Best MacBook Accessories (2024): Keyboards, External Monitors, and Sleeves

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Maximizing Your MacBook Experience: Essential Accessories for Productivity and Style

The MacBook is a powerhouse, capable of handling everything from casual web browsing to demanding graphics-intensive projects. But even the most powerful machine can benefit from the right accessories to truly unlock its full potential. This comprehensive guide explores the best MacBook accessories to streamline your workflow, optimize your setup, and enhance your productivity, all while adding a touch of style.

Table of Contents:

  1. Charging Adapters: Keeping your MacBook juiced up on the go.
  2. Laptop Cases and Sleeves: Protecting your investment from scratches and dings.
  3. Hubs and Docks: Expanding your connectivity options.
  4. Keyboards: Elevate your typing experience.
  5. Mice: Ergonomic comfort and precision control.
  6. Laptop Stands: Boost your posture and improve visibility.
  7. Desk Mats: Add a touch of style and organization.
  8. External Monitors: Expand your workspace for enhanced multitasking.
  9. Backpacks: Transport your MacBook in style and security.
  10. Totes: A fashionable alternative for carrying your essentials.
  11. Headphones and Earbuds: Immerse yourself in sound and block out distractions.

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Charging Adapters: Keeping Your MacBook Juiced Up on the Go

Modern MacBooks are known for their impressive battery life, but a spare charger is still essential for those frequent on-the-go scenarios. Apple’s default charger can feel bulky and only charges one device at a time. Here are alternatives designed to power your MacBook efficiently and compactly:

Best Overall: Sirius 65-Watt USB-C Wall Charger

This charger delivers powerful 65-watt charging with a sleek and compact design. It consistently delivered nearly 60 watts to the 2020 MacBook Pro with M1 chip, fully recharging it in just an hour and a half. The soft-touch finish feels luxurious, and the folding plug design keeps it slim and portable. A braided, 6-foot, 100-watt cable is included.

Runner-Up: Apple 35-Watt Dual-Port USB-C Power Adapter

This adapter is a multi-tasker, perfect for those who need to charge their MacBook and iPhone simultaneously. It packs two USB-C ports, each capable of delivering 35 watts of power. Smaller MacBooks like the Air will recharge quickly, but more demanding MacBook Pro models may require a higher wattage charger.

For Power-Hungry Machines: Satechi 108-Watt Wall Charger

For MacBook Pro users who demand maximum power, Satechi’s 108-watt charger delivers the goods. It offers three USB-C ports, each capable of 100-watt charging individually, ideal for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Even when charging three devices simultaneously, it distributes power effectively, ensuring efficient charging for all.

A Powerful Portable Battery Pack: Zendure SuperMini 26,800mAh Portable Charger

For situations where an outlet is unavailable, this compact and powerful portable charger is your best friend. It boasts a generous 26,800mAh capacity (within flight limits) and comes equipped with four USB-C ports, two delivering 100 watts and two providing 20 watts each. It’s capable of fast-charging MacBooks and other devices, providing close to two full charges for your MacBook.

Laptop Cases and Sleeves: Protecting Your Investment

Scratches and dings can mar the sleek aluminum finish of your MacBook. Investing in a protective case or sleeve is essential for preserving its pristine appearance and safeguarding it from accidental damage.

Best Overall: Incase Hardshell Case

Available for a range of MacBook models, this hardshell case provides robust protection for your MacBook Pro. It features precise cutouts for ports, allowing easy access to all functionalities. The rubberized feet prevent sliding, and the case boasts ventilation to prevent overheating.

Runner-Up: Speck Presidio Perfect-Clear Case

Speck’s reputation for durability extends to its laptop cases. The hardshell case features cutouts for ports and rubberized feet for stability. We’ve tested it thoroughly, and it consistently protected our MacBook from bumps and scratches. While Speck claims scratch-resistant material, the case did exhibit a few light scrapes, barely noticeable, but still a minor flaw.

A Laptop Skin: dbrand for MacBook Air 15-inch (2023)

For MacBook Air users, especially those who appreciate the Starlight finish, a skin from dbrand is ideal for protecting the sleek design without adding bulk. It’s thin, easy to apply, and perfectly cut for the MacBook. The textured surface provides a high-end feel and adds a stylish touch. While it isn’t completely scratch-proof, dbrand’s durable skin effectively shields the MacBook from minor damages.

A Puffy Sleeve: Baggu Puffy Laptop Sleeve

This puffy laptop sleeve offers excellent protection for your MacBook. The fluffy padding ensures a snug fit, and the velcro closure is strong and secure. We’ve tested it on the 15-inch MacBook Air, fitting it snugly alongside a keyboard and mouse.

A Leather Sleeve: Harber London Full-Grain Leather Sleeve

For a luxurious feel, Harber London’s leather sleeve is a stylish choice. It’s lined with wool felt for scratch-free protection, and the full-grain leather adds a touch of sophistication. The flap secures with magnets, preventing accidental spills.

Hubs and Docks: Expanding Your Connectivity Options

MacBooks, especially the MacBook Air and older MacBook Pro models, often come with limited port selection. Hubs and docks offer a convenient solution to expand your connectivity, providing additional USB ports, SD card readers, headphone jacks, and more.

Best Overall: Twelve South StayGo Mini

This compact hub is perfect for iPads and MacBooks, offering a USB-A port, headphone jack, HDMI output, and a USB-C port for passthrough charging. Its slim profile makes it perfect for travel and doesn’t add bulk to your laptop.

Runner-Up: Plugable USB-C Triple Display Docking Station

For multi-monitor users, this docking station is an excellent choice. It supports up to three displays simultaneously, with both HDMI and DisplayPort connections. It also offers six USB 3.0 ports and a gigabit Ethernet port.

If You Have an iPhone: Anker MagGo 637

This compact charging hub eliminates the need for a separate power strip. It features a front-facing MagSafe wireless charger for iPhone charging, plus an array of ports and AC outlets on the back. One of the USB-C ports delivers 65 watts of power, allowing you to conveniently charge your MacBook using this all-in-one hub.

Keyboards: Elevate Your Typing Experience

If you spend significant time at a desk, a dedicated keyboard can elevate your typing experience, especially if you seek the tactile feedback of a mechanical keyboard.

Best Overall: Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID (for Mac models with Apple Silicon)

This premium keyboard delivers the same comfortable and familiar typing experience as the built-in MacBook keyboard and includes a Touch ID button for secure logins, payments, and app downloads.

Runner-Up: Logitech MX Keys for Mac Advanced Wireless Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard

This keyboard offers a similar feel to the MacBook keyboard while incorporating the satisfying click of mechanical keys. It features a dedicated Do Not Disturb key, customization options for function row keys via the Logi Options+ app, and low-profile Tactile Quiet switches for a quiet typing experience.

Mice: Ergonomic Comfort and Precision Control

A comfortable and responsive mouse is essential for a smooth workflow. Here are options to address ergonomic concerns and provide precise cursor control.

Best Overall: Logitech MX Master 3S Advanced Wireless Mouse

This ergonomic mouse promotes comfortable hand positioning, minimizing wrist strain. It boasts excellent battery life, often lasting for over a year on a single set of batteries.

Runner-Up: Apple Magic Trackpad

For those who prefer the familiar feel of the MacBook trackpad, the external Magic Trackpad offers seamless integration. It supports the same Multi-Touch gestures and Force Touch technology, making it a natural extension of your MacBook.

Laptop Stands: Boost Your Posture and Improve Visibility

Elevating your MacBook on a laptop stand promotes good posture and improves screen visibility, especially when working for extended periods.

Best Overall: ObVus Adjustable Laptop Stand

This sturdy and lightweight stand offers adjustable height and angle, including a standing option for those who want to incorporate standing work into their routine. It’s reliable and won’t collapse during use.

Runner-Up: Nnewvante Laptop Stand

For those who work from couches or beds, this stand provides a stable platform to elevate your MacBook. While not adjustable in height, it offers a comfortable angle for typing and features a built-in stopper to prevent accidental spills.

Desk Mats: Add a Touch of Style and Organization

Desk mats don’t directly enhance productivity, but they bring a touch of style and organization to your workspace. They can serve as mousepads for external mice.

Best Overall: Grovemade Felt Desk Pads

These felt desk pads provide a smooth surface for your workspace and come in a range of colors. The felt material offers a luxurious feel, and the cork bottom prevents sliding, eliminating the need for adhesive.

Runner-Up: Leather Desk Mat

This desk mat features a double-sided design, allowing you to flip it for a change of color. The polyurethane leather adds a stylish touch and provides a smooth surface for your mouse.

External Monitors: Expand Your Workspace for Enhanced Multitasking

Connecting an external monitor expands your workspace, providing more screen real estate for apps, minimizing clutter, and maximizing your productivity.

Best Overall: Monoprice 27-inch 4K UHD Monitor

This 4K monitor offers a high resolution without a hefty price tag. It supports HDR for vibrant colors and can be connected to your MacBook via the USB-C port, eliminating the need for separate cables.

Runner-Up: Asus VA24EHE Monitor

This budget-friendly 24-inch monitor provides a sharp 1080p display, though colors might appear slightly oversaturated. It features a tiltable stand and supports VESA mounting for flexible positioning.

A Portable Monitor: ASUS ZenScreen Go MB169B+

For those who work from coffee shops or other non-traditional workspaces, a portable monitor is a valuable addition.

An Integrated Portable Monitor: NexStand Pro

This unique portable monitor attaches magnetically to the back of your MacBook, adding a second screen without taking up any desk space.

Backpacks: Transport Your MacBook in Style and Security

Finding the ideal backpack for your MacBook depends on individual preferences and style. Here are some top contenders for protecting your MacBook during transport.

Best Overall: Tom Bihn Synapse 22 Backpack

This backpack is known for its thoughtful design, featuring a strategically placed water bottle pocket, easily accessible pen pockets, and durable Bluesign-certified ballistic nylon fabric. A lifetime guarantee adds to its value.

Runner-Up: Herschel Heritage Backpack

This backpack offers a budget-friendly option with a dedicated 15-inch laptop sleeve and plenty of room for additional supplies. It’s known for its durability and can withstand years of use.

Totes: A Fashionable Alternative for Carrying Your Essentials

Totes provide a more fashionable alternative to backpacks for carrying your MacBook and other work essentials.

Best Overall: Moment Work Tote

This tote offers a perfect blend of fashion and functionality, with ample pockets for your MacBook, water bottles, cables, and other supplies. It also features weatherproof recycled nylon and a full-zip closure for added security.

Runner-Up: Cuyana Classic Leather Tote

This tote boasts a timeless design and is crafted from durable leather. It comes in two sizes (13-inch and 16-inch) and a variety of colors to complement your style.

Headphones and Earbuds: Immerse Yourself in Sound and Block Out Distractions

Noise-canceling headphones are a valuable asset for productivity, allowing you to focus on your work without distractions from your surroundings.

Best Overall: Apple AirPods Max

These headphones offer exceptional noise cancellation, excellent sound quality, high-quality build, and seamless integration with Apple devices.

Runner-Up: Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

These headphones provide a more discrete look than AirPods Max while delivering exceptional noise cancellation,

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right MacBook accessories can transform your work experience. Whether you prioritize productivity, ergonomic comfort, or style, this guide provides a starting point for finding the perfect accessories to enhance your MacBook journey. Remember, every individual has unique needs and preferences, so explore different options until you find the perfect combination that suits your unique workflow and style.

Article Reference

Sarah Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell is a versatile journalist with expertise in various fields including science, business, design, and politics. Her comprehensive approach and ability to connect diverse topics make her articles insightful and thought-provoking.