2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$2,449
Peripherals

NEC 30" Widescreen Color-Critical Desktop Monitor with SpectraViewII

Now that Apple is out of the 30” display game, Mac fans have to search a little to find the right giant, pro-grade monitor. Thankfully, NEC has stepped up to the plate with its tongue-twisting 30” Widescreen Color-Critical Desktop Monitor with SpectraViewII ($2,449, aka LCD3090WQXi). Sure, it’s more expensive than the $1,799 Apple was charging for the 30” Cinema Display before the behemoth was discontinued, but the enhancements NEC includes for graphics professionals may very well be worth the extra cash to you. Read More

Kanex mLinq

Back in the old days—say, last year—the idea of a Mac running four displays was impossible unless you had a customized Mac Pro. But now that Kanex has released mLinq ($99), which adds an HDMI adapter to any Mac with an open USB port, it’s possible that even current 27-inch iMac users will be able to pull off that feat. Most recent Mac owners will be capable of running up to three displays at once. Read More

Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen

Pens are always going to have their place; even with computers, iPads, and smartphones everywhere, handwritten notes aren’t going away. But why not find a way to make the old work with the new? That’s what Livescribe has done with its Echo Smartpen, now available in a 2GB starter pack model ($100). Armed with a rechargeable battery, Echo records everything you hear and write, turning your words into searchable, sendable text. You dock it with your Mac using an included USB cable to access the recordings. Read More

Apple Magic Trackpad

As longtime users of both desktop and laptop Mac models, we have plenty of experience to bring to the trackpad/mouse debate. With the Apple Magic Trackpad ($69), we can finally put the debate to rest. Now available as a no-cost option with new iMacs, it brings one of the best features of Apple’s MacBook line to its desktops—minus the whole portable computer thing, of course. Read More

Elgato HDHomeRun

Even if you’re not into baseball, you should appreciate the tech inside the Elgato HDHomeRun ($180). This simple solution connects to a TV antenna or digital cable line and to your wireless router via Ethernet, providing wireless HD streaming around your home. Read More

$110-$150
Peripherals

LaCie Starck Desktop Hard Drive

It’s not the fastest or cheapest external drive, but LaCie’s Starck Desktop Hard Drive ($110-$150) is definitely sexy. With an enclosure by world renowned designer Philippe Starck, it’s definitely going to stand out. That red cross symbol is his signature T, and the LED inside also functions as a status light. Read More

$480-$1,580
Peripherals

OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD for MacBook Air

You love your MacBook Air. And you should! It’s fast, it’s thin, it’s light. But the SSD is a bit light on capacity, too. Eleven-inchers are stuck at 128GB; 13’s maxxed out at 256GB. You’re eventually going to need more space. Luckily, Other World Computing is on the same page. It’s pumping out SSD upgrades for the 2010 editions of the MacBook Air called Mercury Aura Pro Express ($480-$1,580). They’re not cheap, but they pack more capacity into those little chips than Apple’s drives. Read More

$24 and Up
Peripherals

Crucial RAM for iMac (Early 2011)

Now that you’ve dropped some cash on a crazy fast new iMac, the single best thing you can do to improve performance is to stock up on RAM. Both the 21- and 27-inch models start with a bare 4GB and officially support up to 16GB. Maxing out isn’t cheap if you have Apple do it—add $600 for 16GB. Our advice: go with Crucial’s memory modules. Only $188 will get you two of its 8GB kits. Not a bad savings, huh? Read More

Epson Stylus Photo R2000 Printer

Are your standard inkjet’s 8” x 10” prints no longer cutting it for you? Take your digital photography reproduction to the next level with the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 Printer ($500). Capable of prints up to 13” x 44” in size, it can take full advantage of your modern camera’s multi-megapixel shots. Read More

Audio-Technica AT-LP240-USB Turntable

Have a vinyl collection that dwarfs your iTunes library? Perhaps it’s time to pick up a Audio-Technica AT-LP240-USB Turntable ($500). Sporting a USB port for direct connection to your Mac for conversion purposes, it also offers a built-in phono preamp for connecting to traditional hi-fi systems, giving you the best of both worlds. Read More

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone

Shiny, retro-inspired microphones are all the rage these days, and Samson’s Meteor Mic ($99) might well be the flashiest of the pack. Built with a fancy integrated tripod for instant positioning on a flat surface, Meteor Mic features a chrome-plated body with metal mesh grilles wrapping around the chassis. Volume and mute controls are on the front, with headphone-out and USB connectors on the back. But what’s inside counts for a lot, too: a big 25mm condenser microphone, designed to capture sound with warmth that smaller mics might miss. It’s being pitched at podcasters, but the CD-quality 16-bit/44.1 or 48kHz recording capabilities will make it attractive for other recordings, as well. Read More

$100 with contract, $270 without
Peripherals

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with Verizon 4G LTE coverage, the wireless giant now has an accessory that will make your friends jealous. The new 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L ($100 on contract, $270 without) is an update to the popular portable Wi-Fi device. It’s everything you’d expect from a MiFi, but ten times as fast, with download speeds up to 12 Mbps. Read More

G-Technology G-Drive 3TB

Whenever readers ask us about our favorite hard drives, we always point to G-Technology’s G-Drives—Mac-matching aluminum bodies with workhorse-caliber Hitachi disks and reliable Oxford 934 chips inside. Now G-Tech has released a 3-Terabyte version of G-Drive ($350), the highest-capacity version yet. Like its same-named predecessors, G-Drive 3TB runs quiet thanks to a fan-free cooling system, and has ports on the back for USB, FireWire 800, and eSATA connections, plus a FireWire 400 adapter in the box. Yes, G-Drives are way more expensive than plastic-bodied competitors with lower-grade hard disks inside, but they’re the ones we pick for archiving our most important photos and videos. And they’re preferred by professional video editors, as well. Read More

Western Digital MyBook Studio Edition II

Remember when everything you needed fit on a floppy? Yeah, well those days are long past gone. At this point we’re talking terabytes, and Western Digital is taking it to the next level with the MyBook Studio Edition II ($550), weighing in at a whopping 6TB. It’s the same size as the previous 4TB version, so no worries about clearing extra space on your desk. Read More

€40
Peripherals

Artwizz Induction Charger

Apple has a long and checkered history with mouse design. Only a few years ago did it release an almost universally-praised option in the Magic Mouse, now packed-in as standard with every iMac. Problem: Magic Mouse eats batteries every two or three months. That’s where Artwizz comes in with the Induction Charger (€40). This induction charging platform allows you to simply toss your mouse on it when not in use and come back to a full charge, never having to worry about replacing batteries or plugging anything in again. (Sound familiar?) Read More

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