2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$109
May 16, 2014
Cases

Waterfield Designs Outback Solo for MacBook Air

It’s been a while since we’ve covered any accessories from Waterfield Designs, but the company has continued to produce beautiful products using quality materials. Its latest is designed specifically for the 13” MacBook Air—convenient, considering last week’s update left the body design intact. Outback Solo ($109) is a handsome pack for carrying along a computer and more.

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Elgato Thunderbolt Dock

Elgato’s dabbled in Thunderbolt before with its Thunderbolt SSD and Thunderbolt Drive+, but now it’s taking a stab at docking stations with the aptly named Thunderbolt Dock ($230). Much like other docks we’ve seen, this unit is made to offer extra ports while only requiring a single connection back to the Mac. Something like this is especially useful for those using a MacBook Air. Read on for hands-on impressions.

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$50-$100
Camera

Eyefi Mobi WiFi SD Card

Eyefi has made a name for itself with its Wi-Fi-equipped SD cards that automatically beam pictures from your camera to supported devices. Recently, it updated the capabilities of its Mobi WiFi SD Card ($50-$100), introducing cloud features to the mix. Although these cards cost more than traditional ones do, they do offer a truly valuable service.

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$1,199-$1,399
Furniture

Artifox Desk 01

Just like iSkelter with its SlatePro, Artifox has a vision for a Mac-centric desk. Desk 01 ($1,199-$1,399) is a beautiful piece of furniture in its own right, but there are a number of touches that make it quite smart for Mac users. Available in walnut or maple, and for lefties or righties, it may cost more than an Ikea desk, but it looks like it’s worth it.

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$899+
Macs

Apple MacBook Air (Early 2014)

If you’ve been holding out for a truly new MacBook from Apple, you probably won’t be thrilled by the just-released Early 2014 edition of the MacBook Air ($899+). The updated model has seen a minor speed bump and lower prices compared to the last update. While the speed increase may not compel you to go out and buy a whole new machine, they certainly don’t hurt the thin laptop’s appeal to those who are already in the market for one. Just make sure to keep up with the rumor mill if you’re in that in-between space: a Retina-equipped, 12” model is supposedly due later in 2014.

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$70
Decor

Satechi Flexible LED Desk Lamp

Satechi is continuing its run of desktop accessories made to match the Mac’s aesthetic, this time with the Flexible LED Desk Lamp ($70). Clad in silver with metal and plastic elements, it’ll look right at home next to a MacBook or iMac. Touch controls, a flexible neck, and iPhone-ready charging capabilities all make it that much more interesting.

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$22
Apps

Deep Silver Dead Island

Some people may say zombie games are overdone, a genre that’s jumped the shark. Be that as it may, Deep Silver’s Dead Island ($22) is still among the best and deserves some attention. First released back in 2011—yes, it’s a bit of a gap—the title is finally available on the Mac through the Mac App Store. At least that waiting has a payoff, as there are two DLC packs included with the download, and a special weapon.

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$10
Apps

Broken Rules Secrets of Raetikon

From Broken Rules, the developer of the extremely well regarded And Yet It Moves, comes Secrets of Raetikon ($10), a new game now available in the Mac App Store. Not surprisingly, it’s a visually stunning adventure, although the style is totally different than that earlier title. Playing as a bird flying through the game, you explore a story that becomes revealed through interactions with the world and ancient runes.

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$1,600
Camera

Lytro Illum

When Lytro’s Light Field Camera came on the market a few years ago, the concept seemed really cool: unlike traditional cameras, this one allowed you to focus your pictures after you took them. Having tested the hardware, though, we weren’t thrilled with the resolution of the shots or the overall execution of the concept. Now the company is taking another swing at things with Illum ($1,600). This time, the camera actually looks like a camera, and with higher specs, it’s aimed at the pros.

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Bluelounge Jimi

Apple’s decision to hide the USB ports on the back of its iMac computers makes connectivity a little challenging for detachable accessories such as flash drives—reaching around to the back every time you want to attach or detach something can be inconvenient. Bluelounge’s Jimi ($15) solves this by using a J-shaped USB extender to relocate the port to the bottom of the iMac’s front. USB 3.0-certified, the extender also makes the port horizontal rather than vertical.

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Free

coconut-flavour coconutBattery

One of the first applications we install whenever we end up with a new MacBook is coconut-flavour’s coconutBattery (Free). It’s been around for as long as we can remember, and just recently, version 3.0 was released. This free little app will tell you everything and anything you might want to know about your Mac’s battery. It might even save you a trip to the Genius Bar.

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$125
Mounts

Made by Cardinal Lifta

If there’s a material other than aluminum that Apple accessory makers seem to love, it’s wood. Time and time again, we see products that use the natural material, which plays so well against the silver and black of today’s Macs. The newest addition to that club is Lifta ($125), from Made by Cardinal. Billed as a “minimalist desk organizer,” the wooden lift seems like a great complement to the iMac.

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$50
Apps

Bohemian Coding Sketch 3

We like to think creative design work shouldn’t be limited to only those who can offered the right software, and that’s why Bohemian Coding’s Sketch 3 ($50) is so appealing. For a reasonable price, the app gives you graphic design tools that would otherwise cost hundreds or more. Now on its third edition, Sketch has of course added a slew of new features, and is getting some pretty great reviews.

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$80
Mounts

Twelve South BookArc möd for MacBook

After multiple iterations over the past four and a half years, Twelve South has just introduced the biggest update to its BookArc lineup yet: wood. BookArc möd for MacBook ($80) takes the tried and true design and renders it out in one of three natural wood finishes. Twelve South, much like Apple, is all about evolution when it is successful in a product category. While a new material may not seem like a big deal, it’s a clear departure from the aluminum we’re used to seeing.

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$110
Cases

Hex Convertible Laptop Briefcase

Everyone has his or her favorite style of laptop bag. Some people like satchels, others, messenger bags, or any of the other options out there. With its Convertible Laptop Briefcase ($110), Hex is offering the best of two different worlds. With next to no effort, you can switch the waxed canvas bag from a briefcase to a backpack and back again.

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