Part 1: Apple Accessories
So you have decided it was time to dive in an adopt the Apple ecosystem as a way of doing things. Good for you. Many Mac converts make the switch and never go back. While it is true that many Mac products do cost a little more compared to other high-end laptops, in most cases you get way more in return for that little extra money.
After you make your choice on which MacBook you want to buy, the next step is picking up all the accessories you need to create the perfect Apple workspace that will provide you with the very best in computing technology while giving you all the tools you need for both work and play.
Today marks the first in our two-part series on Mac Accessories. This week, we look at some of the very best Mac Accessories created and sold by Apple. These products are all Apple branded products and are designed to work seamlessly with all of the Apple laptop and desktop line of computers. With these accessories, you can truly build the most impressive workstation on your block or add just a little functionality to your workflow so using your Mac is even more fun than it was before. So browse our list and find the perfect Mac Accessories for your MacBook.
Apple Magic Mouse
Apple’s Magic Mouse is truly the most advanced mouse on the market. Its smooth, seamless shell fits comfortably in your hand and provides you with all the multi-touch gestures that you expect on an Apple device. The Magic Mouse allows for full 360 degrees of scrolling and you can even use the surface to swipe with two fingers to navigate through pages. This means your Magic Mouse will help you navigate without you even having to move in one single inch. Designed specifically for Mac OS X, the Magic Mouse provides a truly unique navigational experience that every Mac owner will love.
Apple Wireless Keyboard
Apple’s wireless keyboard will connect via Bluetooth technology to any Mac or even PC with Bluetooth and allow you to work up to 30 feet from your computer. The keyboard is small and lightweight while featuring the impeccable styling that Apple has become known for making it one of the slickest accessories you could add to your Mac. The keystrokes are crisp and feel good to the touch and the small form factor means that you will have plenty of room on your desk for other accessories. Unfortunately, there is no numeric keypad on the wireless keyboard but most users simply don’t need it. Like all Apple Keyboards, it includes all the controls to adjust settings on your Mac such as brightness and sound. Who needs extra wires cluttering their desk? The Apple Wireless Keyboard gives you just what you need in a small package that will look great on any desk that features a MacBook laptop.
Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
The perfect keyboard for those of you who absolutely must have a numeric keypad and don’t mind one small wire connected to your MacBook Pro, the Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad features the same sleek and stylish design of the Wireless Keyboard, only in a slightly larger form that comes with the numeric keypad. The keystrokes and crisp and feel good to your hands and fingers as you type, and it features all of the controls that you need to adjust many of the settings on your laptop while you work. Perfect for spreadsheet users or just people who prefer to type their numbers using a classic keypad, this keyboard is my personal favorite and I use it every day. I even typed up this post using it!
Apple Magic Trackpad
While you already have a trackpad on your laptop, if you set up a workstation area you may need something else to control the cursor while you work. The Apple Magic Trackpad brings the vast array of swipes and multi-touch options available on Apple’s trackpad in a form that is slightly larger and perfect for workstation setups. It is designed to match the look of both the Apple Wireless Keyboard and your MacBook so you can great a great looking workstation that is both stylish and functional. Like the Wireless Keyboard, you can pair this device using Bluetooth technology and use it up to 30 feet away from your MacBook making it a great tool to use while relaxing on your couch or sitting at your desk.
A more classic approach to navigation that has been combined with some of the latest navigational features created by Apple, the Apple Mouse offers a uniquely designed form and an innovative scroll ball to give you some of the best navigational choices possible while you work. This mouse is a classic USB mouse that will connect directly into your MacBook or even one of your keyboards included USB ports so you can create a great looking workstation that satisfies your needs. The top shell is touch sensitive giving you easy access to both left and right clicks simply by where you press it. Need extra buttons? No problem. Each side features a force-sensing button that can be used simply by applying a little pressure just like you would press a button. If you want to save a little money, but still want all of the impressive features of Apple navigation, the Apple Mouse is the choice for you.
Apple Earpods with Remote and Mic
While it is true that the Apple Earpods with Remote and Mic are designed primarily for Apple’s line of iPhones, they can also make great accessories for your MacBook as well. With impressive sound in these tiny speakers, you may even find that they provide a better audio experience than the included speakers on your MacBook. While the remote functionality will be limited, the Mic and audio speakers make the perfect addition to your MacBook especially if you spend a great deal of time on FaceTime or on Skype calls. And, of course, if you have an iPhone, you can always pop them out and take them with you to get the same amount of impressive features and sound quality while listening to music or making phone calls on your iPhone.
Once you have brought home your new MacBook Pro laptop, you want to be sure you have the fastest Internet connection possible. While some of your speed will be limited by your service, your wireless router also plays a role in how fast your experience will be. The Airport Extreme router is designed to be not only a stylish addition to your workstation, but also a fast and effective wireless router featuring some of the most advanced wireless technology for the very best in data transfer rates for both your MacBook as well as any PC you may want to connect. Transmitting signals in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, you will obtain faster and stronger connections that won’t be interrupted by any other signals operating at similar frequencies. With your new MacBook you will definitely want the best in wireless networking, and the only way to get that is by allowing the Airport Extreme to power your home network.
Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-Inch)
I truly can’t say enough about this display. While the price is a little high for a computer monitor, you get quite a bit for your money in the process. The Apple Thunderbolt Display is wrapped in the same style of the MacBooks so you can setup a workstation that simply looks top of the line and is hard to beat. But the display does a lot more than just look good. With a screen size of 27 inches and a resolution of 2560 x 1440, you will be pushing some of the best resolutions in the market offering rich, clear text and impressive color for graphics. Put it this way, an HD movie will seem small on this large monitor. What’s more, the display connects using the Thunderbolt port and easily allows you to daisy chain multiple monitors so you can create a truly high tech multiple monitor setup easily simply by connecting one, two, or even three of these to your MacBook.
USB-C to USB Adapter
If you have picked up one of the latest MacBooks, you will notice that Apple has begun to adopt the latest USB technology in their devices. Always at the forefront of the tech revolution, Apple has once again been one of the first to make the move to the faster USB-C connections. However, you may find that you still have many legacy devices such as printers and hard drives that you want to connect to your MacBook. These devices run on older USB 3.0 and even 2.0 connections and use a different connector to do it. This USB-C to USB Adapter will allow you to connect your older devices directly to your new MacBook so you can access and use them just like you did before you purchased the latest that Apple has to offer.
Airport Time Capsule – 3TB
Your data is important and it isn’t always practical to try to backup your data using a USB hard drive or even the cloud. With the Airport Time Capsule, you will get a wireless router that is includes a 3 TB hard drive inside so you can easily back your files up over your wireless network whenever you need. The Time Capsule works seamlessly with Time Machine allowing you to easily setup automatic backups of your system so you can make sure your data is backed up every day so you never have to worry about losing a file ever again. Do you have other external USB drives in your house you want to use? No problem. Connect them to your Time Capsule and it will share them via Wi-Fi as well so you utilize storage space you already have just sitting around for your backups.
That concludes our list of our favorite Mac Accessories made by Apple. This is by no means a complete list as Apple offers a wide range of adapters and other accessories designed to improve your Mac experience as you use your new Mac for both work and play. Is there a Mac accessory that you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments and we will consider adding it.
While we focus here on laptops, many of these accessories will work very well with any type of Mac, whether you have the latest MacBook Pro with Retina or even a Mac Mini sitting on your desk. Now that you have decided to switch to Apple, why would you want to keep using those old accessories that are simply ugly and really designed for a PC? Instead, why not consider making the switch to some of these Apple accessories to truly complete your conversion from PC to Mac.
Next week, we will take a look at Mac accessories that are available that have been designed by third party manufacturers. These can include cases, workstation enhancements and much more. It is truly amazing to look at the market that has been created by Apple for their products and there are many manufacturer’s that have really been innovative in designing accessories that both look like they are made just for a MacBook, and enhance the functionality of your new MacBook at the same time. Stay tuned until next week when we show you some of the very best third party accessories made specifically for Mac laptops.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.