The new 12 inch MacBook is quite the notebook, boasting impressive specs and great battery life. With your new computer, you may want some accessories to use with it. In this article, we will dive into the best cases, USB hubs and other must have accessories to accompany your MacBook.
Let’s take a look, in this round up of the Best MacBook Accessories for your 12-inch Macbook.
If you are on the go and travel a lot or are a college student, then you know how important keeping your precious MacBook safe is. One of the best ways to do this is with a case, whether it is just a sleeve, hard cover or skin. Here are some we recommend.
Incase hardshell case
Almost everyone I know in college has one of these on their MacBook, and for good reason. Other than just looking cool, these hardshell cases will protect your MacBook from scratches. Owning a MacBook and having it “naked” for a few years, I can tell you first-hand that MacBooks scratch very easily.
If you are a fan of how MacBooks look, a clear case is available so you still gaze at the silver aluminum goodness. Check out all of the options below! The pricing starts at $49.95.
Incase Slim Sleeve
This is what I use inside a backpack (more on this later) to transport my MacBook. If you do not like a hardshell case, a sleeve may be a good choice. When you are not using your MacBook, putting it in a sleeve will help prevent unnecessary scratches.
This is perfect for the person who transports their MacBook in a backpack most of the time with a dedicated pocket, where scratches more than likely will not occur anyway. The Incase Slim Sleeve starts at $49.95 and is available in two colors: Heather Khaki and Heather Gray.
Thule Gauntlet 3.0 Envelope
If the Incase Slim Sleeve is not rugged enough for you then you may need something like the Thule Gauntlet 3.0 Envelope. Thule advertises great protection against anything outside of your case.
This is perfect for someone who is clumsy or does not keep their MacBook in a backpack or carrying bag. The Thule Gauntlet 3.0 Envelope starts at $49.95, a small price to pay to hopefully have your device be saved if you drop it. The case only comes in black, so keep that in mind before you purchase.
The North Face Recon Backpack
This has been my backpack of choice for around 5 years now and it is the single best backpack I have ever owned. I am a college student and the Recon has everything I need, including a laptop sleeve built in and most importantly, water resistance. Of course TabTimes does not guarantee this claim but that being said, I have been in torrential downpours and the contents inside – including my MacBook – were 100% dry with no leaks whatsoever.
This backpack comes in an assortment of colors, including dark gray, red, blue and white camo. The price starts at $99 and it is well worth it if you are in the market for a backpack to protect your MacBook.
AmazonBasics Laptop and Tablet Bag
While this is a cheaper option at around $13 depending on what size you want, make no mistake, Amazon makes great products. If you are in the market for a side mounted laptop bag, then look no further: this bag features a main compartment for your MacBook, a big side pocket for papers and a smaller pocket for your charger or phone.
This is perfect for not just the budget conscious, but anyone who wants a light, compact bag for their MacBook and a small amount of accessories. As mentioned, you pick this up from Amazon for $15, plus or minus a couple of dollars depending on size.
Now on to USB Type C adapters and hubs, because you will most definitely need one.
Best USB Type C adapters and hubs
The MacBook only has one USB Type C port and that can be quite limiting, fortunately, third party manufacturers have made ways around this limitation. Here are some of our favorite docks and hubs for your MacBook.
We mentioned this in our MacBook 12 review, and for good reason: Apple only included one port with the MacBook, and it is of the uncommon USB Type C variety. In my experience, USB Type C is great, but for a power user that needs a bunch of ports, one just is not going to cut it.
There is where the metal-clad Huawei MateDock comes in: this dock offers a USB Type C port for charging, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a RJ45 Ethernet jack, VGA and HDMI at a reasonable price of $89. Compared to Apple’s own Multimedia adapter – which costs $79, is plastic-clad and offers USB and HDMI – the MateDock certainly makes a compelling case to be your USB-C adapter.
If the Huawei MateDock just does not have the amount of I/O that you want, the HydraDock may be what you are looking for.
The HydraDock features a whopping 13 ports. Here’s what you get:
- 2 USB Type C ports that are 3.1 compliant
- 2 USB Type A ports that are 3.1 compliant
- 1 USB Type C port for data, charging and video
- 1 HDMI port with HDCP. They mention the port can handle 4k (3840×2160) but do not mention whether 4k can be displayed at 30 hz (HDMI 1.4) or 60 hz (HDMI 2.0).
- 1 SDXC card reader (up to 260 MB/sec)
- 1 GigaBit RJ45 Ethernet port
- 1 combo 3.5mm headset and microphone jack. (16 bit, 44.1 khz)
That is a lot of I/O, almost as much as a desktop. This is perfect for someone who primarily uses their MacBook for work. The HydraDock is not available quite yet, but can be preordered and costs $169.
Nomad Roadtrip Car Charger + 3000 MAh Portable Battery
This is a pretty cool accessory, not only can you charge your MacBook in your car, but the charger is also a 3000 MAh portable charger. This is great if you are on the go and need some extra juice. The price for this is about $28 and is well worth it, not just for your MacBook, but for all of your devices, as it has USB Type A and Type C ports.
Satechi Type-C USB 3.0 3 in 1 Combo Hub
If you do need a hub without all of the flare, the Satechi 3 in 1 combo hub may be perfect for you. As the name states, you get three different I/O options. They include 3 USB 3.0 Type A connectors, 1 SD card reader and 1 Micro SD card reader.
Unfortunately, you cannot charge your MacBook while using this, but considering its price of $35, you can’t really go wrong here.
Jelly Comb 3.1 USB-C(Type-C) to 3.0 USB-A(Type-A)
If you just simply want a USB Type C to Type A adapter, this is it. Selling for only $7 this should be purchased by every single person who has a MacBook. The adapter keeps the true USB 3.1 standard capable of 10 Gbps speed and can be found at the link below.
Other must haves
Besides USB docks and cases, there are other nice to have accessories for your MacBook 12 inch including hard drives, flash drives and stands that make your life that much easier.
BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable by Griffin
One of the downsides of the Type C port is the fact that it is not breakaway like Apple’s proprietary MagSafe. But fear not, Griffin has your back with this accessory. This cable essentially gives your MacBook the same breakaway charger that are found on other MacBooks for the price of $39.95. Every Macbook owner should have one of these.
HiRise stand by Twelvesouth
If you use your MacBook as a secondary display while working, you may need a place to put it. This is where the HiRise Stand by TwelveSouth comes in.
This is a simple stand that looks great while allowing for your MacBook to be used as a secondary display in a comfortable, natural location on your desktop. The HiRise stand starts at $69.99 with different options available.
SanDisk 32GB Flash Drive for Type-C
Flash drives are very popular among students and professionals alike. What makes this one special is that USB Type A and Type C are both present, meaning you can easily transfer content from other computers without any adapters.
While not USB 3.1 10 Gbps, you can still expect speeds better than your average flash drive at 5 Gbps USB 3.0. This should be good enough for just about everybody given what the device was made for. The SanDisk 32GB flash drive is $25 from the link below.
LaCie Porsche Design P’9223 USB 3.0 Mobile Hard Drive 2TB
You can never have enough storage, so it may be a good idea to pick up an external hard drive, and why not get one that looks super slick?
This hard drive features a USB 3.0 interface and 2 TB of storage to hold all of your data and, if you care about your data, backups. Definitely worth considering at a cost of $109.99.
PlugBug World by TwelveSouth
If you travel around the world often, it is a very good idea to have a world charger like the PlugBug World. Made by the same company as the HiRise stand, this is a must have accessory for any traveler.
In the box, you get ports for the North America, UK, Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Japan and many more countries. At the cost of $44.99, it’s certainly a great alternative to buying multiple adapters for using your Macbook abroad.
Over at our sister site, Sound Guys, we’ve compiled a list of the best Bluetooth headphones, earbuds and wired headphones available on the market. Ranging anywhere from $33 to $499, you’re bound to find some great audio accessories to pair with your tablet, smartphone or ultrabook. Head to the links below for more information.
Once again, our friends over at Sound Guys compiled a list of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy for under $50. On the list, you’ll be able to find multiple powerful wireless speakers for $25, or some higher end models that range up to $49. Be sure to check out the link below for a full list of the best Bluetooth speakers available on the market.
The 12 inch MacBook is a great computer, and with this device, there are many accessories to look at. These are some of our favorite accessories for the MacBook, along with some other suggestions that will hopefully make you life easier.