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Pimp my MacBook: 10 best MacBook Pro accessories

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A laptop bag or sleeve ($30+)

God only knows how many awesome laptop bags, sleeves, and cases there are on the market. While we would love to give you a one-stop recommendation, there are just too many factors that go into choosing the right bag. After all, it’s an extension of you, whether you like it or not. Some bags are chic, some more modest, but there’s surely something for everyone tucked away within our best-of pages.

The Booq Boa Flow Backpack ($200) is a great bet for those looking for ample space, while the Cocoon NoLita II Laptop Sleeve ($30) ditches the robust girth in favor of barebones protection. Other packs, notably the stylish ModCloth Pannier or Far Bag ($80) and Brit-Stich Leather Laptop Bag ($250), offer the everyday fashionista more purse-like option. Then there’s always the Crumpler Pinnacle of Horror ($130), a no-frills messenger bag well worth the price.

Check out our top 25 picks for the best laptop bags for a more in-depth look at some of the best bags around, no matter what you’re into.

Pinnacle Laptop Bag

Seagate Backup Plus ($70-$100)

If the highlight of a laptop is portability, the crux would have to be memory. External hard drives are a portable solution to all your storage needs, providing a versatile backup medium for Time Machine and an additional avenue for data storage on the go. The Backup Plus, Seagate’s flagship external hard drive, is an impressive little device available in four different colors. It’s also available in capacities ranging from 500GB to 1TB.

The glossy, bus-powered drive delivers top-notch performance, with lightning quick data transfer speeds via the built-in USB or Thunderbolt ports. It even includes features for directly saving any files uploaded to your Facebook or Flickr account. Plus, it’s one of the most well-priced drives given the specs and functions.

Check out our top picks for the best external hard drives if you’re looking for something with greater storage capacity, a more rugged design, or smaller price tag.

Seagate Backup Plus

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III ($175)

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice on sound just because you opted for a portable machine. The MacBook Pro has superb speakers for it’s size, rich and powerful, so much so that it often seems moot purchasing anything other than a solid set of desktop speakers to blast your tunes while connected at home. The visually-striking Harman Kardon Soundsticks III don a similar industrial design as its predecessors, albeit with updated cable quality and other specs, giving you quality audio for those down times when you’re not on the road.

The three-piece third-generation Soundsticks come with a 2.1-channel multimedia sound system containing two satellite speakers equipped with four 1-inch full-range transducers and an admirable 6-inch, 20-watt subwoofer to match. Although recently undergoing a cosmetic upgrade, the first-class sound was left virtually untempered (not that it needed to be). And while they still don’t have a bundled remote – an ongoing complaint – they still tout the best sound possible for the price.

Check out the rest of our picks for the best computer speakers if you’re looking for something less flashy, less expensive, or more portable.

Harman Kardon Soundsticks II

Bamboo Wood Contour Lap Desk ($40)

Trust us, it’s going to take more than just a built-in fan to keep your legs and lower region from cooking when your laptop kicks into overdrive. Luckily, book-selling behemoth Barnes & Noble offers a simple and sleek, 22-inch lap desk primarily constructed of sustainable bamboo that holds up rather nicely with time. There’s not much to it other than the smooth desk and bundled cotton pillow that attaches securely below the wood via several Velcro strips, but the buckwheat hulls lining the inside of the pouch provide plenty of comfortable cushioning to help prevent strain and divert unwanted heat elsewhere.

The pillow’s built-in, zippered storage pouch also provides extra room for any gadgets and gizmos you might want to tuck away out of sight. Other than that, features are kept to the bare minimum. Alternatively, check out the Belkin CushTop ($35) for a less rigid design or the NotePal LapAir ($30) for a built-in fan component.

Bamboo Wood Contour Lap Desk

Dell UltraSharp U2412M Monitor  ($260)

There’s no question that the MacBook Pro comes with a gorgeous screen, but an external monitor might be the ticket to boosting your productivity and taking your viewing experience to the next level. You could spend half a fortune on Apple’s stunning Thunderbolt Display, or you could opt for something a bit more modest that tacks on seven or more inches to your native screen size.

The Dell UltraSharp U2412 is a feature-laden, 24-inch LED monitor that touts high-quality color representation via the 1920 x 1200 resolution and 16:10 widescreen aspect ratio. It boasts a trove of USB ports, easily-customizable on-screen display features, and impressive design that more than warrants the affordable pricing. The lack of a dedicated HDMI port is unfortunate, but there are still plenty of ways to hook up your MacBook Pro for dual-screen or single-screen viewing.

Check out all of our computer monitor reviews for a wider and more in-depth look at what the market has to offer.

Dell Ultrasharp Monitor

What do you think of our choices for the best MacBook Pro accessories? What do you think is a must-have for every Pro owner? Let us know in the comments below.

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