Satechi Aluminum Type-C Multimedia Adapter

Let’s face it, as nice as it sounds in theory when we look at Apple’s newest MacBooks, most of us are just not quite ready yet for a USB-C-only world. Fortunately, Satechi has us covered; the company makes some of the nicest USB-C hubs we’ve seen for Mac users, matching the design aesthetic of modern MacBooks perfectly. Satech’s latest offering is its Aluminum Type-C Multimedia Adapter, which provides two card slots and a total of seven ports — including USB-C Power Delivery output — that should give most MacBook users just about everything they need.

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$4
Apps

Charles Aroutiounian Hue Menu 3

Apple still hasn’t brought HomeKit support to the Mac, but if you’re a user of Philips’ Hue system, you have other options available. Charles Aroutiounian first brought his app for controlling Hue devices to the Mac five years ago, and now with Hue Menu 3 the app has undergone a major overhaul under the hood, and most significantly added TouchBar support for users of the newest MacBooks.

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$60

Twelve South BookArc möd for MacBook

For many Mac users, the aesthetic of a MacBook Pro is just as important as what’s under the hood, and we’ve always admired Twelve South’s approach to creating accessories that blend right in, such as its venerable BookArc — a vertical MacBook stand with a design that matches the MacBook’s brushed aluminum look perfectly. Now comes BookArc möd, a new version of the stand that concedes that not everybody is into the metallic look, and sports a design more in tune with wood-focused desktops.

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$20
Apps

Coriolis Systems Aura

It’s a little-known feature of most Macs that the 3.5 mm headphone port actually doubles as a optical S/PDIF port, which means that given the right cable, you can get a high-quality PCM audio stream right into the optical input on your stereo receiver. Unfortunately, since macOS lacks native support for advanced codecs like Dolby Digital AC-3, you’ll be limited to two-channel audio unless you’re using an app like DVD Player. This is where Coriolis Systems’ new Aura comes in — it’s a little $20 utility from the developer known for iDefrag and iPartition, which runs in the background to encode multi-channel audio from your Mac into a Dolby Digital AC-3 stream that can then be handled by any compatible receiver.

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$200
Apps

Apple Logic Pro X 10.4

Apple has unveiled another big update to its Logic Pro X ($200) recording app, with version 10.4 adding new temp detection technology and a range of new effect plug-ins. The new Smart Tempo feature now automatically manages tempo across all of the content in a project so that users can record tracks more naturally without having to use a metronome or click track to stay in sync with other content in the same project. Similarly, recordings of varying tempos can be merged together and synced up in tempo from different sources.

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$70 / year
Apps

Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac

Although Apple’s own iWork suite provides a decent set of productivity tools for personal use, it’s pretty hard to argue that Microsoft’s Office suite remains the 800-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to features and compatibility for exchanging documents with others. Even though Microsoft tends to lag a bit behind in their Mac versions, they provide reasonably good support for the Mac platform, making it easier for users to work on files from their own computers, or even to use their Macs at work. With the latest update to Office 2016 for Mac, Microsoft has finally brought real-time collaboration and cloud-based autosave to the Mac apps, bringing them closer to their Windows brethren, and more importantly allowing Mac users into the collaborative playground of their Windows-using colleagues.

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$29, $151
Apps
$4,999 and up
Macs

Apple iMac Pro

After years of speculation and months of hype, Apple has released the iMac Pro, its most impressive desktop computer to date. The iMac Pro features options for 8, 10, 14 or 18-core Xeon processors — with a notable price jump for every higher level — up to 128GB of RAM and up to 4TB of internal flash hard drive storage. The 8 and 10-core models are available now, with 14 and 18-core models expected to be available at some point next year. Radeon Pro Vega graphics provide up to 16GB of High Bandwidth Memory — twice as fast as any previous iMac GPU — providing higher framerates for VR applications and real-time 3D rendering for more lifelike special effects and smoother gameplay at maximum resolution.

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$50
January 2018
Peripherals

Satechi Aluminum Type-C Clamp Hub Pro for iMac

While the new iMac Pro lacks the internal expansion capabilities of prior “Pro” desktop Macs, Satechi at least has some of that covered with its new Aluminum Type-C Clamp Hub Pro. Available for pre-order today and shipping in January, Satechi’s new hub connects to one of your iMac’s Thunderbolt 3 ports and then clamps onto the bottom of your iMac — either the 2017 iMac Pro, iMac Retina 4K, and 27-inch iMac Retina 5K — and provides a front-facing data-only USB-C port, three front-facing USB 3.0 ports with up to 5 Gbps data transfer speeds, and a Micro/SD card reader.

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$150
Mounts

Twelve South HiRise Pro stand

Ahead of tomorrow’s iMac Pro release, Twelve South has revealed its new HiRise Pro stand, an update of the older HiRise iMac stand. The stand allows any iMac’s base to slide in through the top and rest on an adjustable shelf within the base, allowing users to raise their display from just under 1 inch up to 3.5 inches. A slot in the back allows for access to ports and a hinged door on the front allows the space inside the stand to be used for storage of other devices, peripherals and anything else cluttering up the desk top. The door contains multiple slots for ventilation and can be flipped around to either match the gunmetal finish of the case or display a walnut inlay. The stand costs $150 and is available on the Apple Store.

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Epson Expression Photo HD Wide-format Printer

While most people have taken to social media to display their photos these days, there’s still something to be said for quality prints to hang on the wall or mail to loved ones, and Epson is betting there are still people out there who have a fondness for paper and ink. The company’s new Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wide-format Printer is billed as a top-notch photo producer, able to print borderless photos as large as 13” x 19”. The device requires six different Claria Photo HD ink cartridges — including new red and gray inks — to produce its wide color gamut, and features a 200-sheet front tray and a 50-sheet rear specialty tray for media like cardstock. Like most newer printers the Expression Photo HD can be used wirelessly, and for more routine document printing the printer offers automatic two-sided printing in a fairly small footprint.

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$149
Cases

Apple Leather Sleeve for 12‑inch MacBook

While it was easy to miss amidst all of the excitement of iPhone X pre-orders, Apple also quietly rolled out a new MacBook accessory in the form of its Leather Sleeve for 12‑inch MacBook.

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$50
Cases

Twelve South BookBook CaddySack

One of the most common complaints we’ve heard from readers about Apple’s latest MacBooks is the sheer number of cables and dongles that are now required with the switch to an all-USB-C design — Apple’s laptop is slick and portable by itself, but not so much when you consider the number of cables you may have to carry around to handle everything from USB flash drives to digital projectors. Fortunately, Twelve South has got you covered with its new CaddySack, the latest entry in its BookBook product lineup. It’s a luxe leather case designed specifically to carry all of your MacBook essentials.

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Logitech MX Ergo Trackball

After more than a decade of mice and trackpads, Logitech has brought back the classic trackball design in the form of MX Ergo, an advanced wireless trackball designed with a focus on both comfort and precision. Inspired by feedback from Logitech trackball users over the years, MX Ergo features an adjustable hinge for comfortable ergonomics and a precision tracking feature that allows users to quickly switch cursor speeds for finer-grained navigation.

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$30
Decor

Twelve South Inspire [mac candle N°2]

While it may be a bit of a stretch to call this one a Mac accessory, Twelve South’s new Inspire [mac candle N°2] makes for a whimsical and worthwhile entry to close off a busy week. The venerable Mac accessory maker released its first Mac-inspired candle as a unique holiday gift last year to much acclaim among tech enthusiasts, and has followed it up this year with a new iteration in a whole new form and a scent that leans more toward the practical (as opposed to last year’s candle which was designed to smell like opening a new Mac). Mac Candle No. 2 instead features a unique blend of bergamot and armoise, with hints of lemon, amber, tarragon and musk for a unique smell and a scent profile that Twelve South claims is meant to clear your mind of clutter and stimulate creativity, presented in a vessel intended as an homage to Apple’s design ethos. More importantly, however, Twelve South is using the proceeds form candle sales in support of the popular FIRST charity that runs programs to motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM related fields. Inspire [mac candle N°2] is once again being released as a limited edition product for the 2017 holiday season, making it a novel gift for any Apple enthusiast.

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