Upgrade your Mac setup with these products: My favorites

If you’re looking to take your desk setup to the next level, this is the guide for you. Head below for some of my favorite products that can improve your working setup, ranging from accessories to decorations and more. All of the things on this list are things I’ve personally used and can vouch for.

Wi-Fi 6E routers

Wi-Fi is here, and it offers some substantial performance and reliability improvements. If you’re looking to make an upgrade to your home setup, now’s a great time to do it. Here’s a rundown of Apple’s devices that support Wi-Fi 6E:

  • iMac (24-inch, 2023)
  • MacBook Pro (14-inch, Nov 2023)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, Nov 2023)
  • MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2023) or MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2023) 
  • Mac mini (2023)
  • Mac Studio (2023)
  • Mac Pro (2023)
  • iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation) or iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation)

Our favorite Wi-Fi 6E hardware comes from Eero, which offers whole-home mesh systems at compelling prices.

Satechi desk mat

Visually, one of my favorite upgrades to a work-from-home desk setup is the addition of a nice desk mat. My recommendation in this category comes from Satechi, which offers an eco-leather desk mat in a trio of different colors at a compelling $39.99 price point.

I’ve been using these for a while and find them to be very durable and versatile, thanks to the dual-sided design. Notably, one of the sides doesn’t feature a Satechi logo, which makes it the best side.

200W USB-C 6-port GaN charger

You can never have too many USB-C ports for charging your various accessories and devices. Satechi’s USB-C 200W GaN Charger packs six USB-C ports that can charge any of your accessories or devices at full speed.

I’ve grown to love having this thing on my desk, so I always have a place to charge whatever device needs some juice at any given time. It’s pricey, but it’s worth the investment.

OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock

One of the more integral additions to my setup this year was the OWC Thunderbolt Dock, a version we also went hands-on with earlier this year. 

The OWC Thunderbolt Dock I’m using in my setup offers four Thunderbolt 4 ports with support for up to 40Gb/s transfer speeds, four USB-A ports, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm audio jack, and gigabit Ethernet. I have the dock mounted on the underside of my desk, so it’s hidden and out of the way, but its ports are still accessible.

Laptop stands from Twelve South

If you or the person you’re buying for uses a MacBook at their desk, the addition of a dedicated laptop stand can be a considerable ergonomics improvement. I’ve been a fan of the Twelve South Curve for over four years and can highly recommend it to MacBook users.

Twelve South also offers the ParcSlope as another option for MacBook users, and it even comes in an updated matte black finish that looks sleek on any desk.

Another option from – you guessed it – Twelve South is the Curve Flex, which you can see above. This one features a premium aluminum build that is adjustable. It can be raised or lowered right to your liking.

Nomad Stand One

Nomad makes some of my favorite accessories for iPhone, and the company’s latest Stand One is no exception. The Stand One is a premium vertical charger with built-in MagSafe support. It’s made from aluminum and features an integrated 2-meter braided USB-C cable. It can charge your iPhone at up to 15W speeds.

The Nomad Stand One is available in two colors: silver/white or carbide.

While the Nomad Stand One is a gorgeous iPhone charger, you might prefer something with a 2-in-1 design. My favorite option here is the Belkin 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand with MagSafe, while another more affordable option is available from Satechi.

This stand from Belkin is pricey, but it features a sturdy design with an upright MagSafe stand for your iPhone and an integrated spot for your AirPods in the base. It can charge your iPhone at the fastest possible MagSafe speeds, up to 15 watts. It uses a single-cable design for powering the MagSafe charger and AirPods charger.

Keychron Q5 mechanical keyboard

I made the jump to a mechanical keyboard this year, and I haven’t looked back since. I’m personally using the Keychron Q5, which features a backlit design, a built-in volume knob, USB-C connectivity, and a customizable design.

In addition to those benefits, I’ve found my switch to the Keychron Q5 to be a significant ergonomics improvement. The elevated design has significantly reduced wrist pain during long writing sessions in comparison to something like Apple’s Magic Keyboard.

The Keychron Q5 is somewhat pricey at just under $230, but there are also more affordable mechanical keyboard options out there. One of our favorites is the Logitech MX Mechanical wireless keyboard, which is also more compact than the Keychron option as well as wireless.

Satechi headphone stand

Satechi’s 2-in-1 Headphone Stand is one of the things on my desk that I get asked about most often. It features a hook design to hold your headphones, with a base that doubles as a Qi charger for your iPhone or AirPods.

On the back of the 2-in-1 Headphone Stand are two separate USB-C ports. One of these is a UBS-C input port that can be connected to power, while the other is a USB-C output port. 

The single USB-C input provides enough power for the Qi charger in the base, as well as to power the second USB-C output. The Qi charging pad provides up to 7.5W of power and works with any Qi-supported device, including iPhones, AirPods, and more. 

Under-desk headphone mount

Another option for headphone storage comes from Elevation Lab. The Anchor Under-Desk Headphone Stand mounts to the underside of your desk using adhesive and can hold up to two pairs of headphones at the same time.

HomeKit light strips

For accent lighting, you can never go wrong with some HomeKit light strips for your desk. Whether you place them behind your desk or underneath, they can provide ambience and personalization for your desk setup. HomeKit compatibility allows you to control the brightness and color from your iPhone or using Siri.

HomeKit light strips have gotten significantly cheaper over the years, with options now coming in at under $50 from reliable manufacturers on Amazon.

Philips Hue Play Light Bar

A higher-end option for desktop accent lighting comes from Philips Hue and the company’s Play Light Bar. These can provide some beautiful accent lighting for your office and desk, either with a stand or by being mounted to the back of your display.

These, however, are pricier than a basic light strip, and you’ll also need a Philips Hue Bridge for full functionality.

HomeKit desk lamp

Rounding out our focus on lighting is a basic HomeKit-capable desk lamp. You can pick up a sleek HomeKit desk lamp from a company like Meross on Amazon for under $50. I’ve personally been using this Meross desk lamp for a long time and haven’t had any problems with it.

The reason I’ve included multiple different lighting accessories in this guide is that I think having subtle and customizable lighting around you can be great for productivity. This is especially true if you’re working in a room or office with bright fluorescent overhead lighting.

Logitech MX Master 3S

I’ve been singing the praises of Logitech’s MX lineup of mice for years, and absolutely nothing has changed. The latest Logitech MX Master 3S is a supremely excellent mouse for your Mac. Ergonomically, I find it to be significantly better than something like Apple’s Magic Mouse.

The MX Master 3S is also fully customizable using Logitech’s Options software on the Mac. You can assign the different buttons to macOS features, like mission control, expose, the app switcher, and much more.

Under-desk Storage Shelf

Looking for a way to keep clutter off your desk? This HumanCentric Under Desk Storage Shelf is a great option. It attaches to the underside of your desk using adhesive strips and can be used to store things like your keys, wallet, AirPods case, and more.

This might not seem like the most exciting accessory choice, but trust me when I say I’ve loved adding this to my setup.

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

If you’re a coffee drinker who finds themselves getting distracted and letting your coffee get cold, the Ember Smart Mug can help solve that problem. There’s a companion app for iPhone that lets you control the temperature, and the battery inside the mug can keep your coffee warm for up to 80 minutes.

Under $20 WFH upgrades

To round out this guide, I thought it’d be helpful to include some more affordable desk and work-from-home accessories.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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