2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$5
Apps

Jammbox Discovr Music

The developers at Jammbox know there are dozens of ways to listen to music on your computer now, so they took a different approach with the music app Discovr Music ($5). Instead of playing music, this Mac App Store title helps you find your next favorite band or artist. It’s an awesome tool for discovery, and looks really cool too.

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$999
TBD
Peripherals

Canon Pixma Pro-1

What are you supposed to do once you’ve spruced up your pictures in Pixelmator? If you’re going to print them out and you’re looking for lab-like quality, you may want to consider Canon’s upcoming Pixma Pro-1 Professional Inkjet Printer ($999). While the price tag is high, you’re going to get really impressive prints out of this new model, which boasts a 12-ink system for astounding color accuracy.

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$30/$60
Apps

Pixelmator Team Pixelmator

Let’s face it: most people who think they need Photoshop don’t need Photoshop. Unless you’re a professional who constantly uses dozens of Photoshop-exclusive features, you can save several hundred dollars and go with Pixelmator Team’s Pixelmator ($30/$60) instead. We’re only comparing it to Photoshop for reference, but the title really stands on its own—it was just updated to version 2.0 this morning, and is now an even better value, especially if you get it before the price hike.

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M-Audio Keystation Mini 32

If you’re a musician on the go, M-Audio’s Keystation Mini 32 ($100) is an easy solution. This keyboard shrinks the company’s well-regarded line of MIDI music controllers down to an accessory that’s just longer than a MacBook Pro—really easy to toss in a bag and take with you, but still big enough to be totally useful at your workstation. There are even four customizable controls, three buttons and a knob.

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$12
Extras

Bluelounge Sumo

Bluelounge has done a pretty good job of establishing itself as one of the top makers of cable management solutions, and its newest product Sumo ($12) only furthers its reputation. This simple “paperweight for your cables” will be a welcome accessory, and if your desk is anything like ours, you may even want a few of them to keep all of the cords organized. Better yet, the price is as close to fair as Bluelounge’s designs get these days.

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Twelve South BassJump 2

Most our of iLounge’s editors are MacBook Air users, and we really love Apple’s smallest, lightest notebooks. But certain sacrifices have to be made for the small packages, and audio quality is one of them. We’ve shown off a software solution that raises the volume before, but here’s a new accessory that goes above and beyond what’s inside the computer: Twelve South’s new BassJump 2 ($70). This USB-powered woofer has been designed exclusively for the MacBook Pro and Air, making a world of difference.

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Amped Wireless SR600EX High Power Wireless-N 600mW Pro Smart Repeater

One thing we’ve always liked about Apple’s AirPort family of routers is just how easy it is to add a tiny Express to expand the range of a bigger Extreme. Each has a radius of about 150 feet, so most people will be more than fine. But what are you supposed to do if you need real wireless distance and power? We’re not talking feet here, but miles—one and a half miles, actually. That’s just the kind of boost that Amped Wireless’s new SR600EX High Power Wireless-N 600mW Pro Smart Repeater ($180) promises to give you.

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$33
Extras

Simon & Schuster Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

The timing of this book’s release could hardly be better—almost like an Apple product. Originally scheduled to be released in March 2012, and then later bumped up to November 21, the official biography of Apple’s former CEO has been published just 19 days after his passing. Succinctly called Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson ($33), the book is now available in three formats: printed physical copies are in stores today, while Kindle and iBookstore editions are available for immediate download for $17 each.

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$1,199-$2,499
Macs

Apple MacBook Pro (Late 2011)

Well, well, well, what do we have here? Just in time for the holidays, Apple has updated its laptop lineup with a small bump to the MacBook Pro family ($1,199-$2,499)—we’d be surprised to see any other big revisions before the end of the year. The new MacBook Pros still use the same Unibody aluminum chassis design we’ve been seeing for the past three years, but the guts have been improved. What’s new? Extra speed and in some cases more storage capacity.

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€1,480/~$2,054
Furniture
Speakers

La Boite Concept LD 130

Not content with just giving you a surface to put your laptop on, La Boite Concept has unveiled its LD 130 (€1,480/~$2,054). The “LD” stands for laptop dock, and the “130” denotes the wattage of the speaker—yes, this desk has a built-in speaker system, and a powerful one, too. The desk itself is made out of high quality wood and leather, contributing to the sort of premium look and feel one would expect for the price.

 

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$45-$55
December 2011
Peripherals

Madminds The Tilt Cooling Stand for MacBook Pro

We don’t normally feature products that are still in the funding phase on Kickstarter, but Madminds’ The Tilt Cooling Stand for MacBook Pro ($45-$55) is just too neat not to showcase. On the surface, it’s a cooling stand, but inside, it’s something special. Made exclusively for the unibody MacBook Pro, the shape, color, and even the cooling system are designed to specifically fit Apple’s notebooks. Right now the company is offering a 15” model, and has a 13” version in development. The Tilt latches onto the bottom of your machine and while it definitely makes it a bit thicker, it certainly doesn’t look out of place. Our favorite feature is the integrated tripod thread, which allows you to mount your computer on any standard tripod. We could see that being really useful in certain settings.

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$90
Cases

Case Logic Corvus Laptop Backpack

There’s a lot to like about Case Logic’s Corvus Laptop Backpack ($90). Not only does it have lots of room for your 15” MacBook Pro, iPad, and all the other stuff you carry around throughout the day, but it looks nice too. The nylon bag is both sleek and protective, and wouldn’t look out of place on campus or in the office.

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$399-$499
Early 2012
Camera

Lytro Light Field Camera

With its forthcoming Lytro Light Field Camera ($399-$499), Lytro may very well have reinvented the camera. The device strips away complexities that have previously been taken for granted, housing a unique sensor and zoom lens system inside a very Apple-inspired, cleanly designed package. Without a doubt, the biggest innovation is how it captures pictures themselves: it records the entire light field rather than just a static image. Consequently, you never have to worry about focusing while shooting; once the light field has been captured, you can open the digital file and change the focus point to whatever you prefer at a given moment. In the near future, Lytro claims that you’ll be able to view the captured image as a 3-D hologram from different angles. It’s pretty impressive stuff.

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$140
Extras

Stadler Form Anton Ultrasonic Humidifier

If you’ve ever spent long days in an office, then you likely know the value of a good humidifier—air conditioners and computers (even nearly silent Macs) heat up and suck moisture out of the air. Unfortunately, humidifiers tend to be large and clunky, which is why we were glad to come across Stadler Form’s Anton Ultrasonic Humidifier ($140). This 0.8 gallon humidifier mimics the clean, minimalist Apple design aesthetic—especially the white version.

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$30
October 2011
Extras

Mobee Technology The Magic Numpad

Is it just a matter of time until Apple releases a Multi-Touch keyboard for the Mac? Mobee Technology’s not waiting for that to happen: the maker of The Magic Bar and The Magic Charger has announced The Magic Numpad ($30), which isn’t a standalone accessory; instead, you get a set of stickers and a custom app that transforms a Magic Trackpad into a wireless number pad. Mobee’s idea is to offer double the functionality without having to add another piece of hardware to your desk. Updated October 19, 2011 with new pictures and hands-on impressions!

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