2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter

We’ve been waiting for Seagate to release the GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter ($100) for quite a while now: it was shown in June at the CEA LineShows in New York City, but the company said it would take time for the accessory to become available. Seven months later, it’s finally on Seagate’s website, so it’s time to get your Thunderboltin’ on.

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$70
January 2012
Peripherals

Logitech Cube

The Multi-Touch trackpad that Apple features on its notebooks and as a standalone tool in the form of the Magic Trackpad is definitely our favorite Mac input method, but a mouse can still come in handy. If carrying a full-sized mouse in your bag seems like too much, there are smaller options, and if you need an accessory for business presentations, Logitech’s Cube ($70) might be just what you’re looking for.

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$269
Spring 2012
Peripherals

Motu MicroBook II

Looking to make some music on your Mac without breaking the bank—or your back? The upcoming MicroBook II ($269) from Motu will likely be right up your alley. Not only is it a studio-grade system at a reasonable price, but the box is also designed to be completely portable. Coming in at only 5.5” x 3.5” x 1.25” and packed into a rugged metal case, it’s easy enough to slip into a bag without worrying about it.

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$TBD
TBD
Peripherals

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo

The Thunderbolt ports on our Macs are starting to get a little lonely. It’s been just shy of a year since Apple and Intel launched the standard with the early 2011 MacBook Pro, and there are still only a handful of supported accessories. Of those, there are barely any that are aimed towards consumers; most are for high-end, professional users. And Western Digital’s upcoming My Book Thunderbolt Duo ($TBD) isn’t going to be for everyone, either, but it’s another clean design with extra horsepower under the hood. Originally previewed at this year’s International CES, My Book Thunderbolt Duo doesn’t yet have a final release date, but the hardware’s real and looking pretty good.

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Pioneer DDJ-ERGO DJ Controller

Pioneer’s DDJ-ERGO ($699) isn’t the first DJ controller we’ve seen for the Mac, but it is one of the coolest—and serious DJs will likely see the asking price as money well spent. This board is built from the bottom up to complement your Mac in everything from its physical design to the integration with Algoriddim’s Djay 4; it features a dock to hold a MacBook inside. And of course, it has all the other features you’d expect from a good DJ controller, including MIDI compatibility and a straightforward USB-to-Mac connection for power.

 

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€48-€60/~$62-$77
February - March 2012
Peripherals

Logical Art Empty Memory USB Memory Sticks

We could wax poetic about the merger of art and technology when talking about Logical Art’s Empty Memory USB Memory Sticks (€48-€60/~$62-$77), or we could just cut to the chase and tell you these are some really cool looking 4GB flash drives. There are actually two different styles in the family—Transparency and Structure—both of which come accented with one of three different metals. Any version will really stand out from the plastic options that currently dominate the memory stick market.

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$TBD
March 2012
Peripherals

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. 

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$299
September 2012
Peripherals

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.

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$430-$700
February 2012
Peripherals

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.

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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.

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$180-$200
Peripherals

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.

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$85
Early February 2012
Peripherals

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?

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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.

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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.

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$69-$229
Peripherals

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.

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