2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$30-$50
Peripherals

LaCie Porsche Design USB Key

Porsche Design is known for its industrial aesthetic, often incorporating metal elements and simple, clean lines into established accessories. The new LaCie Porsche Design USB Key ($30-$50) takes the company’s theory to its logical endpoint: it’s a brushed steel stick, packing a USB 3.0 connection and your choice of 16 or 32GB of storage space. A square opening at the back end allows you to clip it to your keys. It’s not a stretch to call it almost undesigned.

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$150-$250
Peripherals

Western Digital My Cloud

Between iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, and every other cloud storage system out there, there’s a good chance your files are spread far and wide. Western Digital’s new My Cloud ($150-$250) offers a personal cloud for your home, initially in 2, 3, or 4TB capacities. While the box itself may look like a standard hard drive, there’s a lot more to it than just that.

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Epson Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Printer

Even as we share more and more content online, it’s important to be able to print out a page or a photo when necessary. Consider Epson’s Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Printer ($350)—“small-in-one” is definitely the company’s phrase, not ours. It’s capable of printing pretty much anything you may need, and quickly, too.

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Belkin YourType Bluetooth Wireless Keypad

Belkin’s YourType Bluetooth Wireless Keypad ($60) is exactly what it would look like if you took a Magic Trackpad and stuck some numbers to it. If Apple were ever to make a number pad of its own, we’d imagine it would look just like this. For the accountants and other number crunchers out there, it’s worth checking out. 

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$499
September 23, 2013
Peripherals

Sonnet Echo Express SE II

If you’ve been waiting anxiously for a Thunderbolt 2 accessory, good news: we have one to show you… sort of. Sonnet has announced its Echo Express SE II ($499), a Thunderbolt expansion chassis for PCIe cards. It’ll be available on September 23, and at that time, it’ll ship with a standard Thunderbolt connection. Whenever Apple ships its new Mac Pro this fall, Sonnet will allow you to upgrade to Thunderbolt 2, for free.

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€150/~$200
October 21, 2013
Peripherals

Orée Touch Slab

If you were to ask us what materials we’d expect to see a Magic Trackpad competitor made of, wood certainly wouldn’t be at the top of that list. In fact, we’re not even quite sure how that would physically work. But apparently it does, as Orée is launching its Touch Slab (€150/~$200) on October 21.

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$192-$1,028
Peripherals

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini

Available in a wide array of capacities, ranging from 240GB of SSD storage to 3TB of traditional spinning hard drive space, OWC’s Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini ($192-$1,028) is more interesting than the standard portable hard drive. Each different model actually comes with two equal size drives, preset to either RAID-0 or RAID-1, based on your preference. If you want to take advantage of the total storage space, go with the former, and if you want data redundancy, choose the latter.

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$79-$199
Peripherals

Wacom Intuos

It’s time to say goodbye to Bamboo, and say hello to Intuos. Wacom has just issued a major update to its line of drawing tablets, including the introduction of the new Intuos line ($79-$199). There’s a range of options, from Intuos Pen, with its 6 x 3.7 inch active area, to the bigger Intuos Pen & Touch, offering a much larger drawing surface and touch controls. There’s even a dedicated Manga edition.

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$100-$260
Peripherals

mLogic mBack (2013)

First announced nearly two years ago, mLogic’s original mBack never actually made it to market. Based on feedback, the company decided to redesign the mountable hard drive to support 2.5” platters. Now, mBack ($100-$260) is a real, shipping product that you can get your hands on. The concept is the same, but some real improvements have been made.

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HighPoint Technologies RocketStor 5212 Dual-Bay Thunderbolt Storage Dock

You’ve got old internal hard drives, and them you’ve got your fancy Thunderbolt-equipped Mac. Just how do the two come together? Why, with HighPoint Technologies’ RocketStor 5212 Dual-Bay Thunderbolt Storage Dock ($200), that’s how. Although it doesn’t have the same premium metallic look we’ve seen from most Thunderbolt accessories, the relatively inexpensive dock seems to be a useful solution.

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Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631

When it comes to touch-enabled mice for the Mac, Apple’s Magic Mouse has seen little real competition. Much like it took a swing at the Magic Trackpad with its Rechargeable Trackpad T651a, Logitech is now trying to swoop into that space with its Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631 ($70). Designed to specifically complement Apple’s computers—a separate Windows-ready version is also available—it’s a more compact option, at the same price point.

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$100-$200
Peripherals

PNY StorEDGE Flash Memory Expansion Module

We’ve seen a handful of accessories designed to expand the internal storage of a MacBook through the SD card slot. Generally, they’re adapters that work with self-provided microSD cards, but PNY has a different take: the StorEDGE Flash Memory Expansion Modules ($100-$200) are trimmed down SD cards that don’t require any other pieces.

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Snowmous Design Access IO

For a multitude of reasons, we rarely cover Kickstarter projects: there’s no certainty on funding or actual delivery of the product, so we usually wait until the concept becomes real and actually ships. But once in a while, we’ll see something that’s genuinely cool and likely to ship on time if it’s funded. Snowmous Design’s Access IO ($15+) is one such project. It solves one of the iMac’s main user experience issues by bringing one of its USB ports, along with the headphone port, to the front of your machine. You can choose from black or silver versions.

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G-Technology G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt

Hard drives? They’re becoming somewhat boring. Yes, they’re getting thinner, faster, and less expensive, but at the end of the day, they all do pretty much the same thing. Thankfully G-Technology has come up with something new and cool: G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt ($750) combines two 1TB portable USB 3.0 drives with a Thunderbolt docking station for your desk. If you rely on extra storage on the road and at an office or home, it’s very intriguing.

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Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

It took more than two years, but it’s finally happened: a Microsoft product has made it onto iLounge + Mac. Microsoft has long been known as a developer of quality peripherals—particularly ergonomic ones—and Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop ($130) appears to fit right into that lineup. The bundle includes a specially-designed keyboard, mouse, and number pad, all compatible with your favorite Mac.

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