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Apple Accessories from Satechi and Twelve South - Make the Most of Your Great Gadgets

Glenn Hart,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Jan 2024, 1:37PM

Apple Accessories from Satechi and Twelve South - Make the Most of Your Great Gadgets

Glenn Hart,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Jan 2024, 1:37PM

The recent launches of the iPhone 14 series, M3-powered Macs and new Apple Watches were exciting in themselves but features like the upgrade to USB-C charging on the iPhones opened the door to a whole range of accessories to enhance the performance of those devices.

So whether you're trying to use your new Apple toys at their full potential or just want to bling them up a bit, as usual, Satechi and Twelve South have come to the party.

The first item on my little accessory must-have shopping list is the 200W USB-C 6-Port GaN charger from Satechi.

I've reviewed GaN chargers before and as a result, I'm totally converted. Just to recap, gallium nitride (GaN) is a safer, more efficient alternative to silicon. This means you can now have a higher wattage charging brick with more ports and most importantly, it'll be smaller.

This latest offering from Satechi is a classic example; 200W split between as many as six different devices. If one of those devices is a MacBook (or any other laptop for that matter) it can draw up to 140W to remain fully charged while still leaving 60W to juice up other devices like phones, tablets, smartwatches and earbuds.

Obviously, this makes for a convenient, one-stop-shop charging solution when you're travelling - even with family members - everyone can plug into one charger, dramatically reducing the need for adapters and available wall sockets.

But it also means an instant cleanup for your desk - either at home or in the office. No more double plugs or multi-boards required. What's more, there's a little stand included in the box so you can use the 6-Port GaN charger on its side, taking up even less space.

Take it from me, once you go GaN, you'll never go back.

However, to make to most of all that charging power, you need the right cable. Or cables plural.

Again, Satechi is here to help with the USB-C to USB-C 100W charging cable or the USB4 C-to-C cable.

Both of these are attractive, braided cables of the absolute highest quality and are both capable of carrying up to 100W of charging grunt.

Now, you may be thinking any USB-C cable can do that but over the last year or so I've learned this is far from the case. There are many, many different kinds of cables out there and just because they fit into a USB-C socket, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll do what you want them to. In fact, in the world of tech, the phrase "You get what you pay for" has never been more appropriate than when it's applied to the bewildering selection of USB-C cables.

If you're trying to charge a MacBook or other laptop, a basic two-dollar-shop phone cable probably isn't going to do the job and it's certainly unlikely to offer much in terms of data transfer - if anything at all.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are both capable of charging at 30W - but only with the right charger and cable combination. 

Not only will the Satechi USB-C to USB-C 100W carry that high-speed charge without breaking a sweat but it's also 2 metres long. This makes it significantly more useful than the standard cable Apple includes in its iPhone boxes.

Then the USB4 C-to-C option takes things a step further.

USB4 is the latest protocol offering an unreal data transfer speed of up to 40Gbps - as opposed to the 480Mbps of a standard iPhone cable. That means high-definition video output and lightning-fast file exchange - or to be more accurate; way faster than lightning - the old Lightning cables Apple devices used to rely on anyway.

So if you're recording straight to an external storage device, performing regular backups or just moving a lot of large files around, this is definitely the cable for you.

It's also the perfect cable to connect your MacBook, laptop or tablet to an external hub or dock - high-capacity Power Delivery and plenty of bandwidth for a fast ethernet LAN connection. The only real limitation to this beast of a cable is its length - or lack of it. At only 10-inches, you'll have to be pretty close to whatever you're plugging into.

However, cool accessories aren't always about tech specs. Sometimes they're just cool.

Like the Satechi Vegan-Leather Magnetic Wallet Stand.

This is a classic example of combining two good ideas to create a single brilliant one. The Magnetic Wallet Stand comes in black, dark blue, brown or orange and works exactly the same way as any other MagSafe wallet does, holding up to three cards - two in the compartment at the back and one tucked away in the internal slot. Then it can be conveniently attached or detached from the rear of your iPhone thanks to the magic of magnets. In fact, I reckon this wallet sticks even more securely to my phone than my previous Apple-branded MagSafe wallet.

But that, as they say, is not all.

This is also a solid, fold-out stand so you can prop your phone up for selfies, video calls or even to watch your favourite streamers. It works just as well in either portrait or landscape mode and its leather-like look and feel is extremely classy.

While the Wallet Stand is a little bit bulkier than a standard MagSafe wallet, because the card slot on the back holds just two cards with the third card concealed inside, it's actually not as thick as you might think. It's certainly still quite pocketable and definitely takes up less space than carrying around a tripod or selfie stick.

My final entry on today's accessory roundup is courtesy of Twelve South.

The TimePorter is for the Apple Watch wearer who has everything... well, who has a lot of Apple Watch bands anyway.

Almost without really meaning to, I seem to have accumulated a lot of different straps for my Apple Watch over the years. Not just a selection of colours but different styles too - some designed specifically for working out while others are more of a fashion choice.

The trouble is, they used to just float around in my bedside drawer, meaning some would get used more often while others would be pretty much forgotten about.

Like so many other Twelve South accessories, the TimePorter is so simple, it's genius. An attractive, glossy white wall rack for your Watch band collection, precisely engineered so you can just push one end of your band into the slot and it's held firmly in place until you need it again. There are a couple of adhesive strips on the back allowing you to attach it to the wall in just a few moments. It also includes a convenient joiner for connecting multiple TimePorters if you have more than six bands to hang up.

Despite the Twelve South website stating you can only fit seven bands on each TimePorter, I can actually put seven in mine without any trouble. The best thing is, now all my bands are tidily on display where I can easily access them, I tend to swap them out far more regularly.

This is the great thing about all these accessories - they take my Apple products, which were already fantastic - and make them even better.



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