The right accessories can make an old MacBook feel new again, or level up your experience with a brand new laptop. For example, a good wireless mouse can be more comfortable on your longest work days than your MacBook’s trackpad, and it’s always handy to have a few extra chargers around. We at Engadget have tested out numerous MacBook accessories over the years, and the recommendations below are some of our favorites at the moment.
Logitech Brio 500
Our current favorite webcam will up the video quality of all of the conference calls you take. The Logitech Brio 500 records 1080p 30fps video, and its improved light correction will help you put your best face forward regardless of the environment in which you’re streaming. Much like Logitech’s other webcams, the Brio 500 is a plug-and-play solution — just connect it via one of the USB-C ports on your MacBook and start a call. But you can customize things further if you want using the LogiTune software, which lets you change things like field of view, contrast, brightness, autofocus and more. The Brio 500 also supports Logitech’s RightSight technology, which keeps you in the middle of the frame even when you move around, similar to Apple’s Center Stage feature on its iPads. Admittedly, an external webcam will be most useful for those working with an older MacBook that still has a 720p built-in camera, but even those with new MacBooks can get use out of the Brio 500 — and if you spend most of your days on video calls, you’ll want the extra bump in quality and superior customizations that Logitech’s accessory provides. — Valentina Palladino, Senior Commerce Editor
Yilador webcam cover
The built-in cameras on MacBooks may have gotten better over the past few years, but they still don’t include a cover for when you want a little extra privacy. Webcam covers like these from Yilador are cheap and effective — these are super thin at 0.027 inches and adhere right over your webcam, allowing you to slide a shutter over the camera when you’re not using it. They’re easy to install, and the adhesive is secure enough that the cover won’t fall off but you can also remove the cover and stick it onto a new laptop when you eventually upgrade. The standard black option is great if you want the cover to blend in with the bezels surrounding your MacBook’s display, or you can opt for a fun design that features pizzas, fruits or cute little characters. — V.P.
LapGear lap desk
If you take your MacBook from room to room with you, you’ve probably found yourself working in some less-than-ergonomic positions. When you want to relax on the couch or your favorite armchair and still get some work done, a lap desk like this one from LapGear can make it more comfortable. It has enough surface area to fit 13- and 15-inch MacBooks, with extra side space where you can use a Bluetooth mouse along with your notebook. The raised ledge towards the bottom will prevent your laptop from sliding off, and the two storage wells at the top are good places to store pens, sticky notes, snacks and more. — V.P.
Anker 555 USB-C Hub
The latest MacBook Pros may have a bevy of ports, but they’re the only Mac laptops that have that level of connectivity. Anker’s 555 USB-C hub and accessories like it will be a necessity for anyone working with a new Air or an older Mac model. Anker’s hub gives you eight ports: two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, SD and microSD card slots, one Ethernet jack and two USB-C ports, one of which provides 100W power to charge your MacBook. The USB-C and USB-A ports can handle 10 Gbps file transfers and you can connect a 4K/60Hz monitor to the HDMI slot. Anker’s accessory may be ultra-portable, but it has enough power and versatility to be the only laptop hub you need. — V.P.
Belkin 4-Port GaN 108W BoostCharge Pro
In our fast charger guide, Apple’s included 140W power adapter was the quickest to refill an M1 MacBook Pro, but it only has a single port. As our reviewer Sam Rutherford points out, that seems like a missed opportunity. Belkin’s four-port GaN BoostCharge Pro 108W charger gives you space for two USB-A and two USB-C cables and was the second fastest performer, getting the laptop from ten percent to 75 percent in about 45 minutes. The starting price is also about $10 cheaper than Apple’s. The BoostCharge Pro wasn’t the top pick in our 100W-plus category because it lagged when powering an Android phone, but if you’re looking for a reliable wall charger for your MacBook, this will serve you well. — Amy Skorheim, Commerce Writer
Anker 100W USB-C charging cable
It would be nice if you could grab a random charging cable and have it work correctly with any device. But not all cables are the same: If you want to take advantage of a fast charging brick or the quick-charge port of a power bank, you’ll need a power delivery cable with a high wattage rating. Anker’s USB-C to USB-C 100W cable was the conduit of choice when Sam tested out fast chargers for our guide. It’s plenty long at 10 feet and it’s affordable at $16 (and we’ve seen it go on sale for less). While it supports data transfer, it’s not rated for video output. For that, you’ll want a video cable or one marked as Thunderbolt 3 or 4. — A.S.
Mophie Powerstation Pro AC
When you take your MacBook on the road, it’s nice to have a way to juice it back up if an outlet isn’t available. Mophie’s Powerstation Pro AC is a massive, 27,000mAh power bank with 20W USB-C and USB-A ports, a 60W USB-C power delivery port and a 100W AC plug. In our tests, it recharged a 16-inch MacBook Pro from ten percent to 75 percent in 89 minutes — and that’s while using WiFi, a VPN, Slack and multiple active tabs in Chrome. The 140W power brick that comes with that laptop is too power-hungry for the 100W AC port, but plugging the USB-C end of the MagSafe cable into the Powerstation worked great. — A.S.
Hunching over a MacBook all day is murder on your back and neck, so it’s wise to make your everyday setup more ergonomic by using a stand paired with a separate keyboard and mouse. The Roost Stand adjusts to seven different heights and can accommodate up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro. It folds up to a slim stick and weighs just over six ounces, making it not only good for your desk, but also as part of your go-everywhere digital-nomad setup. Just be prepared: when I set mine up in public, I always get questions from strangers. — A.S.
Logitech Ergo mouse
There is a mouse graveyard in my office cabinet — devices I’ve tried and discarded because they didn’t help with my shoulder aches. The solution was a trackball mouse and Logitech’s MX Ergo is the best I’ve found. It tilts for a more natural “handshake” grip and has a slow-mo trackball button for more precise movements in Photoshop and other apps. The scroll wheel is speedy but precise and you can switch between two computers (or one MacBook and one iPad) with the pairing button. You can even program the various buttons to do app-specific things using Logitech’s software. My only gripe is the antiquated micro-USB charging port, but the battery lasts long enough that I only have to use it once every few months. It’s pricey at $100, so you may prefer the $70 Ergo Lift. It also offers a handshake grip, but without the roller ball, and has Bluetooth or USB dongle connectivity options. — A.S.
Magic KeyBoard with Numeric Keypad
We’ve already suggested you don’t work all day directly on your laptop, so along with your stand and external mouse, you’ll need a keyboard. Apple’s own Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad is a solid work-from-home or office option. It pairs quickly and reliably with any MacBook, and I appreciate the expanded key selection, which includes a forward delete key. Apple claims the battery lasts about a month with regular use, which jives with my experience, and you can recharge from your laptop while you work (a no-brainer feature the Magic Mouse doesn’t have). On the other hand, if you enjoy the pleasing clack of mechanical keys, consider some of our favorite 60-percent keyboards. — A.S.
I’ve carried Logitech’s K380 keyboard for travel and coffee shop sojourns for five years (and I’m currently typing on it). It puts up with rough treatment and connects easily to a roster of machines, including Mac, iOS, Windows, Android and Chrome OS. It has a that critical forward delete key and three Bluetooth pairing buttons so you can switch quickly between different devices. It takes three AAA-cell batteries, but lasts for over a year on a set. The top-row function keys support a few Mac-specific shortcuts like volume, mute, playback control and the “expose” function that shows all your open apps at once. — A.S.
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