2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Atech Flash Technology iDuo2Go

Atech Flash Technology’s iDuo2Go ($25) falls squarely in the “two birds with one stone” category. It combines two separate accessories into one, eliminating the need to carry extra peripherals around. A USB 3.0 SD Card reader is melded together with a classic 30-pin Dock Connector, giving Mac users the ability to transfer SD card photos to their computers, or sync older iPods, iPhones, and iPads—but not to use the card reader with iOS devices.

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$149
Late 2013
Peripherals

Thalmic Labs Myo

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” Arthur C. Clarke said, and a new wireless accessory sure looks close to using the Force to control your Mac. Myo ($149) from Thalmic Labs may look like a simple armband, but the Bluetooth-equipped accessory promises a new way to control your computer, using muscle activity and motion sensing for a totally unique experience.

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$479-$979
Peripherals

Magma ExpressBox 1T + 3T

Thunderbolt accessories obviously haven’t exactly taken off like wildfire—they’re actually still fairly uncommon, particularly now that USB 3.0 ports have been added to the latest Macs. But there are still professional accessories that can benefit from Thunderbolt’s additional speed, including peripherals like Magma’s new ExpressBox 1T ($479) and earlier ExpressBox 3T ($979). Promising twice the speed of USB 3.0 and twelve times the speed of FireWire, each lets you connect any half-length/full-height PCI Express card to any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac; ExpressBox 3T includes three PCIe slots, and 1T has one, bridging the gap between boxy desktop PCs and ever-slimming Macs.

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Satechi Wireless Multifunction Mini Router

Although we really like Apple’s latest Apple TV-shaped Airport Express router, we can’t help but miss the prior version’s convenient, on-wall-outlet mounting concept. Accessory maker Satechi has decided to offer something similar to the original design at a really aggressive price, with the Wireless Multifunction Mini Router ($50). The 802.11b/g/n device doesn’t beat Airport Express in the looks department, but it still seems to have a lot going for it.

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Monoprice 27" IPS LED CrystalPro Monitor

Apple’s Thunderbolt Display is an impressive monitor, combining extra Mac-ready I/O ports with a gorgeous, high resolution display. The biggest problem is the price: it still costs $999, as much as the base model MacBook Air. If you’re looking for a less expensive solution but refuse to accept lower screen quality, you’re in luck: Monoprice, makers of inexpensive cables and other accessories, has just joined the monitor game, and its 27” IPS LED CrystalPro Monitor ($391) may just be the right thing for you.

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Kanex DualRole

Connecting to a wired network on modern MacBooks already requires an adapter, so if you’re going to plug something in anyways, you might as well get extra functionality out of it. That’s the thought with Kanex’s new DualRole ($69), at least. In addition to a Gigabit Ethernet connection, it packs three extra USB 3.0 ports, too.

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Moshi Cardette 3

Apple is sticking with SD card readers on almost all of its Macs, but the chances are slim that it’ll be adding any new memory card slots to its hardware. If you use any other type of card, then you should check out Moshi’s Cardette 3 ($49): this third edition of the company’s compact card reader is the strongest yet, packing support for plenty of high speed standards.

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Dev-Audio Microcone

If you’ve ever tried to record an in-person meeting on your Mac’s mic, or even on an external microphone, then you know how difficult it can be to deal with a bunch of different voices all on the same channel. Dev-Audio’s Microcone ($359) is made to solve that problem—the company calls it an intelligent microphone array for groups. Inside the hexagonal accessory are seven omnidirectional condenser mics, which can be used in a mix or separately with beam-forming DSP assistance to capture six separate audio channels at the same time.

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LaCie Blade Runner

And the award for most striking external hard drive goes to: LaCie’s Blade Runner ($299). Designed by Philippe Starck, it’s drastically different from accessories we’ve seen from his studio in the past, as well as virtually everyone else for that matter. Rather than the normal boxy enclosure most hard drives use, this one situates an “anthropomorphic metal interior” inside a cage-like series of vertical blades. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s a limited edition.

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$30-$40
Peripherals

Satechi Aluminum External Hard Disk Enclosure + Multifunction Card Reader

Satechi has unleashed a pair of new aluminum clad accessories to go along with your Mac, and both are sporting USB 3.0—a very good thing for owners of more recent machines. Aluminum External Hard Disk Enclosure ($40) and Aluminum Multifunction Card Reader ($30) offer two different ways to transfer media to and from the Mac. The black and silver design means they’ll fit right in especially well with your favorite Apple computer.

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Mimoco Mimomicro Card Reader

Since Macs don’t have any direct way to access a microSD card, you’re going to need an adapter or reader if you want to use one. And if you need a reader, why not pick a stylish one? Mimoco—maker of Mimobot flash drives—has a lineup it calls Mimomicro ($13). Like the flash drives, they come in a variety of cool character shapes, although the selection here is more limited.

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Matias Laptop Pro Bluetooth Keyboard

If you like the look and feel of Matias’ Quiet Pro Keyboard, but don’t want to deal with cables, the company has come up with a solution for you. Laptop Pro Bluetooth Keyboard ($170) takes the best elements of that wired keyboard, then cuts the cord. You get the same Quiet Click mechanical keyswitches and sculpted plastic keys, all with a Bluetooth connection to your Mac.

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$249-$349
Q3-Q4 2013
Peripherals

Henge Docks Horizontal Docking Station

Henge Docks has been making MacBook Docking Stations for a few years, but up until now they’ve all been vertical units that stood your computer up and added passthroughs to the ports. At the 2013 International CES, the company decided to turn its flagship product on its side—literally. Coming in the second half of this year, Horizontal Docking Station ($249-$349) gives your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with Retina display a home on your desk, complete with plenty of extra ports. It seems ideal for those who hook a laptop up to an external monitor at home or in the office.

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Macally MKEYE 103 Key Full-Size USB Keyboard with Short-Cut Keys

Apple may be moving away from wires wherever it can with the Mac lineup, but that doesn’t mean you have to, too. If you’re into computer-powered keyboards, you still have options—including Macally’s new MKEYE 103 Key Full-Size USB Keyboard with Short-Cut Keys ($20). That’s right, only twenty bucks gets you a full-sized keyboard for your favorite Mac; just plug it into a USB port, and you’re ready to go.

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€50/~$66
Peripherals

Artwizz Induction Charger Pro

Induction Charger Pro (€50/~$66) isn’t the first wireless charging system for the Magic Mouse we’ve come across, or even the first from Artwizz; we’ve previously covered Mobee’s The Magic Charger and Artwizz’s own Induction Charger after that. Although it’s similar in design to the earlier iteration, this version of the charging pad features modest improvements that make it worth a look. The idea is the same, though: pop the included battery pack in your Magic Mouse, plug the charger into a USB port or wall adapter, and just toss the mouse on when you want it to charge.

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