Amped Wireless ACA1 High Power 500mW Dual Band AC Wi-Fi USB Adapter

Now that Apple has added 802.11ac to its latest MacBook Airs and AirPort Extremes, it’s only a matter of time before the next-generation Wi-Fi standard makes it to the rest of the Mac lineup. Owners of current-generation machines have an option, too: Amped Wireless has just introduced the ACA1 High Power 500mW Dual Band AC Wi-Fi USB Adapter ($90). Large thanks to a couple of brawny antennas, ACA1 adds 802.11ac compatibility to machines without it, and boosts transmission distance by up to three times.

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Apogee Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge

Apogee’s new Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge ($995) isn’t a tool for everyone. Rather, it’s designed to be a useful tool that a niche audience of audio engineers, especially those who are already invested in Apogee’s Symphony I/O audio interface system, will appreciate. It allows users to connect the high-end audio equipment to their Macs over Thunderbolt for the first time.

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Satechi Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keypad

We’re not big data entry folks over here, but anytime we have to enter a series of numbers, we long for the number pad Apple’s Wireless Keyboard is lacking. There are a few solutions out there, and Satechi is the latest to enter the market with Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keypad ($50). It’s made to perfectly complement the look and feel of your Mac’s existing setup. 

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$400-$450
Peripherals

Brother MFC-9130CW + MFC-9340CDW Digital Color All-in-One Wireless Printers

If there’s one peripheral category that the term “necessary evil” fits more than any other, it’s printers. Despite the digitization of pretty much everything, sometimes you just have to put ink on a sheet or ream of paper. To that end, Brother has introduced a new line of all-in-one printers, notably including its MFC-9130CW ($400) and MFC-9340CDW ($450) Digital Color All-in-One Printers with Wireless Networking, each worth considering if you’re doing a lot of printing. They’re Mac-compatible over USB or 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and feature AirPrint support for direct iOS printing as well.

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Blue Microphones Nessie Adaptive USB Microphone

If any company knows mics for the Mac, it’s Blue Microphones. The company’s latest design is Nessie Adaptive USB Microphone ($100), currently available exclusively through Apple. As we’ve come to expect, the USB-based mic is a great-looking peripheral, and it has some unique functionality that makes it ideal for whatever kind of audio you’re recording. It packs a single cardioid condenser capsule inside a shock mount with a pop filter, eliminating or reducing unwanted sounds.

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$199-$399
Peripherals

Apple AirPort Extreme (Mid 2013) + AirPort Time Capsule

Apple’s AirPort wireless routers have changed form factors a handful of times over the past decade, shifting from classic iMac-matching pod-like shapes to rounded rectangles and squares. This week, Apple introduced two new AirPort routers: the 802.11ac AirPort Extreme ($199) and renamed AirPort Time Capsule ($299-$399). Both feature the same 3.85” square footprint and white plastic design of last year’s AirPort Express, but now stand 6.6” tall versus the 0.85” Express. Why do they look like fancy little milk cartons? Apple says that the new set of six antennas needed extra space to disperse their wireless signals. More details and hands-on photos are now included here.

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$99-$199
Peripherals

InfiniWing LandingZone Docking Station for MacBook Air

We first wrote about InfiniWing’s LandingZone ($99-$199) way back at the end of 2011 when it was still a project on Kickstarter, and now, finally, we have it in our hands. The look and function are still the same as they ever were: LandingZone is a docking station for your 11” or 13” MacBook Air, designed to give you a clean and simple way to connect to a display and peripherals.

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$85-$140
Peripherals

LaCie XtremKey USB 3.0

The odds that you’ll actually need the protection offered by LaCie’s new XtremKey USB 3.0 ($85-$140) are probably pretty low, but it’s still a fun accessory. This flash drive is built to stand up to anything thrown at it, or anything you throw it at—water, cold, heat, drops, and crushing, to name a handful of dangers it can withstand. And it’ll hold your term paper, too.

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Satechi 7 Port USB 3.0 Premium Aluminum Hub

We’ve already seen that Satechi can pack ten USB 3.0 ports into a single hub, so seven ports at the same price may not immediately seem like that great of a deal. But if you care about looks, you might be excited about the company’s new 7 Port USB 3.0 Premium Aluminum Hub ($70). It takes style cues from the earlier four-port version, using an angled silver aluminum design with black accents—a perfect match for your favorite Mac.

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$80
May 27, 2013
Peripherals

MCE Technologies Internal Blu-ray Player/SuperDrive

At this point, we just have to accept the fact that Blu-ray drives won’t be built into Macs; in fact, all optical drives are being phased out of Apple’s computers at this point. But if you have an older iMac or Mac mini, and want to be able to play Blu-ray discs, MCE Technologies is about to offer a new solution. The Internal Blu-ray Player/SuperDrive ($80) is the first internal player we’ve come across for the iMac or Mac mini. If you’re willing to split your machine apart to do the transplant, this solution might be right for you. 

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$100-$130
Peripherals

Western Digital My Passport Ultra

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a totally new external hard drive from Western Digital, but lo and behold, here’s My Passport Ultra ($100-$130). Currently available in 500GB and 1TB versions—a 2TB version is slated for the third quarter of this year—this portable drive is perfect for tossing in your bag while traveling. And of course, it uses USB 3.0, so you can expect quick transfer speeds if you’re using a more recent Mac.

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Penclic Bluetooth B2 Mouse

If you’re past the point of wanting to use a traditional mouse or trackpad, Penclic’s Bluetooth B2 Mouse ($90) may fit your needs as the next input device for your Mac. Akin to a pen, it enables your wrist and hand to move vertically, which is supposedly healthier than the classic horizontal positions required by traditional mice and pads. Of course, you’ll have to give up Multi-Touch features, but the ergonomics may well be worth it, especially if you already have wrist issues.

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Sonnet xMac mini Server

It’s not secret that Mac minis are powerful little machines. Whether you’re running the standard consumer version, or opted to upgrade to the server edition, it can be used for some heavy duty tasks. Sonnet’s xMac mini Server ($1,295) makes the most of that by fitting your computer into a rack mount, and adding expansion support. It’s not for everyone, but power users and businesses should take note.

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Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station

Although Targus’ USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station ($170) isn’t totally new hardware, its support for Macs is fresh. Just announced this morning, a new set of drivers now allows you to connect a MacBook to the hub. While it’s not as elegant as other solutions on the market, including Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock, the rather affordable price and video output may well make it worth considering for those who use their notebooks with external displays. A $50 more expensive version of the dock adds power for PCs, but is otherwise the same; it won’t do Mac users much good.

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$22-$40
Peripherals

Sandisk Cruzer Orbit USB Flash Drive

We always appreciate innovation in flash drive designs; solid state memory can be pretty boring otherwise. That’s why Sandisk caught our attention with the Cruzer Orbit USB Flash Drive ($22-$40). Coming in 8, 16, and 32GB capacities, the physical design is pretty neat, and definitely different from anything we’ve seen before.

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