Here are some of the best MacBook Pro accessories you can buy in 2020
While your Apple laptop makes you a productivity powerhouse all by itself, you need some additional hardware to make the most of it, whether it’s a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air. After all, having just Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C ports in the latest models of these iconic machines can mean you need some extra gear to work around their minimalist nature.
Here are the best MacBook Pro accessories in 2020. If you’ve bought a new MacBook Pro in 2020, or in the last few years, these are the accessories you need to connect devices to the USB C and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
These are my must-have accessories for anyone that owns a MacBook Pro. All the current MacBook Pro models use USB C ports, so if you upgrade from an older model you will need new cables and adapters. If you own the entry-level MacBook Pro 13, you may need a few more accessories since it comes with fewer ports.
Best USB Type-C-to-A Adapter: Syntech USB-C to USB Adapter
While there are many benefits to the Thunderbolt 3 ports on modern MacBooks, backward compatibility with thumb drives and other traditional USB devices isn’t one of them, unless you buy an adapter.
The Syntech USB-C (male) to USB (female) Adapter ($9.99 for a two-pack) is an alloy-cased Space Gray gadget that allows data transfer speeds up to 5Gbps. Adapters like these are some of life’s must-have accessories, unless you’ve somehow replaced every single USB Type-A device in your life with a USB-C equivalent.
Also Read: How to Fix a Water-Damaged Macbook
MacBook Pro Cases, Covers & Skins
In addition to all the adapters and dongles that you need, we also recommend a MacBook Pro skin or a MacBook Pro case to keep your device looking like new.
You should check out the MacBook Pro skins from Skinit, Slickwraps, and dbrand. These are all great quality and come in a variety of colors, patterns, and even textures.
Another sleek looking option is the Moshi Codex for the MacBook Pro. This sleeve has a carry handle and a clamshell design so you can still use your MacBook Pro without taking it out of the sleeve.
Best USB-C Hub: Anker 7-in-1 USB-C Hub
You can avoid the need to use multiple adapters if you pick up a single USB Type-C Hub with multiple ports. The Anker 7-in-1 USB-C Hub ($39.99) plugs into your laptop’s Thunderbolt 3 port to give you two USB-C ports (one for data, one for charging); two USB 3.0 Type-A ports; one SD card slot; one microSD card slot; and an HDMI port for a 4K 30Hz external monitor.
External MacBook Pro Battery
One thing that you may find yourself needing is an external MacBook Pro battery. Thanks to USB C and Power Delivery, this is possible, but you need to be kind of picky if you buy the 15-inch MacBook Pro that needs more power to charge when in use.
You can buy a USB C PD charger to charge up the MacBook Pro on the go. This same charger can fast charge your iPhone with the USB C to Lightning cable and it can charge other gadgets. The Omni Mobile charger also includes a wireless charger built-in.
These will all work great for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but with the 15-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro, you will need one that chargers at 85W to charge fully while using it. The Omni Mobile charger can output 60W, which isn’t the full 85W, but it can add battery life while using it and does a great job charging when you are done.
Best USB-C External SSD: ADATA SE800
External data storage is more important than ever thanks to massive video files and high-res photos. While there are plenty of cloud storage solutions available, you should always have a local storage option in case you don’t have a good Wi-Fi connection.
The 1TB version of the ADATA SE800 external SSD ($199.99) is a solid-state drive the size of a business card, built on PCI Express internals for high transfer speeds. This external drive is also ideal for mobile professionals and outdoorsy types because of its IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. Combine that with the native shock and vibration resistance of SSD technology, and you never have to worry about a rough road trip ruining your important files.
AirPods & Headphones
The MacBook Pro has a headphone jack, but it’s 2020, and Bluetooth is where it’s at. This is especially important if you are on the go or if you don’t want to risk pulling your new MacBook Pro off the table when you stand up with wired headphones in. As a bonus, these same headphones will work with your iPhone and iPad with no adapters needed.
We like their upgraded Pro version better, though. For $249, the AirPods Pro offer a customizable fit, sweat and water resistance, and active noise cancellation.
If you don’t want AirPods, you need to check out our best AirPods alternatives for more options.
Also Read: 2020 MacBook Air Roundup
USB C Dock
The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock offers all the ports you need and support for multiple monitors.
If you plan to use your MacBook Pro at a desk all the time, you need to invest in a USB C dock or a Thunderbolt 3 Dock. This accessory lets you plug a MacBook Pro into one cable to charge and connect to external storage, monitors, and other accessories. Three models stand out to us in 2020.
The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock comes with loads of ports, support for multiple monitors and there are front-facing ports, plus a Micro SD card and SD card slot. This is my favorite Thunderbolt 3 dock for the MacBook Pro. A full review is coming soon. It features 14 ports and can charge the 15-inch MBP at full speed. $299 at OWC and Amazon.
Another nice option is the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock, which includes a wide area of ports and a fan that you can turn on and off.
The Moshi Symbus USB C dock is a small, one cable connection that lets you connect a 4K monitor with HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB ports and supports USB C charging at 65W. This is perfect for MacBook Pro owners who don’t need multiple monitors connected or a ton of accessories. It’s much cheaper than many USB C docks that cater to power users or businesses. One catch is that this charges the 15-inch MacBook Pro slower than the standard charger, but it will still charge. Check out our Moshi Symbus review for more details. $164.95 at Amazon.
Another excellent option is the OWC USB-C Travel Dock, which includes two USB 3.1 ports, 60W Pass-Through, HDMI, and an SD Card slot. It’s only $39.99 and it also works with your iPad Pro.
Best Portable External Monitor: Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AP
Macs have always been adored by multimedia pros, but serious video and still image editing typically requires two displays. This is where a portable monitor like the Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AP ($299.99) is worth every penny.
This 15.6-inch full HD (1,920 by 1,080) display features a 220-nit IPS panel with wide viewing angles, a 7,800mAh battery that can power the monitor for four hours, and a USB-C input for data and power. Equipped with a blue light filter to minimize eye fatigue, the monitor senses whether it’s in landscape or portrait orientation and weighs just two pounds with its smart case/stand and cable. (See our roundup of more top-rated portable monitors.)
Logitech MX Anywhere 2S
Apple’s MacBook trackpads are famous for delivering some of the best touchpad experiences of any laptops. Unfortunately, Apple’s track record with external mice has been hit or miss.
The Logitech MX Anywhere 2S ($79.99) is one example of the latest generation of Mac-compatible wireless mice that work on virtually any surface (even a glass table at a fashionable coffee house). It can get enough charge for a day’s usage in only three minutes and works for up to 70 days when fully charged, and it connects via Logitech’s Unifying USB Receiver or Bluetooth technology. (You’ll need a USB C-to-A adapter if you want to use the dongle, alas; opting for the Bluetooth connectivity is better with MacBooks.) For the fashion-conscious, it’s available in Flounder, Midnight Teal, or Light Gray. (See more of our top-rated mice.)
Yohann MacBook Pro Stand
The Yohann MacBook Pro stand looks like a piece of art on your desk. When it’s in use your MacBook Pro is at eye level for a better position during work. The stand uses the weight of your MacBook Pro to stand up. When you take your MacBook Pro off the stand it lays down and looks like a desk decoration. You can also use it to stand your MacBook Pro up while closed if you are just charging, or if you have your MacBook Pro docked. It is versatile and it looks great.
MacBook Pro Car Charger
This $29.99 car charger can power your iPhone 11 and your MacBook Pro.
One of the accessories that have saved me on long trips is a MacBook Pro car charger. My favorite is this $29 72W car charger from Satechi.
This won’t charge at full power, but it is enough to keep the 15-inch MacBook Pro going strong even with full brightness. This charges at 60W, so it’s full speed for the 13-inch but not full speed for the 15 or 16-inch models. You’ll still gain some battery life while using your MacBook Pro and if you put it to sleep it will fully charge pretty quickly.
OontZ Angle 3 (3rd Gen) – Bluetooth
A Bluetooth speaker might seem like another iPhone accessory rather than something for your MacBook, but the reality is that audiophiles are going to want something better than the laptop’s built-in stereo speakers.
If you’re looking for impressive sound quality in a mobile-friendly speaker that will survive drink spills at the office or the occasional drop from your bag. The latest generation of the Angle 3 speaker delivers better clarity at maximum volume (ideal for office conference calls or parties) and its IPX5 water-resistant certification means this speaker can handle a rainy day with no cause for alarm. The 9-ounce speaker can play for up to 14 hours on a charge and fits in your car’s cupholder.
Also Read: 2020 MacBook Pro Roundup
Dongle and Cable Organizer
With this many cables, adapters, and dongles in your bag, you need a keep them organized. The Grid-it Organizer is a slim organizer that includes a bunch of loops to keep your adapters in the right place, but still easy to get to.
The Grid-It Organizer comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors so that you can find one that fits your needs perfectly. The company makes some that even include a slot for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it will be larger than you need for the new model.
USB C to Micro USB
In addition to a lightning cable, we also recommend buying a USB C to Micro USB cable. This will allow you to connect a variety of accessories and Android devices to the MacBook Pro without the need to use an adapter to plug these in.
This will allow you to connect an Android phone, charge a Bluetooth headset, connect a camera or other device directly to your 2016 MacBook Pro.
There are many of these available, but we suggest going with the Palette Series from Monoprice or the Amazon Basics from Amazon unless you want to buy direct from Apple where you can spend $19.99 on a Belkin USB C to Micro USB cable.
The cable we recommend is available in 3 ft, 6 ft, 10 ft, and 13 ft options.
USB C Flash Drive
It’s a good idea to switch to a USB C flash drive that you can plug directly into your MacBook Pro, but it’s also smart to get one that includes a normal USB plug as well. With this setup, you can plug it into any computer you need, including your other computers or a client computer.
The top option is from SanDisk. You can get a 128GB USB C flash drive with normal USB connection also built-in for $24.46 or you can go for a smaller option and get 32GB for $9.99.
Best Insurance Policy: AppleCare+
This might sound like an odd addition to our list of MacBook accessories, but the reality is that accidents happen with mobile electronics. While AppleCare+ isn’t the kind of option you’re going to use every day, it just might be the most valuable addition to your laptop in the event of a drop or an electrical surge.
New MacBook Pro and Air models come with 90 days of complimentary technical support and one year of hardware repair coverage through Apple’s limited warranty. AppleCare+ for Mac extends your coverage to three years and adds two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $99 for screen or enclosure damage or $299 for other damage. You’ll also get 24/7 phone and chat access to Apple tech support experts.