2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

March 2012

Newer Technology miniStack Max

It’s hard to find fault with the Mac mini when it comes to the diminutive tower’s I/O options; Apple gave even its lowest-end machine a pretty impressive collection of features, as long as you’re not concerned about CDs and DVDs. But discs remain a legitimate concern for some users, and there are times when people may need more ports to plug things into, as well. That’s why Newer Technology introduced miniStack Max ($TBD) at the 2012 International CES.  Read More

September 2012

Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock ($299)—that would be last September—but it got a big make over just in time for the 2012 International CES, as well a promised release date: September 2012. Billed as the ultimate accessory for the MacBook Air, this new dock is compatible with all Thunderbolt-equipped Macs, adding extra I/O ports to whatever machine you use it with, and enabling you to make a simple connection to a notebook computer when it returns to all the peripherals on your desk. Read More

February 2012

Elgato Thunderbolt SSD

If you own a 2011-vintage Mac, you’re probably still trying to find super-fast accessories to use with its new Thunderbolt port. Elgato’s ready to wow you with a new option: the plainly-named Thunderbolt SSD ($430-$700). Completely portable, made from dark metal, and silent, the Thunderbolt SSD promises speedy and reliable data storage in your choice of 120GB or 240GB versions—small capacities for the prices because they use solid-state memory rather than disks, but the speeds may justify the expenditure. Read More

Mobee Technology Power Bar

Along with Magic Feet, Mobee has one more product to show off at the 2012 International CES, and it’s something that we’re especially excited about. For many Magic Trackpad users, Power Bar ($30) is going to be a very big deal. Breaking from the company’s usual trend, this battery pack doesn’t use conductive technology. Instead, it’s packing a Micro USB port that let’s you recharge from one of the cables that is likely already dangling from the back of your machine… or sticking out of your wired keyboard, if you’re rocking one of those. Read More


G-Technology G-Drive mobile + G-Drive mobile USB

It’s not a secret, but many people aren’t aware that premium Mac hard drive maker G-Technology is actually a division of Hitachi—so when Hitachi releases new drives, updated G-Tech products generally follow. We’ve already highly recommended the company’s G-Drive 3TB—just now becoming available in a 4GB version—as our go-to desktop drive, and now some of G-Tech’s portables have been updated, too. Thanks to Hitachi’s new 1TB Travelstar 5K1000 2.5-inch drive, both the G-Drive mobile ($200) and G-Drive mobile USB ($180) will soon be available in 1TB versions. Read More

Early February 2012

Retrode Retrode 2

Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games have held up surprisingly well since the platforms were put to rest years ago. In our experience, old consoles usually stop working well before their cartridges, but the desire to play some of the classic games never really goes away. That’s why we were seriously intrigued by the Retrode 2 ($85) from Retrode—a peripheral that allows you to effectively play your original cartridges on your Mac, using the actual console controllers. How cool is that? Read More

Audioengine D1

Be warned: Audioengine’s just-announced D1 ($169) is for serious audiophiles only—guys who would consider putting jet fuel in a Ferrari for just a hint of extra speed. But we know you’re out there, so here it is: D1 is a digital-to-analog converter box for your Mac that promises to “improve the sound of ALL your music” by routing it through a USB port to your best pair of speakers or headphones, processing it with a high-performance, low-jitter AK4396 DAC. Read More

Apparent Doxie Go

We thought Apparent’s Doxie scanner was pretty slick back when we first saw it a few months ago, but the company has one-upped itself with the release of Doxie Go ($199). Like the earlier version, Go is a feeding document scanner that supports paper sizes up to 8.5"x11”, with the ability to process smaller pages as well. The big difference here is portability. Apparent has even touted future iOS compatibility, although we haven’t quite seen that yet. Read More


Apricorn Aegis NetDock - Mac Edition

If you need an optical drive for your MacBook Air or Mac Mini for whatever reason, Apple’s SuperDrive has been the main contender for the past few years. But along with the Apple design, you have to pay the Apple price—$79 in this case. What if you could get the equivalent of the SuperDrive, plus a four-port USB hub and 2.5” hard drive enclosure for ten bucks less? It’s called Aegis NetDock - Mac Edition ($69-$229), from Apricorn. Read More


j5 create USB HDMI + DVI Display Adapters

Adapters to turn a Mac’s USB port into a second display have become fairly common over the past couple of years, but options with Mac-matching aesthetics are few and far between. j5 create’s USB Display Adapters are different: available in HDMI ($100), DVI ($70), and even VGA ($70) versions, each has a Mac-matching silver aluminum body with white and silver plastic ends, a white USB cable, and a single female port for video output. Connect it to your Mac and you can hook up an external monitor of your choice—j5 create notes that certain computers can support as many as 6 displays over USB, provided that they have dual-core processors and 2GB or more of free RAM. Read More

j5 create JUH320 v2 Wormhole Docking Station

Apple users are used to dealing with fewer ports than they might otherwise want, but there are times when extras are particularly appreciated. Hubs and docking stations are always options, but they’re generally not the prettiest things around. A company called j5 create has introduced a new accessory that matches the design of your Mac and isn’t too obtrusive: the JUH320 v2 Wormhole Docking Station ($130). Not only do you get extra inputs, but you can also share peripherals and files with a second computer as well. Updated December 5, 2011 was new pictures and hands-on impressions! Read More


ioSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive

Ever gone mountain climbing or swimming with your external hard drive? We’re assuming not—nor are we recommending either of those activities—but if you are the kind of person prone to destroying hard drives in one way or another, check out ioSafe’s Rugged Portable Hard Drive ($200-$300). Available in either 500GB or 1TB, this guy offers USB and two FireWire 800 ports, a Kensington-style lock slot on the back, and is made to stand up to pretty much anything you throw at it. Read More

Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive

With data storage, like most things, you typically need to choose between size or speed. Of course you can custom order a super-fast solid state drive in the MacBook Pro, but at an $1,100 premium for 512GB, it’s not very practical for typical consumers, and space is still somewhat limited. That’s where Seagate’s newly updated Momentus XT 750 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive ($249) comes in. It’s the best of both worlds. Read More

December 2011

Crypteks Crypteks USB

If you take the security of your data extra seriously—or you just really liked that one scene from The Da Vinci Code—then Crypteks’ Crypteks USB ($130-$160) is probably right up your alley. This fully funded Kickstarter project is more than a simple flash drive. It features 256-bit AES encryption that’s controlled by the hardware cypher encasing the drive.  Read More

M-Audio Fast Track

Alright rockstar, you’ve got the Mac. You’ve got the instruments. You’ve got the mic. The only thing holding you back from making that platinum record at this point is a way to get your tunes flowing into your computer. Enter M-Audio’s Fast Track ($150). This simple breakout box is an incredibly straightforward solution for musicians recording to their Macs. Read More

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