Best Suitable Accessories for Macbook Air M1

Best Suitable Accessories for Macbook Air M1

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 Macbook Air M1

Let’s talk about best suitable accessories for you MacBook Air M1. So you might have recently picked up an M1 MacBook Air or Pro. or perhaps you have an Intel model Or even one of the larger 15 or 16 inch MacBook Pros. Here’s a list of accessories that are tried and tested by me over the years and really help enhance the capabilities and increase you productivity with these machines. You can purchase these accessories from Amazon or other other e-commerce website to get best gadgets for you like www.gadgetworldusa.com, www.marketonline.co.in or visit Electronics section of Market Online Store.

I will divide it in two sections:

-         The first talking of accessories you can get for your MacBook when using it in laptop form, these are meant to be portable and in general can be applied to any laptop.

-         In the second half, I will look at accessories when using your MacBook in desktop mode. What accessories you can get to make a seamless shift from laptop to desktop mode and carry on working for those longer, more demanding work sessions.

So let us get started with accessories to get when using your MacBook as a laptop.

USB Port:

Apple USB Type C to Type A adapter

The first thing I picked up when I got my first USB type C port only MacBook Pro, was this. The Apple USB Type C to Type A adapter. Well, with only USB Type C ports on all MacBook’s nowadays and a lot of peripherals still using a USB Type A port, you need the ability to access type A devices from the word go, so this is an excellent adapter to have in your bag, that will give you USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds from any device that is also compliant with at least this standard.

Lenovo USB type C hub

Now, you may be thinking about why you should get an adapter that just provides a USB type A connection, when you can get a Lenovo USB type C hub with many other connections. Well, if that’s your Amazon is full of listing for these and there’s a lot of badge engineering happening here. So, a single supplier maybe manufacturing the same product for a number of retailers. Now both of these are well reviewed hubs, but I’ve had better luck with this Lenovo Hub. It is a couple of years old and no longer available in this exact version.

This other one offers additionally a 3.5mm jack, but in actual performance, it tends to heat up and loose the display completely till it gets cool. Also, you’re unable to adjust the volume using the MacBook’s software slider when you connect external speakers via this hub.

One thing these unpowered docks will not give you, is transfer speeds via SD cards. You really need a dedicated SD card reader if you work with large photo or video files. This here is an excellent choice, the SanDisk Imagemate Pro and it allows you to exploit the full potential of your SD cards read and write speeds.

SanDisk ImagematePro


Cable:

USB Type C to MicroB Amazon Basic Cable

Let’s talk cables for a bit. Now although you can use one of the aforementioned adapters or hubs to connect to USB type A cable devices, but if you’re not going to be moving between older computers and your new MacBook too much, you may want consider a USB Type C to Micro B cable such as these.

They are from different brands, but for the sake of uniformity wherever you may be located, I will recommend the USB Type C to Micro B Amazon Basic Cable. This will allow you to connect a sinning USB 3.1 hard drive directly to your MacBook via USB C and achieve USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds.

Griffin Breaksafecable

You have to be careful here, because there are tons of such options online. One example is this Baseus MagSafe connector, I really liked the idea of it. Convert your existing cable to MagSafe and have a very small connector permanently plugged in to the MacBook. And the connector itself was right angled to enable a more compact profile when charging. But in practise, this is not recommended at all. 99% of times it worked as advertised but that one time, when I connected it, remember this has live electricity running through it, it fried the logic board on one of my previous MacBook.

If you’ve had MacBook in the past and really loved the idea of MagSafe, this could be just the cable you were looking for. This is the Griffin Breaksafe cable that snaps in half if you yank or pull at it and prevents your computer from falling off a desk or other surface.

So, the only safe product I have come across is the Griffin Breaksafe cable. It’s bulkier and only charges up to 60 watts, so not as suited for bigger MacBook, but it’s safe and long enough to charge MacBook Airs and 13 inch Pros or even iPad Pros.

Cable Protectors

And also on the topic of cables, you can pick these little cable protectors on Amazon for next to nothing, they go on to your original Apple cables like so and offer great protection from bends in the one are Apple’s cables are most vulnerable at and if left unprotected, the cables tend to get frayed in this region. I used them on my iPad Pro and MacBook Pro 15 inch original USB Type C cables and they are as pristine as they were on day one, some two years later.

Mouse:

Logitech MX Master 3mouse

Now when it comes to mouse, you do have the excellent trackpad on the MacBook Air itself, but if you want that classic mouse experience and want that scroll wheel, I cannot say. Enough good things about the Logitech MX Master 3 mouse. It’s not the most compact of mice but trust me when I say this, once you’ve used one of these, you will never want to go back to anything else. Really you have to experience it to know how great it is, it’s simply the best mouse in the world. In certain regions you can get in a Mac specific variant, but from what I’ve read there isn’t that much value addition in that one, so I would rather stick to the general variant and retain compatibility across devices.

Sandstorm mouse

You can connect up to three devices and switch between them using a toggle button on the bottom of the mouse. But if you want something more compact, I have used this Sandstorm mouse for the past three years now and this is from a UK based manufacturer. It is quite excellent, but its limited availability and recent issues I’ve had in terms of lagging with my older 15 inch MacBook Pro, means I would rather point you in the direction of the Logitech pebble mouse, which is really compact and performs well.

Logitech pebble mouse

Protection:

MOCA hard shell case

Now let’s talk protection. For many people MacBook is an expensive purchase and they will rightfully have think about protecting their new investment. The first thing that comes to mind is a hard shell case such as this. This is the MOCA hard shell case for the new M1 MacBook Air, but also fits other2020 MacBook Airs. The idea is sound, but since 2016, when the USB Type C MacBook came out, their displays are razor thin and the top lid has very little strength to it. So whenever I’ve tried to use such a case, be it on this MacBook Air or my older 15 inch MacBook Pro, it adds too much weight to the lid, and I can see this having an adverse effect over the years on the hinges.

Now that you’ve chosen a hard shell case for your MacBook, you may be thinking of sleeves. Well, if you want a basic sleeve, you will be well served by any of the generic ones available on Amazon. I used a handcrafted one that I picked up in the UK on my original13 Inch Retina MacBook Pro for a good few years. But recently I’ve moved to “Thule cases and bags”. On one of my flights with my older 13 inch MacBook, a generic laptop bag didn’t offer the protection from pressure damage that was needed and I had a damaged MacBook screen. Since then, I surveyed the market and chose this product, the Thule Gauntlet sleeve for both 13 inch and 15 inch MacBook Pros.

Thule Gauntletsleeve

I actually the used the 13 inch version for my iPad Pro 12.9 inch. It offers rugged protection and although bulkier than a cloth or fabric sleeve, I’ve had peace of mind when travelling with this item. It’s quite no frills though and beyond a protective shield for your device, it doesn’t offer any storage space for accessories.

Thule Attaché case

If you’d rather have a bag, then Thule has you covered once more. Because of my really nice experience with their sleeves, I tried out the Thule Attaché case for the 15 inch MacBook Pro. This is a really nice bag and offers the same protection as the Gauntlet sleeve but additionally has plenty of space for accessories and chargers and keeps the laptop separate from these. You also have the option of working from the bag itself, quite useful in situations at airports and such locations, where you don’t want too much clutter when working for quick few minutes.

Storage:

Now let’s talk about storage. If you want fast and lightweight storage for you MacBook, you can’t go wrong with the excellent Samsung external SSDs, the T5 and its newer T7 cousin. I’ve used T5 1TB variant for a couple of years now and really enjoy the 540MB/Speeds it consistently delivers and do all of my video editing off this drive. The newer T7 offers double these speeds, but at some additional cost. Both are excellent and deserve a space in your laptop bag. And being solid state drives, they are not only very compact, but also extremely rugged when compared to a spinning hard drive.

Samsung external SSD T5

So this was all about accessories for on the go computing with your MacBook. Now let’s look at accessories that make your life easier when working at a desk. With these accessories you can seamlessly transform your MacBook into a proper workstation.

Display:

 32 inch 4K Benq display

Well, the most obvious one on this desk is the main event, the 32 inch 4K Benq display. This is the Benq EW3280U 4K display. Don’t confuse it with the EW3270U, which is a VA panel display whilst this is the real deal, an IPS display, which you really need with such big displays for good viewing angles.

Also anything smaller than this, and you will not be effectively able to run this at native4K resolution. Everything becomes too small for reading comfortably and even this one, I use it a pixel doubled 2560x1440 resolution that provides retina-like sharpness and still plenty of screen real estate. As a bonus, this comes with the best speakers on a monitor and a subwoofer, meaning I’ve thrown away my external speakers now.

It’s not perfect though, and the new M1 MacBook do have number of issues with it. Also, even though it comes with a remote, I’ve found this Tobe very unresponsive. I still recommend this display simply because it is one of the few good IPS displays in 32 inch size and 4K resolution at this price point, at least in India and USA.

Stand:

Laptop stand from TARKAN

The other item here is a laptop stand from TARKAN. It is a 360 degree rotating stand that elevates you MacBook to a comfortable height and allows you to have the screen open of closed as per your choices. I wanted access to the Touch ID sensor, so didn’t want to use the MacBook in clamshell mode and this was really perfect for the purpose.

If you get the same design by a different manufacturer, by all means go for the best deal available, as most of these are made by the same supplier and then sold with different brand names.

Powerhouse:

Caldigit TS3 Plusdock

You can use the Caldigit TS3 Plus dock peeking for your MacBook, this is the powerhouse that has enabled me to have such a clean desk setup. The first distinction between this and the USB Type C hubs we spoke of earlier is that this is a Thunderbolt hub and is actively powered by its own big power brick. That means, not only does it not draw power from your MacBook, but it can charge the MacBook at up to a full 87 watts and power all number of other devices and have just a single, neat thunderbolt 3 cable running to your MacBook. Unfortunately in my case, my Benq Monitor doesn’t run at 60 hz refresh rate when connected via display port cable that this hub offers or even its own USB type C cable.

Belkin USB Type C to HDMI adapter

So I’ve had to add another accessory to the back of this hub, and that is Belkin USB Type C to HDMI adapter. This is a great accessory that allows running4K monitors at up to 60hz resolution and offers pass-through charging for a MacBook as well. It actually comes in two variants, but make sure you choose new one, and not the older one that doesn’t provide pass-through charging.

Thunderbolt dock:

Caldigit TS3 Plusthunderbolt dock

The Caldigit TS3 Plus thunderbolt dock has really replaced a number of devices form and offers the single cable convenience that I was looking for. The only thing going against it is the cost, it’s really expensive and its availability outside of the US and Canada is not great. But if money’s not an object, and you want the best hub for your MacBook, this is it.

Mechanical Keyboard:

TVS Gold Keyboard

Now this is a mechanical keyboard, the TVS Gold Keyboard, which is only available in India and is based on Cherry MX keys. If you’ve typed on a mechanical keyboard you will know how great they are for typing. The downside with this keyboard is its Windows layout keys. And also, if you’re used to typing on the excellent Magic Keyboards of the latest MacBook or even the iPad Pro, there is a lack of consistency when you switch to this keyboard, as the keys are differently sized and take some getting used to. For this reason, I recommend both this style of mechanical keyboard and Apple’s own Magic Keyboard. It will boil down to personal preference on this one.

Mouse:

Logitech MX Master 3 mouse

Once again, you see the excellent Logitech MX Master 3 mouse and it is right at home on this large Scarters mouse mat. It measures90x45 cms and offers a great base to work on and is spill proof and easily cleaned and also reversible and comes in different colors on both sides. It’s recently had a price cut and really great value at reduced prices.

 Scarters mouse mat

Monitor Arm:

The other item you see here, is the excellent Amazon Basics monitor arm, which allows a range of movement for your monitor whilst keeping your desk clean. It also offers cable management for a clean look. I’m not using it currently as I like the look of my new Monitor’s base stand, but I do use it add an additional screen from time to time. I’ve done an in-depth review on this, so do check that out.

Amazon Basics monitor arm

External HDD:

Seagate Backup plus Portable 5TB external HDD

Now when you’re at a desk, portability is less important and when it comes to hard drives, space and capacity take precedent. Here are two excellent choices, one is the Seagate Backup plus Portable 5TB external HDD and second is the WD My Passport 4TB portable external hard drive. Both are USB 3.0 and have spinning drives inside them. They are both available for great prices around the world and availability is excellent on any local Amazon site. It’s a great way to dump large files and use for backing up your MacBook. And USB 3.0 speeds mean that they are not painfully slow when it comes to file transfers.

WD My Passport 4TB portable external hard drive

Extension Cable:

USB type C extension cable by Stouchi

USB type C extension cable by Stouchi that are tricky to find, also they are uni-directional, so you can plug them in the wrong way. They only work when connected in one orientation, so make sure you try both sides when you use them. But what it does offer is the ability to hide USB Type C hubs away for a clean desk setup. If you don’t want an expensive Thunderbolt hub, this maybe a good way to achieve port expansion whilst keeping your desk clean.

Cable Management Tray:

IKEA Signum cablemanagement tray

Finally, this is the IKEA Signum cable management tray, plenty long and strong and adjustable. Also easy to install as will ensure your desk looks pristinely clean and cable clutter free.

Since it’s from a well-known brand, availability and quality is generally great around the world. Thanks for sticking by till the end and hopefully you will find something useful from these accessories for your own use case scenario. There are many other e-commerce website to get best gadgets for you likewww.gadgetworldusa.com, www.marketonline.co.in or visit Electronics section of Market Online Store.


Let me know in the comments section, which ones of these you have or are planning to get or if you have an alternative to any of them.


Thank you very much for reading this Article.

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