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The 12 best back-to-school accessories for your MacBook

One of the best back to school accessories for MacBook against a tan TechRadar background
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Grab the best back to school accessories for MacBook before the kids are back in school. While getting them that new MacBook is enough to see them through their schoolwork and post-studying entertainment, their experience with its is never going to be complete without the right peripherals and accessories. And, with back to school sales happening now, it's a good time to round out their rig.

MacBooks for students are among the best laptops on the market as they're more than capable of handling any course load a student might have while being very portable and having an all-day battery life. But, if your kids have them, they need the right accessories for MacBook not just to get the most out of them but also to enjoy a smoother school workflow.

We've tested and used more than our share of MacBook and Mac accessories so we know which ones are useful and which ones aren't worth your time. From hard drives and external monitors to laptop stands and Bluetooth speakers, these are the best back to school accessories for MacBook.

If you find Apple laptops a bit too pricey for a student, consider buying one of the best Chromebooks out there, since they have similar portability and battery life as well as surprising performance yet cost much less than an Apple laptop.

Best back to school accessories for MacBook 2022

best back to school accessories for MacBook: JanSport Cool Student Backpack against a white background

(Image credit: JanSport)

1. JanSport Cool Student Backpack

An excellent laptop backpack for school

Reasons to buy

+
Several compartments
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Classic design isn't for everyone

This classic backpack has enough space to accommodate any MacBook or MacBook Pro, as well as books, pencils, pens, and other school supplies. Features four exterior pockets for various necessities like a portable hard drive or SSD, and is available in several excellent colors. There's even a laptop sleeve so that the kids can ensure their MacBook is protected from bumps and drops.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: JBL Clip 4 against a white background

(Image credit: JBL)

2. JBL Clip 4

Portable yet loud Bluetooth speaker

Reasons to buy

+
Clip is handy
+
Can get loud for its size

Reasons to avoid

-
Sound quality isn't the best

Fun and affordable, with a clip-on design, 10 hours of playtime, IPX67 waterproof rating, six color options and plenty of volume for something so small, JBL’s Clip 4 is just the portable speaker for students with a more active lifestyle. It’s made to easily connect to any device via Bluetooth as well, including that brand-new MacBook you just splurged on. Simply press the Bluetooth button, connect with a laptop, and play tunes in seconds. Just what the kids need for a hectic back to school season.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 against a white background

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

3. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1

Bluetooth speaker for budding audiophiles

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing, well-balanced sound
+
A lot of volume

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Best for dorm rooms where there isn't a lot of space, this small yet impressive Bluetooth speaker from B&O has a powerful set of lungs packed in an elegant design that the kids be tempted to bring with them to the beach and college parties – good thing it’s got a IPX67 rating. It has "True 360" omnidirectional sound so they'll hear it loud and clear from any side, as well as a whopping 18 hours of playtime. Best of all, it has Alexa built-in so it can moonlight as a smart speaker, saving space.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: Twelve South BookArc for MacBook against a white background

(Image credit: Twelve South)

4. Twelve South BookArc Stand

Laptop stand to your desk neat and uncluttered

Reasons to buy

+
Solid build
+
Great for organization

Reasons to avoid

-
There are cheaper options

If you have your kids' MacBook set up with an external monitor, this Twelve South stand is an excellent choice. It stylishly keeps that MacBook from taking up a lot of precious desk space, especially if there's also a display taking up a chunk of it. Even without a monitor, it's useful for keeping that desk organized when not in use. It comes in either silver or space gray.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: Bestand Aluminum Cooling Stand against a white background

(Image credit: Bestand)

5. Bestand Aluminum Cooling Stand

Laptop stand to keep your MacBook cool

Reasons to buy

+
Looks premium
+
Robust build

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheaper options are available

For those that use your laptop without an external monitor, but want to elevate it and get a little extra cooling, check out Bestand's aluminum cooling stand. Elevating that MacBook at an angle, this stand offers a little extra help keeping the laptop, and is great for storing  external accessories like keyboards and mice when not in use.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: Logitech K380 against a white background

(Image credit: Logitech)

6. Logitech K380

Slim and portable Bluetooth keyboard

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable to type on
+
Don't take up a lot of space

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a full keyboard

Upgrade your typing experience this back to school season. It’s true that MacBooks have among the best keyboards out there, but if you want to sit away from that screen a bit, the Logitech K380 might just be the ticket. It’s among the best small keyboards we’ve tested, slim and compact yet also incredibly comfortable to type on and very affordable. It also has three-device simultaneous connectivity so you can switch from your laptop to your iPad to your iPhone seamlessly.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: Satechi Slim X2 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard against a white background

(Image credit: Satechi)

7. Satechi Compact Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard

Thin yet full keyboard

Reasons to buy

+
Great to type on
+
Slim design makes it easy to put away

Reasons to avoid

-
More than $75/£75

Satechi is known for its solid products that feel like they could take a beating, even this X2 Bluetooth keyboard that’s among the slimmest keyboards we’ve used. Optimized for Mac, it boasts backlit keys that are amazingly comfortable to type on, multi-device connectivity (up to 4, in fact), and the exact color scheme that most MacBooks have for a match made in Apple heaven.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: Seagate One Touch SSD against a white background

(Image credit: Seagate)

8. Seagate One Touch SSD

External SSD to put in your pocket

Reasons to buy

+
Pocket-sized but high capacity
+
Cute design

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap

It’s almost impossible that something so tiny and lightweight – small enough to easily slip in your shirt pocket – can carry up to 1TB of data. It’s also built to be robust. In fact, Seagate is so confident about its build, it’s added a loop so you can attach it to a carabiner clip to hang on your backpack. We also love its smart woven fabric exterior. Since it’s an SSD, you can be assured that it’s fast and secure.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable SSD against a white background

(Image credit: SanDisk)

9. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (500GB)

Rugged SSD for field classes and studies

Reasons to buy

+
Rugged
+
Portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheaper options are available

Keeping your files safe and portable may be this external SSD’s top priority, but it also takes pride in its rugged build. This thin and tiny storage drive comes with a two-meter drop protection and an IP55 rating, which means it’s protected from dust ingress and low pressure water jets. Rain or shine, it can take a beating, making it your ideal companion for doing on-the-field school work and projects.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: HP E14 G4 against a white background

(Image credit: HP)

10. HP E14 G4 Portable Monitor

Slim portable display with a gorgeous panel

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning screen
+
Thin and portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Sells out sometimes

We can honestly say that the HP E14 G4 portable monitor is the most appealing portable monitor we’ve used (and we’ve tested quite a few of them). Touting a 1080p resolution and a whopping 400 nits of brightness in an unbelievably thin and light form, this might just be all you need if you need a bit of extra screen space. It’s even got a 65W power passthrough and a nifty anti-glare feature.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: Dell 4K S3221QS Curved Monitor against a white background

(Image credit: Dell)

11. Dell S3221QS

A 4K display that delivers deeper immersion

Reasons to buy

+
4K resolution
+
Beautiful design

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 60Hz

If you’re ready to upgrade to a 4K monitor, you cannot go wrong with Dell’s curved offering. The Dell 4K S3221QS is a 32-incher with a stunning woven back design in white, making it better looking than most monitors, and a deep 1800R curvature for an even more immersive experience. Because it is Dell, it’s got 300 nits of brightness, much like the popular XPS line.

best back to school accessories for MacBook: Beats Studio Buds against a white background

(Image credit: Beats)

12. Beats Studio Buds

Airpods alternative with noise cancellation for a student’s budget

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality
+
Comfortable to wear

Reasons to avoid

-
ANC could be stronger
-
Lackluster call quality

This new release from Beats is a more accessible alternative to those premium Airpod Pros you’ve been eyeing. It’s more affordable for back to school season than the classic Airpods while offering features that are more on par with the Pros, including ANC, transparency mode, on-ear touch controls, and a great sound. It’s also easy to use and has a good battery life that slightly beats out that of the pros.

Michelle Rae Uy
Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is the Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.