If you’re in the market for one of the new M1 Pro or M1 Max equipped MacBook Pro 2021 models, then chances are you’re also accessory shopping. At the time of writing there are still not a ton of accessories for the new models out there, but there are still plenty of general use accessories that don’t require specific applications to be critically useful with your new purchase.
As a note: we’ve veered away from first party accessories for the most part. In general if you’re sticking to first party accessories then then you already know what you’re after, but third party accessories can take quite some time to navigate.
Razer Orochi V2
The Razer Orochi V2 is a great mobile-focused mouse that provides a solid experience for both productivity and gaming. Its small footprint and sleek design makes it easy to travel with, and at less than 60g (before a battery) you’ll likely barely notice it when not in use. It uses Razer’s mechanical mouse switches which are rated at up to 60 million clicks, an 18K DPI sensor, and connects conveniently via Bluetooth so you don’t need any extra hardware or dongles on your new MacBook Pro. As a small but welcome feature it’s compatible with either AA or AAA batteries, so when you need to swap out the battery—which won’t be very often with its massive battery life—you don’t have to worry about what type you have on hand.
It’s also part of their Razer Customs program, so it comes in a huge selection of different art prints to suit your personal style.
Related: Best RGB Gaming Setup and Accessories
Anker USB C Hub PowerExpand 11-in-1
Apple has pretty full embraced that dongle life in recent years. While the 2021 MacBook Pro still includes some small creature comforts outside of the Thunderbolt 4 ports, such as an HDMI and SDXC ports, you may still need more expansion. Anker has long been one of the premiere third party dongle and charger accessory manufacturers, and their PowerExpand 11-in-1 hub is yet another noteworthy entry in that legacy. As the name implies, it adds 11 ports via USB Type-C, complete with power delivery input, a micro SD card slot, DisplayPort, a headphone jack, an Ethernet port, and multiple USB Type-A ports.
If you’re looking to get some serious work done with your new MacBook and need some easily accessed connectivity then this hub from Anker likely has what you need and then some. As a note the M1 Max equipped MacBook Pro comes with a 140W charger, and this Anker hub only delivers 100W via the USB Type-C power delivery port, which means that while the M1 Pro model should charge normally via the dongle you’ll likely want to stick to the official power adapter if charging an M1 Max equipped MacBook Pro.
WaterField Neo Sleeve
Bags, cases, and sleeves for the new 14 inch and 16 inch MacBook Pro models are still trickling onto the market, but WaterField Designs already has multiple compatible products ready to go. Unlike most cheap sleeves you’ll find peppered across Amazon, the Neo Sleeve is genuinely made to fit the M1 Pro and M1 Max equipped MacBook Pro. And like all WaterField products it’s made out of high quality materials. It’s a thick 4mm neoprene sleeve equipped with a full-grain leather grip, reinforced cross-stitched side seams to ensure durability, and handy finger loops for inserting and removing your MacBook Pro. WaterField also offers the sleeve in both horizontal or vertical orientation, and, like all of their products, it’s assembled and sewn on-site in San Fransisco.
AOC L1601FWUX Portable Monitor
One of the hardest laptop-related problems to solve is that of screen real estate. Even the largest laptop screen is still just a single screen, and many of us have adapted to that dual-display lifestyle. AOC’s L1601FWUX is a fully portable USB Type-C powered monitor that does everything you need with a single Type-C cable. The included folio style case folds out to act as a stand for either horizontal or vertical modes, and the screen itself is 15.6 inches of additional real estate. At 1080p and 60Hz it’s probably not something you want to game on, but as a secondary display for Netflix while you game or Microsoft Teams while you work it can be invaluable.
Related: Best Keyboard and Mouse for the PS5
This one might seem a bit strange to first-time MacBook buyers, so let’s take a step back and explain things a bit. MacBooks are notorious for screen imprints from the keyboard, which happens because the clearance between the screen and the top of they keyboard is generally very, very small. So when basically any pressure is applied to the top half of the machine while closed, the keys rub and transfer dirt and oil to the screen. The result is a very unsightly and annoying to clean keyboard imprint when you open your MacBook Pro up to work. Which means that for those of you who travel with your MacBook a lot, and thus subject it to the pressure of being in a bag frequently, screen imprints can be very annoying and persistent. The GhostBlanket from UPPERCASE seeks to solve this very specific issue in a very easy way: by providing a micro-fiber barrier between screen and keyboard. And it also doubles as a useful general purpose cleaning cloth!
As the M1 Pro and M1 Max equipped MacBook Pro models continue to trickle out to the market the model specific accessories will start to arrive, but for now picking up easy general use accessories is a good idea. Because at the end of the day you can never have too many dongles, too much screen real estate, or a laptop screen that’s too clean.
For more hardware recommendations, check out Best M1 Pro and M1 Max External Hard Drives and Best M1 Pro and M1 Max Mouse on Pro Game Guides.