15 Best MacBook Pro Accessories and MacBook Air 2018 Accessories
As much as you would like to believe that the MacBook Pro alone is the best machines for professionals, you have to accept that it certainly comes with some hardware compromises that don’t allow you to use the machine at its full potential. An obvious thing that comes to mind is the lack of ports that seriously limits the usage of MacBook Pro and makes it less of a professional machine than it has the potential to be. In this article, we are going to discuss those accessories which not only allow you to overcome the hardware shortcomings of the MacBook Pro but even enhances its capabilities to let you do more with your machine. So, if you are interested in giving more power to your machine, here are the 15 best MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 2018 Accessories you can buy to use it like a professional and become more productive:
Update: This article was initially drafted for the MacBook Pro, however, since the release of new MacBook Air 2018, it’s been updated to include accessories for it too.
15 Best MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 2018 Accessories
I should make this clear that I haven’t used all of the accessories that I am mentioning on the list. That said, I am using some of them and some of them have been on my wishlist for a long time. Every product that you see on this list has been thoroughly researched and has only made the list because the product is useful and has received great reviews from their buyers:
1. Aluminium Thunderbolt 3 Hub Adapter
The biggest problem with the MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air 2018 is because of Apple’s new obsession to make everything slimmer and slimmer. While a slim laptop is good for portability, the slimness comes at a huge cost. With the new MacBook Pros and MacBook Air 2018 Apple has mercilessly killed all the ports in favor of universal USB-C ports. While I do agree that USB-C is the future, we still need the regular ports to connect our SD Cards, our pen drives, and even our iPhones. That’s where Satechi ’s USB-C hub adapter comes into play. While Apple makes their own USB-C hubs, they are ugly and cost a fortune. On the contrary, the hub from Satechi looks sleek with its aluminum finish that compliments the new MacBook Pros and MacBook Air 2018. It also adds a ton of ports including 1 USB-Cs, 2 USB-As, an HDMI port, a micro SD card port, and full size SD card port. It is available in silver, rose gold, and space grey colors, so you can match it with your laptop.
Another good option is the Purgo USB C Hub Adapter ($53.99). which brings two USB-C ports, 2 USB-A ports, and an HDMI port . The good thing about this hub is that it sits flush with the laptop’s body . It is available in space grey and silver color options. You can also take a look at the CharJenPro USB-C Hub ($59.99) which brings 3 USB-A ports along with an HDMI port and a single USB-C port. If you are someone who uses ethernet connection for internet, you can check out the Totu USB-C Hub ($69.99) which brings an ethernet port along with 4 USB-A port (2✖️USB 3.0 and 2✖️USB 2.0), a USB-C port, an HDMI port, a VGA port, a micro SD card and a full size SD card port. Needless to say it is bigger in size than other USB-C hubs mentioned here. So, figure out your ports needs and choose anyone of them.
Buy Satechi Hub From Amazon: ($69.99)
2. Leonis MagSafe Magnetic Charger Adapter
Along with killing all the ports on the newer MacBook Pros and the MacBook Air 2018, Apple also decided to kill the consumer favorite MagSafe charging port which might have saved thousands of MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs from being shattered into pieces. If you are one of the disgruntled consumers who hated the killing of the MagSafe charging port, there is a way you can bring it back. Leonis MagSafe magnetic charger adapter does that by breaking the charging cable into two parts. One with the USB-C goes directly inside your MacBook Pro and remains there, while its other end supports the same MagSafe technology which pulls off the charging cable if you trip on it.
Buy From Amazon: ($27.99)
3. Tomtoc 360° Protective Laptop Sleeve for MacBook Pro
Next on our list is a protective sleeve for you costly MacBook Pro. We all know that Apple doesn’t give you an accidental warranty, even if you are ready to pay for it. That’s why a good protective sleeve is needed to keep your MacBook Pro safe. While there are a lot of sleeves for MacBook Pro on Amazon, my favorite is the one from Tomtoc. The sleeve is thick and has enough cushion in inside that it will easily protect your MacBook Pro in case you drop it. The sleeve also comes with strengthened corners which provide extra protection. To top it all of, the sleeve is also spill resistant.
Buy From Amazon: ($21.99)
4. MOSISO Water Repellent Laptop Sleeve for MacBook Air 2018
If you are looking for a protective sleeve for your brand new MacBook Air 2018, this water repellent laptop sleeve is great. Not only it will snuggly fit your new MacBook Air 2018 and keep it safe, but it will hold your iPad and iPhone too. You will also be able to easily carry the various dongles that you will need to buy if you want to take the full advantage of those USB-C ports on the MacBook Air. Despite being fairly cheap, the sleeve is quite well-built and offers a three layer design.
The outermost layer is made with spilled resistant polyester material which can easily repel a splash of water while the middle layer is a shock-proof sponge which is great for absorbing shocks if in case you drop it. Finally, there’s a soft internal foam coating which not only improves drop protection but also ensures that the MacBook Air doesn’t get scratches of scuffs.
Buy From Amazon: $12.99
5. Mophie USB-C XXL BLK Powerstation
While I have hated on Apple for removing all the ports and killing the MagSafe charging technology, the inclusion of USB-C does come with a lot of advantages. One of those advantages is that USB-C allows your laptop to be charged with an external power bank, allowing you to extend the battery life of your MacBook Pro beyond its capacity. While there are a lot of external battery packs which can let you do that, the one that I trust is from Mophie. The Mophie USB-C XXL BLK Powerstation has a capacity of 19500 mAh and gives your MacBook Pro and MacBook Air an additional 12-16 hours of battery life.
This is a must-have companion if you travel a lot and need to keep your MacBook juiced up without having to find a wall plug. But it’s not just hours that it packs but it’s the way it delivers the powers that I recommend this product over others. The Mophie Powerstation delivers power with 30W fast charge allowing you to charge your MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 2018 with the same speed as you would with a wall adapter and power source.
Buy From Amazon: ($90.44)
6. Logitech MX Anywhere 2S
While the MacBooks are known for their best in class trackpads, if you are working for long hours on your machine, using a mouse will greatly increase your productivity. I know there are be skeptics out there but trust me on this, you can be way more productive with a mouse than just your MacBook’s trackpad. While Apple makes its own Magic mouse, I prefer Logitech MX Anywhere 2S over it for a simple enough reason which is that it’s a better product. The MX Anywhere 2S is the perfect combination of price and performance. The mouse can track on any surface and has a battery life of over 50 days (on a single charge).
But that’s not all, it’s not just the hardware that you are paying for with MX Anywhere 2S, it’s the software that comes with it. The mouse has customizable buttons which can be mapped to any function depending on the app you are using. For example, you can use the buttons to go back and forward a page while you are browsing on Safari or you can map them to perform copy and paste functions when you are in a writing app like Ulysses. I understand that the MX Anywhere 2S is a costly mouse, but the price is certainly justified when you consider all the functions that the mouse brings. That said, if you are looking for a cheap Bluetooth mouse, JETech M0884 Bluetooth Wireless Mouse is the one I would recommend.
Buy From Amazon: ($63.99)
7. Sandisk Ultra 64GB Dual Drive USB Type-C
While Apple has taken the route of USB-C, it’s a fact that most of the other computers including the older MacBook Pros still come with traditional USB-A ports. Now, if you need to transfer files back and forth between the two computers or share your files with your co-workers, the Sandisk Ultra 64GB Dual Drive will certainly come in real handy. The pen drive has both the USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to easily transfer files between devices without any problem. I am mentioning the 64GB version here because for me that’s the optimum storage that you need in a pen drive but Sandisk also provides this pen drive in 16, 32, 128, and 256GB option, so you can choose the storage depending on your requirement.
Buy From Amazon: ($24.99)
8. Samsung T5 SSDs
I love the fact that Apple includes fast SSDs in their Macs. The faster SSD not only helps in faster file transfer speeds but also ensures faster app launches. But, one problem with Apple is that it charges a premium for any storage upgrade so most people end up buying either 128 and 256GB storage options. But sooner or later, they realize that the storage is not enough and they find themselves looking for an external storage option. That’s where Samsung T5 SSDs come into play. Not only they are a way to increase your Mac’s storage but they also bring exceptional read and write speed that can match the speeds of native SSDs in your Mac.
When you are using a Samsung T5 SSD, you won’t feel that you are using an external hard-drive that’s how fast they are. The SSDs are also very compact and very easy to carry around. They also come with the USB-C connection so they are a perfect storage companion for your Mac. Samsung T5 SSDs does come with a premium price tag, starting at $169.99 for 500GB of storage. But still, they are cheaper than Apple upgrades and do not bring any noticeable difference in performance.
Buy From Amazon: ($169.99)
9. Twelve South ParcSlope for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 2018
If you spend long hours on your MacBook Pro or Air, buying a stand is a good investment, if you want to cause the minimum amount of strain to your body. The use of stand helps in lowering the strain on your neck and hands. This is not only beneficial in the long-term, but it is also good for productivity as you can work longer without feeling exhausted. My favorite stand is the one from a company called Twelve South. That stand elevates your laptop to just the height which is best for typing and also reduces the strain on your neck. The stand also comes in both space gray and silver color which perfectly matches the color of your MacBook Pros and MacBook Air.
Buy From Amazon: ($49.99)
10. Apple Lightning to USB-C Cable
If you own both an iPhone and a Mac, this one is a no-brainer. Carrying a USB-C to lightning cable allows you to connect your iPhone to your MacBook Pro / MacBook Air 2018 without needing any dongles or docks. If you own any of the latest generation of iPhones, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X, you get an added advantage of carrying one less charging brick. Yes, you can use your MacBook Pro’s charger to charge your iPhone. However, do remember to use the MacBook Pro’s adapter to charge only the latest generation of iPhones as these are the only ones which support fast charging. Apple should include this cable in your iPhone box but it doesn’t so you will have to buy it separately. if you are looking for cheaper options, you should consider the Sundix USB-C to lightning cable ($12.99) which not only costs less but also comes in pack of two.
Buy From Amazon: ($19)
11. Blockhead Side-Facing Plug for Apple Adapters
Although Apple is renowned for its design, once in a while the company does mess up. Whether it was the Apple’s battery pack or the charging port in its Magic Mouse or the new MacBook Pro chargers, they all show a lack of foresight. Now, I am not here to berate Apple for its design choices, but I am a consumer who hates plugging his MacBook Pro charger in a wall plug as it sticks out like a sore thumb, and is also a potential break hazard. That’s why I bought Blockhead’s side-facing plug for MacBook Pro’s adapter. If a picture speaks a thousand words, the picture below neatly showcases why its necessary to buy this accessory.
Buy From Amazon: ($19.95)
12. Whoosh Screen Cleaner
I can tell you from personal experience of using the new MacBook Pro is that it’s screen will get dirty pretty quickly. Both the new MacBook Pros and the MacBook Air 2018 are so thin that the display is practically touching the keyboard. In fact, my personal MacBook Pro’s display has acquired individual key-shape markings which can be seen when the device is sleeping. If you don’t want to happen with your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air 2018, you should make it a habit to clean it at least bi-weekly.
To help you clean your MacBook’s screen without causing any external damage to it, I will suggest that you buy the Whoosh screen cleaner which is a non-toxic screen cleaner spray that cleans and polishes. The liquid is completely odorless and is free of alcohol and ammonia. While you are cleaning your screen, make sure to use a clean micro-fibre cloth so you don’t scratch the display in the process. While Whoosh packs in a single micro-fibre cloth, I suggest that you buy a bundle from Amazon ($10.98 for pack of 12).
Buy From Amazon: $9.99
13. HardShell Case
I used to think that cases are only meant to protect smartphones until I dropped my MacBook Pro broke it and lost one month and $600 on repairs. Both the new MacBook Pros and MacBook Air have ditched the MagSafe port and rely only on USB-C, the danger of you or someone else tripping on its wire and dropping the machine has increased exponentially. While the sleeves mentioned on this list will protect your MacBook Pro when traveling, they are useless once you are using your Mac. If you want to protect your Mac and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on repairs, you better buy a hardshell case for it.
While there are a ton of options on the market, my vote goes to the Finite protective leather case which brings a premium synthetic leather exterior with hard polycarbonate shell interior. While the exterior is soft to touch and prevents any fingerprints or smudges, the interior protects the machine from shocks resulting from impacts. The case is available in multiple designs and color choices allowing you to style your MacBook Pro while protecting it. If you are looking for see-through cases, you should check out the cases from ProCase which are also available in multiple colors.
For the newer MacBook Air, might I suggest the frosty clear cases from i-Balson? It is a hard shell case with a mat finish which prevents scratches, scuffs, and fingerprints while providing ample drop protection to your device. You can also check out the cases from iBenzer which are made of sturdy lightweight plastic, soft to touch and yet hard enough to provide impact protection.
Buy from Amazon: Finite Protective Case for MacBook Pro ($18.99) / ProCase Hard Shell Case for MacBook Pro ($16.99) / i-Balson Clear Case for MacBook Air 2018 ($19.99) / iBenzer Case for MacBook Air 2018 ($16.99)
14. Mouse Pads
I love the trackpad MacBook Pros especially since Apple moved to a forced touch trackpad which allows me to click anywhere on the surface. That said, when I am working on my desk and have the MacBook Pro attached to an external display, I mostly use an external keyboard and mouse. Now, whether you are using a Magic Mouse or a third-party mouse, one thing that you need is a mouse pad. You can use your mouse without it but you won’t have the same consistency that you will get when using a mouse pad.
Talking about the mousepads, there are a few that I would like to suggest. The first one is an aluminum mouse pad from Jelly Comb which features a micro sandblasted aluminum surface at the top for providing good traction and a rubberized base so that the mousepad doesn’t slip on the table. Another good aluminum mouse pad is from Elago which matches the looks Magic Trackpad and goes well with any Apple setup. I also love the Aukey mouse pad which features a soft cloth surface at the top and a rubber base at the bottom. It’s also very large giving you ample space to drag your mouse anywhere you want. It’s easy to carry and is also water resistant which makes it easy to clean.
15. UPPERCASE GhostCover
I abhor the keyboard protective skins but Apple has made me use one for the last couple of months especially when I am traveling. The new butterfly mechanism is no good even after three years of its introduction as it breaks down consistently thanks to dust and other particles which make their way beneath the keys. I have already had my keyboard replaced twice and while it didn’t cost me anything in terms of money, it did cost me valuable time that my MacBook Pro spent in the repair shop. Since the new MacBook Air 2018 also come with a butterfly keyboard, it will be best if you use a keyboard cover to prevent a visit to your local Apple Store.
I don’t want to start a rant here but the keyboard issues combined with the new stage light display issues on the new MacBook Pros have made it clear that MacBooks are no longer the indestructible machines that used to last for years without needing a repair. You now have to take extra care if you want them to last for three to four years and even when you do, you should buy extended Apple Care. Trust me, I have learned it the hard way.
Buy from Amazon: ($12.95)
Best MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 2018 Accessories to Ease Your Life and Get Things Done
I hope that these accessories can help you get the most out of your Mac. If you are already using a Mac accessory which you find really useful but is not on the list, be sure to drop it down in the comments section below. Also, If you like this article, make sure to hit that like button. It doesn’t require you to log in and is an easy way to show that the content is actually being useful to my readers. If you loved the article and want to see more such content, comments and shares are always appreciated. Lastly, if you enjoy what I am doing, and want to support the website you can donate by clicking on the button below.