10 MacBook accessories for the Apple user on your 2021 holiday shopping list

These 10 gift options make Apple’s laptops safer to transport, expand their lack of ports and keep them running longer.

We’re facing a gift shortage this holiday season, and it’s cause has been well established: The semiconductor chip shortage. This is hitting potential tech gifts particularly hard, with many a hot new models unavailable at worst or delayed at best.

That means last year’s MacBooks might be hanging on for another year, but it doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck when it comes to giving the Apple users on your gift list something that goes with their laptop. Don’t focus on the hardware itself —focus on the accessories, like these 10 items, that you can add to the hardware to give it a refresh, or protect it to ensure it keeps running until the shortage ends.  

Image: BestBuy

Up until their refresh in October, the current models of MacBook Air and Pro were sorely lacking in the ports department. Apple stripped the Pro down to just four USB-C ports (one of which must be used for charging, and the Air down to just two, for which the same charging restriction applies. The HyperDrive Duo 7-port USB-C Hub eliminates the lack of usable ports, all while maintaining Apple’s material design look to make it as unobtrusive as possible. Anyone who uses a lot of peripherals, especially an SD or MicroSD card, will love it.


$80 at BestBuy

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Image: Apple

This lightweight, minimalist aluminum MacBook stand is a great way to avoid showing everyone the inside of your nostrils on a Zoom call. A must for anyone who relies on a stack of books to put their MacBook at eye level.


$60 at Apple

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Image: Apple

Elevating a MacBook to eye level means making the keyboard harder to reach, therefore necessitating an external one. You could go with Apple’s Magic Keyboard, or you could go green by buying this solar powered keyboard from Logitech. Note that this keyboard uses 2.4GHz wireless, not Bluetooth, so an adaptor (included) is required.


$60 at Apple

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Image: Apple

If the chip shortage means keeping an existing laptop for another year, you’d do well to protect it against damage with a hard shell case like one of these. Following this product link will take you to the hardshell case category on Apple’s online store, where you can choose the appropriate style that fits the particular model MacBook you’re shopping for.


Apple

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Image: Apple

Apple likes to keep its machines sleek and minimalistic, but what that means is there’s a whole bunch of peripherals, cords, and adaptors you’ll probably be lugging around with your sleek laptop. An organizer like this one is perfect for holding your tech accessories for a MacBook, iPad, or any other stuff you bring with you when traveling with tech.


$50 at Apple

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Image: Anker

This 13-in-one hub can practically turn a MacBook into a desktop PC by adding a ton of ports and the ability to charge pretty much any device at up to 85W. All in all, it includes dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-C ports, four USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, SD/microSD card slots and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. If you need a step up from the HyperDrive Duo, this is it. 


$299 at Anker

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Image: Apple

On the flip side of the Anker 577, there’s this single-port USB to USB-C adapter from Apple. It only converts a single USB device to USB-C, but sometimes that’s all you need when we’re living in the liminal space between two eras of standardized peripheral ports. 


$19 at Apple

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Image: Amazon

There isn’t always an outlet available when you need one, and laptops eat up a lot of juice. According to its product page on Amazon, the ZMI PowerPack 20K is even able to charge MacBook Pros, and it also has three USB-C ports and one USB port for charging multiple devices at a time. 


$85 at Amazon

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Image: Apple

This MacBook folio case from von Holzhausen is expensive, but it’s a great professional looking, minimalist sleeve that adds a bit of protection while on the road or going between meetings. It’s also made of 100% vegan Teknik-Leather, which the manufacturer describes as durable, easy to clean, and with a low carbon footprint. The interior is lined in microfiber that is made from recycled water bottles, making it a stylish and sustainable choice. This model is for the 16″ MacBook, so be sure to check Apple’s online store for the correct model if your giftee has a 13″ machine. 


$100 at Apple

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Image: Apple

Additional external storage is a must, especially for MacBook users who work with large files, and it’s also important to get an external hard drive that can stand up to abuse, like this ruggedized one from LaCie. It’s built to stand up to drops, crushing force and water, and it connects via USB-C, so no adapter needed.


$84 at Apple