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Tom’s Guide
Tom’s Guide
Paul Antill

I've tried dozens of MacBook accessories — here's my 5 favorites from $17

MacBook accessories.

The MacBook Air is Apple’s most popular laptop, and one of the most popular laptops on the market — period. But between all the different docks, chargers, peripherals, stands and cases you can buy, it’s hard to know which accessories are worth getting.

You can check out my full collection of recommendations in this YouTube video, though I've also listed some of my favorites from testing below.

I've been trying some of the best MacBook Air accessories I could find to show you everything you’ll need to make the most of your new laptop. A few of these accessories are even specifically designed for the newer MacBook Air 13-inch M3 and MacBook Air 15-inch M3, but for the most part, these are also great choices for MacBook Pros and the other best MacBooks

Best MacBook cases

Just like with my phones, I’m that person who won’t be caught using their MacBook without a case. I know this is a hot take, but if you get a metal laptop, you need a case. I’ve gone through my fair share in the past few years, but the Spigen Urban Fit is hands down the best I’ve tried. Flimsy plastic ones I've used in the past wear down or crack easily, but not the Urban Fit.

For when you’re not throwing your MacBook in a bag, soft cases are worth checking out. First, there’s the deceivingly rugged Belkin Sleeve ($17 @ Amazon) with a built-in retractable handle. The Spigen Klasden ($42 @ Amazon) is a bit of a step up, offering a little more scratch and water resistance. Finally, there’s the MOFT Sleeve ($59 @ Amazon), which is basically an origami-like transformer. It’s a sleeve, but in a second you can fold and snap it to turn it into a stand with two height adjustments either 15 and 25 degrees for better viewing and typing angles.

Best MacBook peripherals

Although MacBooks have built-in keyboards and trackpads, wireless peripherals can be huge help for working more efficiently. The Logitech MX Master 3S is one of my favorite mice for productivity — it’s been my daily mouse for a few years now and ergonomically, it’s the best mouse you can buy. When combined with a Logitech keyboard, you can actually quickly switch between your other devices by simply sliding the mouse to one side of the screen that you choose and it will automatically start controlling that other machine. As someone who has a MacBook for work and a PC for gaming, it’s so cool being able to switch between the two easily.

For an all-in-one solution, the Logitech Casa Pop Up Desk ($179 @ Amazon) is a good choice. It houses a mini wireless keyboard and track pad with a little compartment for small cables or doo-dads.  This looks like a school zip up binder and weighs about as much as one. Then, if you want a small, lightweight and more unique looking keyboard and mouse combo, then you should check out the Pebble Keys ($37 @ Amazon) and Pebble Mouse 2 ($24 @ Amazon) from Logitech. For a step up you can go for the Logitech MX-Mini Keys ($99 @ Amazon), which is hands down my favorite multi-device keyboard. 

Best MacBook USB-C docks

Even though we kind of accept that the MacBooks only have 2 USB-C ports, it doesn’t mean we’re stuck with that. For the past few months I’ve been using the Pluggable TBT4-UDX1. It only has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, but it makes up for it with its 4 USB-3 Type A ports which are great for older accessories, an HDMI 2.0 port, ethernet 2.5, and an SD card reader.

One of the most frictionless fixes is the Anker 7-in-2 USB-C Adaptor ($54 @ Amazon) which takes your two USB-C ports on the side and expands it into everything else you’d need including two full size USB Type A ports, a full size HDMI, and an SD and Micro-SD card reader. The Belkin 5-in-1 USB-C Hub ($199 @ Amazon) is another sleek solution offering 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports and a single USB 3 Type-A. 

Best MacBook Stands

You can make your desk a little tidier with some laptop stands. The Twelve South BookArc Flex looks very minimalist and doesn’t take much desk space. Your MacBook slips in and is snug between its rubber feet. This is one of the nicest looking stands I’ve tried and it matches with a lot of desktop setups. 

The Twelve South Curve Flex ($77 @ Amazon) is more like the Casa Pop Up Desk but offers more adjustments for its height and angle. If your goal is to get the most ergonomic viewing and typing experience using the MacBook’s built in keyboard and trackpad, this helps a lot. The Plugable PTStand1 ($24 @ Amazon) is an unsung hero. This pick is really intended for tablets, but it has the strength and flexibility to hold up smaller laptops like the MacBook too even when they’re opened.

Best MacBook chargers

It’s amazing how efficient MacBooks have become but when it’s time to charge them up, whether stationary or on the go, here are some of the best choices you can get. Starting with the smallest, there’s the Belkin BoostCharge 67W. It’s nearly as powerful as the 70W option sold by Apple, but manages to fit in two additional USB-C ports while being much smaller and lighter. You can easily keep your MacBook powered and simultaneously charge a second smaller device like a phone.

The Anker Prime 100W ($84 @ Amazon) is almost as small but increases its output substantially. It replaces one of its USB-C ports for a USB-Type-A which is great when you’re in a pinch. Got two Macbooks, or a Macbook and another power hungry device? The Spigen 140W Charger (was $99 now $49 @ Amazon) is about twice as large as the Belkin and it’s about twice as powerful if you need a super fast charger. If you don’t mind a bit of bulk, the Anker Prime 200W +100W Charging Base (was $184 now $159 @ Amazon) is the ultimate all-in-one charger for at home, and taking on the go. 

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