2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$100 + $40
Peripherals

Wacom Bamboo Capture + Wireless Accessory Kit

Wacom’s just updated its Bamboo series of drawing tablets, offering three new models packed with plenty of software at lower prices. Of the three, the mid-level Bamboo Capture ($100) strikes us as the most appealing. The pen-and-touch model—it supports input from both the included stylus as well as Multi-Touch gestures—has a 5.8” x 3.6” active area that’s perfect for photo touchups and drawing sketches. Included in the box are Adobe Photoshop Elements and Autodesk Sketchbook Express. The latter is available for free from the Mac App Store, but a trimmed down version of Adobe’s software costs $80 on its own, with the full version going for the same $100 as the tablet. Pretty good deal, right? Read More

$100-$180
Peripherals

Western Digital My Passport for Mac and My Passport Studio

Western Digital’s latest updates to its My Passport for Mac and My Passport Studio ($100-$180) portable external hard drives are pretty impressive. These tiny drives are powered by your machine, weigh less than a pound, and look even sharper than before, nicely matching any silver or black Mac. They’re perfect for travel because they’re small enough to toss in a bag, and light enough to almost forget inside. Read More

$400-$500
Peripherals

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series Hard Drive

We’ve been waiting months for a consumer-priced Thunderbolt drive to go up for sale, and it looks like the most affordable option yet has finally been released. LaCie’s Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series Hard Drives ($400-$500) should be hitting the shelves at bricks-and-mortar Apple Stores across the globe, and they’re now available from Apple’s online store with a shipping time of one to two weeks. Read More

Free/$8
Apps
Peripherals

Mac Gaming: Use a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 Controller

If you’ve been playing computer games for a long time, you’re probably used to keyboards and mice as substitutes for joysticks. But console gamers may prefer standard gamepads for Mac gaming, particularly given how widely available and popular they are. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to play Mac games with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controllers. Start with the PS3’s DualShock 3, which uses the same Bluetooth standards embraced by every recent Mac. You’ll need a controller as well as the USB cable—any Mini-USB to standard USB cable should do the trick. Connect the cable and controller to your computer and then open System Preferences to ensure that Bluetooth is on and discoverable. Then, hold down the PS button for three seconds and unplug the cable from the Mac. That’s it: the Sony controller will have connected with Bluetooth and be ready to go, driver-free. Feral Interactive has a video that walks you through the process. Read More

$240-$370
Peripherals

Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive

One of the best and defining features of the iMac is the all-in-one design, which has looked great every year since the original model’s introduction, and helps keep your desk free of clutter. Iomega’s new Mac Companion Hard Drive ($240-$370) continues the clutter-free theme. Available in either 2TB or 2TB capacities, it fits right on the iMac’s or Thunderbolt Display’s base, adding storage capacity and three USB ports to your computer. Smart, right? Read More

$2,499
September 2011
Peripherals

Wacom Cintiq 24HD

It mightn’t be as mainstream as Apple’s new Thunderbolt Display, but we have a feeling that the new Cintiq 24HD ($2,499) is going to be an object of lust for graphic designers, other creative professionals, and regular folk alike. This behemoth interactive monitor combines a 16:10 ratio, 1920x1200-pixel HD screen with the company’s pen technology, and is capable of detecting 2048 levels of pen pressure. You can write directly on the screen to interact with drawing and painting apps. Drooling yet? Read More

$169-$349
November 2011
Peripherals

mLogic mBack

We’ve always wanted to fill that hole on the iMac’s leg with something other than just cables, but to the best of our knowledge, no company has come up with something meaningful to do with it. Now, with the announcement of mBack ($169-$349) from mLogic, the hole has a purpose beyond cable management. mBack is an external hard drive that takes up no space on your desk; it mounts right on the iMac’s back, leaving you room for all your other gadgets. Read More

$400
Coming Soon
Peripherals

HP TopShot Laserjet Pro M275

With all the chaos that’s been taking place at Hewlett-Packard recently, we weren’t expecting to see anything neat out of the HP labs any time soon—but with its computer, tablet, and phone businesses up for sale, that leaves printers. So it’s nice to see that the upcoming TopShot Laserjet Pro M275 ($400, aka Laserjet Pro 200 Color MFP M275nw) has a cool new trick up its sleeve: 3-D object scanning. The feature’s impressive in and of itself, but the price makes this multifunction printer and scanner sound like a steal. Read More

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750

Most Mac users agree that Apple makes the best keyboards for its machines, but there’s always a reason to check out other options—especially if you want new and different features Apple hasn’t implemented yet. Logitech has come up with a solution to address two common Apple Wireless Keyboard issues—the hassle of changing the batteries whenever they run dry, and the lack of a number pad. The new Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 ($60) ships at the end of this month, comes in multiple colors, and even beats Apple’s version on price. Updated! New photos and details have been added below the fold. Read More

Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk External Hard Drive

4TB of storage space in a 3.5” consumer hard disk? It hadn’t been done before today. Now Seagate has pushed the envelope just a bit further with the introduction of its 4TB GoFlex Desk External Hard Drive ($250). The capacity isn’t the only big deal here; this drive is also capable of growing additional Thunderbolt connectivity. Is Apple and Intel’s new standard finally ready for average consumers? Read More

Razer Naga Epic Gaming Mouse

If you’re planning to head into World of Warcraft’s Azeroth with a Magic Mouse, it’s probably not going to be your most successful raid. Even though Macs can handle games pretty well at this point, Apple’s input devices weren’t designed to make the most of them. Gamers interested in MMORPG will likely be better off with mice made for gaming, such as Razer’s Naga Epic Gaming Mouse ($130). Read More

Cirago USB 2.0 to HDMI Adapter

Cirago’s new USB 2.0 to HDMI Adapter ($60) seems almost too good to be true: it’s designed to connect your Mac to an HDMI display, outputting through the USB port instead of having to rely on Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt. And it doesn’t just carry video—audio comes along for the ride too. Updated! New photos and details have been added below the fold. Read More

$199
Mid-September 2011
Peripherals

Wacom Inkling

The concept behind Wacom’s Inkling ($199) digital sketch pen set is almost amazingly simple. Using the included pen and receiver, you can draw on whatever paper you’d like, and the sketches will be digitally transferred to your Mac when you’re ready to refine them using your favorite software. For artists (and writers) who like to work in a physical medium at least part of the time, Inkling seems like it’ll be a great option. It’s just like Wacom’s tablets—minus the tablet. Read More

Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 3D

After what felt like a brief drought, the floodgates are now opening for Thunderbolt-capable accessories. While the Apple Store is still only featuring the Promise Pegasus RAID Storage Systems, Blackmagic Designs has just debuted UltraStudio 3D ($995), a new video capture and playback solution geared towards high-end video professionals. Read More

$150
October
Peripherals

Sonnet Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter

Apple knows that only professional users really needed ExpressCard/34 slots for their laptops—that’s why the company only continued to include the feature in 17” MacBook Pros. But with the invention of Thunderbolt, pro-grade I/O capabilities are now found in every Mac from the Mac mini on up, and thanks to Sonnet, there’s now a way for every Thunderbolt-equipped Mac to access ExpressCard expandability. It’s called the Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter ($150), a plug-and-play card slot that allows you to connect a whole host of adapters to your machine. If you’re thinking about picking one up, make sure you have an extra $49 handy; the Thunderbolt Cable isn’t included. Read More

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