As I’ve overhauled my setup throughout the Apple Silicon transition and in conjunction with the Mac Studio and MacBook Pro, I’ve used this as an 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. Head below for the details.
Best Mac Accessory: OWC Thunderbolt 4 Dock
One of the more integral additions to my setup is the OWC Thunderbolt Dock, a version of we also went hands-on with earlier this year.
The OWC Thunderbolt Dock I’m using in my setup offers four Thunderbolt 4 ports with support for up to 40Gb/s transfer speeds, four USB-A ports, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm audio jack, and gigabit ethernet. I have the dock mounted on the underside of my desk so it’s hidden and out of the way, but its ports are still accessible.
The OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock is admittedly not quite as useful with the new Mac Studio as it was when I was using my 14-inch MacBook Pro in clamshell mode. This is because the 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 from the back of the Mac Studio. If you’re placing an order from OWC, I can also highly recommend the company’s Thunderbolt 4 cable, which is significantly cheaper than Apple’s.
Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
If you’re using an Apple Silicon-powered Mac and you haven’t added a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID to your setup, you’re seriously missing out. Finally being able to use Touch ID with a desktop Mac is a game changer. This includes Apple Pay authentication, accessing password managers, and making App Store purchases.
Of course, this means that you have to be satisfied with the form factor and design of Apple’s Magic Keyboard, which isn’t the case for everyone. I’m still holding out hope that 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 alongside a Magic Trackpad, the popular accessory maker Twelve South offers a really nifty MagicBridge accessory. The MagicBridge turns the standalone Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad into a “one piece control surface, tidying up your workspace.”
You do lose some of the flexibility of being about to move your trackpad around on your desk, but in my setup, I much prefer the single piece design. I use a Logitech MX Master alongside 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 story going more in-depth on this later, but I’ve also recently added a Stream Deck to my Mac’s 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’ve been following as I learn more about Stream Deck:
Satechi Leather Desk Mat
Last but not least, and maybe the accessory I get asked about most often when I feature it in product imagery, is the Satechi Eco-Leather Deskmate. This is a purely visual addition to my setup, bringing a leather desk mat to house my keyboard and trackpad. It’s made out of high-quality eco-leather and is designed to protect your desk while also serving as a soft resting place for your wrists and hands.
Joli Leather Sleeves
I’ve been singing the praises of Joli’s handmade leather sleeves for MacBook since 2015, and nothing at all has changed. Whenever I buy a new MacBook, I always make sure to get a Joli leather sleeve to go along with it. The Joli sleeves are handmade from smooth premium Italian leather, using “luxury full grain waxed leather which shows marks as you use it.”
Joli’s leather sleeves come at a premium, with prices starting at around $130 for the new 14-inch design. With their stunning leather material and handmade touches, however, I find them to be well worth the price.
Best Mac cleaning product: Whoosh Cleaning Spray
Last but not least, if you want to keep your new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro looking brand new, you’ll need a good way to keep the display nice and shiny. My go-to recommendation here is the WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner Kit, which packs everything you need to keep your Mac clean at a price point under $20.
The screen cleaner kit includes both 3.4oz and 0.3oz bottles of cleaning solution as well as three 6″ x 6″ cloths. In fact, the WHOOSH! spray is what many Apple Stores around the world use themselves.
What are some of your favorite Mac accessories right now? Let us know down in the comments!
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