Best MacBook accessories
Picked up a shiny new MacBook have you? The latest super-svelte, ultra-slim laptop to make it off the Apple production line only has a single USB Type-C port, so you're going to need to choose your accessories and peripherals wisely - and we've got six of the best to tempt you into an upgrade.
If you're new to the world of USB Type-C, it's the port you're going to be seeing a lot more of phones, tablets and laptops in the future (it's also on Google's new Pixel Chromebook). It charges devices faster, transfers data more quickly, and can even do both tasks at the same time as well as connect to a monitor.
So without further ado, lets look at the best MacBook accessories...
USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter
It doesn't have the sexiest name in the world but this dongle is all about functionality rather than style - and because it's an official Apple product you can be sure it's going to work as advertised with your new Macbook. It lets you output your laptop's display via HDMI while also providing a normal sized USB 3.1 port and a USB-C charging socket.
So not only are you enjoying your display on the big screen - 1080p at 60Hz or UHD (3840x2160) at 30Hz - you can also be charging up your laptop ready for the road and doing something else with the other port (syncing an iPad, using an external hard drive, getting files off a USB stick, and so on). It shows off the versatility of USB Type-C nicely.
£65 from Apple
Lacie Porsche Design USB-C Mobile Drive
In the external hard drive category, stepping up to the USB Type-C plate early doors is Lacie with a USB-C edition of its sleek-looking Porsche Design Mobile Drive. With USB 3.0 capabilities it can transfer files in a third of the time compared with USB 2.0 - Apple may well be wanting us to all go wireless but you can't beat those kind of transfer speeds.
With its solid aluminium casing it will look right at home next to your new MacBook (there's no gold option though unfortunately). You can opt for a slim 500GB model or up that to 1TB or 2TB in return for a slightly larger case, and there's an adapter included if you want to connect it up to standard old USB sockets (what is this, early 2015?).
Price TBC from Lacie
OWC USB-C Dock
How about turning one port into 11 with the aid of the chunky OWC USB-C Dock? Sure, it needs its own power adapter, but if you're going to turn this into a serious productivity machine then you're going to have to add some heft and weight to the wafer-thin MacBook. With grey, gold and silver colours to choose from, it matches your laptop perfectly.
OWC is still working on the dock, which won't be out until October, but you can get your preorders in now if you want to be first in the queue. It offers four USB 3 Type-A ports, one USB 3 Type-C port, an SD card reader, HDMI output with 4K display support, Gigabit Ethernet, audio in and out ports and the computer connection.
$129 from OWC
SanDisk Dual USB Drive Type-C
After a little USB flash drive to go with your state-of-the-art MacBook? Want it to offer compatibility with older computers as well as your new one? Look no further than the SanDisk Dual USB Drive Type-C, one of the first USB flash drives out of the gate ready to support the new technology. It's only available in a 32GB size but that should be enough for most uses.
Remember that USB Type-C is going to be making its way to smartphones and tablets in the near future (Google mentioned it during its Android M presentation) so this tiny stick can help you get files to and from your next-generation mobile device too. There's an accompanying Android app too, but you don't necessarily need it.
£35.99 from Amazon
Hub+ for USB-C
If there's a need in the market then you can bet that someone on Kickstarter is going to try and fill it, and thus we have the Hub+ for USB-C, an altogether more lightweight hub than the one we just looked at. It extends your single USB-C port into two USB-C ports, an SDXC card reader, one mini DisplayPort and three USB-A 3.0 charging ports.
It includes a lithium-ion battery for charging your phone away from the mains too. If you back the Kickstarter campaign then you should get your small hub in July 2015, and the gadget has proved a crowdfunding hit: funds for the Hub+ have climbed to several hundred thousand dollars, well above the original $35,000 target.
$79 from Kickstarter
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Also on Kickstarter but offering something a little different to the Hub+ is the InfiniteUSB-C, a simple accessory that allows you to daisy-chain several USB Type-C plugs together to get around the MacBook's single port limitation. You can in theory attach an infinite number of accessories (hence the name) as long as you're prepared to buy enough cables.
You can choose from microUSB, Lightning connector or standard USB for the other end of the cable, and you'll always have another USB Type-C port free if you need it. Cables can be picked up individually for as little as $18 depending on the type — according to the Kickstarter campaign page delivery will be in July. [$18 from Kickstarter]