2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$30-$50
Apps

Apple OS X Lion

The day has come! First shown back in October, Apple has finally launched Mac OS X Lion ($30), and brought with it a lot of goodies from iOS. It contains over 250 new features including multitouch gestures, full screen applications, Mission Control, new features for the Mac App Store, Launchpad, resume, Auto Save, Versions, AirDrop, and a new Mail.app. Time to start clearing out a few gigs on your hard drive—four, to be exact—for this one. But there are also a couple of surprises—it’s no longer “Mac OS X,” and Lion Server is a separate $50 download. Read on for more on what’s new. Read More

$999
6-8 Weeks
Peripherals

Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch)

It looks the same as the now-discontinued LED Cinema Display, but Apple’s brand-new Thunderbolt Display (27-inch) ($999) has a whole new set of tricks up its sleeve. Rocking the same huge, beautiful screen as its predecessor, it’s the perfect desktop enhancement for your MacBook, especially the MacBook Air. The under-the-hood changes bring it up to speed with the latest Mac computers, too. Read More

$599-$999
Macs

Apple Mac mini (Mid 2011)

Okay, okay, we get it, Apple—optical drives are on the way out, at least, for users who don’t want Blu-Ray players or burners in their computers. The ultimate expression of this is the just-introduced mid-2011 Mac mini ($599 and up), a 7.7” rounded square of silver aluminum that has now completely dropped the prior version’s SuperDrive in favor of a completely solid face—only a pinhole power light and IR sensor are on the front. Of course, Mac mini makes up for the omission with some big changes: a lower $599 base price, Core i5 and Core i7 processors, some new Radeon HD GPUs, Thunderbolt, and Bluetooth 4.0. Click for more details. Read More

$999-$1,599
Macs

Apple MacBook Air (Mid 2011)

The rumors have been a few weeks off, but our predictions were right. About ten months after Apple took a second, far more successful swing at the MacBook Air ($999-$1,599), it has followed it up with an impressively improved new lineup—changes that aren’t groundbreaking, but all very much welcome, and considerably improving the horsepower of Apple’s new base model MacBook. That’s right—the MacBook’s gone, so long live MacBook Air. Read More

Numark DJ2GO

So you taught yourself to DJ, and now you want to spin the ones and twos pretty much wherever you are. You could use your mouse or trackpad to control your favorite software, but dedicated hardware is better, right? That’s why we’re checking out DJ2GO ($60) from Numark. It weighs less than a pound, and has everything you need to spin. And how’s this for easy: it’s powered by the USB port on your Mac. Read More

$110
Decor

Just Mobile Drawer

Need a bit of extra room on your cluttered desk? Want to raise your Mac’s screen up a bit? Like aluminum? If your answer to these three questions is “yes,” you’re going to want to check out Just Mobile’s newly-released Drawer. Created by the award-winning Apple accessory designer as a stand for your iMac or Cinema Display, it lives up to it’s name with—yup—a built-in drawer, extra storage space that will definitely come in handy to tidy up your desk. Updated with new details! Read More

$200
Apps

The Omni Group OmniPlan

It would be nice to just sit down at a desk, start every project, and finish it efficiently. But let’s face facts: without structure, big projects—and even some small tasks—aren’t going to make steady progress. Ideally, you’ll have something to keep your projects on track. That’s where OmniPlan ($200) from The Omni Group comes in. Just updated to version 2.0, it’s the last project management app you’ll need. Read More

$130
Speakers

Edifier Prisma E3350 2.1 Speakers

We don’t know what it is about speakers. Manufacturers occasionally go crazy with their designs, and many people—us included—eat them up. Take Edifier’s Prisma E3350 2.1 Speakers ($130). They may look like futuristic obelisks or pyramids, but we’d be happy to have them next to a Mac. Oh, and they have pretty good specs, too. Read More

$15
Apps

LittleFin Chronicle

Tired of begging your debtors to waive the late fee “just this one time” because you forgot your bills were due? If you need a gentle nudge each month, it’s probably worth investing in Chronicle ($15) from LittleFin. This Mac App Store title is a really easy way to keep track of all the money you owe, and it costs less than a typical overdraft fee. Read More

$80
Cases

Acme Made Union Pack

If you’re picking up a new Mac for school, you’re going to need a way to carry it around campus. Acme Made obviously has been planning for the new academic year, as it has just introduced Union Pack ($80). Made partially out of what it calls “BombShell” textile—a highly ruggedized, waterproof material—the bag is durable and weather-resistant, giving your machine protection against whatever elements life may throw at it. Read More

$15
Apps

Hothead Games DeathSpank

The deliberately off-kilter title almost speaks for itself here: Hothead Games’ DeathSpank ($15) is a hilarious hack-and-slash RPG now available in the Mac App Store. You control the title character on his quest to find The Artifact, collecting weapons and items along the way. Play alone or enjoy a local cooperative mode if you have an additional controller. And you’ll probably want to share this experience with a friend. Read More

$20
Apps

DaisyDisk DaisyDisk

Let’s face it: it’s ridiculously easy to fill your hard drive with junk, and picking through it all is tough—who wants to sift through files and folders? That’s where DaisyDisk ($20) from the eponymous company comes in. It gives you a visual representation of all of the drives attached to your Mac, making it easy to perform a quick clean up of their contents. Read More

$95
Camera

Chrome Niko Camera Bag

Photography-loving hipsters rejoice! Bag and apparel company Chrome has expanded its already impressive lineup to include Niko Camera Bag ($95), and it’s everything fans would expect—seat belt-style buckle and all. We liked the iPad bag we saw from the company last year, and Niko looks like an even more sophisticated followup for DSLR users. Read More

Apparent Doxie

Going paperless sounds like a great idea for any office, but a mountain of dead trees—well, old papers—may keep you from getting there. Hundreds of scanners are available for Mac users, but few are as compact and easy to use as Apparent’s Doxie ($149). Don’t let the pink hearts fool you; this USB-powered feed-through scanner is a powerful solution for documents, receipts, photos, and whatever other printed materials you want to convert into digital formats. Read More

$70*
Summer
Peripherals

AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G

AT&T sure has been busy, hasn’t it? Just last week, the wireless company rolled out its USBConnect Force 4G HSPA+ accessory for computers, and today it unveiled its first LTE device, the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G ($70 with two-year contract and $50 rebate). Only a lucky few will get to use the true potential of this hotspot at first; AT&T has announced plans to bring its higher-speed LTE network only to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio later this summer, with 15 markets by the end of the year. Read More

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc. iLounge + Mac RSS iLounge + Mac on Facebook