$65-$77
Cases

Mizar Smart Pouch for MacBook Air

Computer sleeves generally don’t offer too much value once you take your computer out. But Mizar decided to offer an option with some more active features; that’s where Smart Pouch for MacBook Air ($65-$77) comes in. With a design that resembles the merger of a normal sleeve and an iPad Smart Cover—including the crazy high price—it’s as useful off your MacBook Air as it is on.

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$25
Extras

Henge Docks Clique

It’s not the first accessory we’ve seen that joins Apple’s Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad together, but Henge Docks’ Clique ($25) still has some neat tricks up its sleeve. Unlike Magic Wand from Twelve South, Clique is more than just a bar that holds the peripherals together at the top. Instead, it’s a tray with recessions for both devices. That structure allows you to use your keyboard and trackpad without needing a flat surface to place them on, making it perfect for the couch or bed.

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j5 create JUH320 v2 Wormhole Docking Station

Apple users are used to dealing with fewer ports than they might otherwise want, but there are times when extras are particularly appreciated. Hubs and docking stations are always options, but they’re generally not the prettiest things around. A company called j5 create has introduced a new accessory that matches the design of your Mac and isn’t too obtrusive: the JUH320 v2 Wormhole Docking Station ($130). Not only do you get extra inputs, but you can also share peripherals and files with a second computer as well. Updated December 5, 2011 was new pictures and hands-on impressions!

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$9*
Apps

Information Architects iA Writer

There are a lot of great things to say about Information Architects’ iA Writer ($9*). It’s a beautifully simple text editor that supports auto markdown. You can focus on just your text with its Focus Mode that highlights one sentence at a time. The developer has also embraced many of Lion’s new features such as Auto Save and Versions. If you’re a writer, chances are you’ll really appreciate fewer distractions.

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$200-$300
Peripherals

ioSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive

Ever gone mountain climbing or swimming with your external hard drive? We’re assuming not—nor are we recommending either of those activities—but if you are the kind of person prone to destroying hard drives in one way or another, check out ioSafe’s Rugged Portable Hard Drive ($200-$300). Available in either 500GB or 1TB, this guy offers USB and two FireWire 800 ports, a Kensington-style lock slot on the back, and is made to stand up to pretty much anything you throw at it.

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€64/~$86
Cases

Pack & Smooch Laptop Sleeve "Hampshire"

Felt is an under appreciated material. It doesn’t usually get mentioned along with the likes of leather or canvas, but it’s actually really nice in computer cases and sleeves. Take Pack & Smooch’s Laptop Sleeve “Hampshire” (€64/~$86). Made of wool felt that’s 3mm thick, these sleeves look great and are available in sizes to fit Apple’s entire laptop lineup.

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$20*
Apps

iZotope The T-Pain Engine

What would happen if Apple decided to release a crunk version of GarageBand? Chances are, it would look a lot like iZotope’s The T-Pain Engine ($20*), now available for a 33% introductory discount on the Mac App Store. With a steampunk look and intuitive controls, this app is all you need to make the new club hit.

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Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive

With data storage, like most things, you typically need to choose between size or speed. Of course you can custom order a super-fast solid state drive in the MacBook Pro, but at an $1,100 premium for 512GB, it’s not very practical for typical consumers, and space is still somewhat limited. That’s where Seagate’s newly updated Momentus XT 750 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive ($249) comes in. It’s the best of both worlds.

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$72
Decor

Martin Konrad Gloeckle Bendino Lamp

Flat lighting just took on a whole new meaning. Check out designer Martin Konrad Gloeckle’s Bendino Lamp ($72), available from online retailer Sleek Identity. It’s a playful take on a standard lamp that takes what you’re used to and shrinks it down to two dimensions, creating something that almost resembles your Mac’s icons.

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$130-$160
December 2011
Peripherals

Crypteks Crypteks USB

If you take the security of your data extra seriously—or you just really liked that one scene from The Da Vinci Code—then Crypteks’ Crypteks USB ($130-$160) is probably right up your alley. This fully funded Kickstarter project is more than a simple flash drive. It features 256-bit AES encryption that’s controlled by the hardware cypher encasing the drive.

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Free
Apps

Running with Crayons Alfred

Think about how much time you spend searching on your computer. Whether it be on the web, rummaging through your file structure, or using Spotlight, chances are it’s a sizable chunk of your day. It makes sense then to have one centralized app for all your searching needs. That app exists, and it’s called Alfred (Free), from Running with Crayons. Alfred helps you find and launch any file or app on your computer, search the web, and more, all from your keyboard. Just hit your custom hotkey setup, type your query, and hit the on-screen combo to open your result.

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M-Audio Fast Track

Alright rockstar, you’ve got the Mac. You’ve got the instruments. You’ve got the mic. The only thing holding you back from making that platinum record at this point is a way to get your tunes flowing into your computer. Enter M-Audio’s Fast Track ($150). This simple breakout box is an incredibly straightforward solution for musicians recording to their Macs.

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$10
Apps

Broken Rules And Yet It Moves

We love games with cool gameplay mechanics, and those with unique graphics, so it’s no wonder Broken Rules’ And Yet It Moves ($10) caught our eye. What started as a student project got turned into a full-fledged physics game, and for good reason. The world is made out of a collage of cardboard and shreds of paper that’s vaguely reminiscent of the Paper Mario games, although a bit more bleak.

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$40
Extras

Susan Kare ICONS

We’ve featured Susan Kare’s work before; she and her icons played a large role in Mac history. If you’re looking to dive in to a broader array of her images, check out her new book ICONS ($40); it features 80 of her favorite images. 

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$35-$40
Cases

Incipio MacBook Sleeves

Just in time for the holiday travel season, Incipio has conjured up three new MacBook sleeves with an “executive traveler” theme in mind. Named after some of the nation’s busiest airports, you have the choice of SFO Laptop Sleeve ($35) for the 11” or 13” MacBook Air, and DEN Laptop Sleeve ($35-$40) or SEA Laptop Sleeve ($35-$40) for the MacBook Pro line. Each model has slightly different characteristics, depending on just what you’re looking for.

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