data across the SSD over time, enhancing data integrity.
  • Hardware BCH ECC corrects errors up to 66-bit/1KB for superior data retention and drive health.
  • Best-in-class power consumption
  • Advanced security protocols support AES 128/256-bit full-drive encryption

Price: $519

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TarDisk

Is your MacBook's storage getting a bit cramped? Don't delete stuff, instead pop a TarDisk into your probably otherwise never-used SDXC port.

Available in a variety of capacities and styles to suit many different MacBooks.

Since the space the TarDisk offers shows up as regular disk space to your Mac's OS, there's no having to mess about saving to external drives.

Satechi Type-C hub
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Satechi Type-C hub

The Satechi Type-C hub allows you to use standard USB cables and accessories like flash drives simultaneously with a single adapter.

  • Aluminum complements Mac computers and accessories
  • Expand your Type-C port to three USB 3.0 ports, SD and Micro SD card slots
  • Compact design is suitable for traveling
  • Select your favorite color or one that matches your computer
  • Reversible Connector - The USB-C connector is completely reversible, so you'll never have to worry about plugging it in incorrectly.

Price: $35

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Snuglet

I think that the MagSafe connector found on the MacBook is amazing – except for when it isn't. Sure, it's saved my MacBook from hitting the deck several times, but it's sometimes just a little too sensitive, and the connector can shift slightly and prevent the system from charging.

Enter the Snuglet.

It might look like a small bit of metal, but in fact it's a precision engineered component designed to give the MagSafe connector a little more friction so it stays in place a little better, but not so much that the MacBook hits the floor when you trip over the cord.

Price: $15.

SpiShutter
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SpiShutter

SpiShutter is an easy, discrete way to ensure your privacy by shielding your MacBook’s webcam.

  • Aesthetic design for MacBook users
  • Attaches magnetically (no tape or residue)
  • Easily slides to enable Webcam
  • Stays on when laptop is closed
  • Compatible with MacBook Pros and Airs (11-inch/13-inch/15-inch displays)
  • Discrete always on solution
  • Made from powder coated high carbon stainless steel
  • 100% designed and manufactured in the USA

Price: $19

Nifty MiniDrive
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Nifty MiniDrive

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

Price: From $35.

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iSeries 1813-5 Waterproof Laptop Case

When I initially switched to the MacBook Pro, I had concerns about its robustness. As it turns out, Macs are pretty resilient, but I still don't feel like taking chances with such an expensive bit of kit when I'm out and about.

Enter the iSeries 1813-5 Waterproof Laptop Case.

A strong, rugged, waterproof case that'll hold your MacBook along with your accessories. Comes complete with lockable TSA-approved latches.

My case has been with me on countless adventures, and it's kept its precious – and expensive – contents safe every time.

Price: $99.

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Twelve South PlugBug

There's nothing I hate more than having to connect devices to my MacBook's USB ports for charging. It turns a lightweight and easy to use portable into an awkward, cumbersome mess.

Enter the Twelve South PlugBug.

This simple adapter connects to the MacBook's power bring to create a spare high-speed charging USB port, ideal for iPhones, iPads and others power-thirsty devices.

Price: $35.

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ChargeTech Portable Power Outlet

One of the downsides of owning a powerful system like the MacBook Pro is that it's hard on battery life. Sure, if all I want to do is browse the web then the battery will last an entire working day, but fire up Photoshop or Lightroom and the battery starts to take a real hit.

Enter the ChargeTech Portable Power Outlet.

This is a portable power pack that can give you a few extra hours with your MacBook before you have to connect to a power outlet.

Price: Starting at $99.

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3TB AirPort Time Capsule

There's a lot of data on my MacBook Pro that I really don't want to lose.

Enter the 3TB AirPort Time Capsule.

The simplest, fastest, least-fuss way to back up a Mac. For a single system this might be overkill – unless you value your data – but if you have multiple Macs, this is a no-brainer solution to the problems associated with backing up.

Price: $399.

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NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad

This might not seem like a must-have, but if you have to type a lot of numbers using your MacBook's keyboard, it'll quickly start to feel like one.

Enter the NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad.

A keypad that looks and feels like it rolled off the Apple production line. Easy to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, and feels solid and well made during use. Great for number crunchers!

Price: $47.

Monoprice USB-C cables
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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.

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