The best Mac accessories – 9to5Mac
As I’ve been revising my setup over the past few weeks in conjunction with the new Mac Studio, I’ve taken the opportunity to add some new accessories as well. This includes a new OWC Thunderbolt dock, a nifty Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad accessory from Twelve South, and more. See below for details.
Best Mac Accessory: OWC Thunderbolt 4 Dock
One of the most important additions to my setup is the OWC Thunderbolt Docka version we also tested earlier this year.
The OWC Thunderbolt dock I use in my setup offers four Thunderbolt 4 ports supporting transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps, four USB-A ports, an SD card slot, an audio jack 3.5mm and Gigabit Ethernet. The docking station is mounted under my desk, so it’s hidden and out of the way, but its ports are still accessible.
Admittedly, the OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock isn’t as useful with the new Mac Studio as it was when I used my 14-inch MacBook Pro in clamshell mode. Indeed, Mac Studio offers its own versatile selection of ports.
If you’re looking for a way to free up the ports on the Mac Studio itself, however, this OWC dock is a great option. It’s also nice for cleaning up your desk and having as few cables as possible snaking around the back of the Mac Studio. If you place an order from OWC, I can also highly recommend the corporate thunderbolt 4 cablewhich is significantly cheaper than Apple’s.
Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
If you’re using a Mac powered by Apple Silicon and you haven’t added a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID to your setup, you’re seriously missing something. Finally, being able to use Touch ID with a desktop Mac is a game-changer. This includes Apple Pay authentication, access to password managers, and App Store purchases.
Of course, that means you have to be happy with the form factor and design of Apple’s Magic Keyboard, which not everyone is. I’m still hoping Apple releases a standalone “magic button” with Touch ID at some point, but for now, this will have to do.
Best Mac Keyboard Accessory: MagicBridge
Speaking of the Magic Keyboard, if you use the Magic Keyboard with a Magic Trackpad, the popular accessory maker Twelve South has a really nifty MagicBridge accessory. The MagicBridge turns the standalone Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad into a “one-piece control surface that organizes your workspace.”
You lose some of the flexibility of being about to move your trackpad around your desk, but in my setup I much prefer the one-piece design. I use a Logitech MX Master next to my Magic Trackpad, so I can move the MX Master around as needed and have a clean setup that combines my Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad thanks to the magic bridge.
I’ll have another more in-depth story on this later, but I also recently added a Stream Deck to my Mac setup. I’m still learning my way around the world of the Stream Deck, but right now I’m using it for Mac automation and smart home control purposes.
Here are some of the guides I followed as I learned more about Stream Deck:
Satechi Leather Desk Pad
Last but not least, and perhaps the accessory that I am most often asked about when I feature it in product images, is the Satechi office mattress in eco-leather. This is a purely visual addition to my setup, bringing a leather desk mat to house my keyboard and trackpad. It’s made from high-quality eco-leather and is designed to protect your desk while serving as a soft resting place for your wrists and hands.
Nice leather sleeves
I’ve been singing the praises of Joli’s handmade leather sleeves for MacBook since 2015, and nothing has changed at all. Whenever I buy a new MacBook, I always make sure I have a Joli leather sleeve to go with it. Joli sleeves are handcrafted from premium smooth Italian leather, using “luxury full-grain waxed leather that shows marks when you use it”.
Joli’s leather sleeves come at a premium, with prices starting at around $130 for the new 14-inch design. However, with their superb leather material and handmade touches, I find them well worth the price.
Best Mac Cleaner: Whoosh Cleaning Spray
Finally, if you want your new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro to look brand new, you’ll need a good way to keep the screen looking nice and shiny. My favorite recommendation here is the Phew! Screen cleaning kitwhich contains everything you need to keep your Mac clean at a reasonable price less than $20.
The screen cleaning kit includes 3.4 oz and 0.3 oz cleaning solution bottles and three 6″ x 6″ cloths. In fact, the WHOOSH! the spray is what many Apple Stores around the world use themselves.
What are some of your favorite Mac accessories right now? Let us know in the comments!