I've had a 12-inch MacBook since they first launched in March of 2015 and I've been using one ever since. As ultralights go, Apple got almost everything ultra-right. Almost. Luckily, there ain't nothing wrong with it a few great accessories can't fix. And, since Apple hasn't changed the design of the 12-inch MacBook since launch, what works for the original works for the 2nd- and 3rd-generation models as well.
USB-C to USB-A adapter
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Just because Apple went all-in on USB-C doesn't mean all your existing peripherals magically went USB-C along with it. So, unless you want to buy all new cables, you cang get a couple USB-C to USB-A adapters and use them when and as needed.
Apple sells these for $19, but you can find cheaper third-party alternatives.
Lightning to USB-C cable
Sure, I just told you to get the USB-C to USB-A adapter instead of buying new cables but this is the exception to the rule. Here's why: Not only does it let you plug in your iPhone or iPad directly to your MacBook, it can also double as a super-fast iPad charger. You just need Apple's 29W Adapter to go with it.
$25 for the 1m, $35 for the 2m.
USB-C power adapter extension cord
The 12-inch MacBook has good battery life but let's face it — if you're going to want to shut down a coffee shop, you're going to need to plug in to do it. And, given the layout of many shops, you may need a little help to reach the outlet. Apple used to include an extension cord in the box, but that's gone the way of the MagSafe. So, now, if you want a little help reaching that distant plug, you've got to buy it.
If you have one from an older MacBook you can make do with, that's great. Otherwise, it's $19.
Kanex USB-C SD reader
The 12-inch MacBook may have only one USB-C port but it has precisely zero SDHC card readers. If all you shoot with is your iPhone, that won't be a problem. If you still shoot with your DSLR or Micro 4/3, though, you'll need the Kanex's USB-C SD Reader. It's small. It's versatile (SD, mini SD, micro SD, MMC). And it transfers data at 5 Gbps. All for just $25.
HyperDrive 5-in-1 Hub
With only one USB-C port, adapter space on the 12-inch MacBook is at a premium. So, if you need more ports for your gear, you need the HyperDrive Hub. It's got 2x USB-A 3.0 ports, an SDXC card reader, and a micro SDXC card reader. It also comes in the same metallic finishes as the MacBook so it looks as good as it works. $49.
If you're going to have a MacBook that's born to be wireless you should have a set of headphones that match. There are lots of great Bluetooth headphones options out there, but AirPods are something special. Get them for your iPhone but use them with your MacBook.
Your must have accessories?
How did you outfit your new 12-inch MacBook? Any accessories I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.