2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$700-$850
Peripherals

G-Technology G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt

Looking at the lineup of G-Technology’s drives, it can be tough to distinguish between the many different but similar-looking options. G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt ($700-$850) makes it pretty clear, though: it’s packing two full-speed Thunderbolt ports to take proper advantage of the fast transfer standard. Coming in 2TB and 4TB storage capacities, the drive is housed inside the trademark aluminum casing that looks great next to a Mac. Read More

$75-$859
Peripherals

OWC RAM for Mac Pro (Late 2013)

With a $3,000 starting price, it may be hard to justify upgrading the new Mac Pro beyond its basic specs when you make the purchase. Thankfully this unit is mostly user-upgradable, including its RAM, and like always, OWC is ready to go with RAM upgrades ($75-$859). While Apple charges up to $1,200 for the maximum RAM — four 16GB chips equalling 64GB total — OWC charges $341 less for the same array. Read More

$200-$260
Peripherals

Toshiba Canvio Home Backup & Share

Of course it’s a great idea to backup your Mac regularly, and thanks to Time Machine, there are plenty of drives that do that for you easily. The latest drives build upon the basics with convenient implementations, at lower prices. So even though Toshiba’s Canvio Home Backup & Share ($150) is far from the first networked drive around, we’re interested because it’s inexpensive and easy to use. Read More

$99+
Fall 2014
Peripherals

Palette Palette

For most people, a keyboard and either a mouse or trackpad is plenty to control a Mac. But people using certain apps, such as music and photo editors, benefit from more granular control. That’s where Palette ($99+), from the company of the same name, comes into play. A modular series of physical controls, it allows you to customize a unique work flow. Read More

Griffin PowerMate Bluetooth

If you’ve been a Mac fan for years, you might remember Griffin’s original PowerMate. A simple silver dial, it was a neat USB accessory that let you scroll or change volume levels as you turned it. Now there’s a sequel: PowerMate Bluetooth ($60). Take one guess as to the big difference here. Read More

StarTech.com Thunderbolt Laptop Docking Station

Thunderbolt docks have never been too popular, but there’s nothing wrong with having more options. The latest competitor to Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock and the handful of others on the market is Thunderbolt Laptop Docking Station ($280) from StarTech.com. Coming in at $20 less than Belkin’s dock, it offers almost all of the same functionality and includes a meter-long cable, plus an extra port the Belkin dock lacks. Read More

Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive

Not every new hard drive shown off at the 2014 CES was a crazy expensive piece of art. Take Seagate’s much more standard looking Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive ($270). At a little over half the price, it delivers four times the storage. That’s right, this portable hard drive packs a whopping 4TB; that’s a first for a drive that’s meant for travel. Read More

LaCie Sphère

If you’re thinking $500 is crazy expensive for a 1TB speaker these days, we’re right there with you. But exceptions can be made for works of art, and LaCie’s new Sphère ($490) may be one of them. Designed, handcrafted and silvered by Christofle in France, it’s definitely a looker. The specs may not be killer, but you’re paying for the packaging with this one. Read More

$160
March 2014
Peripherals

Lenmar ChugPlug

Lenmar’s ChugPlug ($160) was one of a handful of Best of Show Award-winners at the 2014 International CES, and the only solely Mac-focused product of the bunch. Up until now, the only real option for providing portable power to a MacBook has come in the form of Sanho’s HyperJuice, an accessory that requires physical hacking of the power supply. This one is less destructive, offering up to four extra hours of use without having to tear anything apart. Read More

Corning Thunderbolt Optical Cable

We’re not necessarily suggesting you run out an drop more than the cost of an iPad mini on a cable. But if you’re so inclined, Corning is now giving you the ability to do so. Its Thunderbolt Optical Cable ($330) is a solution for a niche market. At 10 meters, it’s much longer than Apple’s standard Thunderbolt cable, yet performs at Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 speeds thanks to the optical technology inside. Read More

$500-$900
Peripherals

Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+

Several years after the Thunderbolt high-speed cable standard was first introduced, most of the drives using Apple’s connector are large, professional-grade, desktop-specific devices. Some time ago, Elgato introduced a more portable solution in the Thunderbolt SSD, and nearly two years later, it has returned with a sequel called Thunderbolt Drive+ ($500-$900). The price has jumped significantly from the original model, but so have the performance and capacity of the new drive. Updated December 20, 2013 with new photos and hands-on testing results! Read More

$3595
Peripherals

Sharp 32" PN-K321 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor

If you were holding out hope that an Apple-branded 4K monitor would arrive in stores alongside the new Mac Pro, you’ll probably have to keep holding your breath until later in 2014. But even though there’s no new Thunderbolt Display from Cupertino, the Apple Store does have a launch day 4K display option available: Sharp’s 32” PN-K321 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor ($3595). Yes, it costs more than the base Mac Pro tower itself, but isn’t a pretty picture (and the ability to edit 4K movies) worth it? Read More

NuMac NMBDR6x Blu-ray Drive

We’ve been refreshing Apple’s website since the calendar flipped over to December, waiting to see when the new Mac Pro is going to pop up. We’re still waiting, but in the meantime, there are new accessories to stock up on, such as NuMac’s NMBDR6x Blu-ray Drive ($149). Made to match the new design of the upcoming drive-free Mac Pro, it adds the “bag of hurt” functionality that Apple has continued to avoid. Read More

Kanex simpleDock

It’s no secret that USB ports are always at a premium, especially when you’re using a MacBook with only two. There are plenty of hub solutions out there that add on extras, but Kanex’s simpleDock has to be one of the cooler ones. Made of silver-colored zinc and black plastic, it will look good next to your favorite Mac, and adds features other than just ports. Update: We’ve added additional thoughts from hands-on testing of a simpleDock, below! Read More

$3,500
Peripherals

Dell UltraSharp 32 UltraHD Monitor

No, we haven’t gone crazy: we’re actually talking about a Dell monitor. But it’s not just any old screen—it’s the new UltraSharp 32 UltraHD Monitor ($3,500). This 31.5” monitor has enough pixels to support the 4K video format with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, making it ideal for the upcoming Mac Pro—though it also costs $500 more than Apple’s base model. Read More

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