$99
Cases

Timbuk2 Spire 15-Inch Laptop Backpack

Having made some of the most durable ballistic nylon bags we’ve ever tested—generally device-agnostic ones—Timbuk2 has set its sights firmly on MacBook Pro users with Spire ($99), a coated polyester backpack that looks a lot like recent designs we’ve loved from Chrome, STM Bags, and Mission Workshop. Built with a roll-top opening system and offered in either jet black or blue/gunmetal versions, Spire has a padded rear pocket with enough space for a 15” MacBook Pro, plus enough space for some large books, an iPad, and accessories.

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$20
Apps

Macphun Software Tonality

The forthcoming departure of the powerful image editor and manager Aperture from the OS X ecosystem has hit many photographers right in the gut. If you’re searching for an alternative and enjoy black & white photography, Macphun Software offers up Tonality ($20) for your pleasure. Tonality is a 16-bit RAW image editing application that allows users to quickly and efficiently process color RAW (or other format) images to Black & White.

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$129 -$149
Cases

Waterfield VertiGo 2.0 Laptop Bag

A new school year is right around the corner, to the joy of parents worldwide. Some students will be flocking to their nearest Apple Store to pick up MacBooks or iPads and they’ll need something to keep them safe for toting around. Waterfield, known for its high-end bags and sleeves, has introduced the VertiGo 2.0 Laptop Bag ($129 - $149). It’s a stylish bag for your new Mac or iPad that’s large enough to carry additional accessories.

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$20
Apps

Mac Attender Network Radar

Diagnosing problems with your Mac’s wireless network can be seriously challenging — average users can’t hope to master the science of examining individual devices for issues, or getting a big picture sense of how everything’s working together. Mac Attender’s Network Radar ($20) isn’t the least expensive way to help you tackle network issues, but it’s the best-designed option we’ve seen. After you choose a wireless or wired network to scan, it presents you with a list of green/yellow/red status devices, their IP addresses, vendor information, ping speeds, and last activity times. One glance lets you quickly determine what each device on your network is, as well as what might be slowing things down or failing to work at all. More detailed information, including the MAC Address, available services, and identifiers, can be found by clicking on any device that interests you.

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$30
Apps

Aspyr The Sims 2: Super Collection

Aspyr has announced the release of The Sims 2: Super Collection ($30) in the Mac App Store. A classic “life simulation” game first developed by EA’s Maxis, Sims 2 was originally released in 2004, and the Super Collection adds a ton of features that should entertain seasoned players and reel in some Sims newbies.

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$85
Cases

Pelican 1070CC HardBack Case

There may be a time when you need a case for your 11” MacBook Air that will get you through any situation. Designed for all scenarios, Pelican offers the stylish 1070CC HardBack Case ($85) with a molded foam insert, and non-skid rubber feet. Waterproof, crush-proof and dust-proof, the 1070CC is the rare MacBook case that can survive pretty much anything. Perhaps more important than those features is that Pelican offers a lifetime guarantee, providing a little extra peace of mind for precarious situations.

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$1,119-$2,999
Peripherals

Drobo Drobo Mini SSD

It’s not always easy to travel safely with self-created media content. Downloading from the cloud can be time-consuming, and traveling with stacks of external hard drives only expedites an inevitable disk failure. Enter the Drobo Mini SSD ($1,199-$2,999), an updated version of the Drobo Mini that can store up to 4TB in four drive bays. It has no moving parts, which is perfect for a traveling creative professional.

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Free
Apps

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Migration From Aperture Guide

Apple’s abrupt discontinuation of the photo editing and library management tool Aperture—software designed to hold hundreds of thousands of photos—left many professional users without many options, other than to convert their photo libraries to competing apps. As the chief beneficiary of Aperture’s impending demise, Adobe has released a migration guide from Aperture to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, walking through a manual export of photos from Aperture, then importation into Lightroom. An automated migration tool is currently being worked on, as well, so you can skip the guide if you’d rather wait for Adobe to release the app.

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Belkin Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter 4K/Ultra HD Compatible

If you’ve wanted to give an older Mac the ability to output to HDMI—useful for connecting some MacBooks and prior-generation Mac minis to most HDTVs or monitors—there are plenty of inexpensive options. But there’s also an affordable adapter that’s solidly built and more future-proof than most. Sold for only $15 through Amazon.com, Belkin’s Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter 4K/Ultra HD Compatible ($35) adds an HDMI port to any Mac with a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port. And if your machine has the right hardware, GPU, and version of OS X, you may be able to connect an Ultra HD 4K display to it, as well.

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Free
Apps

Shazam Entertainment Shazam

Shazam has been around for the iPhone since the earliest days of the App Store, and it’s one of those titles that’s really continued to get better with time. It’s not much of a surprise then, that the app has finally made it to the Mac; starting today, you can download Shazam Entertainment’s Shazam (Free) from the Mac App Store. The always-on tool lives in your Menu Bar, ready to name your tunes.

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$1,495 Each
Peripherals

MOTU 1248, 8M + 16A

Although it usually gets the most attention, video editing isn’t the only pro-level content creation that benefits from Thunderbolt. Audio does too, and MOTU is all-in with a new lineup of peripherals that prove that point. The company’s new 1248, 8M, and 16A ($1,495 each) audio interfaces all take advantage of the super-fast standard, helping musicians and audio engineers lay down their tracks.

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Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display (Mid 2014)

If you were waiting for later in the back-to-school season to buy a Mac, that patience has paid off — as long as you’re in the market for a MacBook Pro. As expected, Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro with Retina display ($1,299-$2,499+) this morning. The bumps are modest, but they come without a price increase. In fact, there are even some minor price cuts in the mix.

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Free
Apps

GuinpinSoft MakeMKV

There were those who were skeptical when Steve Jobs said Blu-ray was a “bag of hurt.” Many people thought the standard would one day come to Macs, despite Jobs’ early resistance. But here we are several years later, and optical disc drives are all but dead now across the Mac family; Blu-rays never were officially supported. However, if you own Blu-ray discs, you likely know there are lot of hardware and software options that allow you to read and play them. There’s also MakeMKV (Free), a tool for ripping them to your computer that works as long as you have the appropriate hardware.

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$70
Cases

Incase Icon Sleeve

Incase’s neoprene sleeves have long been a staple on Apple Store shelves, and that means plenty of people have ended up with one to accompany their new MacBook. The company has just taken a big step forward with its newest iteration, Icon Sleeve ($70). Available for the 13” and 15” MacBook Pro with Retina display, it uses a special material and construction to keep your computer safe.

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Griffin DJ Connect

Let’s face it: the days of DJs using true turntables is mostly a thing of the past. You may find a purist here and there, but most DJs now use digital turntables and computers—mainly Macs and sometimes even iPads—to spin. There are lots of advanced rigs out there, but Griffin’s new DJ Connect ($100) is a simple way to mix tunes. Plus, it’s designed to work with algoriddim’s djay app, a huge plus.

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