by Paul Mah

11 must-have peripherals for your 12-inch MacBook

Apr 21, 20156 mins
Consumer ElectronicsMacBookOperating Systems

Sure, the new Apple MacBook is slim and attractive, but when it comes to operating at peak performance, a little extra help is always nice. These 11 devices are all about MacBook productivity.

MacBook peripherals packed with productivity

So you just got your hands on the new MacBook. Apple’s latest laptop is even slimmer than the MacBook Air. While you can expect to turn heads for some time to come,you still need to get work done and good looks alone won’t cut it there.

With productivity in mind, we look at a number of peripherals that you can use (or will soon be able to use) with your new laptop [ Find it on Amazon *What’s this?* ] to keep you working at peak efficiency.

SanDisk Dual USB Drive Type-C


The SanDisk Dual USB Drive Type-C flash drive may be just what the doctor ordered if you are used to exchanging large files with colleagues and business associates using a flash drive. The SanDisk Dual USB Drive comes with both the new USB Type-C port and a standard USB 3.0 connector, allowing it to be plugged into your new MacBook — or tablet equipped with a Type-C port on one end — or an older laptop via its standard USB connector. The SanDisk Dual USB Drive Type-C is currently available in 32GB capacity, and is priced at $64.99.

[ Find it on Amazon ]

LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive


If you are looking for larger storage capacity, the LaCiE Porsche Design mobile drive is a portable hard disk drive that comes with built-in support for the new USB-C connector. Housed in a sleek aluminum enclosure, the USB 3.0 drive offers fast data transfer, and is available in capacities of 500GB (slim design), as well larger capacities of 1TB and 2TB. Moreover, the storage drive maintains compatibility with Type-A USB port with the use of an included adapter cable. The LaCiE Mobile Drive will be available later this quarter; pricing will be announced then. [ Find it on Amazon ]

TwelveSouth PlugBug World


The PlugBug World by Twelve South is an attachment to the standard Apple charger that gives you a high-power 10W USB charging port. Considering that the new MacBook doesn’t come with a standard USB port you can use for charging devices, this makes the PlugBug a more vital accessory for the MacBook than ever — the team at Twelve South has confirmed that it will work with the MacBook’s USB charger. The PlugBug World includes five international snap-on plugs and costs $44.99; alternatively, you can get the U.S.-only PlugBug for $34.99. [ Find it on Amazon ]

WaterField Zip Brief 12-inch MacBook Case


The Zip Brief 12-inch MacBook Case is a new design from WaterField that was created just for the MacBook. The ultra-slim case allows you to keep your new MacBook protected in a dedicated pocket, and offers a couple of internal pockets that can hold accessories such as your power adapter or portable hard disk drive. The bag is TSA-friendly, too: Unzip it completely and lay it flat for inspection at the airport. The MacBook Case has nylon handles and a removable suspension shoulder strap, and is available today for $179.

BeoPlay H8 wireless headphones


The $499 BeoPlay H8 is an on-ear headphone that incorporates support for Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless music playback to complement the wireless-centric theme of your new MacBook. The headphone delivers the sound quality you would expect from Bang & Olufsen, and also packs active noise cancellation circuitry under the hood. When on the plane (or when out of juice), plug in using the supplied audio cable for uninterrupted music playback. The included removable battery is rechargeable via a micro-USB port on the headphone. [ Find it on Amazon ]

Griffin Twenty


The Griffin Twenty is a digital audio amplifier that marries your unpowered speakers with the convenience of Bluetooth wireless. Griffin Twenty delivers up to 20 watts per channel to drive your speakers, and its 30-foot Bluetooth range makes it easy for you to wirelessly stream music from your MacBook or smartphone. A brushed aluminum volume knob offers the capability to quickly adjust the music playback, while a subwoofer connector lets bass-heads add more low-level oomph to their music. The Griffin Twenty is priced at $149.99. [ Find it on Amazon ]

Moshi iGlaze hard case for MacBook


The iGlaze from Moshi is an indispensible hard case designed to protect your expensive new MacBook from minor knocks and scratches. The ultra-slim case fits the MacBook like a glove, and is so thin that the transparent version is practically invisible from a few steps away. The iGlaze for MacBook is expected to be available end-May, and will be priced at $55. [ Find it on Amazon ]

Apple USB-C to USB Adapter

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The Apple USB-C to USB Adapter is an essential adapter needed to connect standard USB accessories to the USB-C port on the new MacBook. Note that this adapter leaves no space for the USB-based charger, so it’s only real utility only comes in when you want to travel really light. Available from Apple, the USB-C to USB Adapter is priced at $19. [ Find it on Amazon ]

Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

9apple usb c digital

The Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter is the must-have adapter if you need to work with an external display. Importantly, it features a pass-through port so that you can use the official USB-C charging cable to charge your MacBook simultaneously, as well as a standard USB 3.0 port to wire up your existing USB peripherals. The Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter is priced at $79. [ Find it on Amazon ]

USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

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For the inevitable scenarios where you need fast network connectivity, Moshi’s USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter offers the capability to quickly transfer data through the network — though you would need to use it with Apple’s USB-C to USB Adapter. A built-in USB pass-through port allows your MacBook to retain full USB 3.0 connectivity, and the adapter can be used with your existing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops too in order to leave the Thunderbolt port open. The Moshi USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter is priced at $59.95. [ Find it on Amazon ]

Cardette 3 Multi-card Reader


Finally, the Cardette 3 Multi-Card Reader from Moshi is a fast USB 3.0 multi-card reader for your Macbook. The Cardette works with CF (Type 1), Memory Stick, MMC, SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards, and packs Ultra-High Speed (UHS-I) under the hood to deliver speeds of up to 100MB/sec. It comes with an integrated cable, and a dual-port USB 3.0 hub for additional peripherals–Apple’s USB-C to USB Adapter needed. The Moshi Cardette 3 is priced at $48.95. [ Find it on Amazon ]