Holiday gift guide 2018: Here are the best gift ideas for Mac owners

in General Discussion edited November 2018
The holiday shopping season is upon us, and like every year, there are thousands of choices for the Mac user in your life. AppleInsider discusses some we like very much, and that may just bring a smile to the recipient's face.

Pick the best gifts for the Mac fan in your life
Pick the best gifts for the Mac fan in your life

Microsoft Office Home & Student 2019

Give someone the gift of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint now and you may be giving yourself a few headaches as they phone you with questions. Yet the one question you can dodge with this specific edition of Office is how to buy it for them again next year without seeming unimaginative.

Word 2019 (credit: Microsoft)
Word 2019 (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft wants everyone to buy Office via a subscription and there are lots of advantages to doing that but right now $149 will get you the basic Office suite to own for good. No monthly fees, no renewing your subscription, just Word, Excel and PowerPoint forever.

Buy them Microsoft Office Home & Student 2019 now and you'll also be saving them the very confusing job of figuring out which version of Office is which. We've studied the Home, Personal and Business ones and this sole one-time fee option is the best value when you're buying it as a gift for someone else.

Logitech MX Master 2S

You might not think of a mouse as a prime gift, but once you've tried the MX Master 2S ($99.99) it may hard to go back. It's exceedingly comfortable, and has a 4,000dpi "darkfield" sensor that should work on any surface, even glass tables and desks. You can also pair to as many as three devices and switch between them at will.

Our only real criticism involves the claw-shaped "forward" and "back" buttons, which take some getting used to and are a little too easy to hit accidentally.

HyperX Cloud Mix

As we said in our review, the Cloud Mix ($199.99) is a high-performing set of headphones that you can use with both your Mac and your iPhone. When you're done with gaming or meetings on your Mac, you can unplug the boom mic and 3.5mm cable, turn on Bluetooth, and walk out the door. An onboard mic and playback controls smooth out the mobile experience.

TwelveSouth Curve

The Curve ($49.99) elevates a MacBook for easier viewing, simultaneously opening up desk space. That can be convenient if you've got a Thunderbolt dock or external storage, or just want to reduce desktop clutter in general. Any MacBook will fit.

Twelve South BookArc Stand for MacBook

While connecting a MacBook or MacBook Pro to a dock to take advantage of a larger display and peripherals is nice, not everyone wants to leave their notebook open and taking up too much desk space. The Twelve South BookArc Stand ($49.95) can hold a MacBook vertically on one side, taking up as little space as possible while leaving the ports open for use with accessories and external monitors.

Twelve South BookArc Stand for MacBook
Twelve South BookArc Stand for MacBook

The stand is supplied with three different sizes of insert, allowing it to work with thicker and thinner models without any wobbling. It is also available in a choice of Space Grey or Silver, to match the held MacBook.

Hideit MiniU Mount for Mac Mini

Know someone who bought a new Mac mini but either doesn't want it on their desk or would've preferred an iMac? If there are spare VESA mounting points available on the back of their monitor, the Hideit MiniU Mount ($18.99) may be the answer. The the cold-rolled steel mount is able to hide the Mac mini from view behind the monitor securely, while still allowing it to be easily slid out when required.

Hideit MiniU Mount for Mac mini
Hideit MiniU Mount for Mac mini

Effectively turning any appropriate monitor into an "iMac," the mount offers a similar level of free access to ports like the real thing, with all of the connections of the Mac mini easily accessible.

Knomo Bungo messenger bag

Originally from London, Knomo is now a worldwide company selling extremely high-quality bags and cases. Do check out the whole range because this messenger bag is just one of the firm's larger offerings, but we've been mistreating this Bungo bag for three years and it still looks new.

We'd list the equipment we carry around in it ourselves but instead look at Knomo's own example of just how much stuff you can get into this.

The 15.6-inch Bungo Leather Laptop Messenger Bag comes in brown or black and costs $349 direct from the maker.

WD 3TB My Passport

Everyone needs to regularly back up their data, but no-one really wants to shell out on an external drive. This offers a perfect opportunity to encourage those resistant to backing up no excuse to keep their data safe, by providing them with a hard drive.

WD My Passport external drive
WD My Passport external drive

The WD 3TB My Passport for Mac ($104.99) offers more than enough capacity for people to start using Time Machine and to secure their data, with this model already formatted for macOS and offering a variety of WD software and utilities to back up items from social media and cloud storage.

Peak Design Everyday Messenger and Backpack

Peak has hands down been one of our top bags -- in either messenger or backpack form. They have a stylish design, plenty of pockets, and so many unique features that separate it from the pack.

Each bag has a customizable interior to hold all your gear, be it a camera and a few lenses or just a battery pack and some headphones.

The separate compartment on the back can house both a 15-inch MacBook Pro as well as a 12.9-inch iPad Pro so you'll have no problem fitting your most essential tools. They've also their own zipper so removing them is a breeze without having to open the entire flap.

Both the Everyday Backpack (20L and 30L sizes) and the Everyday Messenger (13-inch and 15-inch sizes) are available on Amazon starting at $259 and $249 respectively.

Nomad Mousepad

Everyone needs a mousepad, espeically as an upgrade from the cheap rubbery neoprene ones often given away for free.

Nomad, our favorite leather accessory maker, has put their own spin on it with a massive 12.48 by 11.02 inch surface. That comes out to more than 137 square inches of usable space. It's oversized nature mimics the wonderfully large trackpads on the recent portable Macs.

It is crafted from Horween leather, a decades old tannery out of Chicago, and matches well to the companies other offerings such as their Apple Watch band, phone cases, and AirPods case.

Best part, because of the minimally treated leather, the more it is used the better patina it attracts over time.

You can grab it from Nomad now for $59.95 just in time to go with the new Mac mini.
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