The Top Holiday Gift Ideas and Gift Guide for Mac Lovers

BY George Tinari

Published 10 Dec 2016

It’s the holiday season and you’re bound to know someone who is a longtime Mac fanatic. That’s why it’s a good idea to read through this year’s iPhoneHacks Mac holiday gift guide. These are our top picks for the best Mac, MacBook cases, and accessories. They should make great gifts this year (some are even stocking stuffers) and there is something for every budget.

Recommended Mac: 12-inch MacBook ($1299)

Deep breaths for this one. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is brand new and the Touch Bar is awesome, but unfortunately it’s been plagued by a lot of issues and mediocre reviews. Complaints about the lack of ports aside, users are reporting GPU problems, battery problems and even just subpar performance. A quick search on Twitter for “MacBook Pro” finds quite a bit of discontent. Plus, with prices starting at $1499 and $1799 for the Touch Bar model, the new MacBook Pro isn’t the easiest gift to give.

So for now, try the 12-inch MacBook instead. Don’t expect to get any professional work done on this machine though. It’s basically a replacement for the MacBook Air for everyday use. The notebook is extremely portable, has solid performance and battery life and even comes in colors. You won’t find any ports other than USB-C here either though, but that’s the price you pay to sign up for Apple’s future.

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Griffin BreakSafe

Image credit: Griffin Technology

Recommended Power Cable: Griffin Breaksafe Magnetic USB-C ($40)

One other downside to the lack of ports on the 12-inch MacBook and the new MacBook Pros is the removal of MagSafe. MagSafe connected your power cable to your MacBook via magnets, so if you tripped over the cable it would just easily yank out instead of taking the whole notebook with it. Griffin has a great accessory though called the Breaksafe that essentially restores the MagSafe concept while preserving USB-C connectivity.

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Recommended Adapter: Nonda USB-C to USB 3.0 ($11)

Let’s be realistic. No one denies that USB-C is the future and Apple is headed in the right direction by adopting it, but it’s far from the present. Most accessories still use traditional USB-A for power and data transfer. When reality strikes and you’re using a 12-inch MacBook or new 13-inch MacBook Pro, you’re going to want one of these USB-C to USB 3.0 adapters. They’re compact and cost just 11 bucks, cheap enough to get a few of them for multiple cables.

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Image credit: Inateck

Recommended Sleeve Case: Inateck 2-in–1 ($16)

Inateck’s MP1305 sleeve case is a terrific option for MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and as a bonus, 12.9-inch iPad Pro owners. It’s a gray felt sleeve that keeps your notebook snug and protected, but it also folds into a stand offering two angles of support. The thin sleeve adds minimal weight, yet is pretty stable in real world use and cools down the computer a little bit too. It’s available for 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs and Pros. Sadly, there is no version for the 12-inch MacBook, though you can just get a regular sleeve from Inateck without the stand function instead.

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Recommended Hard Shell Case: Top Case ($12-$22)

If you’re looking to protect your MacBook from scratches, a snap-on hard shell case might do that trick. For that, we recommend the Top Case. It’s a simple plastic shell that shields the MacBook’s enclosure from a cruel world and comes in a variety of colors. The great part about Top Case though is it also comes with a matching keyboard cover to protect that as well, plus add a little extra personality. The Top Case is available for all models of Mac notebooks.

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Image credit: Beats

Recommended Headphones: Beats Solo3 ($250)

Even though all MacBook and MacBook Pros still have headphone jacks unlike the iPhone 7, it’s probably a safe bet they’re on their way out. It’s time to invest in a pair of wireless headphones and a great choice would be the new Beats Solo3. They use Apple’s W1 chip to connect seamlessly with your Mac and any other new Apple devices with iCloud, plus get a whopping 40 hours of battery life. To top it off, sound has improved quite a bit from the Solo2. Apple is getting serious about the Beats line and so should you.

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Recommended Power Bank: ZeroLemon ToughJuice ($80)

It’s not easy to find a 30,000 mAh power bank for under $100, but the ZeroLemon ToughJuice fits the bill. It has enough battery power to provide the 12-inch MacBook with a full charge. It can charge larger MacBooks too, just not fully. It’s flexible as can be too with three USB-A outputs, a QuickCharge 2.0 output and even a USB-C output. That means it can also charge iPhones, Android phones, tablets and more. ToughJuice can charge an iPhone 6s 11 times. Power banks are must-haves for people who frequently travel and often lack access to a power outlet.

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That wraps up our Mac holiday gift guide! These gifts are sure to please any techie. Happy Holidays!

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