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Add these Mac accessories to your back-to-school shopping list

So you're getting ready to head back to school, perhaps with a new MacBook or MacBook Pro. You may want to add a few accessories to get the most out of your device. AppleInsider has rounded up the best accessories for your Mac to make returning to school even better.

Macbook Pro

Apple leather sleeve

Instead of snapping on a cheap and ill-fitting plastic shell, we prefer Apple's premium leather sleeves to cover our Macs. They fit like a glove and offer just the right amount of protection while still keeping things slim.

They aren't cheap, however. 12-inch MacBook owners can grab them for $149 while the 13-inch and 15-inch Pros run $179 and $199 respectively.

Twelve South ParcSlope stand

Twelve South ParcSlope

Using your laptop on a desk can be tedious and uncomfortable. By using a simple stand like the Twelve South ParcSlope, it raises the screen to a more ergonomic angle and reduces stress. As a bonus, ParcSlope not only works with your MacBook but your iPad as well. It is on sale at Amazon for $39.99 (currently $10 off with a clippable coupon).

CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 docking station

The last few generations of MacBook Pro have all come with nothing but a quartet of Thunderbolt 3 ports and a sole audio jack. Any student who wants to have a lot plugged in, like Gigabit Ethernet, a monitor, USB-A/C devices, speakers, an SD card, etc should look into a docking station.

CalDigit TS3 Plus

CalDigit's TS3 Plus is the best option for this, with all of the above and 85W of power delivered over a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. It is a compact device and runs $299 on Amazon.

Satechi USB-C hub

Docking stations are great on your desk, but on the go, you need a more portable solution. Satechi has a whole range of compact USB-C hubs that are great for taking with you to class or coffee shop.

Satechi USB-C Hub

The basic model still has an HDMI out, USB-A, and USB-C but runs $54.99 instead, nearly 1/6 of the CalDigit price.

Libratone Track+ headphones

Normally, while sitting at our desk we prefer some cushy over-ear headphones (like the stellar Shinola Canfield). However, if we were just picking up one pair to wear in the dorm and on the go, we'd take a look at the Libratone Track+ (review).

They have adaptive noise cancelling that works great wherever you take them, like on the bus. Additionally, they have a passthrough audio mode to let in ambient noise, making them safe to wear while walking down campus streets. Plus they have incredible sound and a gym-friendly design.

Amazon has them in stock for $199.

Mophie Powerstation AC

Mophie Powerstation AC

Often times while running around campus, you don't have time to charge up your phone, let alone your laptop. Most people think of portable batteries for their iPhones, but Mophie's huge Powerstation AC is perfect for all your gear. Your iPhone can be charged over the USB-A port, your MacBook can be charged with the 30W USB-C port, and everything else can be powered up with the 100W AC outlet.

The fabric covered 22,000mAh Mophie Powerstation AC will run $199 on Amazon.

Power Adapter Extension Cable

Sooner or later you're going to have to plug in, though. When you do, having an Apple extension cable means you don't have to sit on top of the wall socket. This 1.8m cable replaces the one between that wall outlet and your MacBook's power brick. So you can even unplug it and loan the cable to a new campus friend who has an older MacBook with the MagSafe connector.

The Apple Adaptor Extension Cable costs $19 at Apple or on Amazon.

Peak Design Everyday Messenger/Backpack

All this gear needs to go somewhere as you tote it around campus. There's no shortage of different bags out there, but our favorites happen to be the Everyday Messenger and Everyday Backpack by Peak Design. These cleverly designed satchels can carry everything you need for a day in classes - laptop, iPad, books, backup battery, and more.

Peak Design Bags

They've got both messenger and backpack styles to fit whichever preference you align with. They are covered in every anchor, strap, pocket, compartment you can think of.

The Everyday Messenger is $249 and the Everyday Backpack is $259.


When it comes down to it, our favorite headphones of all have to be AirPods (currently on sale for $144.99). We featured these in our iPhone and iPad accessory guide and we have to feature them again here. Using iCloud, they sync the Bluetooth profile across all your devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV) including the Mac.

Simply put them in and choose them from the audio menubar drop down. When you head out, leave them in and choose them on your iPhone.

Apple Magic Mouse

Surely one of the best features of the MacBook and MacBook Pro is that gorgeous trackpad but sometimes you need more precision. Sometimes you just want to use a mouse again and now you can buy a Space Grey one to match.

Apple Magic Mouse 2 in Space Gray

The Apple Magic Mouse 2 in Space Grey was originally sold only with the iMac Pro but now you can buy one for your MacBook for $99 from Amazon.

Looking for a new Mac to pair with these accessories? Check out our back-to-school buyers guide to help you decide which MacBook or MacBook Pro is right for you.