Welcome to the latest edition of iDB’s ongoing Gift Ideas series, where we provide curated roundups of some of our favorite products. Throughout the year we cover and test a number of devices and accessories, so we decided to use that experience to help those searching for the perfect present. Today’s roundup is focused on MacBook users.
Twelve South HiRise MacBook Stand
I’m a fan of most of Twelve South’s iOS and Mac accessories, and the HiRise MacBook stand is no different. Like their other products, the HiRise looks right at home with Apple hardware and is made of premium material. It holds all MacBook models, from the 11-inch Air to the 15-inch Pro, and features non-slip arms—which are padded so they won’t scratch—and a piston that can adjust the height of the stand up or down 6 inches.
iQunix Vertical Desktop MacBook Stand
The above Twelve South MacBook stand works great by itself, or with an external monitor. This iQunix vertical stand is geared more towards the latter. If the person you’re shopping for hooks their MacBook up to an external display, the iQunix is worth considering. It features a sharp aluminum design, an adjustable, padded cradle to fit nearly any laptop model, and a honeycomb non-slip rubber pad on the bottom to keep the stand secure and the desk safe.
Alternative: not your style? Twelve South’s BookArc is a popular stand along these same lines.
Incase Deluxe Protective MacBook Sleeve
Cases/sleeves can make for bad gifts because they are so subjective. Just because you like purple butterfly patterns, doesn’t mean the person you’re shopping for does. So I always recommend going with darker, solid colors and a slim-but-useful design. This Deluxe sleeve checks off all of those boxes: it’s fairly thin, has a plush faux fur lining to protect your MacBook, easy access zipper closure—with a second zipper for direct access to your ports—and an external zippered pocket for accessories. I have one and absolutely love this sleeve.
Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack
Bags are also super subjective, and once again I recommend going with something slim, solid in color, and useful. Having said that, I’m going to suggest you go outside the box a little bit with the Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack. The Kanken is a Swedish bag that has been around since the 70’s, and it’s recently become a hit with hipsters and has even started spilling out into the mainstream. The laptop version is known for its unique styling, light/durable materials and comfortable carrying straps. The goal here: get a bag that they’ll want to use, laptop or not.
You can buy the Fjallraven Kanken starting at $90 (price depends on size and color).
Alternative: for a more conservative laptop bag, check out the popular Incase Icon.
Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard
True, MacBooks have built-in keyboards, but an external keyboard increases your productivity by letting you put your laptop on a stand and/or connecting it to an external display. One of my favorite keyboards for this use-case is the extremely well-reviewed Logitech K810. It’s wireless, so it won’t take up any of your laptop’s ports, it has bright backlit keys, it looks sharp and it has a rechargeable battery. Also, it has Easy-Switch technology, so you can move between your laptop, tablet or smartphone by pressing a single button.
You can buy the Logitech K810 Bluetooth keyboard for $75 (sale price).
Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse
Mice are also popular accessories for laptop users, and in this category we really like the Logitech Marathon. It’s not the sexiest gift, but the Marathon uses laser tech for accurate tracking on almost any surface, has a great contoured design for comfortability, and a class-leading life of up to 3 years on just two AA batteries. The only real downside here is it doesn’t use Bluetooth, so the required dongle will take up a port on your laptop.
Alternative: our flashier, more powerful recommendation is Logitech’s MX Master.
MacBook Case Vinyl Sticker Decal
Vinyl decals can make great gifts if you’re in tune with the recipient’s tastes. Let’s say they really like Batman or flowers, then getting them a related decal for their MacBook should be a huge hit. There are thousands of them out there, but the one we’re featuring here is a Darth Vader decal from Decalology Designs. They’re available for all MacBook models, come with great application instructions and are guaranteed to last up to 7 years. Bonus: decals also protect your MacBook from scuffs and scratches.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones
In most cases, we recommend getting Bluetooth headphones because we agree with Apple that the future is wireless. However, since MacBooks still have a headphone jack, we thought for this guide we’d suggest a good pair of wired headphones: the ATH-M50xs from Audio-Technica. These are universally loved by professionals and consumers alike for their incredible sound, comfortable fit, and features like swiveling ear cups for easy one-ear listening. Plus they look good to boot.
Seagate Backup Plus 2TB External Hard Drive
External hard drives also make good gifts for MacBook users, who can use them as extra storage or as backup safety nets. One of the more popular drives in this category is the Seagate Backup Plus, and we think the 2TB model is a great value. The Backup Plus features quick file transfers with USB 3.0 speeds, USB power so no external supply needed, and it comes with 200GB of free OneDrive cloud storage for 2 years.
USB-C Hubs, Cables and Adapters for MacBook Pro
If the person you’re shopping for has or is getting one of the new MacBook Pros, or a 12-inch MacBook, chances are they are in need of some USB-C accessories. These new laptops from Apple feature USB-C ports only, none of the previous-style USB ports, so it’s very likely that their old accessories aren’t going to be compatible. Thus, a good hub, cable or adapter would make an excellent gift. Luckily, we’ve already rounded up some of the best options available in these categories.
- USB-C adapters you may need for your new MacBook Pro
- 7 USB-C cables you might need for your new MacBook Pro
- Some great USB-C hubs for your new MacBook Pro
Also be sure to check out our other gift idea roundups: