2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$249
July 4, 2011
Peripherals

BookEndz Docking Station for 13" MacBook Air

Yeah, it’s crazy expensive, but BookEndz has been making notebook docks for years, and its upcoming Docking Station for 13” MacBook Air is the latest in a family of similarly-themed accessories. If you have an external display and other plug-in accessories at your desk, you probably already know the pain of trying to turn the Air into a full-time desktop machine. Who wants to mess with plugging and unplugging all those cables all the time?

Read More

$80-$100
Peripherals

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB + ATR-2500-USB Microphones

So you’re loving Apple’s GarageBand and you kinda-sorta taught yourself to play music. Now it’s time to take a stab at singing along with your strings, keys, and beats. You’re going to need something better than your Mac’s standard mic for the vocals… something like Audio-Technica’s ATR2100-USB Handheld USB/XLR Microphone ($80). And hey, it looks good enough that you wouldn’t get laughed off the stage if you pulled it out at a show. Updated! We’ve added new pictures and details for the both ATR2100-USB and its companion model ATR2500-USB ($100)!

Read More

Quirky Space Bar

Desk space is always a precious commodity—almost as much as open USB ports. That’s why Quirky’s Space Bar ($79) makes so much sense. It’s a combination of a stand for your iMac or Cinema Display with a USB hub. And it looks pretty cool.

Read More

Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Gaming Mouse

First things first. We know Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Gaming Mouse ($150) will look sort of ridiculous to non-gamers, particularly if your idea of an input device involves touchscreen controls and zero physical buttons. But some hardcore computer gamers will see this as a beauty. With the Mac finally becoming a legit gaming platform, Mad Catz has released an official OS X driver for its entire Cyborg R.A.T. line of PC accessories. Windows gamers have been using R.A.T. 9 for almost a year, and now it’s the Mac’s turn to try wrestling with this beast.

Read More

Sleeptracker Sleeptracker Elite

Your Mac probably has something to do with the fact that you can’t sleep at night, so you might as well use it to wake you up better in the morning. That’s exactly what Sleeptracker’s Sleeptracker Elite ($179) is for; it’s a computer-assisted intelligent alarm clock-like solution that analyzes your sleep patterns. If the technology sounds like something out of a dream, don’t fear—we’ve actually been testing one, and it works.

Read More

Gemini FirstMix USB DJ Controller

Looking for a way to move the fun and functionality of the iPad’s Djay app over to your Mac? The Gemini FirstMix USB DJ Controller ($100) is a good place to start. Thanks to a simple USB connection, included Cross LE DJ software, and compatibility with a number of Mac DJ apps—including the Mac counterpart of the aforementioned Djay—it can accomodate DJs of any skill level.

Read More

€179/$257
Peripherals

Nova Media iCON 461

Maybe you’re a jet setter, or perhaps you just don’t want to be locked into a cellular data contract. Either way, Nova Media’s iCON 461 (€179/$257) 3G USB modem could be a good choice if you want to access the Internet while traveling. What’s so special about it? It’s fully unlocked, meaning you can use any data-enabled SIM card to get online—a good way to go month to month on service, saving a few bucks on the road.

Read More

$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

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy