$500
March 2012
Camera

Sony Cyber-shot TX200V

After ranking a distant third or fourth to camera-making rivals Nikon and Canon, Sony has recently surged in popularity thanks to increasingly powerful point-and-shoot and DSLR models—sensor and software improvements have done wonders for the company’s reputation. Now Sony has debuted the Cyber-shot TX200V ($500), a premium waterproof camera that features an iPhone-like all-glass face, reducing its thickness and eliminating the need for lens protection. The pitch: 16-foot submersibility, full dust resistance, 18.2-Megapixel shots at 10 frames per second, 1080/60p video, and a 5X optical zoom lens. If you’ve been wondering how pocket cameras could survive in the iPhone 4S era, the TX200V offers a pretty clear answer.

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$20 each
Apps

iBooks Author Templates

We have a feeling that Apple’s hard push into education—specifically with digital textbooks and iBooks Author—is going to be a pretty big deal. Clearly we’re not the only ones; almost immediately after the app’s announcement, ibooksauthortemplates.com popped up. We’ll give you one guess as to what the site sells.

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$269
Spring 2012
Peripherals

Motu MicroBook II

Looking to make some music on your Mac without breaking the bank—or your back? The upcoming MicroBook II ($269) from Motu will likely be right up your alley. Not only is it a studio-grade system at a reasonable price, but the box is also designed to be completely portable. Coming in at only 5.5” x 3.5” x 1.25” and packed into a rugged metal case, it’s easy enough to slip into a bag without worrying about it.

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$79-$99
March 2012
Extras

BulletTrain eXpress Keyboard Platform

If you’ve been reading iLounge + Mac recently, BulletTrain’s eXpress Keyboard Platform ($79) probably looks awfully familiar. Having featured the original aluminum version back in December, we were surprised to see a new version of the holder in Las Vegas at CES in January. This iteration starts with the same concept—hold Apple’s keyboard and Magic Trackpad together—but BulletTrain started over with new materials, and came up with an even more appealing product.

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$TBD
TBD
Peripherals

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo

The Thunderbolt ports on our Macs are starting to get a little lonely. It’s been just shy of a year since Apple and Intel launched the standard with the early 2011 MacBook Pro, and there are still only a handful of supported accessories. Of those, there are barely any that are aimed towards consumers; most are for high-end, professional users. And Western Digital’s upcoming My Book Thunderbolt Duo ($TBD) isn’t going to be for everyone, either, but it’s another clean design with extra horsepower under the hood. Originally previewed at this year’s International CES, My Book Thunderbolt Duo doesn’t yet have a final release date, but the hardware’s real and looking pretty good.

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$130
Cases

Incipio Utility Nylon Messenger Bag

When you’ve seen as many accessories over the years as we have—literally thousands upon thousands—it’s hard for something as simple as a computer bag to stand out from the masses. So when we say that we were really impressed when we spotted Incipio’s Utility Nylon Messenger Bag ($130) a few weeks back at the Consumer Electronics Show, understand that for what it’s worth. With a really nice design, premium materials, and plenty of storage, it’s a bag worth falling for.

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$13-$27
Extras

Adam Lashinsky Inside Apple

Apple fans are hard to sate—will there ever be enough new products, rumors, or details regarding the inner workings of this notoriously secretive company? Fortune Magazine’s Adam Lashinksy has set out to feed this hunger with his new book Inside Apple How America’s Most Admired—and Secretive—Company Really Works ($27), which was today published by Business Plus in hardcover, iBooks, and Kindle formats; the digital versions are $13 each, less than half the physical version’s price. Updated with thoughts on the book’s actual value to readers, below.

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Pioneer DDJ-ERGO DJ Controller

Pioneer’s DDJ-ERGO ($699) isn’t the first DJ controller we’ve seen for the Mac, but it is one of the coolest—and serious DJs will likely see the asking price as money well spent. This board is built from the bottom up to complement your Mac in everything from its physical design to the integration with Algoriddim’s Djay 4; it features a dock to hold a MacBook inside. And of course, it has all the other features you’d expect from a good DJ controller, including MIDI compatibility and a straightforward USB-to-Mac connection for power.

 

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$25-$27
Extras

Luxa2 MacBook Screen Protectors

The options Apple provides for upgrading MacBooks to anti-glare displays have remained limited since it switched all of its computers to glossy screens several years ago. Today, anti-glare displays are only available as customization options on the 15” and 17” MacBook Pros, and the former comes at a $150 premium—MacBook Air and 13” MacBook Pro users are totally out of luck. Thankfully there are aftermarket anti-glare solutions, including some from Luxa2: AR1 ($25) for the 13” MacBook Pro and AR2 ($27) for the 15” model are inexpensive ways to protect and reduce glare on your screen. Coming soon are MacBook Air versions called AR3 and the hard coated transparent HC3, previewed at this year’s CES show.

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$63-$90
Cases

United SGP Klasden Levanaus Backpack + Neumann Shoulder Bag

United SGP has released more products than we can count over the years, but for the most part, the company has focused on cases and accessories for Apple’s smallest gadgets. Now it is moving into nice laptop bags, having introduced the Klasden Series Levanaus Backpack ($90) and Neumann Shoulder Bag ($63). Both look like well designed, very functional carriers for your favorite MacBook. Updated January 23, 2012 with hands-on impressions and pictures!

 

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€48-€60/~$62-$77
February - March 2012
Peripherals

Logical Art Empty Memory USB Memory Sticks

We could wax poetic about the merger of art and technology when talking about Logical Art’s Empty Memory USB Memory Sticks (€48-€60/~$62-$77), or we could just cut to the chase and tell you these are some really cool looking 4GB flash drives. There are actually two different styles in the family—Transparency and Structure—both of which come accented with one of three different metals. Any version will really stand out from the plastic options that currently dominate the memory stick market.

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$269-$399
Cases

PKG Leather Simple Sleeve

We’ll start with the painful part first: PKG’s Leather Simple Sleeve, part of the company’s Black Crown Collection, is an expensive case—$269-$399, depending on your MacBook’s size. But after seeing them in person at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, we just know that some users will be willing to pay the price to own them, because the leather PKG is using is really jaw-droppingly impressive.

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$TBD
March 2012
Peripherals

Newer Technology miniStack Max

It’s hard to find fault with the Mac mini when it comes to the diminutive tower’s I/O options; Apple gave even its lowest-end machine a pretty impressive collection of features, as long as you’re not concerned about CDs and DVDs. But discs remain a legitimate concern for some users, and there are times when people may need more ports to plug things into, as well. That’s why Newer Technology introduced miniStack Max ($TBD) at the 2012 International CES. 

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Free
Apps

Apple iBooks Author

Apple’s iWork and iLife suites already enable “the rest of us” to make music, movies, presentations, and more. Today, the company has added the educational textbook world to its sights, introducing an app to make creating books just as simple. With a Keynote-like interface, iBooks Author (Free) is available in the Mac App Store today. Apple hasn’t traditionally given away creative tools like this, so the fact that there’s no cost involved is a welcome break from tradition. It’s made to interact with and complement iBooks 2 for iOS devices, also announced today, and is going to be a big deal for large publishers and individual authors alike.

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$150
Decor

Yantouch JellyWake 2

Yantouch’s new JellyWake2 ($150) will look very familiar if you’ve seen our coverage of this company’s earlier JellyWake—a beautiful ambient lamp that caught our editors’ attention last year. But this sequel sports some major improvements: in addition to its unique color-shifting LED light system, JellyWake2 now doubles as an analog desktop clock, adds an Infrared remote, and includes new audio effects. Now you can experience the up close magic of its novel gesture-based controls, or use buttons to change its light show from afar.

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