Top 4 Apple accessories under ₹5,000 - tested

You spent a lakh, now spend more!

Life inside the walled garden is often run by one motto, Money no object! And if you’re rocking the latest and greatest tech from the Cupertino giant, here are some accessories that we’ve reviewed and even used personally to make our WFH life easier. 

From laptop cooling pads to save your family jewels to snappy chargers, everything on this list is to enrich a thriving Apple world. Here’s something for your MacBooks, iPhones, iPad and Apple Watch. Take your pick.

Words: Nishant Padhiar, Khumail Thakur

1) Zinq Cool Slate (₹1,099)

There are some accessories that are just worth their weight in jewels. Laptop cooling pads fall in that category, making them as essential as they are peripheral. Zinq has a few, but the Cool Slate is the most accomplished with heavy ammunition, consisting of five fans with red lighting to announce their operation. 

Constructed of a mesh metal grille on the top and ABS plastic for the body, the Zinq Cool Slate is purposeful with the metal grille aiding in quick transfer of thermal energy and the plastic portion keeping it light. The total of five fans are controlled via two independent dials around the back of which one dial controls the four fans around the edges while the other just controls the larger, central unit. Taking charge from your laptop’s USB-A port, if you have a new generation MacBook, then a dongle (USB-A female to USB-C) will be in order. There’s another spare USB-A to connect another device to the Cool Slate, perhaps for charging purposes. 

The most impressive thing about the Cool Slate after it’s Star Wars set prop looks is how quietly the fans spin. Rated at about 1100 rpm, the speed is variable via the control dials and my 16in MacBook Pro, which does try hard to fry my unmentionables, was kept surprisingly cool. Well, cool might be an exaggeration since the palm rest areas of the laptop still get warm during heavy use, but at least the underside doesn’t make direct contact with your skin and effectively deflects the heat away. Of course, there will be a negative impact on your laptop’s battery life but it's minor enough to make the pros outweigh the cons. The other thoughtful touches are a stopper at the front end of the cooling pad to prevent the laptop from sliding down if you’re working in bed with bent legs. Alternatively, if you’re on a desk and need to angle the keyboard for a more ergonomic typing position, a two-step stand also works well to decouple the laptop from the desk. 

For less than Rs. 1100, the Zinq Cool Slate provides tremendous value and doesn’t feel uncomfortable sitting directly on your lap, although it looks like it would be. Sure, a foamy border wouldn't go unappreciated if you’re reading, “Zinq Zinq”. It manages to perform its singular task well, as long as the laptop you use isn’t a gaming beast with non-performing internal assets (fans). It’s worth investing in this to also prevent long term generational loss. 

Key specs ● 5 fans ● 2 USB ● 29 x 2 x 41cm ● 860g

Stuff says: ★★★★★

A worthwhile laptop accessory that doesn’t pinch the pocket and works as advertised.

2) Raegr MagFix Arc M1320 (₹2,999)

All the iPhone Twelves are rocking the MagSafe technology that basically adds an invisible ring of magnets to keep any and every MagSafe compatible accessory glued to the smartphone. Obviously, this is going to let a bunch of third party accessories run wild and come up with funky solutions like charging and accessorizing the iPhone 12. 

The Raegr MagFix Arc M1320 takes advantage of the MagSafe tech but spices it up a bit. This foldable wireless fast charger is made to be travel friendly and even sits down to charge non-MagSafe products like Apple AirPods Pro. Since it's Qi-compatible you can even charge Qi-compatible Android devices too. We used it to charge the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Although the magnets are not strong enough to hold the Ultra in place when placed on an upright charger, it can be charged properly if you place it after folding the charger. Apple iPhone 12 Series smartphones sit on the charger without budging an inch. The magnets are hella strong and keep the smartphone sliding down.

You can tilt the thing in any position and even keep the iPhone in a landscape mode. It’s pretty convenient as a desktop and travel charger. There’s no adapter in the box but you do get a USB Type-C to Type-C cable. Throw in a 20W fast charger adapter and the thing can juice up your iPhone at 15W wirelessly. It’s built like a tank too.

Key specs ● 15W charging (when used with a 20W adapter) ● 1 year + 6 months warranty ● Qi-compatible ● MagSafe + Foldable

Stuff says: ★★★★☆

For iPhone 12 purists, this is a great addition to your WFH desk or office

3) Stuffcool Napoleon PD65W (₹4,249)

A once revered militarian leader, Napoleon Bonaparte is now reduced to a millennial gag but let’s not distract ourselves. The Napoleon PD65W from Stuffcool is quite a revolutionary product in its own right. You see, it’s as tiny as 65W chargers get but it doesn’t end there. You also get an 18W output from the second USB port. This allows you to charge a wide range of devices. From the 65W for the MacBooks to the 18W for smartphones. 

If you’re charging devices using both the ports then the 65W port is reduced to 45W output but it can still charge some laptops and almost all tablets. It also has Samsung’s PPS protocol, which means if you’re rocking the latest S series or Note series Samsung smartphones, the charger will deliver the right amount of the highest possible power to the smartphone for it to fast charge. Yup, plug in a Galaxy S21 Ultra and the smartphone responds by saying ‘Super Fast charging!’. 

This adapter works well with the above Raegr MagFix Arc M1320 wireless charger. Plonk it on your desk and you can charge your MacBook and iPhone. Although you can’t charge them simultaneously. Our 15in MacBook Pro needs way too much juice so we had to stop using the 18W port while charging the MacBook Pro 15in. However, a MacBook Pro 13in or a MacBook Air should charge without any hassle. Only the 16in and 15in MacBooks require higher than 65W adapters to charge fast but this 65W should be just enough to charge them, even if its a wee-bit slower than the boxed 87W or 96W charger.

Stuff says: ★★★★☆

The only adapter you need in an adapter-less Apple world. This works best with smartphones and MacBook 13in and Air.

4) Raegr Arc 1350 (₹2,999)

Apple’s AirPower was a no show. So now we mortals are stuck wrestling with wires and fighting for plug ports with our loved ones. Wireless charging options are plenty but dedicating cables and plugs for each one of them requires patience and micromanagement that can only come after zen training. The Arc 1350 from Raegr is here to solve what AirPower was destined to. It’s a 10W + 10W power mat and comes with Qi charging for two devices like iPhones and AirPods Pro along with a dedicated 2.5W space in the centre for your Apple Watch. Qi-certified charging means it will work with any and every Qi-compatible device too, including Android smartphones. 

It doesn’t have the most sturdy construction so it’s meant to stay on your desk and never move. It’s best to solve the problem of charging multiple devices at once. Especially if you’re deep in the Apple ecosystem. It does heat up the devices a bit but that’s acceptable as long as you so understand the shortcomings of wireless charging. There’s also no MagSafe magnets here to snap the devices in their rightful spot and no fast charging as well. A traditional wireless charger meant to be used overnight and juice up your devices for the coming day.

Stuff says: ★★★★★

One wireless charging solution for three Apple devices. A single place to charge your Apple Watch, iPhone and AirPods too!