Flutter Flutter

This isn’t the first Mac app to offer audio playback control via hand gestures, but none has worked as well as Flutter (Free), developed by the company of the same name. Described as “Kinect for Mac,” the app only recognizes three gestures, but they let you play your music, pause it, and skip back and forth between tracks using just your Mac’s FaceTime camera and your hand.

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Ships November 2012

Modbook Modbook Pro

Well before Apple jumped into the tablet game with the iPad, Axiotron was transforming MacBooks into touchscreen slates. Now the company has returned as Modbook, and it has announced that it will ship its brand new Modbook Pro ($3,499+) starting next month. Unquestionably expensive by iPad and other contemporary tablet standards, the entry-level version is a converted base model 13” MacBook Pro, featuring a 2.5GHz Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. To cut down on weight and moving parts, Modbook swaps out the hard drive with a 64GB SSD by default.

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Coming Soon

Application Systems London Bridge Project

It’s time to bring out your inner engineer. We didn’t know what to expect when we heard about Bridge Project (£16/~$26), but after checking out Application Systems London’s new game, we’re actually pretty impressed. The developer clearly put some real muscle into this bridge-building title, which looks gorgeous and uses real-world physics, making the higher-than-typical-App-Store-price tolerable. 

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Twelve South HiRise for iMac

We’ve been impressed with plenty of Twelve South’s products in the past, but the company may have just outdone itself. Its just-announced HiRise for iMac ($80) could be its coolest product to date. HiRise not only elevates your iMac or Thunderbolt Display to one of six different levels, it also adds a hidden compartment for storing accessories. And man, does it look good. Updated October 3, 2012 with pictures and hands-on impressions!

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AOC i2757fh 27" IPS Monitor

Apple’s Thunderbolt Display is a thing of beauty, but the static $999 asking price keeps it out of reach for many users. If you’re searching for a similarly giant display that won’t break the bank, check out AOC’s i2757fh 27” IPS Monitor ($349). The name’s nowhere near as elegant and the specs aren’t completely equivalent to the Thunderbolt Display, but it’s definitely worth considering as a budget solution. It looks pretty nice, too.

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Yantouch JellyWake (2012)

We have a soft spot for Yantouch’s lamps; they’re really unlike everything else out there. That’s as true for its new 2012 edition of JellyWake ($129) as anything else it’s put out. Unlike the previous version, this one is designed to serve primarily as a clock, with several notable changes that help it fulfill that purpose. You might still have a hard time finding it in the States, but design fans might want to seek this one out.

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Aspyr Media Call of Duty: Black Ops

Originally released two years ago for game consoles and PCs, Call of Duty: Black Ops ($50) has just debuted in the Mac App Store, continuing Activision’s most popular franchise to date. Set in the 1960s and featuring guest appearances by virtual versions of JFK and Fidel Castro, Black Ops is a traditional first-person shooter with atypically excellent intensity, graphics and audio, focusing on the CIA’s covert “black” operations during the Cold War. Helping to justify the price tag in a world of $10 apps: Hollywood-caliber voice work by actors Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, and Ice Cube.

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ECBC Trident Messenger Bag

Most of our editors subscribe to the “smaller is better” school of thinking when it comes to both MacBooks and bags, but we appreciate that many users still prefer bigger machines. For them—or anyone else who just needs to carry around every accessory they can think of—ECBC’s Trident Messenger Bag ($120) is worthy of consideration. We’ve seen bags with lots of pockets, but this nylon satchel is definitely near the top of the list.

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LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series

LaCie’s new Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series is the kind of external hard drive we can get behind. We use the term “hard drive” loosely, though—while Rugged comes in a 1TB spinning disk configuration for $250, it’s also available with a 120GB SSD for $200 or 256GB SSD for $350. It pairs super-fast storage with super-fast transfer rates, supporting both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.

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Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard

Based on its earlier and popular Tactile Pro keyboard, Matias’s Quiet Pro ($150) is sure to appeal to discerning typists. The original version was inspired by Apple’s well-respected Extended and Extended II keyboards; Quiet Pro preserves the same look but swaps the noisy keyswitches for Quiet Click switches. They’re said to maintain tactility while eliminating most of the clicky noise you’d expect from such a keyboard. We know some people love the classic noise, but this version might make your officemates happier.

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Cooler Master Clutch

It’s hard to feel anything but love for designers of beautiful and substantial-feeling accessories. Cooler Master had a rough start with its plasticy iPad/MacBook stand Arc, but its more recent metal creations have been gorgeous minimalist designs, fusing aluminum and rubber together with Apple-rivaling panache. Its latest stand Clutch (~$60) is another stunner, featuring two chromed sides and tight bevels that will look great when holding your MacBook Pro or Air upright, particularly when paired with a Thunderbolt Display.

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Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt Portable HDD

Thunderbolt is getting closer to becoming a practical standard. Plenty of expensive, stationary desktop units were announced before Buffalo debuted the MiniStation Thunderbolt Portable HDD ($200-$250), the first bus-powered portable Thunderbolt hard drive we’ve come across. Now instead of having to invest a few hundred bucks into several terabytes worth of storage, the average Mac user can get 500GB or 1TB in a portable package at a reasonable price. It also includes a USB 3.0 connection, just in case you need to fall back to the slower standard.

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TMDtouch Zorro Masck Touch Screen for 21.5" iMac

The chances of Apple releasing a touchscreen iMac any time soon are probably pretty low, but there are ways to touch-enable certain desktop Macs. Shenzhen-based TMDtouch has decided to take up the cause with Zorro Macsk ($199), a cover that turns 21.5” iMacs into touchscreen devices without any modifications; you simply slide it on, plug in the USB cable, and it’s good to go.

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December 2012

Canon EOS 6D

Not to be outdone by Nikon’s announcement of its D600 last week, Canon is striking back with its own entry-level full-frame camera, at an even more aggressive price: the EOS 6D ($2,100-$2,900). Effectively a replacement for the 5D Mark II, this DSLR is sure to become a favorite among both prosumer photographers and professionals looking for a lower-cost second full-frame body. It’s slightly smaller than its predecessors, but still packs some serious hardware, including features not found in Canon’s more expensive models.

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Klei Entertainment Shank

Sometimes gamers want to sit down and solve puzzles, and sometimes they just want to blow up lots of baddies. Klei Entertainment’s Shank ($10) falls well inside the latter category. A port of the popular console title, it’s a 2-D side-scroller that’s designed to play somewhat like a graphic novel.

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