2016 USB-C MacBook Pro accessories may be few and far between at this early stage in the game, but there are a few gems out there that can make your life easier. Here’s a look at five different MacBook Pro accessories that I’m currently enjoying.
CalDigit’s ‘Tuff’ USB-C portable hard drive
Unless you opted to spend the big bucks on a 1TB or 2TB PCIe SSD upgrade, chances are that external storage will be something that you’ll continue to rely on for the foreseeable future. CalDigit’s bus-powered ‘Tuff’ USB-C portable hard drive will not only lend you 2TB of external storage space in a compact form factor, but it’s designed in a way to be able to withstand the rigors of travel.
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Most importantly, the drive is USB-C-enabled for easy connectivity with no dongles or adapters, and it’s actually USB 3.1 (gen 2) compatible, which means it features theoretical throughput capabilities of up to 10 Gbps. Of course, with this being a spinning disk, you won’t get anywhere close to that, but it’ll be fast enough for editing 4K video directly from the drive, for backups, and most other uses.
Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable
12.9″ iPad Pro owners were wise to invest in this cable early, but new MacBook Pro owners undoubtedly recognize the benefits of having such a cable on hand as well.
If you’re looking to connect your Lightning-enabled iPhone to the new MacBook Pro, then this is your best choice. These cables are on sale at the Apple Store for a limited time, so you may want to buy a few.
Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones
The more I use these headphones, the more I come to appreciate how fantastic they are. Not only do you get insane 40 hour battery life on a single charge, but they feature Apple’s W1 wireless chip for easy pairing between iOS devices and Macs.
And while the Bluetooth range is pretty impressive as well, I especially like the fact that I can turn these headphones into a pair of wired headphones at any time. This comes in handy when the battery is dead, or when you just want a zero latency experience for doing things like podcasting or voiceovers.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones look awesome in matte black, but you can catch the Glossy Black version on sale at Amazon right now for only $220 shipped, which is $80 off the retail price.
Aukey USB-C SD Card Reader
The MacBook Pro comes with no SD Card slot, and that’s a problem for many creatives who shoot photos and videos. But fret not, because there are several third-party options for quickly connecting SD Cards. Obviously a dongle isn’t ideal, but if you’re going to have one, it’s nice for it to be small and compact.
…And that’s just what Aukey’s USB-C SD Card Reader is. It’s a small and compact adapter that allows you to quickly connect an SD Card and read at full USB 3.0 speeds. It’s cheap as well, which is always good for these kind of adapters. It’s not perfect — read some of my complaints in my review — but you’d be hard-pressed to find an adapter this cheap and this small that does the job well.
IXCC USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter
There will be times when you’ll just want to connect a legacy USB-A device to your MacBook Pro in the simplest manner possible, and the IXCC USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter is up to that task.
This adapter couldn’t be simpler. On one end is a female USB-A port, and on the other end is a USB-C connection. Simply plug your legacy cable into the adapter’s USB-A port, and connect it to your MacBook Pro to enjoy full USB 3.0 speeds. At only $6.99, the IXCC adapter is cheaper than some of the alternative options that you’ll encounter.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to MacBook Pro accessories, but these are five items that I find valuable in day-to-day real-world usage.
What MacBook Pro accessories are you currently deriving real benefits from? Please share your findings in the comments below.
Also, if you have yet to do so already, read and watch our full hands-on with the Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro.