2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com


LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series

LaCie’s new Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series is the kind of external hard drive we can get behind. We use the term “hard drive” loosely, though—while Rugged comes in a 1TB spinning disk configuration for $250, it’s also available with a 120GB SSD for $200 or 256GB SSD for $350. It pairs super-fast storage with super-fast transfer rates, supporting both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Read More

Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard

Based on its earlier and popular Tactile Pro keyboard, Matias’s Quiet Pro ($150) is sure to appeal to discerning typists. The original version was inspired by Apple’s well-respected Extended and Extended II keyboards; Quiet Pro preserves the same look but swaps the noisy keyswitches for Quiet Click switches. They’re said to maintain tactility while eliminating most of the clicky noise you’d expect from such a keyboard. We know some people love the classic noise, but this version might make your officemates happier. Read More


Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt Portable HDD

Thunderbolt is getting closer to becoming a practical standard. Plenty of expensive, stationary desktop units were announced before Buffalo debuted the MiniStation Thunderbolt Portable HDD ($200-$250), the first bus-powered portable Thunderbolt hard drive we’ve come across. Now instead of having to invest a few hundred bucks into several terabytes worth of storage, the average Mac user can get 500GB or 1TB in a portable package at a reasonable price. It also includes a USB 3.0 connection, just in case you need to fall back to the slower standard. Read More

TMDtouch Zorro Masck Touch Screen for 21.5" iMac

The chances of Apple releasing a touchscreen iMac any time soon are probably pretty low, but there are ways to touch-enable certain desktop Macs. Shenzhen-based TMDtouch has decided to take up the cause with Zorro Macsk ($199), a cover that turns 21.5” iMacs into touchscreen devices without any modifications; you simply slide it on, plug in the USB cable, and it’s good to go. Read More

Late 2012

NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac Pro

Wait a second—a new peripheral for the Mac Pro? It’s been ages since we’ve seen virtually anything designed for Apple’s workhouse tower, but NVIDIA apparently hasn’t given up on the big old Mac yet. Announced today and coming later this year is Quadro K5000 ($2,249), one heck of a graphics card. It retails for just a few bucks less than the base Mac Pro itself, bringing improved performance and 4K video support to the table.  Read More

Western Digital My Passport Edge for Mac

Western Digital just won’t slow down: days after announcing a batch of new hard drives, it’s back again with My Passport Edge for Mac ($110). This portable storage solution has everything a Mac user needs: plenty of space, a very slim design, and fast transfer speeds. Read More

Western Digital My Book VelociRaptor Duo

Yes, a $900 2TB external hard drive strikes us as being a little crazy, but it’s hard to argue with something named after a dinosaur. Along with announcing USB 3.0 updates for some of its portables, Western Digital just launched My Book VelociRaptor Duo, and this thing is as beastly as the name suggests: two 1TB, 10,000 RPM drives are packed inside the enclosure, and a Thunderbolt connection lets you make the most of them. Read More

Rocstor Rocsafe MX Mobile

Term papers and cat pictures don’t merit top secret-level security, but if you’re toting around files that absolutely have to remain private, an average hard drive isn’t going to cut it. That’s why Rocstor has come up with the 750GB Rocsafe MX Mobile ($590) encrypted hard drive. Having just made its way into Apple’s online store with pre-formatting for Mac use, MX Mobile uses two-factor authentication to keep your data secure: you must physically insert a smartcard, then enter a PIN to make the drive’s contents accessible. Read More


LaCie RuggedKey

Perhaps you’ll never be in a position to drop your flash drive from 300 feet above the ground—but wouldn’t it be nice to know that it would survive if you did? That’s LaCie’s pitch with the new RuggedKey ($40-$70). Styled after the company’s popular Rugged hard drives, this USB 3.0 flash drive comes in 16 or 32GB, and can really take a beating. Read More

Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet + FireWire 800 Adapters

After a slow, expensive start, Thunderbolt might finally be picking up some steam. Apple doubled its line of accessories that take advantage of the high speed accessory at today’s WWDC keynote: joining the ranks of the Thunderbolt Cable and Thunderbolt Display are the Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter ($29) and Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 Adapter ($30). Read More

Macally Super-Speed USB 3.0 Aluminum Storage Enclosure

It took a few years for Apple to hop on board with USB 3.0, but the technology is now standard on new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers—each has a pair of the high-speed ports—and they’re surely coming to the desktops sooner rather than later. Macally was quick to take advantage of Cupertino getting with the times by introducing its Super-Speed USB 3.0 Aluminum Storage Enclosure ($70). Similar to G-Technology’s drives, this affordable Mac-matching enclosure will fit nicely alongside your favorite computer, holding your choice of hard drives inside. Read More

Newer Technology miniStack

Mac mini users love their machines’ tiny footprints, but there are few expansion options that precisely match the look and size of Apple’s smallest computers. That’s what makes Newer Technology’s latest miniStack ($90+) an appealing option. Similar to the miniStack Max we saw at the 2012 CES—which incidentally still isn’t available yet—miniStack is an aluminum hard drive enclosure designed to fit underneath a mini, but compatible with any Mac. For $160, it comes with 500GB of storage capacity, while the aluminum enclosure is available without a drive inside for $90. Read More

November 2012 For Kickstarter Backers

Nifty MiniDrive + MiniDrive Pro

We only rarely cover Kickstarter projects, but we couldn’t resist Nifty’s fully-funded, smart MiniDrive and MiniDrive Pro ($30+). The company has created removable MicroSD card sleds that fit into the SD slots on the MacBook Air and Pro, respectively. Unlike a standard SD card, they sit flush with the edge of your computer, adding the ability to carry a spare hard drive around without any bulk. They’ll be available in a variety of colors including Mac-matching silver, with shipments starting in November. Read More

Blue Microphones Tiki

The mic in your Mac isn’t made for serious recording, so if audio quality is important to you, a dedicated microphone accessory will make a big difference. Blue Microphone’s new Tiki ($60) has just been released as a smart entry-level choice: not only is it one of the least expensive Blue mics we’ve seen, but the size and technology are impressive too. Read More

$48 Stand-Alone/$200+ With SSD

OWC Mercury Aura Envoy

Most of the updates to this year’s revision of the MacBook Air were under the hood, including a long-awaited bump of the maximum storage capacity to a modern notebook-rivaling 512GB. Apple’s upgrade costs a whopping $500 over the 256GB SSD, though, so most users will have to hold off for a while or consider third-party options. OWC has offered its own SSD upgrade kits for a while now, and the prices have fallen dramatically since they were introduced. Better yet, the new Mercury Aura Envoy ($48 Stand-Alone/$200+ With SSD) gives Air users a way to keep using the original drive once it’s been removed from the MacBook’s body. Read More

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