How to build the ultimate MacBook setup — the perfect pick for every accessory

M3 MacBook Pro review
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to building the ultimate MacBook setup, buying the right laptop is only half the battle. Whether you want a MacBook for on-the-go portability, taking notes in college, splicing up Hollywood movies, or anything in between, supplementing your pick with great peripherals will vastly enhance your experience. 

In situ, a MacBook can be transformed with a good monitor, a nice keyboard, and a precise mouse into a tool of limitless productivity. Pick the right mouse and keyboard, and you can even bring them with you on the go. 

With Prime Day Apple deals just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to pick up some great new MacBook accessories, or even your very first MacBook. So whether you’ve already got a device to hand, or you’re waiting for a good Prime Day MacBook deal, here’s how you can build the ultimate MacBook setup. 

A MacBook

As noted, you might be starting out with your setup MacBook in hand, but if that’s not the case, here are a couple of great deals you can score on a Mac right now.

MacBook Air M3 | $1,099$999 at Amazon

MacBook Air M3 | $1,099 $999 at Amazon

Get a 13-inch MacBook Air for just $999. With an M3 chip, it's plenty powerful and portable too. It also comes with two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, and support for up to two external displays with the lid closed. 

Price check: $1,099 at Best Buy | $1,099 at B&H Photo | $1,099 at Apple

MacBook Pro M3 Pro 14-inch|$1,699 at Amazon

MacBook Pro M3 Pro 14-inch| $1,999 $1,699 at Amazon

Get a potent M3 Pro MacBook Pro with 120Hz display, 11-core CPU, 14-core GPU, and 18GB of Unified Memory, as well as 512GB of SSD storage. 

Price checker: $1,999 at Apple | $1,999 at Best Buy | $1,699 at B&H Photo

Once you’ve got that new MacBook in hand, you can start building your ultimate setup. 


The MacBook’s small screen might make it portable and lightweight, but if you want to get a bit more done with more display real estate, especially at home or in the office, a monitor is the way to go. 

Our pick for the best monitor for MacBook Air (and by extension any MacBook), is the Philips 27B1U7903. It boasts a potent 4K display with great pixel density thanks to its 27-inch size. There’s also a ton of connectivity thanks to one DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and one Thunderbolt 4 port (upstream, data, video, PD 90 W). The latter means you’ll be able to plug in your MacBook and charge it, all while delivering the data to run the display at the same time. In fact, it’s got so many ports it basically serves as a hub, letting you plug in extra peripherals. It’s not cheap, but when you’re building the ultimate setup, only the best will do. Perhaps most importantly, it boasts mini-LED display tech for excellent brightness and contrast.

Philips 27B1U7903 | $1,012 at Amazon

Philips 27B1U7903 |  $1,012 at Amazon

This 4K UHD mini-LED is our absolute favorite MacBook monitor, and won’t let you down. It comes with a matte display finish, great brightness, contrast, and detail, and a peak brightness of 1400 nits for DisplayHDR. 


There’s really only one pick when it comes to a great Mac mouse, and it’s the Logitech MX Master 3S for Mac. The 3S, like its predecessor, has established itself as the standard when it comes to Mac mouse performance. It’s wireless, features touch scroll, and comes with extras such as thumb buttons. Available in two colors that’ll match any Mac, it remains unparalleled in the market.  

Logitech MX Master 3S$99 at Amazon

Logitech MX Master 3S | $99 at Amazon

Logitech's MX Master 3S is widely regarded as the best Mac mouse that money can buy, even with a paltry $10 off it's a no-brainer in our build. 

Price check: B&H Photo not available | Best Buy not available 


We have tested a lot of keyboards at iMore. If you’re serious about getting work done, you’re going to want to replace that MacBook keyboard with a great mechanical alternative that sounds and feels great. Having a keyboard with a great typing feel can make all the difference to note-taking, transcribing, or pushing that college assignment over the line before it's due. To that end, we’d recommend the Nuphy Halo75. As the name suggests, it’s a 75%-size keyboard with 83 keys. It’s wireless with support for both Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz. It’s also got some very cool lighting effects, or you can turn these off to achieve more than 300 hours of battery life. This is a great desktop installation, or indeed would work as a portable number you can toss into a backpack along with your MacBook. Like the MX Master 3S Mouse, this can easily be taken on the go. 

nuphy Halo75 V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard$149 at Amazon

nuphy Halo75 V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | $149 at Amazon

Nuphy’s Halo75 is a compact keyboard with tremendous typing feel, moody lighting, and great connectivity. It’s small and portable, and the battery life won’t let you down during even the longest essay and coding session. 

Price check: B&H Photo not available | Best Buy not available

More from iMore

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9