2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$15
Extras

GelaSkins Magic Trackpad Skin

Some might say that your Magic Trackpad looks boring—just another silver, glassy item for your silver, glassy computer. If you want to recapture the customization options that mousepads used to offer, GelaSkins’ Magic Trackpad Skins ($15) might be right up your alley. We like the company’s stickers for the iPad 2, and now you can get a version to make your pointing device just as distinctive as you.

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Free
Extras

Apple Wallpapers

Great wallpaper can completely change the look of your Mac’s desktop. That’s why we really dig the collection of images at Apple Wallpapers, a site devoted to collecting and organizing Apple-themed artwork and photographs. Whether you’re looking for something to fill a 30” Cinema Display’s giant 2560x1600 screen, or a small, old 800x600 monitor, you’ll find it in the collection of over 500 images. And they’re all free.

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Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen

Pens are always going to have their place; even with computers, iPads, and smartphones everywhere, handwritten notes aren’t going away. But why not find a way to make the old work with the new? That’s what Livescribe has done with its Echo Smartpen, now available in a 2GB starter pack model ($100). Armed with a rechargeable battery, Echo records everything you hear and write, turning your words into searchable, sendable text. You dock it with your Mac using an included USB cable to access the recordings.

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$50/year
Apps

Backblaze Online Backup

Everyone knows Mac backups are important, but having redundant “just in case” duplicates can be a challenge. Backblaze simplifies the process with its online backup tool ($50/year). It automatically backs up all of your data in the background, including the stuff that’s on connected drives. If you ever need to restore data, just click a button on the company’s secure website, or order it on a DVD or hard drive. On top of the backup, Backblaze has just added a Locate My Computer option—think MobileMe’s Find My iPhone for your Mac.

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$40
Speakers

Altec Lansing Expressionist Classic FX2020

Altec’s Expressionist Classic FX2020 speakers didn’t blow us away at their original $80 asking price, but these days, they’re selling for $40—a sweet price for a sharp-looking entry level audio system. Made from 6.25” square pieces of translucent acrylic plastic with 3” drivers in the center, the Expressionist Classic system comes with its own power supply and audio cable, ready to plug right into your Mac’s audio-out port, and a nice match for current Cinema Displays and iMacs.

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$100
Decor

Chris McVeigh LEGO iMac

Admittedly, more than one iLounge editor keeps some LEGOs near his workspace, so it’s not too much of a surprise that we’re digging this LEGO iMac ($100). This unofficial set is the closest thing you’re going to get to that fake Playmobil Apple Store from April Fool’s Day.

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$30
Apps

Tumult Hype

Everyone knows that HTML5 is the future. Steve Jobs said so and heck, even Adobe is getting there. The modern web development standard allows you to create interactive websites that are viewable across platforms, iOS devices included. In the past there was no really easy way to put an HTML5 site together without some hard hand coding. That’s why we’re so impressed by Tumult’s new Mac app, Hype ($30 introductory price). It’s here to help you say bye bye to Flash.

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Apple Magic Trackpad

As longtime users of both desktop and laptop Mac models, we have plenty of experience to bring to the trackpad/mouse debate. With the Apple Magic Trackpad ($69), we can finally put the debate to rest. Now available as a no-cost option with new iMacs, it brings one of the best features of Apple’s MacBook line to its desktops—minus the whole portable computer thing, of course.

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$32 and up
Extras

Creative Dexterity Mac Keyboard Jewelry

If you can’t get  logo clothing directly from the company store in Cupertino, there’s still a way to show off your fandom: Mac Keyboard Jewelry from Creative Dexterity ($32 and up).

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$110
Cases

Manfrotto Unica VII Messenger Bag

If you find yourself regularly toting around a DSLR, a larger MacBook Pro, and various other effects, odds are you’d fall into the “Pro” category of gear—which means you need an equally “Pro” bag to match. And the Manfrotto Unica VII Messenger Bag ($110) is certainly that. With enough space for a full-sized DSLR with lens attached, 17-inch MacBook Pro, and plenty of extras, it’ll carry pretty much everything you need.

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$1/$40
Apps

Parallels Transporter

Maybe you just got your first Mac. Or you’ve had one for years and need to transfer some files from an old PC. Either way, it can be a pain to move key files from a Windows machine if you don’t have a ton of experience or time. Apple Stores offer One to One membership services to do this for you, but you’ll need to pay a $99 fee. Luckily, Parallels has introduced Transporter, and for now, it’s only 99 cents. Plus tax.

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$15
Apps

Flexibits Fantastical

Calendars apps generally aren’t remarkably different from one another—fill in a bunch of different boxes, hit “Done,” and the event pops up on your calendar. With Fantastical ($15), Flexibits has used Apple’s iCal as the basis for something a whole lot more natural.

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$199
Decor

Jake Harms Macquarium

Classic Apple products have been repurposed into everything from clocks to iPad docks. Jake Harms’ version of the Mac de-evolution is Macquarium ($199), which is exactly what it sounds like: a fully functionting aquarium made out of a G3 iMac, complete with a built-in filter and lights.

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$40
Mounts

Twelve South BookArc for Air

Now that the MacBook Air is a legitimate contender for laptop mindshare, what’s to stop it from taking over desktops, too? That was Twelve South’s thought behind BookArc for Air ($40), the newest family member in the BookArc line (remember the MacBook and iPad versions?). A simple, clean steel stand, it securely holds and displays the MacBook Air in a closed position, perfect for when the computer is connected to an external monitor. Since the 11- and 13-inch models have the same thickness, they both fit perfectly into the cushioned insert. Updated! New pictures of BookArc for Air are inside - check them out!

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€30
Decor

Spielmann & Engelchen PinPuc

The best way to get that mess off of your desk is by… well, throwing most of it out. Or you could move it to the walls. A standard cork board is always an option, but PinPuc from Germany’s Spielmann & Engelchen is a whole lot prettier.

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