$5
Apps

Mactaris Sight Control

Sight Control ($5) is the first app from Mactaris, and it’s a really cool idea: the app automatically identifies the camera built-in to your Mac, whether it’s an older iSight or more recent FaceTime/FaceTime HD camera, and then gives you total control over its output. You can adjust a number of settings including the exposure time, contrast, saturation, and white balance temperature until the picture is just how you want it. From there, almost any of your photo or video apps such as iChat/Messages, FaceTime, and Skype will reflect the changes.

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$10
Extras

Rockpool Designs CableStrip

Cords, cords, cords. Apple’s trying to reduce the need for them, but they’re not going entirely way, and will still clutter our desks and yours for some time to come. We’ve seen many cable organizers over the years, but few have been as simple or inexpensive as Rockpool Designs’ CableStrip ($10).

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iLuv iCB718 Card Reader with 2 USB Ports

Announced at CES this January, iLuv’s new set of Mac-matching adapters and cables are now shipping; some compete directly with products that Apple has been offering for years, while others are new and distinctive. Of the bunch, our favorite is iCB718 ($40), also known as the Card Reader with 2 USB Ports, for those who don’t speak part number.

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$95
Cases

Ogio Newt II Mono

Unless you’re a golfer, you may not be familiar with Ogio. The company is best known for its golf bags and apparel, but its full lineup includes plenty of other accessories, including some really cool bags. We’re particularly interested in Newt II Mono ($95). Like most computer backpacks on the market today, it’ll hold your Mac—up to a 15” MacBook Pro—plus your iPad and a whole lot more. What sets it apart from the crowd is the great design; it’s practical and cool, with a variety of different color options that transform it from sleek and futuristic to hip and funky.

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£200/~$314
Furniture

Haworth My Table Foldable Notebook Table

Having a huge desk isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially if you’re not the most organized person in the world. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of papers, gadgets, and coffee cups. That’s part of the reason we like Haworth’s My Table Foldable Notebook Table (£200/~$314); it’s small, yet functional. Now popping up in Apple Stores all across Europe, this compact desk would look pretty darn nice in the States, too.

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$50-$100
May 24, 2012
Apps

Panic Coda 2

If you code web sites on your Mac, Panic’s Coda is probably already one of the key apps in your arsenal. Years after its original release, Coda is about to receive a huge update with the release of Coda 2 ($50-$100), which is coming to the Mac App Store on May 24, 2012. Over 100 new features are being added, including changes that radically improve the user interface—and let you work across two different devices at the same time.

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$70
Widely Available Winter 2012/2013
Peripherals

Leap Motion Leap

If Apple has proven anything over the past five years, it’s that there’s no reason that computing needs to remain locked into traditional input schemes. Most people still use keyboards and mice, but Multi-Touch is quickly becoming the preferred method for many, and has been improving for complex tasks. Leap Motion is doing its part to shake up the status quo in a different way with limited pre-orders of its Leap ($70). The idea here is motion control; think Microsoft’s Kinect, but a whole lot smaller and supposedly more accurate, too.

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$120-$130 Each
Cases

STM Bags Nomad + Ranger

Like clockwork, STM Bags keeps pumping out impressive new designs. A few weeks ago we showcased Compass, the company’s purse-like offering. Now we’ve had a chance to check out the rest of the Spirt collection: Nomad ($120-$130) and Ranger ($120-$130). The former comes is sizes for 11”, 13”, or 15” Macs, while the latter has a version for 17” MacBook Pros too. Click through for more pictures and hands-on impressions.

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Elgato HDHomeRun

Ever wish your cable TV actually came to each room of your house over Wi-Fi instead of coax? The Elgato HDHomeRun ($180) makes it possible. This tiny box sits alongside your router, connecting to your standard cable connection and serving up HDTV over the air.

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$299-$649
Peripherals

LaCie 2big NAS

LaCie clearly knows what it’s doing with hard drives, particularly when it comes to designing enclosures that appeal to Mac users. The newest addition to its lineup is a drive case called 2big NAS, which is available either as an empty enclosure for $299, or pre-filled with 6TB of storage for $649. It’s being positioned as a great solution for small businesses, with remote access over FTP, SFTP, or HTTP file transfer. You can pop in any two 3.5” drives, up to 3TB each, and it comes with support for RAID 1 mirroring.

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Buffalo AirStation AC1300 / N900 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router WZR-D1800H

Rumors (and past history) have strongly suggested that Apple will implement the new and much-improved 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard in its lineup at some point this year. We’re not surprised that this hasn’t happened yet, since the first 802.11ac router has just hit the market. Buffalo’s new—deep breath here—AirStation AC1300 / N900 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router WZR-D1800H ($180) is spearheading the speedy new standard at a reasonable price for the technology. And it’s backwards compatible with 802.11n, operating twin networks so that your current devices can work on one band while new ones work on another.

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$70
Cases

Speck A-Line for MacBook

We reviewed Speck’s A-Line Bag for the iPad just shy of a year ago, and were really quite impressed. Known mainly for its rubber and plastic cases, Speck was able to create a really impressive fabric handbag that was also truly functional for tablet carrying. Fast forward a year later and Speck has quietly introduced a 13” version of A-Line ($70), a great choice for users with MacBooks, MacBook Pros, or MacBook Airs.

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$15
Apps

AirServer AirServer

Developed by the company of the same name, AirServer ($15) has evolved a lot since its early days. At first it simply turned your Mac into an AirPlay receiver, capable of streaming audio and video from compatible devices. When iOS 5 added AirPlay mirroring, so did AirServer. Now with its update to version 4.3, the app has been refined even further, and the developer is calling it “the game console for the Mac” due to gamer-friendly features.

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$1
Apps

The Hyperwords Company Liquid Words

Now that the Internet has brought a world of information to our fingertips, the challenge is to quickly find what you’re looking for. Liquid Words ($1) is a new Mac App Store title from The Hyperwords Company that sets out to do just that. A powerful reference tool, it allows you to drill down into any subject in a matter of a second or two. What makes it so fast compared to a traditional web search? Keyboard shortcuts.

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$230
Mounts

Bretford MobilePro Desk Mount Combo

Having a dual-monitor setup can be a real boon to productivity, and mounting your display may free up some much-needed desk space. So combining the two seems like a good idea, and that’s precisely what Bretford has done with its Apple-exclusive MobilePro Desk Mount Combo ($230). Not only does it get your big screen off the desk, but it lifts up your MacBook Pro, as well, allowing you to position both right where you want them.

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