Generally 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 things.
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.
Transcend JetDrive Lite
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 modeldesigned for your particular machine.
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.
Going in the other direction, there are some Mac owners who think the MagSafe cable breaks away too easily. The NewerTech Snuglet aims to fix that — it’s a tiny metal ring that fits inside the MagSafe connector, strengthening its magnetic connection and making it so your cable doesn’t come undone after lighter movements. If you’re sure you’re coordinated, it might spare you some aggravation.
Ten One Design Blockhead
The Blockhead is a tiny adapter that allows a MacBook charger to sit flush against a wall outlet. We reviewed it last month, and found it to do what it sets out to do. (Though its prongs don’t fold up, and it doesn’t do anything about the flimsy cable attached to the whole thing.) It’s a niche device, but if your furniture arrangement doesn’t normally play nice with that awkward white brick (or its chunky charging cord), it should help.
Twelve South PlugBug World
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.
Twelve South BookArc
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.
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 Thune Gauntlet might be worth the premium. As we’ve said before, its polyurethane shell is sturdy and water-resistant, and its elastic band lets you work within the sleeve when you’re on the go.
Anker 10-Port USB 3.0 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.
We’ve recommended this 10-port model from Anker a few times now, but it 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.