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The best gifts for Mac users: 8 peripherals to complete your setup

It’s the time of year to start looking for gifts for all the important people in your life. If you’ve got a loved one who’s a Mac obsessive — or you just want to get a great Mac accessory for yourself — our round-up of tip-top Mac gifts will have you sorted this holiday season.

We’ve put together a range of goodies that’ll work for even the most demanding of Mac users. From mice and keyboards to Thunderbolt docks, microphones, and webcams, there’s something here for everyone.

Logitech MX Master 3S for Mac

A person using the Logitech MX Master 3S for Mac mouse on a desk.
Logitech

Apple’s Magic Mouse is great for MacOS gestures, but its low-profile shape can become uncomfortable to use after a while. The good news is there’s a much better alternative that’s designed specifically for Mac users: The Logitech MX Master 3S for Mac.

Easily the best Mac mouse you can buy, it’s comfy to use and features a clever scroll wheel that automatically switches between precise ratchets and free-flowing movement, depending on how hard you spin it. On the side, there is also a thumbwheel that scrolls your pointer horizontally.

Even better, the mouse comes preloaded with built-in MacOS shortcuts. In Photoshop, for instance, the thumbwheel adjusts your brush size, while the thumb buttons undo and redo actions. Press and hold the button at the foot of the thumb rest, and you can even perform native MacOS gestures — just swipe the mouse as you would on an Apple trackpad while pressing the button.

The MX Master 3S for Mac has a few improvements over the MX Master 3, including quieter button clicks and the inclusion of Logitech’s BOLT receiver, which ensures a strong, speedy and secure connection to your Mac. When it comes to Mac mice, there’s simply nothing better than the MX Master 3S for Mac.

Keychron Q1

Keychron Q1 mechanical keyboard.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the typist in your life, look no further than the Keychron Q1. This mechanical keyboard is comfortable to use and hugely customizable, allowing you to remap the keys with consummate ease to create the perfect keyboard layout.

Better yet, the Q1 comes with hot-swappable switches. That means the switches underneath each key can be changed at will, which in turn means you can adjust the typing feel whenever necessary. You could even mix and match different switches for different keys if you like.

The case itself is rugged and durable and should stand up to the rigors of daily life without a hitch. That will make it a long-lasting gift that goes strong for years to come.

Oh, and there’s even a switch that lets you flick between macOS and Windows layouts, which is great if you regularly move between the two systems. Put together, these features make the Keychron Q1 one of the best Mac keyboards you can buy.

Satechi Aluminum Laptop Stand

The Satechi Aluminum Laptop Stand for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you know someone who spends a lot of time hunched over a MacBook, do their back a favor by getting them a MacBook stand that raises their device to a more comfortable height. The Satechi Aluminum Laptop Stand does exactly that.

What it does well is combine style and substance. Its aluminum frame comes in silver or space gray to match your existing Apple devices, and its simple hinge is unobtrusive and unassuming. It looks great and will fit right in on your desk.

It’s solidly built and clever, too. Because it works on a single hinge, it folds down flat and is easy to slip into a backpack. There are rubber strips on the top and bottom, helping to keep the stand in place and prevent your MacBook from slipping. It’s fairly priced, so won’t break the bank either.

Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter

The Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple’s latest MacBooks have finally restored some of the port variety that the company’s laptops have been missing for so many years. While they added HDMI and an SD card slot, you still don’t get any USB-A ports. And if you use an older MacBook, all you have are USB-C ports.

A USB-C hub can go a long way to fixing this problem, and Anker’s PowerExpand+ is a great choice. It adds seven new ports, including HDMI, SD card, microSD, two USB-A slots, and two USB-C ports. One of those USB-C slots supports up to 100W of power delivery, so you can juice up your MacBook via the PowerExpand+ if all your other USB-C ports are in use.

You get all that for $35, which is an excellent price for the frustration it prevents and the expansion options it brings.

CalDigit TS3 Plus

The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 dock.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re looking for some more serious port expansion, a Thunderbolt dock will be right up your street. Our favorite — by some distance — is the CalDigit TS3 Plus.

Why do we love it so much? It sounds strange, but one of its biggest draws is simply its reliability. When you’re plugging a host of different devices into a Thunderbolt dock, you want them to work properly 100% of the time. That’s surprisingly unusual in the Thunderbolt dock world, but CalDigit’s offering never skips a beat.

It offers a ton of ports (15 in total), including five USB-A, three Thunderbolt 3 (including one that provides 87W of power delivery), audio in and out, an SD card slot, DisplayPort 1.2, Gigabit Ethernet, and more. If you need to connect something to a Mac, chances are the CalDigit TS3 Plus can handle it with ease.

Elgato Wave:3

Elgato

With so many of us working from home these days, either permanently or temporarily, sounding your best on work calls is essential. The built-in mics inside Apple’s MacBooks are fine, but if you want to go to the next level, the Elgato Wave:3 makes for an excellent gift.

Part of its appeal is how easy it is to get set up and running. For instance, instead of needing to monitor and adjust levels, the Wave:3 has a built-in feature called Clipguard,  which helps combat sudden peaks in volume that can produce rasping or unpleasant sounds. You can tweak levels if required, but it’s nice knowing Elgato’s mic has your back from the off.

Outside video calls, it’s our favorite microphone for streaming, thanks to its Mac companion app that lets you blend audio inputs while your show is live. That makes it a great all-rounder that excels in a number of different fields.

Belkin iPhone Mount with MagSafe

The Belkin iPhone Mount with MagSafe holding an iPhone on a MacBook Pro.
Belkin

Modern MacBooks have finally been given decent webcams, but there’s an even better option than using the built-in camera in an Apple laptop: use an iPhone instead. That can be done in macOS Ventura thanks to a feature called Continuity Camera, but to take advantage of it, you’ll need a way to hold the iPhone in place.

Enter the Belkin iPhone Mount with MagSafe. This little accessory sits on the top edge of a MacBook display and magnetically holds an iPhone in place. The difference is noticeable immediately, as an iPhone’s lenses are far better than almost any webcam on the market. All it takes is this dinky Belkin widget and your video calls will be better than ever.

It’s lightweight, affordable, and super simple to use. Even better, it’s compact enough to throw in a bag and take out and about. It’s a small gift that can make a big difference.

Native Union Stow Organizer

A person holding an open Native Union Stow Organizer, with cables and plugs visible inside.
Native Union

Traveling with a MacBook rarely means just carrying the laptop itself. Cables, power adapters, dongles, and accessories are all part of the deal, but keeping them organized in a bag without becoming a tangled mess can be nigh on impossible.

But it becomes a lot more doable with a Native Union Stow Organizer. This handy pouch has slots, pockets, and loops for almost everything you need to take with a MacBook. There are cable loops, pockets for adapters and SD cards, and even a slot for an Apple Pencil. That should keep everything together and easy to find.

And it’s not just a simple, bland bag. The Stow Organizer comes in three tasteful shades, each with a classy exterior design that fits in neatly with the Apple aesthetic. Who says organization needs to be dull?

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