For the most part, MacBooks are pretty great if you are looking for a work computer. Their sleek design, intuitive UI, lightweight, and available applications for work cover pretty much every point regarding a solid device for work.
However, there are some upgrades that could improve your experience even more. If you have just purchased a new Mac or have been thinking about getting it later, why not consider some accessories? They will cost extra, but if your goal is to have the best possible experience working, an accessory or two that go well with a MacBook will come in handy.
1. A cooling pad
A cooling pad may not seem like the first option when talking about Mac accessories. However, if you are stuck in a poorly ventilated room or run resource-heavy tools like video-editing software, you are likely to hear a loud fan noise and work on an overheating computer.
Loud noise can be distracting, and listening to loud music to cancel the loud fan noise is not that good of an option. At the same time, working on an overheating laptop is not a nice experience either.
This is where a cooling pad comes in. For an accessory that costs about 30 bucks, it provides great value. Having a source of fresh air just for the computer ought to improve your work efficiency.
2. A second display
There is a good reason why you see so many people investing in a second monitor for their workstation. MacBooks are not the best when it comes to their screen size. 13in screens usually means crouching over one’s desk to see the screen clearly.
In addition to the inconvenience, you are also likely to deal with back pain by not sitting properly.
Spending a few hundred dollars for an external monitor is another worthwhile investment. Make sure that the monitor is compatible with your MacBook. Talk with a consultant at a store or ask for a recommendation if you know any tech-savvy people.
On the off-chance that you have an iPad, you may also use that as your second display. An iPad would not be the same as a proper monitor, but thanks to the Sidecar feature introduced in macOS Catalina, a compatible iPad and a MacBook could be used together.
3. Mouse and keyboard
Mouse and keyboard for a laptop might sound preposterous in some instances, particularly when talking about a MacBook, right? Well, being someone who is hell-bent on using a trackpad exclusively might not be that good of an idea.
According to multiple sources, using a laptop without a keyboard or a mouse leads to RSI because laptop users look at the screen and MacBook keyboard from above.
Even a cheap keyboard and a mouse will save you from potential health woes and improve efficiency. And if you are looking for something more expensive and recognizable, you could go for brands like Razer, Steelseries, or Logitech. Either of these brands offers excellent products that are worth your money.
4. A docking station or an adapter
If you have one of the newest MacBook models, it means that you have between one to four USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports. If you connect a mouse and a keyboard, there might not be enough ports left for other peripherals.
In the worst-case scenario, you have only one port, meaning that you can plug in only a single accessory. Should that prevent you from taking advantage of available MacBook accessories? No, it should not.
An adapter or a docking station is a solution to the issue. Investing in such a device will eliminate the lack of available ports and let you connect more peripherals to your MacBook. Besides, an adapter or a docking station costs about 15 dollars, which is relatively low for what the accessory does.
5. An external hard drive
An external hard drive might not seem like a necessity when you have one on the MacBook already. However, you may be working with a large number of files that you should back up. Sure, it is possible to use cloud services like iCloud, but the more backup options you have, the better.
It just so happens that Time Machine – a built-in tool that creates MacBook data backups – requires an external hard drive. A flash drive could be an alternative, but you may struggle to put your data in it as the device does not offer as much storage as a hard drive.
Besides backups, you would also be able to free up some storage on the computer if you transfer some files to the external hard drive.
AirPods are great if you want to listen to music without bothering those around you. Launch iTunes or another service that you use, sync AirPods via Bluetooth with your MacBook, and enjoy the quality sound.
It is also worth mentioning that the most recent Pro version of AirPods has put the accessory at an even higher level, making it one of the most desirable MacBook accessories on the market.