Since its debut in 2008, the MacBook Air has been a popular choice among people who want a light, thin, and well priced MacBook. Here are our favorite accessories to ensure your MacBook Air is safe as well as improving your overall experience.
Protecting your MacBook is very important, especially the Air, it is thinner than the rest of Apple’s lineup and could suffer more damage if hit in the right places. Here are some cases to make sure nothing happens to your MacBook Air.
Incase hardshell case
I already mentioned this case a few time before, but this really is a great case if you are in the market for a hardshell cover for your MacBook Air.
From personal experience, MacBooks can scratch pretty easily if you are not careful. The perfect way to combat this is to put a hardshell case on the notebook. Even if you buy a bag or sleeve, an actual case is still a good idea, and this is one of the better ones available.
Check out all of the options below! The pricing starts at $38.95.
Belkin Slim Polyester Backpack
This backpack by Belkin is perfect if you want to transport your MacBook Air around. With its compact size, the backpack does not take up too much space and allows for you to also put papers or classwork in along with your notebook.
This backpack offers one large pocket with a dedicated notebook sleeve to keep you Air from bouncing around. You can pick up the Belkin Slim polyester backpack from the link below for $35.
Lacdo Waterproof Fabric Laptop Sleeve Case Bag
This time around, I did not recommend a water resistant backpack. I did this for a few reasons, since the MacBook Air does not take up that much space, a larger backpack probably isn’t needed, and a waterproof sleeve is just as effective.
Lacdo offers a waterproof sleeve for your MacBook Air that comes in seven colors with a price tag of $12.99 from the link below.
Twelve South BookBook for MacBook
If standard sleeves and cases are not your thing, check out what TwelveSouth has to offer with their BookBook line.
This is a full featured cases that is made out of leather and looks like a book! I personally think this looks cool and the case should also help prevent scratches while transporting and in use.
You can pick up the BookBook from the link below for the price of $72.99
Keyboard Cover By VCOO
While this is not a case in a normal sense, keyboard covers are very popular and also look good as a replacement to the standard black.
For $6.69, you get your choice of different color combination 3-packs of keyboard covers.
Best adapters and hubs
One of the major downsides to the MacBook Pro with Retina display when it was announced in 2012 was the the lack of I/O, and the MacBook Air has even less. Here are the best ways to improve your number of ports.
EasyAcc USB 3.0 4-Port Bus-Powered Aluminum Hub
The MacBook Air only has two USB ports, just like the rest of Apple’s lineup, so it may be a good idea to get a dock to get you more ports.
This USB hub by EasyAcc will give you four more USB ports, sans one that you need to plug it into your MacBook. Not to mention this dock also matches Apple’s aluminum finish, so there are no worries of clashing styles.
The dock can be picked up from the link below for $12.99.
Benfei Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt) to HDMI/VGA Adapter
Disappointingly, the MacBook Air does not have an HDMI port, fortunately, this is an easy fix with this adapter. There is also a VGA port if that is needed as well.
This adapter connects through Thunderbolt, so this is no need to give up one of your precious USB ports while using a second display.
This adapter can be picked up from the link below for $9.99.
CalDigit Thunderbolt Station
Since the MacBook AIr is small, you may want to connect a bigger display and use that instead. The problem is, you may be losing your I/O in the process, the good news is that the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station has you covered.
This station offers I/O that can completely replace your MacBook and then some. The I/O includes:
- 3 USB 3.0 ports
- 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports
- 2 eSATA 6G ports
- 1 audio out
- 1 mic in
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet
- 1 HDMI
This is perfect if want to use your MacBook Air with a secondary display, keyboard and mouse. You can pick this hub at the link below for $199
Sentey LS-6141 Aluminium 10 Ports
If you really like USB ports, then the Sentley USB hub may be right for you, offering 7 USB 3 ports and 3 USB charging ports.
As mentioned, this dock offers the standard 7 USB 3.0 ports for data, but then also offers 3 USB charging ports with the ability to charge a device at 5 volts at 2.1 amps and 5 volts at 1 amp. This dock, as the last one, sticks with Apple’s design language, so there will not be any problems making everything match.
The USB hub can be found for $39.99 at the link below.
WEme 2-in-1 USB-C to 3 Ports USB 3.0 Hub
For this last recommendation in this category, I was going to recommend Apple’s own Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter, but the WEme hub is a better deal in my opinion. Not only do you get Gigabit Ethernet, you also get three USB 3.0 ports and USB Type C compatibility, all at a cheaper price!
You can check it out at the link below for $22.99
Other must haves
There are always other accessories than just cases and hubs that can improve your experience, here are some odds and ends that will make your life easier while using your MacBook Air.
The MacBook Air is pretty limited on hard drive space, but do not worry, TarDisk has your back.
This little device is shock proof, waterproof, X-Ray proof and anything else proof while going into your SD card slot. Sadly, TarDisk is only available for 13 inch models, but it is well worth it. The TarDisk comes in 128 GB and 256 GB flavors with a special trick up its sleeve. What makes TarDisk special is the fact that it expands your primary drive by adding storage to it, instead of functioning like a separate disk. This means that your computer will still function like there is only one drive installed, no need to wonder what drive you put your files on.
The 128 GB and 256 GB can be purchased for $149 and $399 respectively from the link below.
This is another storage upgrade option that uses your SD card slot, but this one is a lot different. Instead of using NAND flash or anything like that, Minidrive simply allows you to put a microSD card into your computer and have it be flush with the body of the computer.
While you can add 200 GB cards, they will still function and perform as SD cards. The good news here though is the price. Just the minidrive is $29.99 with microSD card packages driving up the price accordingly.
Grab yours at the link below.
I did not include this in the last section because the ZenDock Air is a different beast than just a dock. The ZenDock Air offers the ability to hide all of your cables under your desk (or wherever you put the tail end) to tidy up your workspace. The reason for this is that one end plugs into all of your ports on the left side of your Air, leading everything out to a dock in a tidier place out of sight.
The Air version, made for the, well, Air, offers 3 USB 3.0 ports as well as audio out and mic in 3.5 mm jacks. An Ethernet adapter is also included as a bonus for pre-ordering.
Yes, this product is not yet available, but it offers a great concept with an elegant design. You can pre-order the ZenDock Air for $159.99 from the link below.
Gray Cable Organizer Tidy Cord Wrap for Macbook 60W Magsafe Power Adapter By Imiba
One of the more frustrating things about owning a MacBook is how to carry around the charger that comes with it. There are little hooks for the thinner cable, but it does not do anything to solve the mess that is the bigger cable. This is where this product comes in.,
This is a very simple product that solves the problem of carrying around your MacBook charger. You can grab your own at the link below for $16.89
Seagate Backup Plus external hard drive
If you do not want a new “internal” drive in a sense, then maybe a simple external drive is the way to go. This external hard drive offers a USB 3.0 interface and storage options ranging from 500 GB to 4 TB.
I personally have this drive and I use it to backup my MacBook. It has taken my abuse for a few years and I highly recommend it.
Grab yours at the link below, starting at $49.99.
Over at our sister site, Sound Guys, we’ve compiled a list of the best Bluetooth headphones, earbuds and wired headphones available on the market. Ranging anywhere from $33 to $499, you’re bound to find some great audio accessories to pair with your tablet, smartphone or ultrabook. Head to the links below for more information.
Once again, our friends over at Sound Guys compiled a list of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy for under $50. On the list, you’ll be able to find multiple powerful wireless speakers for $25, or some higher end models that range up to $49. Be sure to check out the link below for a full list of the best Bluetooth speakers available on the market.
The MacBook Air is one of Apple’s smaller offerings, but the notebook can still benefit from accessories and docks just like the other MacBooks to get the most out of your experience.
Let us know what accessories you use in the comments!