2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Belkin Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter 4K/Ultra HD Compatible

If you’ve wanted to give an older Mac the ability to output to HDMI—useful for connecting some MacBooks and prior-generation Mac minis to most HDTVs or monitors—there are plenty of inexpensive options. But there’s also an affordable adapter that’s solidly built and more future-proof than most. Sold for only $15 through Amazon.com, Belkin’s Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter 4K/Ultra HD Compatible ($35) adds an HDMI port to any Mac with a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port. And if your machine has the right hardware, GPU, and version of OS X, you may be able to connect an Ultra HD 4K display to it, as well. Read More

$1,495 Each
Peripherals

MOTU 1248, 8M + 16A

Although it usually gets the most attention, video editing isn’t the only pro-level content creation that benefits from Thunderbolt. Audio does too, and MOTU is all-in with a new lineup of peripherals that prove that point. The company’s new 1248, 8M, and 16A ($1,495 each) audio interfaces all take advantage of the super-fast standard, helping musicians and audio engineers lay down their tracks. Read More

Griffin DJ Connect

Let’s face it: the days of DJs using true turntables is mostly a thing of the past. You may find a purist here and there, but most DJs now use digital turntables and computers—mainly Macs and sometimes even iPads—to spin. There are lots of advanced rigs out there, but Griffin’s new DJ Connect ($100) is a simple way to mix tunes. Plus, it’s designed to work with algoriddim’s djay app, a huge plus. Read More

QuickerTek mCard

A month ago, we wrote about QuickerTek’s QCard 2, a replacement Wi-Fi card that adds 802.11ac support to a handful of recent MacBooks. Now the company is back with mCard ($149), a wireless card designed for even older machines. mCard allows access to faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi networks, as well as adding the Bluetooth 4.0 wireless standard. Depending on Apple’s software support, this might be useful for people who want to take advantage of the Continuity features of OS X Yosemite without buying all new Macs—just be aware that there’s still some ambiguity over whether Continuity will be supported for third-party wireless hardware. Read More

Razer Taipan Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse

Macs may be more legitimate gaming machines than ever before, but that’s only on the inside. Apple’s peripherals still make terrible controllers for most games. If you’ve ever tried using a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad in a first-person shooter, for example, you know what we’re talking about. Thankfully, the big game accessory companies are offering some better options. Razer’s Taipan Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse ($80) is one such device. Read More

Kanex Thunderbolt to eSATA + USB 3.0 Adapter

Kanex has tried its hand at USB adapters for the Mac, and Thunderbolt cables. Now, it’s combining the two technologies into its Thunderbolt to eSATA + USB 3.0 Adapter ($80); a version that swaps out the eSATA port for Gigabit Ethernet is coming soon. The small black box doesn’t hold a lot of secrets, but rather, will help professionals connect their devices with minimal hassle. Read More

ioSafe 3TB Solo G3 Fireproof/Waterproof Hard Drive

One of the problems with any on-site backup device is that it’s endangered by the same threats as the connected computer. If there’s a fire, flood, or theft, you could lose the data anyways. ioSafe is presenting an alternative—something that will stand up to all those possible dangers. 3TB Solo G3 Fireproof/Waterproof Hard Drive ($400) is tough as nails without costing an arm and a leg. Read More

Brother PT-P750W Compact Label Maker with Wireless Enabled Printing

Not everyone needs a label maker, but like any Mac peripheral, if you have to use one, why not choose a model that compliments your computer in terms of ease and elegance? That’s what Brother’s PT-P750W Compact Label Maker with Wireless Enabled Printing ($130) is attempting to do. The biggest advantage to this system is its built-in wireless networking.  Read More

$2,200-$3,600
Peripherals

G-Technology G-Speed Studio

G-Technology takes design inspirations from Apple’s professional Mac models. For the longest time, the company’s hard drives were encased in perforated metal, resembling the old Power Mac G5 and Mac Pro towers. Now, G-Speed Studio ($2,200-$3,600) has a shiny, black plastic shell, much like the current Mac Pro. The RAID drive comes in three capacities—12TB, 16TB, and 24TB—each filled with four drives. Built with two Thunderbolt 2 ports, G-Speed Studio is capable of speeds up to 700MB/s. Read More

QuickerTek QCard 2

It’s not always possible, but we appreciate when accessory developers make it easy to enjoy newer hardware technologies inside older Macs. That’s what QuickerTek has done with its new QCard 2 ($149). The card replaces the AirPort card already in your notebook computer, adding 802.11ac capabilities to bring it in line with what Apple is shipping these days. There are only two models that are supported, but that’s better than nothing. Read More

CustomUSB Gigs 2 Go

Just when we thought we’d seen it all when it came to flash drives, CustomUSB has arrived to shake things up a bit. Gigs 2 Go ($25-$70) is a clever new take on USB drives, designed especially for those who want to hand out data. Available in 1GB, 8GB, and 16GB capacities, they come connected in blocks of four, so you get 4GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage across the included drives. Read More

$220-$500
Peripherals

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

Much like Apple, LaCie tends to find a design it likes, and then keeps reiterating it over the years, rather than completely reinventing its products every cycle. Take its Rugged portable hard drives. Last time we saw it updated, it was to the Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series name, but now, there’s Rugged Thunderbolt ($220-$500). It has the same metal body and bright orange rubber border, but there are a few extras built in this time. Read More

$120-$200
July 2014
Peripherals

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX

High capacity flash drives are nothing new, but Corsair has taken a different approach than many with its Flash Voyager GTX ($120-$200). You can think of it more as an SSD in a smaller format. That’s because it’s been optimized for crazy fast speeds that are above and beyond what you might expect from a standard USB 3.0 drive. Both 128GB and 256GB versions of the drive will be available in July. Read More

$250-$1,300
Peripherals

Monster Digital OverDrive mini

Although they’re not at a competitive level with traditional hard drives yet, the price of SSDs are definitely coming down. This is a good thing for everyone (well, except for the hard drive manufacturers) as it means faster, more reliable storage in a greater number of products. Take Monster Digital’s Apple Store-exclusive OverDrive mini ($250-$1,300). The external storage packs certainly aren’t as cheap as more traditional competitors, but they excel in a number of other ways. Read More

Samson Meteorite USB Condenser Microphone

We featured Samson’s original Meteor mic way, way back in 2011. Now, three years later, comes the sequel, sporting a logical name: Meteorite USB Condenser Microphone ($60). The design is highly similar to before, but it’s been shrunk down into a smaller package, consisting of a spherical microphone with an integrated cable, and a desktop stand. Read More

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