8 great gifts for Apple MacBook/MacBook Pro users

We've already looked at gifts for iPhone users. It seems appropriate to also grab a glance at a few great gift ideas for notebook Macs.

Apple, Mac, macOS, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, LG, Elgato, SanDisk
Roman Loyola

We've already looked at gifts for iPhone users. It seems appropriate to also grab a glance at a few great gift ideas for notebook Macs.

A home hub: Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock

MacBook Pro users will want an Elgato Thunderbolt 3 dock (c.$300). Not only does the powered dock recharge any devices even when you take your Mac away, but it provides a seamless and efficient way to continue to use all those old USB devices – all through a single port. Not only this, but you can run an external monitor and recharge your iPhone. Using just one cable from your Mac. You can run external storage, connect using the HDMI port and plug your Ethernet into the dock.

Why do I like it so much? For me it’s just so easy and convenient to leave all my accessories plugged into the dock when I’m out with my Mac – and all I need to do is plug one single cable into my Mac to get to use all those devices when I make it back. Did I mention it charges your Mac on the same cable? More information.

Get a Porsche! LaCie drive

External hard drives are brilliant, but if you’re planning to purchase one as a gift you should get the best-looking system you can find. LaCie’s USB-C Porsche-designed drives are available in Gold and Rose Gold. They’ll work with the latest Macs and ship with a USB-A cable so the drive will also work with recent models.

Expect data transfer speeds around 5 Gbps. These drives weight 190g, dimensions are 12.8-x-8.4-x-1cms. You can pick these up in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB models from around $99. More information.

Always useful: Apple USB SuperDrive

I still think there’s a place for an optical drive in many Mac user’s hearts. Not only does Apple’s external SuperDrive read and write video, but it remains a key accessory for anyone with a big CD collection trying to digitize their tracks. Not only because not every CD is available on Apple Music, but also because a whole lot of real music lovers love to listen to their tracks in higher res audio than you get from digital music services. All this, and CD and DVD are useful for sharing photos and other forms of backup. It’s the gift Mac users don’t think they want that they’ll soon thank you for. More information.

A better stance: TwelveSouth HiRise

You really should think about using a stand when you use a Mac for extended periods at your desk. That’s because sitting in the same position can pose a lot of strain on your neck, which is why your computer display needs to come closer to eye level. (You may also want to invest in a standing chair as this does wonders to alleviate some of the negative side effects of poor posture). The TwelveSouth HiRise range of stands look nice, and are adjustable. Pick them up for most consumer Macs, with matching iPhone stands too. The dream set-up for notebook Macs is to use one of these stands with a wireless keyboard and trackpad combo, powered Elgato dock and an external monitor. More information.

Book, or Macbook? Pad & Quill Cartella Slim

I really like these leather cases. They fit snugly around your Apple notebook to provide protection against bumps and scratches, and also disguise your valuable device so it looks like an academic text book. The company also has a range of other nice leather cases. More information.

Double up: SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive

This little flash drive hosts both USB-C and USB-A connectors. This means you can store and access files held on the drive using both older and current Macs, no dongle required. Available in up to 256GB from around $14.99. Also works with some Androids. More information.

An external display: LG UltraFine 4K/5K

What else can you get for the MacBook user who wants everything? While there were a small number of well-publicised teething problems with these displays, they remain an excellent way to give notebook Macs a whole bunch of fresh on-screen real-estate. Available in 22-inch (4K, from $699) and 27-inch (5K, from $1,299) configurations and designed with hardly a button in sight. Neat touches include a built-in camera, stereo speakers and a microphone, three downstream USB-C ports.  More information.

Heads up: Sidewinder

I’m on the record saying how much I like the idea of this product. I think it’s an excellent way to tame cable clutter and protect your Mac’s (expensive) power cable. What is it? It’s a really simple idea – it’s a charger reel that both protects your charging unit and your cable, making it easy to deploy and much easier to carry around.

The downside? It’s an Indiegogo project and while it has been fully funded, you won’t be able to get hold of one until March 2018. That’s a shame as I think this would be a great stocking filler. More information.

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