The Best MacBook & MacBook Pro Accessories To Buy In 2018

Deciding which are the best accessories to invest in for your MacBook or MacBook Pro is not the most straightforward decision for a lot of our readers. However, our staff have owned many generations of Apple laptops over the years and have grown to learn the ins and outs of these machines. With this type of knowledge, we are familiar enough with the MacBook's strengths and weaknesses enough to determine which accessories are essential enough to own.

Throughout this guide, we will be introducing you to many different accessory segments and mentioning a few notable products within each section that we recommend you take a look at. As everyone's needs differ, some accessories might be right up your alley whereas some might not be of use to you at all so feel free to skip around or utilize the 'quick links' feature embedded below to get right into the good stuff. 

We did our best to include accessories that covered both the high and low end of the pricing spectrum as we know much of our readers' budgets differ vastly. Apple has changed the design of their MacBook Pros over the years so we have also added a compatibility field to the bottom of any descriptions that require further clarification. We urge you to make sure the model of MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air that you own works with your intended accessory before purchasing.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the products mentioned in this guide or any other accessories that you may be considering, please use the comments section below. We will do our best to provide assistance or answer questions promptly.


External Monitors & Displays

LG 27" 5K Ultrafine Monitor - macbook accessories

When Apple released their newest line of MacBook and MacBook Pro models, they ditched the conventional ports and opted to adopt ThunderBolt 3 as their primary focus. While this has great benefits especially in terms of design, it also limits the number of monitors and accessories that are natively supported on the newer Mac laptops.

LG partnered with Apple to create their 27MD5KB-B, a UltraFine 27-inch monitor that has a native resolution of 5K (5120-by-2880). Beyond this stellar image clarity, this monitor offers up to 85W of charging power, three USB-C ports and both built-in stereo speakers as well as a webcam. We will warn you that it isn't cheap, but it is one of the most impressive monitors to pair next to your MacBook Pro computer. 

Accessory supports: MacBook (March 2015 or later), MacBook Pros (October 2016 or later)


If you are looking for something smaller or cheaper than the monitor listed above, then LG has a smaller sibling to their 27" 5K display, dropping down to 21.5" and offering a 4K resolution while remaining in the same style and build quality. 

In terms of the integrated features, you are getting a similar experience as its big-brother. There is a drop down from 85W to 60W of charging power, but the three USB-C ports remain. Additionally, this smaller version doesn't include a webcam although you'll still have stereo speakers for increasing your sound capacity. 

Accessory supports: MacBook (March 2015 or later), MacBook Pros (October 2016 or later)


Moving away from the Thunderbolt 3 displays, this BenQ model is sleek enough to fit the aesthetic of Apple's laptop without hurting your wallet too bad. The panel offers a native resolution of 1080P (1920-by-1080 pixels) with IPS technology meaning you'll get great color reproduction and viewing angles. 

This monitor is ideal for those with an older MacBook or MacBook Pro as it has native HDMI, VGA, and DisplayPort. If you have a newer MacBook with only ThunderBolt 3 ports, you can still utilize this display with the proper adapter or docking system (mentioned later in this article).


Keyboards

Magic Keyboard - best mac accessory

If you have ever used an iMac, then you probably have already tried one of Apple's signature Magic Keyboards which offers a sleek, thin profile with an excellent feel and performance. In this case, this is the newest version which offers full Bluetooth compatibility while including a full number pad. 

Accessory supports: MacBook & MacBook Pros with Bluetooth running MacOS 10.12.4 (Sierra) or later


The 2nd generation of their original Magic Keyboard which offers the same great styling and performance in a smaller form-factor. In this case, the lack of a number pad allows it to take up less desk space as well as be small enough to slip into a computer bag or briefcase for easy transport.

Accessory supports: MacBook & MacBook Pros with Bluetooth running MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later


Logitech's take on a Mac orientated keyboard that is actually powered entirely by light. With the solar strip at the top of the thin design, you'll be able to charge the peripheral with any light source (including indoor lighting). The internal battery at max capacity will keep a charge for three months in total darkness. 

As you'd expect the layout mimics the traditional Apple keyboard layout for native support right out of the box plus they have added a dedicated key for Launchpad which can come in handy for some users. There is no Bluetooth, and the 2.4GHz wireless connection requires the use of a small USB receiver. 

Accessory supports: MacBook & MacBook Pros with Bluetooth running MacOS 10.5 (Leopard) or later - USB port required


Mice & TrackPads

Magic Trackpad 2 - best mac accessory

For those who want a trackpad experience, but are utilizing a dock or stand for their Mac laptop then Apple's external trackpad might just be the right peripheral for you. The Magic TrackPad 2 is the second generation which offers significant improvements over the original.

This version offers a surface area that is 30% larger than the original Magic TrackPad and made of edge-to-edge glass. Additionally, Apple has now included their signature Force Touch with four individual sensors that can determine how much pressure you are applying to the surface. 

Accessory supports: MacBook & MacBook Pros with Bluetooth 4.0 only running MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later


The Magic Mouse is one of the most popular mice options as it looks sleek, feels great in the hand and supports advanced integration directly within the Mac operating system. This version is the second iteration which was improved upon compared to the first with a rechargeable battery and new form-factor.

For those of you not familiar with how the Magic Mouse works, you can utilize it just like any other mouse yet the top of the chassis is actually a multi-touch surface. This allows you to to perform your typical gestures like swipe through pages, scroll through documents, zoom or bring up 'Mission Control' without the need to switch to your MacBook's mousepad. 

Accessory supports: MacBook & MacBook Pros with Bluetooth running MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later


For those on a budget that don't require a fancy Apple mouse, a simple plug-n-play wireless mouse like this one by Nulaxy should be more than enough for your needs. In this case, it offers a traditional 3-button design with a 2.4GHz wireless nano-receiver that requires an open USB port to keep connected to your MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Accessory supports: MacBook & MacBook Pros with Bluetooth running MacOS 10.5 (Leopard) or later - USB port required


Bags, Sleeves & Skins

Everyday Messenger Bag - accessories for MacBook Pro

Transporting your MacBook or MacBook Pro to class, work or while on the go isn't always the easiest as these laptops are delicate. Peak Designs released their Everyday Messenger Bag initially for the photography crowd, but it has become a favorite for many outside of this industry.

Its popularity is sought from its intelligent design with lots of pockets, customizability and functionality mixed with the high-quality build and aesthetic that you'd expect from a company like Apple. These bags aren't cheap, yet they are built to last and are offered in both a 13" and 15" size variant to accommodate as small as the 12-inch MacBook all the way up to the largest 15-inch MacBook Pro.


Tomtoc - best macbook pro case

Back when MacBooks were bulkier, the need for protection wasn't as necessary, and there were a lot of quality cases on the market. Now that Apple has made their flagship laptops so thin, it is a lot harder to purchase a snap-on case that will last for an extended period, so we recommend investing in a protective sleeve instead.

The Tomtoc model we chose for this article brings a lot of protective benefits to the table while still remaining elegant and eye-pleasing. Offered in multiple colors and sizes (seen here in Gray), the TomToc protective sleeve utilizes a patented design with 360-degree protection and extra reinforcements on the corners as well as a durable, synthetic finish. 


dbrand - best macbook pro cases

If you merely want to make your MacBook or MacBook Pro stand out in a crowd, then dBrand has you covered with their affordable skins made of high-quality 3M vinyl. While these skins won't give you much protection from a drop or bump, they will keep the chassis of your computer free from the scratches that tend to build up over a long period of regular use. 

By visiting the dBrand website, you can customize your own color combination either sticking to the same design throughout or choosing different skins for different parts of your Mac laptop. Plenty of variations in patterns and colors along with helpful step-by-step video tutorials to help you apply the skin to your computer.


Stands & Docking Stations

Henge Docks - cool macbook accessories

The ultimate docking station for MacBook or MacBook Pro users is the horizontal solution from Henge Docks. This particular model keeps your computer sitting in its normal position allowing you to keep your screen open and viewable (a perfect companion alongside a second monitor). 

In terms of actual docking, the system is entirely automated in that you slide your MacBook into place and the ports will automatically line up and connect to the dock. The notable advantage of this docking station is that it gives you access to 13 more expansion ports ranging covering audio, SD, HDMI, USB 3.0, Ethernet, Mini Display Port and Thunderbolt. 

The build-quality is top notch, crafted out of a metal alloy that is 265% denser than aluminum while maintaining the same aesthetic as Apple's line of laptops making for an appealing combination.

Accessory supports: specialized models are available for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models. Unfortunately, Henge Docks doesn't currently offer any solutions for the latest USB-C/ThunderBolt 3 MacBooks with TouchID (both 13-inch and 15-inch), but Henge says they are "coming soon".


If you are utilizing your MacBook in a workstation environment where you are attaching accessories like an additional monitor or mouse/keyboard, then you might not need to have your laptop open at all, and this is where the vertical docking station by Henge Docks fits perfectly. 

Offering a unique design that keeps your MacBook held vertically while docked, this model takes care of the cable management (all your existing ports are accessible including your charger) and doesn't require a lot of room on your desk top. The chassis is built of a high-grade metal finish that will compliment your Mac laptop.

Accessory supports: specialized models are available for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models. Unfortunately, Henge Docks doesn't currently offer any solutions for the latest USB-C/ThunderBolt 3 MacBooks with TouchID (both 13-inch and 15-inch) but they are "coming soon".


If you aren't requiring an actual dock then a simple laptop stand like the 'Curve' by Twelve South might just be what you are looking for. With a solution like this, you get better viewing angles, ergonomics, and airflow as you raise your MacBook off the desk. 

Coupling this stand with a few other accessories mentioned within this article such as a display, mouse and keyboard will make for a cool and convenient setup. The base is made of aluminum with smooth circular bends in the sleek design.

Accessory supports: fits all recent models of Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro including the newest versions


Another style of stands from Twelve South, the BookArc utilizes a similar approach to Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station keeping your MacBook closed and upright during use. This saves on the overall desk space required as well showing off your laptop in an appealing way. 

This modern design doesn't block any of your ports and harnesses a clever 'cable catch' system which keeps your connections from falling behind your desk when not in use. The build is crafted from aluminum and offers polished chamfered edges which complement any MacBook. 

Accessory supports: fits all recent models of Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro including the newest versions


Adapters & Port Expansion

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock - apple laptop accessories

Our favorite port expansion accessory for the newest line of MacBook Pros, OWC nailed this product from both design and execution. This particular dock offers and extends your MacBook's port selection to include ThunderBolt 3, FireWire 800, an SD card reader, mini DisplayPort, S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio In/Out and five additional USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. 

With the advantage of Thunderbolt 3, you get up to 40Gb/s of bandwidth allowing you to drive up to a 5K display, two 4K UHD monitors or a combination of 4K, HD, and other displays. This is all thanks to the ThunderBolt 3 ports combined with the mini DisplayPort. 

Besides the steep price, the only other downsides is that it does require AC power and is rather bulky (you won't want to use this for on the go use), but the benefit is that you'll get a wide variety of ports plus the included USB-C to USB-C cable allows you to charge your MacBook Pro without the need for your traditional Apple charger.

Accessory supports: the newest MacBook and MacBook Pro models that support USB-C and Thunderbolt 3


hootoo - charger for macbook pro

Similar to the OWC expansion dock above, this USB-C hub by HooToo expands the port selection on your MacBook or MacBook Pro. In this case, it is smaller and more portable than the OWC dock meaning it is ideal for on the go use. 

The dongle connects via USB-C to your Mac laptop, and the other end has three USB 3.1 ports, an SD card reader, HDMI port and USB-C port for powering via your included Apple charger. 

Accessory supports: the newest MacBook and MacBook Pro models that support USB-C


If you have an older MacBook or MacBook Pro model that offers a Mini DisplayPort, but not a native HDMI port then this adapter will allow you to connect your Mac laptop to virtually any modern TV, projector or external monitor that has an HDMI port. Keep in mind, you'll still need to have an HDMI cable coupled with this adapter to connect to these external displays.

Accessory supports: all MacBook and MacBook Pro models that offer a native Mini DisplayPort


Mac Software

FCP X - best mac accessory

If you are planning on doing any multimedia editing with your MacBook Pro then you'll want to take a serious look at Apple's native video editing software, Final Cut Pro X. Designed for editing audio, motion and graphics, Final Cut delivers on all your basic editing needs as well as advanced support for things like color grading, 360-degree video (VR) editing and HDR video.

Some users might be scared away from the price which isn't cheap, but it is a one-time purchase. This differs from competitors like Adobe's Premiere Pro which is less optimized for MacOS and runs off a pricy subscription-based model. We listed Final Cut as our 'top choice for Mac' in our best professional video editing software guide.

Accessory supports: Any MacBook running MacOS 10.12.4 (Sierra) or later that has at least 256MB of VRAM, 4GB of RAM and 4GB of disk space


Another common reason people purchase Mac computer is for photo editing. While Adobe's Photoshop software holds the reigns at the industry standard, Affinity Photo is a standalone image manipulation software that is more affordable and won Apple's 'Best Mac App' award back in 2015.

Priced under $50, Affinity Photo has all the standard functionality you get from Photoshop and even has its own advanced tools or editing modes that are unique to the software. Best of all, Affinity Photo was created to offer the optimal performance on MacOS and even has support for the Touch Bar feature on Apple's newest line of MacBook Pros.

Accessory supports: Any MacBook running OS X 10.7.5 or later or MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) or later that has at least 2GB of RAM, an Intel 64-bit Core 2 Duo or better (from 2007) and 1.07GB of disk space


CleanMyMac X Results

If you've owned a Mac or PC computer for extended periods, you know that these machines can get bogged down over extended use due to unnecessary, leftover data on your hard drive or RAM. While there are certain ways to get rid of them freely (CCleaner), there isn't any free software that does a stellar job optimizing your Mac computer or it simply fails to miss all of the right areas. 

MacPaw has developed a superb maintenance software called CleanMyMac which is now in its third generation. With a free limited license offered, you can purchase a license to get unlimited use with no limits (starting at just $39.95/year). When we reviewed it, we were able to remove nearly 17 GB of bloat with only a few clicks. 

Accessory supports: works with all modern Macs running OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or later


If you don't want to buy all the Mac applications that you need individually, there is a subscription based service called Setapp that offers 100+ apps for a low monthly cost of $9.99.

The big advantage to Setapp is that the parent company is MacPaw, the same company who makes CleanMyMac X which is listed for a standalone purchase above. This means that you'll get access to all of MacPaw's premium apps (includes CleanMyMac X, Gemini, Wallpaper Wizard) included along with other premium apps from other developers like Disk Drill, Bartender, Netspot, Mosaic and more. 

Accessory supports: works with all modern Macs running OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or later


Headphones & Earbuds

Bose QC35 Headphones - top macbook accessories

If you really love a quiet atmosphere while you work then Bose QuietComfort 35 models might be the right fit for your needs. With an excellent build quality and a truly wireless design, you'll get to be fully immersed in your music, podcasts or just pure silence thanks to the stellar active noise cancellation functionality.

New to this model is the ability to adjust how much or how little noise cancellation is applied as well as Bluetooth and NFC pairing which makes the setup a breeze. You will be at the mercy of an internal rechargeable battery which is rated for 20 hours of wireless playback or 40 hours when utilizing a physical cord. Also offers built-in microphone for receiving or making phone calls over Bluetooth.


A wireless version of Apple's popular EarPods which have taken the Apple community by storm thanks to their convenience and performance. Each AirPod has its own built-in battery which holds up to five hours of playback each. You then store the AirPods in a charging case which is recharged by a lightning cable and stores 24 hours of backup juice to replenish your AirPods battery when they aren't in use. 


For any audiophiles who want the most accurate sound quality without breaking the bank then the ATH-M50x headphones from Audio-Technica will be a great addition to your MacBook or MacBook Pro. The 45mm large-aperture drivers are proprietary and are tuned out of the box to provide stellar clarity throughout an extended range of frequencies with a focus on deep yet accurate bass. 

Beyond the sound performance, the craftsman of the ATH-M50x's is excellent with high-end build materials offering both durability and comfort. The ear-cups are on a 90-degree swivel with a contoured design that fits around your ears for passive isolation.


External Power & Charging

Omnicharge Power Bank - apple laptop accessories

If you travel often and want to use your computer on the go, your internal battery can become a problem. Unlike smartphones or tablets, there aren't many battery banks that can support the portable charging of a MacBook or MacBook Pro. 

Fortunately, the Omni 20 by OmniCharge is compatible with any Apple laptop thanks to its support offering a native 100W AC outlet and large 20,400 mAh battery. This means it can externally power virtually any consumer electronic, but you'll still need to use your Apple charger to utilize this power bank properly for your MacBook. 

Accessory supports: works with all MacBook and MacBook Pro models (standard wall charger required for use)


RAVPower's 26800 power bank is significantly more affordable, but it will only work with the newest line of MacBook and MacBook Pros which have native USB-C charging. Since it offers native 30W output over USB-C, you are getting the same wattage as an original AC MacBook charger.

The internal battery offers a whopping 26,800 mAh capacity which can be used to charge your Apple laptop or any other USB electronic such as an iPhone, iPad or Android device. Another advantage to this power bank is that can also be recharged via its USB-C port which allows for a 4-5 hour charge time versus the 14 hours you'd typically see in a power bank this size.

Accessory supports: works with all recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models that natively charge via USB-C


Mac charger

If you are going to be using your laptop for on the go use whether it be for travel, school or work needs then having a spare or additional charger that you keep in your travel bag will be a huge convenience. 

Native OEM Apple chargers aren't cheap, but there a lot of third-party alternatives out there as well. Just be sure that you check the compatibility of your Apple laptop with the MacBook charger that you end up buying as the charging port and wattage should match exactly.

Accessory supports: different charger models offered for different MacBook and MacBook Pro models, compatibility will depend on native charging port and wattage


External Storage

If you have the newest iteration of Apple's MacBook or MacBook Pro and are looking for a fast external hard drive for storing external media, then Pioneer's USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 compatible drive is a good option to consider.

Priced reasonably for its capabilities, this drive offers data transfer speeds up to 480 MB/s while remaining lightweight and pocket-sized. This external SSD does not require any other external power sources and is powered from the single USB-C connection to your Mac laptop.

Accessory supports: newest MacBook and MacBook Pro models with native USB-C/Thunderbolt 3


JetDrive Lite SD Storage Expansion - 15 inch MacBook Pro accessories

Since many older MacBook models offer an SD card slot for transferring files between media devices like cameras or audio recording devices, you can use this to bump up your internal memory. Unfortunately, newer MacBook models have ditched the native SD card slot, so this accessory is only meant for the previous generations.

By purchasing a compatible JetDrive Lite card for your specific MacBook model from Transcend, you can add up to 256GB worth of flash memory to your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro via the SD card slot. These cards are designed to be condensed with a minimal visible  footprint after being inserted into your SD card slot. 

Accessory supports: specialized models for MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro models (late 2013-Mid 2015) 


A traditional external hard drive that connects via USB 3.0 (with backward compatibility to USB 2.0) which is ideal for any previous generation MacBook and MacBook Pro owners. It can be used with the most recent Mac laptops as long as you utilize a dongle or adapter to convert USB 3.0 to USB-C.

With 1TB of internal storage and options all the way up to 4TB, you get plenty of space for storing video, images or other miscellaneous data without breaking the bank. Since this is the Passport edition, you don't need an external power source, and this drive can run off a single USB connection.

Accessory supports: MacBook models with a native USB 2.0/3.0 port or an adapter to connect to USB-C


SanDisk's Ultra Dual USB Drive offers a unique design that couples both a native USB-C and traditional USB 3.0 port (backward compatible with USB 2.0). This allows it to be used on both the newest MacBook & MacBook Pro models as well as older iterations without the need for any adapters or dongles. 

With 128GB of storage, you'll get more than enough space for storing all sorts of files from simple word documents all the way up to high-resolution photos or 4K video clips. 

Accessory supports: MacBook models running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) with a native USB-C or USB 2.0/3.0 port


External Disc Drives

Apple SuperDrive - macbook pro must haves

While the tech world has dropped physical media distribution in exchange for cloud computing, some of you might still require access to or writing data to a traditional CD or DVD. Most modern Mac laptops have ditched the optical drive in exchange for thinner, sleeker profiles.

By picking up Apple's USB SuperDrive, you can read or write to discs for installing programs, backing up files or watching DVD movies. This accessory will only natively work with older MacBooks which offer native USB ports, but you can always use an adapter to make it work with USB-C. 

Accessory supports: works with all MacBook and MacBook Pro models that offer a native USB 3.0/2.0 port


Related Content

This concludes our product guide for the best MacBook and MacBook Pro accessories, we hope you found it useful!

Colt Agar

Colt Agar

Managing Editor at TheTechReviewer.com
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and web services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.
Colt Agar
Colt Agar
  • I find it disturbing that you provide links and information for the out of date Henge docking solutions for the USB-C MacBook Pros. There’s smaller print disclaimers in there, but this is awfully misleading, as its already a pain in the ass to get the necessary adapters to be able to run a new MacBook Pro in a professional environment.

    • Hi Paul,

      I appreciate you leaving a comment and voicing your concern about this.

      However, there are many variables that you need to consider.

      1) While the newest MacBook models utilize USB-C ports, the truth of the matter is that the majority of people reading this article will not have the latest and greatest MacBook models or they may fall under the category that they simply don’t want to upgrade and have to deal with the hassle of only having to use USB-C.

      Most of our staff have upgraded (as did I), so I feel your pain in finding accessories that are compatible with the newest models, but we wrote this article to try to best cater to ALL of our readers or else this would have stated specifically that all accessories are USB-C compatible.

      2) You say the Henge docks are out of date and it is true in the fact that they do not support USB-C and are made for the previous generation. However, that is the ONLY docks they are currently selling and if you have ever used a Henge dock then you know how great they are. We did mention that new updated models will be coming for MacBooks with USB-C, but until they are offered, we can’t link out to them for those of us with newer MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Once they are released, we will surely update the article to add the USB-C Henge docks to this list.

      3) We specifically stated in that we did our best to offer product recommendations across the board in both price and compatibility. While we can point our readers in the right direction and offer suggestions, it is not our responsibility to check compatibility for every specific user in such a broad article like this. We even stressed it in the introductory paragraphs stating:

      “Apple has changed the design of their MacBook Pros over the years so we have also added a compatibility field to the bottom of any descriptions that require further clarification. We urge you to make sure the model of MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air that you own works with your intended accessory before purchasing.”

      That is in addition to a compatibility disclaimer underneath every product with the supported models.

      I truly feel we did our best to cater to the masses and not leave anyone out while still stressing the importance of checking compatibility before buying.

      Hope you understand where we are coming from and we do appreciate you sharing your opinion regardless. If you are looking for anything in particular accessory wise, feel free to ask and I’ll see if there is anything we can recommend in that category of accessories.

      Thanks,

      Colt 🙂

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