The MacBook Pro is awesome in its own right but with a couple of choice accessories it becomes much easier to live with. Like any product, there are good accessories and bad ones, quality ones and cheap ones. I have checked a whole range of them to bring you what I think are the ten must-have MacBook Pro accessories right now.
Also see our article How To Factory Reset a MacBook Pro
USB-C to USB adapter
In my opinion, a USB-C to USB adapter should come included with this version of the MacBook Pro to help aid the switch. The same for a Lightning cable. The Pro comes with USB-C but likely you still have devices that aren’t compatible with USB-C yet, hence the need for an adapter.
I’m not normally in favor of paying the Apple price premium but as these are only $9, it’s not so bad. Given the history of cheaper no-name imports, I think this investment is well worth making.
Lightning to USB-C cable
As I mentioned, I think a Lightning to USB-C cable should also come free with this generation of MacBook Pro. If you want to sync your iPhone to your MacBook Pro, you will need one of these. It takes seconds and will be much, much faster than syncing through iCloud.
Again, I consider the Apple price premium worth paying so elect to pay the exorbitant $19 for this cable.
ZenDock is perfect for people like me who just hates the sight of cables everywhere. A viable alternative to power hungry Bluetooth accessories, ZenDock is an adapter that hides Firewire, USB, Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, speaker and microphone cables in one neat box. It combines all outputs into one cable, making everything look much tidier. While it doesn’t have any other practical use, my work area is much tidier as a result.
Used with the Twelve South BookArc on my desk, the cable runs out back and underneath the desk, hiding most of the cable clutter.
LaCie Porsche Design USB-C external drive
The LaCie Porsche Design USB-C external drive isn’t the cheapest around but the design complements that of the MacBook Pro like few others. That’s why it’s on this list of must-have MacBook Pro accessories. Not only does it deliver an extra 1TB of storage which can be expanded to 4TB, it looks great too. It isn’t cheap at $82 but it’s worth the investment.
There are other external drives on the market at lower prices, but I love the design and feel of this one.
If you want more storage but not the bulk of an external HDD, the Nifty MiniDrive might be more your thing. It utilizes the SD card slot to provide up to 256GB of extra storage. It uses a standard SD card and provides a slick holder for it that fits directly into the MacBook Pro without protruding from the case at all. It is an excellent piece of kit and well worth the $40.
You pay $40 for the Nifty MiniDrive itself and can either specify an SD card to go with it or use your own. With the price of these cards remaining very competitive, it’s quite possible to get some serious storage for not a lot of money.
Twelve South BookArc
The Twelve South BookArc is a very cool dock for the MacBook Pro that is fantastic if you don’t have much desk space. It holds the laptop upright while keeping all the ports clear for easy access. It is also ideal for avoiding coffee spills as I found out a week or so ago. For that reason alone, this is a must-have for any MacBook Pro owner!
There are lots of these kind of stand on the market and while the BookArc isn’t the cheapest, I think it works the best.
If you ride a bike to work and have your MacBook Pro in a backpack, you need the Thule Gauntlet. It’s a tough sleeve built from sturdy materials with a padded interior to protect your pride and joy. It costs $50, but considering how much it costs to replace a MacBook, it’s a no brainer. It comes in both 13” and 15” sizes and is sturdy enough to protect your laptop from most accidents.
Given how busy our cities are, investing a little extra to protect your technology makes real sense, especially if you ride a bike!
ProCase Laptop Sleeve Case Cover
For days when protecting my laptop from road accidents isn’t a priority, I like the ProCase Laptop Sleeve Case Cover. At only $20, it is a cool design with a sturdy handle, zip pocket and enough form for the laptop to sit in comfort. It is also light yet well built, so doesn’t feel like carrying around a cinder block wherever I go.
This cover is much more stylish than the Gauntlet but doesn’t offer the same protection. Therefore, I tend to use it for when I drive or take the subway to work.
Twelve South PlugBug
The Twelve South PlugBug is the answer to one of the 21st century’s most pressing problems, keeping all our devices charged. It plugs into a wall socket and charges the MacBook Pro while also having a USB charger that delivers enough voltage to charge any device. It’s just what’s needed for a long day at the office if you use multiple devices.
The white and red colorway isn’t the prettiest to look at but the smoothness and quality of the construction is. Another great product for the office.
Apple Thunderbolt Display
If you do a lot of work on your laptop, investing in a larger display might help. I use a 27” Apple Thunderbolt Display at home that works flawlessly. I don’t know if they are still made, as Amazon only have used ones available but if they do, it uses the Lightning port to connect to my MacBook Pro. It has Ethernet, FireWire and 3 USB ports on the side to help connectivity. It’s an eye saver if not a life saver!
There are cheaper large monitors out there but the convenience of being able to connect via Lightning cable and then have network and extra USB right away is too good an advantage to miss.
Got any MacBook Pro accessories you cannot live without? Tell us about them below!