I need a good accessory charging solution for MacBook Pro
April 20, 2021 5:24 AM   Subscribe

I have two MacBooks in the house: a 2015 MacBook Pro that actually has a couple of USB ports, and now my new work laptop, a 2019 with four lightning ports and nothing else. Every ding dang thing charges by regular USB and not lightning. WTF do you do with all this stuff?

My accessories/peripherals consist of the following:

1) Dongle that is lightning to USB, HDMI, and another lightning port
2) Monitor to come that will be an HDMI out
3) iPhone 12 (that I guess I could wirelessly charge but I don't have a wireless charger rn)
4) Jabra headset that requires USB to charge and USB to hook up to my laptop (little chip USB thing)
5) Keyboard that has to charge every now and then
6) Magic mouse that likewise needs to charge every now and then

I have a charging bank thing by my bed that charges my phone at night, along with whatever bluetooth headphones I'm using, my partner's phone sometimes, my kindle, and a few other items. I can't fit all this stuff on my bedside table to charge, and when I look on Amazon at ALL THE OPTIONS I am pretty overwhelmed. I am stuck with all this stuff in my house until/unless I go back to the office (which I don't really want to do) and I just want to charge it all at my desk and not deal with it outside of that. I hate this kind of clutter. HOPE ME.
posted by Medieval Maven to Shopping (6 answers total)
Best answer: Your laptop has thunderbolt ports, not lightning, that might help you search. Thunderbolt ports are basically USB C, and there are a lot of options for USB C hubs. I would replace the dongle you’re using with one that has HDMI for your monitor and 2-3 regular USB ports for you to use. Then you only have one thing to plug into your laptop, with everything else going through the hub. If you’re having trouble narrowing down the list, I have a cheaper 3rd party hub but the AUKEY brand is usually pretty reliable:

AUKEY 8-in-1 Hub
posted by impishoptimist at 5:52 AM on April 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

I can't help you with hubs and such but can recommend Rolling Square's inCharge X cables. One FAST cable with USB-A, USB-C, MicroUSB, and Lightning.

I use one to charge all of the following:

Android quickcharge phones (Note20 Ultra; OnePlus 8 Pro)
Friend's iPhone 8
Boox Nova2
The front and back lights on my bike
The horn on my bike
Macbook Air M1
Google Pixelbook
My bathroom scale
iPad Pro
Galaxy Buds+ earbuds

When travelling, it's a relief to only bring one cable for all devices. In fact, I only have one device that it can't charge (TextBlade keyboard), but that charges with the wall wart that the cable plugs in to so no extra cable required.

I love these cables so much I started carrying them in my Toronto store. Fantastic and durable piece of tech.
posted by dobbs at 6:13 AM on April 20, 2021

It's not clear to me exactly what problem you're trying to solve for. If you want to plug things in to your 2019 MBP, then the hub that impishoptimist suggests is exactly what you want. If you, instead, are just interested in charging, there's not really a good reason to do the charging through your laptop. I have one of these wall charging stations at work that works well (you can find ones with USB-C, too, if that interests you). I've found that decoupling the charging from the laptop works better, overall.
posted by Betelgeuse at 6:14 AM on April 20, 2021

Best answer: I use a slightly older version of this Anker 10-port USB hub, along with this cable to make it connect to my Mac's USB-C (Thunderbolt) port.
posted by kidbritish at 8:06 AM on April 20, 2021

If you are just CHARGING the items, use a charge-only hub.

This is the Aduro 6 port charge-only hub. You plug this into the AC, you get 6 ports to charge anything you want.

They make them in all sorts of shapes and sizes, some stay on the wall outlet, some sit on your desk, and so on.

FWIW, I have way too many accessories and I have a tower-style power strip and TWO of these charge-only hubs on my desk. :D

But I agree with the first answer: you need a hub (to act as a docking station), but I also think you need a SEPARATE charge-only hub just for your accessories. It may not have to be a 6 port.
posted by kschang at 8:12 AM on April 20, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks guys, I was beanplating and also I am not enough of a Computer Person to realize the difference between my iPhone connector and the ports on my laptop, I just knew they looked vaguely the same. I ordered both the one for my computer and the desk one (for charging my headphones and keyboard and suchwhat) and I think it will be fine.

I'm going to be in this WFH setup for at least another 6 months and while I love the not-commuting portion of this experience, the technology clutter I'm living with is making me insane. This is what I get for having a cute one-bedroom in the city.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:38 AM on April 22, 2021

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