Macbook pro essentials guide 2020

Macbook pro essentials guide 2020 DEFAULT

If you're a regular MacBook user, you probably know that just having the computer and a laptop stand might not be enough. Whether you use it for work, play, or both, the right MacBook accessories can help it charge faster at home or away from a power outlet, hold more data, stay intact on the go, or simply look tidy when not in use.

Luckily, Apple's laptops boast the best selection of original and third-party accessories that you can find. And because the product ecosystem is always expanding, we're constantly combing through new products to find the best ones worth your investment. From a feature-packed USB-C hub to external storage that's as fast as the MacBook itself, there are products in this list that will instantly improve your workflow at home or on the move.

We found over 20 gadgets to help you make the most of your computer, ranging from legit impulse buys all the way to luxury items that will stand the test of time and MacBook upgrades. Check out our favorite MacBook accessories below and change the way you enjoy your laptop.

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A Must-Have Hub

Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2 USB-C Hub



This multiport USB-C hub by Satechi is a must-have MacBook accessory for hooking up external devices to your laptop. It has three USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C connector for charging, an HDMI input, and a gigabit ethernet port. 

The sleek gadget features both a microSD and a full SD card reader. We think this is the best laptop USB-C hub available, and in fact, we use one every day to write reviews like this one.

More: All of the Best Accessories to Make Your iPad a MacBook Replacement


A Stylish Protective Case

Incase Textured Hardshell Case for MacBook Air



The Textured Hardshell case by Incase will protect your MacBook Air from scratches and bumps, thanks to a tough polycarbonate shell. This shell is also covered in a soft and durable fabric dubbed Woolenex — this material helps to protect your laptop from scratches.

Incase offers this MacBook accessory for the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro variants, and you can order the Textured Hardshell case in navy blue and dark gray.


For Versatile Storage

SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Flash Drive



This sleek USB flash drive by SanDisk is a reasonably priced product with a metal build that suits the MacBook perfectly. Equipped with USB-C and USB-A connectors, the accessory can easily transfer files between your MacBook and any other computer.

You can order the USB stick with up to 1TB of storage, and SanDisk backs its creation with an amazing 5-year warranty. 


More Ports for Convenience

Satechi Aluminum Type-C Pro Hub



The Type-C Pro Hub is tailor-made for all MacBook Pro models and the MacBook Air with Retina display. This MacBook accessory has the same finish as the Apple notebook, so it looks great when plugged in.

The gadget is designed to plug into both USB-C connectors on the left side of the MacBook. It has a duo of USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, SD and microSD card readers, and an HDMI port.


Keep Your Screen Clean

Digital Innovations ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit


This pro-grade screen cleaning kit will keep the display of your MacBook — and every other gadget you own — spotless. The liquid is safe for all screens, while a bundled antimicrobial microfiber cloth ensures that you always make the most of every spray.

There are several ScreenDr bottle sizes to pick from. I especially like that every bottle has a handy storage area for the cleaning cloth to help ensure that you won't lose it.


For Desktop Docking

Anker PowerExpand Elite Thunderbolt 3 Dock


Anker’s PowerExpand Elite docking station is a must-have for MacBook power users with a desktop setup. With 13 built-in ports, the splurge-worthy Thunderbolt 3 accessory will transform any Apple notebook into a mighty workstation.

The sleek device can seamlessly connect to multiple external monitors via Thunderbolt 3-compatible USB-C and HDMI connectors. And thanks to its USB-A and USB-C ports, it is also compatible with countless external accessories. To top things off, it has two memory card readers, a gigabit Ethernet port, a standard audio jack, and a fast USB-C PD port for charging a smartphone or other gadgets.

The product’s retail package includes a power supply and a Thunderbolt 3-compatible cable. Anker backs the PowerExpand Elite with an 18-month warranty.



Logitech MX Anywhere 3 Compact Wireless Mouse



The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 is the best compact wireless mouse in the business and a fantastic MacBook accessory. It has an ergonomic design, customizable buttons, and an insanely precise stainless steel scrolling wheel with electromagnetic tech. It can work on any surface, too, including glass. 

The gadget can pair with and seamlessly switch between two computers. Its battery can last for months between charges, and it utilizes a USB-C connector for charging. You can order the MX Anywhere 3 in several finishes: graphite, pale gray, and rose. 

More: We Tested the Logitech MX Anywhere 3 Wireless Mouse


Great for Space-Saving

Grovemade Wood MacBook Dock



The space-saving MacBook dock by Grovemade has a gorgeous design that's both modern and naturalistic. This MacBook accessory is made in Oregon, using natural materials like wood, felt, stainless steel, and cork. 

You can order the Grovemade dock with a maple or walnut finish. We highly recommend it to anyone who plans to use their MacBook with an external monitor in clamshell mode. It's handy for storing the notebook as well. 


Dependable External Storage

WD My Passport Portable SSD (1TB)



The incredibly elegant and ultra compact My Passport portable SSD by Western Digital can deliver fast data read-and-write speeds on your MacBook via a USB-C 3.2 connection. Available with up to 2TB of storage in a multitude of colors, the gadget supports 256-bit encryption, so it will keep your data secure, too.

We like that the My Passport SSD is shock-resistant — it can survive drops from more than 6.5 feet, according to its maker. WD backs the product with a 5-year warranty. 


An Essential USB Adapter

Apple USB-C to USB Adapter



A simple but essential MacBook accessory, Apple's affordable USB-C to USB adapter allows you to connect your older USB-A accessories to the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro models. These dongles are easy to lose, so we suggest that you order an extra one just in case.


Soft and Lightweight

Incase Slip MacBook Sleeve (13-Inch)



The Incase Slip Sleeve is crafted from a high-tech material called PerformaKnit, and it's equipped with a magnetic closure. It conforms to the shape of the notebook, so it will protect it without adding unnecessary bulk. 

Available in a duo of finishes (asphalt or graphite), the accessory is stylish and durable, too. You can order a version for the 16-inch MacBook Pro as well.


Organize Your Accessories

Logitech MX Travel Case



The beautiful MX travel case by Logitech is compact, versatile, and affordable. It has enough storage space to fit one of the brand's excellent mice, as well as compartments for other essential accessories like a MacBook charger, a data cable, and a storage drive, to name a few.

The product is crafted from high-quality felt material with excellent tactility, and it has a reliable Velcro closure.


Sleek and Dependable

Satechi 72W Type-C PD Car Charger



This reasonably priced car charger by Satechi can effortlessly power up your MacBook via a USB-C port with a robust power output of 60 watts. The second USB-A charging connector has a maximum output of 12 watts, allowing it to briskly charge additional gadgets.

The product has an elegant design, headlined by a metal housing with a MacBook-matching silver or space gray finish. It features built-in tech to protect the devices that it charges from overheating.


Fast and Eco-Friendly

Nimble Champ Pro Portable Battery Pack


The eco-Nimble CHAMP Pro battery pack is a perfect sidekick for any MacBook. It has a fast USB-C connector, a full USB port, and ample 20,000 mAh battery capacity to fully charge your laptop and other gadgets you carry. Another bit we love about the product is that its housing is made from 70% recycled plastic.

More: The Best Laptop Battery Packs


For All-Day Use

Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds


The insanely affordable Beats Flex wireless neckband earbuds will seamlessly connect to your MacBook or any other Apple gadget you own. Available in black, blue, gray, or yellow, the colorful buds are lightweight, super comfy, and capable of delivering the brand’s signature sound for up to 12 hours between charges.

Rather conveniently, the Flex earphones have a USB-C charging input just like your MacBook.


For Multiple MacBooks

Oakywood Dual Vertical Laptop Stand


If you are looking to store an iPad or another laptop alongside your MacBook, this Oakywood dual stand is the accessory to get. The product has a pair of slots that can fit any MacBook or iPad and countless other notebooks and tablets. It is handcrafted from high-quality wood (oak or walnut) with gorgeous geometric patterns.

The dual vertical laptop stand also has a steel base and felt inserts to prevent your devices from scratches. Its slots are slightly elevated to keep the MacBook cool in clamshell mode.


For Luxe Protection

Nomad Leather MacBook Sleeve



This sleek MacBook sleeve by Nomad is crafted from genuine Horween leather, so it’s as durable as it is luxurious. It will also develop a unique patina over time.

The accessory has a soft interior lining to protect the notebook from scratches and a sturdy magnet closure. The leather sleeve is available for all MacBook screen sizes.


Best HDMI Adapter

Upgrow USB-C to HDMI Adapter


Upgrow's USB-C to HDMI adapter is a convenient accessory that will make any new MacBook instantly compatible with regular HDMI cables. The product is a must for buyers who plan to connect their notebook to a TV or an external monitor. 

With aluminum housings and a nylon-braided cable, the adapter looks like a much pricier product. It also comes with an 18-month warranty.


Compact and Powerful

Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE Dual Wall Charger


This Belkin wall charger has a duo of USB-C ports, so it’s more versatile than the standard MacBook charger that you’re used to using. With a maximum power output of 68 watts, it’s probably faster, too.

Available in black or white, the charger is compact yet insanely powerful, thanks to gallium nitride used in its making. The cutting-edge semiconductor material allows the accessory to deliver fast-charging speeds without overheating. 


For Durable Charging

Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable



This USB-C cable by Nomad is an excellent alternative to the cable that comes bundled with your MacBook. It's crafted using real DuPont Kevlar, so it’s as cool-looking as it is durable. Its metal connector housings are also impressive, and the same goes for its 5-year warranty.

The cable comes with a handy silicone cable tie for effortless length management and storage. It measures 10 feet (3 meters) in length, so it's plenty versatile.


Keep Your Files in Sync

Anker 2-in-1 Card Reader


This tiny card reader by Anker will instantly make any MacBook compatible with microSD and SD cards. The tiny gadget has a sturdy build and supports high-speed data transfers. 

Anker's affordable accessory is compatible not only with USB-C-toting MacBooks but also iPad Air and iPad Pro models with the same connector. Anker backs the product with an 18-month warranty. 


Keep Everything Connected



If you ever want to connect your MacBook to a TV or an external monitor, this UGREEN cable is an absolute must-have. The accessory is compatible with screens up to a 4K resolution, and it can simultaneously transmit audio and video signals. Its connectors are gold-plated to maintain contact between the notebook and the monitor. 

The 6-foot cable is braided with durable nylon, so it’s plenty durable and resistant to tangling.

Stefan VazharovSenior Technology EditorStefan is the senior technology editor for, where he’s been covering the tech industry and testing the latest gadgets since 2015; He previously covered tech products for and his work can also be found on Popular Mechanics.

Brandon CarteTechnology EditorBrandon Carte has been the technology editor at since 2017, where he's been covering the latest gadgets and scouring the internet for the greatest deals; His tech reporting has been featured on and USA Today.

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Apple has spent two years revamping the MacBook, and Monday should show the final step

2020 MacBook Air with M1 chip

Apple is holding a launch event on Monday to announce new products, likely including a redesigned MacBook Pro.

Apple has a chance to drive continued momentum to its Macs ahead of the holiday shopping season, especially since it's expected to announce more computers that run on its own chips instead of Intel's processors.

Recent computers that run on the company's powerful M1 processor have "fueled" Mac growth, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in June. In the most recent three quarters ending in June 2021, Apple sold $26 billion in Macs, up nearly 33% from the $19.59 billion it sold in the same period last year. "In fact, the last three quarters for Mac have been its three best quarters ever," Cook said in June.

Before the pandemic, which drove new computer sales, many customers and analysts worried Apple was neglecting the Mac in favor of newer, faster-growing businesses like its Apple Watch and iPhones. But Mac computers remain essential for Apple. It's only possible to develop iPhone apps on a Mac through Apple's Xcode software, for example, and Mac remains a larger business than iPad.

Last month, Apple announced and subsequently released new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, leaving Apple's line of Macs as the remaining major product line that hasn't been updated this fall. The larger 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple's highest-end laptop, hasn't been updated since 2019 and currently uses Intel processors instead of newer Apple chips.

Here's what to expect on Monday.

A completed transition

If Apple announces new MacBook laptops on Monday, it will be the culmination of a two-year transition to completely revamp the entire Mac lineup.

Since 2019, Apple has been replacing Intel processors inside Macs with its own processors, called M1, which provide longer battery life and allow Apple to more tightly integrate its hardware and software. Apple's chips also enable new features while still providing enough power to run demanding applications.

So far, Apple has released four different Macs using its new chips: The MacBook Air, the Mac Mini, the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the redesigned 24-inch iMac.

Apple is likely to emphasize the advantages of its own chip, as it has done during the past several Mac launch events. Expect a new name for the M1 chip if Apple makes significant performance improvements. It could call it the M1X or M2, depending on how Apple wants to market the processor improvements.

Apple has reportedly been prepping a redesign for its high-end MacBook Pros with its own chips and new ports, including space for an HDMI cable to connect the laptop to monitors, and a magnetic charger, according to Bloomberg. Also in the works is an iMac with a bigger screen and a Mac Mini desktop with more power, according to the report.

On Monday, Apple is also likely to provide a release date for macOS Monterey, the latest version of the Mac software, which was announced in June but has not yet been officially released.

More ports

Touch bar on the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple's Mac growth has also been driven by changes the company has made to address some longstanding consumer issues with some products.

Between late 2017 and the second fiscal quarter of 2020, Apple reported eight out of 10 quarters of flat or negative annual growth in its Mac business. Growth started taking off in 2020.

In 2015, Apple introduced a thinner keyboard design for its laptops, often called the "butterfly keyboard." In the coming years, the thinner keyboard became standard in Apple's line of laptops.

But the keyboard was plagued by reports that it was unreliable, and that crumbs or dust could make certain keys "sticky" and fail to register or type certain letters twice. Apple has an ongoing service program to fix malfunctioning butterfly keyboards manufactured from 2015 through 2019 for free. It's also facing a class-action lawsuit over whether it knew that the keyboards were defective.

During this period, the biggest new feature addition to Apple's laptops was the Touch Bar, a strip of touchscreen that replaced the function keys. However, many users found it frustrating and less useful than regular keys. Software developers never flocked to create software for the touchscreen, and Apple's recent M1 MacBook Air doesn't have it.

Simultaneously, Apple significantly reduced the number of ports on its laptops, streamlining them into a few USB-C connectors. Users complained that they needed adapters, often called dongles, to attach things like mice and external monitors to the laptops, which sometimes used older USB-A connections. The dongles that Apple made were expensive, often costing more than $20 per adapter. The company temporarily slashed prices on adapters in 2016 after users complained.

That could change on Monday. Apple's new MacBook Pro design could include an HDMI port for connecting the laptop to external monitors or TVs, an SD card port for photographers, and a new version of its MagSafe magnetic charger, addressing many complaints from professional users, according to Bloomberg. Apple's 2017 MacBook Air was the last laptop to feature MagSafe charging, even though customers liked it.

Apple has started to reverse some of the Mac design decisions it made over the past decade. The M1 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro now have a more traditional keyboard with deeper keys. Both computers have received positive reviews. The laptops still use USB-C ports for charging, but Apple's new iMac desktop, the first redesign since 2015, has a new kind of magnetic power adapter.

A surge in PC sales

Apple's Mac business has been boosted by a global surge in PC sales during the Covid-19 pandemic as schools, businesses, and individuals bought new laptops and desktops to go to school or work from home.

Earlier this year, at its peak, PC sales (including Windows) had their highest year-over-year growth in 20 years, according to research firm Gartner. Research firm IDC said PC sales jumped 55% year-over-year in the first quarter. Analysts covering the PC industry and component makers said at the time that they were optimistic that there had been a permanent shift in PC sales trends.

But the pandemic-related PC surge may be coming to a close. In the third quarter, typically a boom time because of back-to-school sales, the U.S. PC market shrunk for the first time since the first quarter of the pandemic, according to market researcher IDC.

Apple's computer shipments grew 10% during the third quarter, according to IDC, but the pandemic trends that lifted all manufacturers seem to have slowed significantly. Before the pandemic, PCs were one of the slowest-growing tech markets, with several years of flat growth in the past decade.

Apple hopes shiny new Macs can buck that trend.

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Publisher Description

MacBook Pro Essentials provides everything you need to quickly set up and start using your new MacBook Pro and included apps. Learn about useful shortcuts and tools that are right at your fingertips on the Touch Bar, and set up Touch ID so that you can unlock your Mac in an instant.


    Computers & Internet

    Customer Reviews

    Informative and considering

    - Intuitive
    - Multiple solutions to end-users
    - Relexig to read
    - Caring about users’ different situations
    - Easy to operate for every one with informative introductions

    - A little bit long
    - No video demonstration
    - Accessories being too expensive


    This entire “book” is basically a 150 page advertising flyer that tells us how great the Mac and all its features are. Doesn’t give any clue as to how to do these things other than contact Apple in one form or another.

    My Take: I found a lot of helpful ...

    My Take: I found a lot of helpful information, especially clicking on the live links within the documentent. I discovered why my 27 inch Apple display would not work with my new MacBook Pro 15” (It is a 2010 Apple LED Cinema Display with Display Port not Thunderbolt 1. - I can spell Obsolete -.) This document helped me understqand significant differences, If not advances, between the new and old. (MBP 17 inch circa 2011 vs MBP 15 inch Fall of 2016 delivered Jan. 2017.

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