MacBook Pro Essentials for MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 74% resize factor. Contents 4 Chapter 1: MacBook Pro at a glance 4 Say hello to MacBook Pro 5 Take a tour 6 What’s included 6 Keyboard 7 Keyboard with the Touch Bar and Touch ID 10 Trackpad 11 Charge the battery 12 Accessories. Apple Macintosh Instruction Manuals (User Guides) As per reader requests, direct links to official Apple Macintosh instruction manuals in PDF format - hosted by Apple's own support site- are provided below as well as on the specs page for each G3 and newer Mac. Not sure which Mac you need to locate?
As much as you would like to believe that the MacBook Pro/Air alone is the best machines for professionals, you have to accept that it comes with some hardware compromises. An obvious thing that comes to mind is the lack of ports that seriously limit the usage of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, and makes them less of a professional machine than they have 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 and MacBook Air but even enhances the capabilities to let you do more. Here are the 23 best MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air 2020 Accessories you can buy to use it like a professional and become more productive.
Best MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 2020 Accessories
1. Aluminium Thunderbolt 3 Hub Adapter
The biggest problem with the MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air 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 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 . 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 ($47.99).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 ($44.99)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 ($49.99) 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, 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: ($19.99)
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
If you are looking for a protective sleeve for your brand new MacBook Air, this water repellent laptop sleeve is great. Not only it will snuggly fit your new MacBook Air 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:$13.99
5. Picaso Lab Cover
Not every accessory has to be just useful, some accessories can be bought just for the looks. I love the Picaso Lab Cover for the same reason. While it’s a cover that can protect your MacBook Air or Pro, I bought it for its design. I have mentioned cases and sleeves on this list that can better protect your MacBook Air or Pro for a fraction of its price. But the Picaso Lab Cover just looks so cool.
The black leather sleeve with Red stitching stands out and looks beautiful. I mean just look at the photos and decide for yourself if you want it or not. I also suggest that you visit Picaso Lab’s website. There you can find other products and color options. I have added the Amazon link below as the product is cheaper on Amazon.
Buy from Amazon:$75.00
6. 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 22,000 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 with the same speed as you would with a wall adapter and power source.
Not only that, it also has a 100 watt AC Port that you can use to charge even the new 16-inch MacBook Pro while working at full steam. If you want to add an additional 12-16 hours of battery life to your Mac, this is the power adapter to get. If you are looking for something cheaper, you can also check the Anker PowerCore+ which brigs 60W power delivery with a battery capacity of 26,800 mAh. And it only costs $129.99.
Buy From Amazon: ($199.95)
7. 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, Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 is the one I would recommend.
Buy From Amazon: ($63.99)
8. Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard
If you use your laptop on a stand, a good keyboard is a must-have accessory. You can go for the tried and tested Apple Magic Keyboard ($94). After all, it offers a good typing experience and lasts for years and years. But not everyone can justify the high price of Apple’s keyboard, especially, when there are cheaper and better options out there. My favorite is the Logitech K780 multi-device wireless keyboard.
Not only it offers better key-travel and superior typing experience, it’s the ability to quickly switch between devices is unmatched. You just hit the dedicated connection button on the keyboard and you can switch from your Mac to your iPad to your iPhone. The keyboard also has a stand that lets you prop up your phone, allowing you to type on your iPhone handsfree. If you have not heard of this keyboard before, you should check it out.
Macbook Pro Essentials
Buy from Amazon:$56.99
9. 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. If you are looking for a cheap yet durable mousepad, check out the AmazonBasics mousepad. It is made with a high-quality cloth surface that promotes smooth mouse gliding and enhanced precision. It also has a rubberized base to keep the mousepad secure on the table. Another good mousepad 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.
Buy from Amazon: AmazonBasics Mouse Pad ($11.99) / Elago Mouse Pad ($29.99) / Aukey Mouse Pad ($19.99)
10. 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: ($13.99)
11. Samsung T5 SSDs
I love 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 128GB or 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. If you want options, you can also check out the Seagate’s Fast 500GB SSD ($84.99) and the SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable External SSD ($89.99).
One problem with external storage devices is that they are easy to lose and if someone gets access to them, they get access to all your data. If you don’t want that to happen, I suggest you check out the Samsung T7 SSDs. The T7 comes with a built-in fingerprint reader. That means, no-one other than you can access the data even if they get hold of the SSD. It is costly but for people who save sensitive data, it’s the perfect option.
Buy From Amazon: Samsung T5 ($89.99) / Samsung T7 ($119.99 for 500GB)
12. Seagate Hard Drive
While SSDs are getting cheaper every year, hard drives are still way cheaper. I own several hard-drives and use them to manage my offline media library. Not only modern hard drives are faster but they also last longer. And since they are cheaper, they are perfect for your long-term storage needs. For example, I own a 1 TB solid-state drive or SSD for storing the projects that I am currently working on. All the completed projects and media files are stored on Hard Drive.
Since I don’t use these hard drives every day, I am not incurring any speed punishment. When it comes to hard drives, I prefer Seagate hard drives. They are compact, genuinely priced, and I have never had a bad experience with them. You should check out the Seagate STGX2000400 for your long-term storage needs.
Buy from Amazon:$57.49 for 2TB
Macbook Pro Essentials Pdf
13. Anker Card Reader
For photographers, the death of the card reader on the latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models is a big problem. Well, if you are in the same boat, you should buy this 2-in-1 card reader from Anker. It lets you connect both full-size and microSD cards to your MacBook Pro and Air using the USB-C Port.
The reader is ultra-compact and can easily fit in your coin pocket. It offers universal compatibility, which means it will work even with new iPad Pros that have the USB-C port. It also comes with an 18-month warranty. You can buy it without any hesitation.
Buy from Amazon:$12.99
14. Twelve South BookArc for MacBook Pro and Air
If you use an external monitor with your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, you are going to enjoy using this stand. The BookArc stand from Twelve South features a minimal low-profile design. It’s made of aluminum and matches the fit and finish of Apple’s MacBook. The aluminum construction not only makes it sturdy but also adds a nice look. The best part is that the stand takes very little space and one can use it even on the smallest of tables. This is one of the best stands for people who use their Macs in closed-position with external displays.
Buy from Amazon:$59.95
15. Nulaxy Laptop Stand
If you are looking for a stand that elevates that MacBook and lets you work in both sitting and standing positions, check out the Nulaxy Laptop Stand. The stand can raise your laptop screen height flexibly from 2.1' to 13.8', which ensures you a comfortable position no matter sitting down or standing up. You can adjust both the height and tilt of the stand and get the best viewing angles.
The stand is sturdy and can handle laptops up-to 17-inches and supports up to 10kgs (22 lbs) weight on top. The weight headroom is enough to give anyone peace of mind and the size variance allows you to use both 13-inch and 16-inch laptops without any problem. You can even use an iPad or iPad Pro with this stand. This is one of the best ergonomic stands you can buy for your MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
Buy from Amazon:$78.99
16. Lenovo L27M-28 Monitor
People who are looking for a good USB-C monitor for their MacBook Pro and MacBook Air should buy the Lenovo L27M-28 monitor. Yes, you can get comparable monitors at cheaper prices if you are ready to deal with dongles, the simplicity of using a single USB-C cable to both power the laptop and send the display signal is wonderful. The monitor itself brings a crisp 27-inch display and offers excellent viewing angles. I adore the slim bezels on this monitor. It gives a vibe of spaciousness that is not constraint by borders. The monitor also offers extra ports that you can use to charge peripherals and connect storage devices. It’s an awesome monitor through and through.
If you work in the field of graphics design or you are a photographer or a video editor and require a monitor with excellent color reproduction, you should buy the ViewSonic VP2771 professional monitor. It brings a 2K WQHD (2560x1440p) panel with a smooth palette of 4.39 trillion colors to deliver precise, lifelike images. It supports 100% sRGB Rec709 along with 14-bit 3D LUT color calibration. While costly, this is perfect for professionals who want accurate colors.
Buy from Amazon: Lenovo L27M-28 Monitor ($189.99) / ViewSonic VP2771 ($399.99)
17. Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro is perfect work and travel headphones. The active noise cancellation ensures that you are not disturbed while working. And the transparency feature is great for keeping an ear out for a sound when you are listening to music while working. I agree that they don’t offer the best sound quality for the price, but I am not an audiophile so it doesn’t matter much to me. If you want the best sound experience, you should buy the Sony WH1000XM4 wireless headphones ($349). These are over the ear headphones with exceptional battery life (30 hours) and incredible sound quality.
If you are looking for something chic and affordable, I suggest the Surface headphones 2 ($249). They offer a beautiful design, metal construction, and an ingenious rotating cup control for volume and noise cancellation. Whichever one you choose to buy, you will be satisfied with your purchase.
Buy from Amazon:$249
18. 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 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 Mangotek USB-C to lightning cable ($12.99) which not only costs less but also comes in pack of two.
Buy From Amazon: ($18.99)
19. Ten One Design 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: ($24.95)
20. 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 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, 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
21. 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 ProCase case which brings a premium hard-shell exterior cover. The case will easily protect your Mac in case of drops and falls. The case also comes with a keyboard skin cover which will prevent dust from getting inside. It 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 protective cases, this is the one to get. If you want to add some design elements to the cases, check the Mosiso cases.
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: ProCase Hard Shell Case for MacBook Pro ($14.99) / i-Balson Clear Case for MacBook Air ($19.99) / iBenzer Case for MacBook Air ($16.99)
22. Inateck Felt Storage Pouch Bag Case
When you are carrying MacBook in a bag, finding a safe place for accessories like the charging brick and wire can be hard. You don’t want to spend minutes searching through your back to find that small dongle when you need it. That’s why I carry all the accessories in a simple pouch. And if you are wasting time looking for stuff in your bag, I suggest that you buy this felt storage pouch from Inateck. You can use it to carry charging brick, cables, card-readers, dongles, and more. It’s so cheap that you can buy multiple pouches and pack all the accessories neatly.
Buy from Amazon:$6.99
23. 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 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)
Note: Apple has finally killed the butterfly keyboards from all its models. So, if you are buying a 2020 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, you don’t need this.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the best protection for MacBook Air?
If you are looking for budget options, then the hardshell covers by ProCase and Mosio that I have mentioned in this article are good enough. But if you are looking for a heavy-duty protective case, then this hard shell dual-layer case is the best you can buy.
Q. What are the best MacBook Pro accessories?
We have mentioned several fine MacBook Pro accessories in this article. What’s best for you depends on your needs. If you want a general recommendation, then I would suggest that a thunderbolt-3 dock along with a USB-C external storage device are a must to get extra ports. Other than that, you should buy a protective case, a good stand, a pair of keyboard and mouse, and a power bank. These should cover you for most scenarios.
Q. What do I need for my MacBook Pro?
As I said, a good thunderbolt-3 dock along with a USB-C external storage device are must-have accessories for any MacBook Pro owner. Other than that, check out our list and choose the accessories that you like.
Q. Is the cheapest MacBook Pro worth it?
Yes, I think the cheapest MacBook Pro is worth it. I have been using one for the past four years, without any problems. That said if you can spend more, upgrade to the 16GB RAM version. Extra memory always helps to keep your Mac snappy.
Top MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Accessories
I hope that these accessories can help you get the most out of your Mac. That’s all I have for this article. If you liked this article, share this on your social media profiles because we need your help to get the word out. As always, drop your opinions and suggestions in the comments section down below. We love to hear from our readers and your comments are always welcome. Finally, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to receive notifications for every new article.
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