G-Technology G-Drive ev ATC with Thunderbolt

G-Technology has introduced a number of new, rugged hard drives, and we’ve recently received the company’s 1TB G-Drive ev ATC with Thunderbolt ($230). The product features a removable G-Drive ev RAW USB hard drive within a rugged enclosure. The hard plastic case with hard rubber accents features a watertight latch for water protection — the enclosure floats and can protect the drive in a pool of water “up to 1 foot for 30 seconds” — and it’s also pressure-resistant and dust-resistant. Additionally, G-Technology claims the enclosure can protect the drive from drops of up to 2 meters (about 6.6 feet) onto a “carpeted concrete floor.” Inside the enclosure is a 7200 RPM hard drive offering transfer rates up to 136MB/s, formatted for Mac, with the ability to be reformatted for Windows. A Thunderbolt cable is built into the enclosure itself for use when the hard drive is docked inside.

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$40
Apps

Flexibits Fantastical 2

While the Calendar app that Apple includes with OS X Yosemite is pretty good for casual, everyday users, it may sometimes fall short for those who rely on their calendar to manage their busier lives. Fortunately, there are alternatives, including Flexibits’ new Fantastical 2 ($40), a major update to the company’s calendar app that takes it beyond its menu bar origins and brings it to life as a full-fledged standalone calendar replacement. Fans of the original Fantastical need not fear, however, as the menu bar option remains in place for quickly viewing your calendar from anywhere and adding appointments, but it’s back and better than before with the ability to detach it from the menu bar as a mini-calendar window that can be placed anywhere on your screen, and allow you to scroll through an infinite list of your appointments.

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Twelve South BaseLift for MacBook

If you do a lot of typing on your MacBook on the go, you may have discovered that the angle isn’t always optimal for comfort. That’s what Twelve South hopes to address with BaseLift for MacBook ($40), an integrated stand and laptop pad that’s always ready to both protect your lap and bring your MacBook to the optimal typing angle for doing serious work.

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$70
Mounts

Satechi Premium Aluminum Monitor Stand

If you’re tired of just putting your iMac atop a pile of books and want to add that extra little bit of height with a bit more style and functionality, Satechi has you covered with the Premium Aluminum Monitor Stand ($70). This stand has a modern style that fits in perfectly with your Mac’s aesthetic while allowing you to more easily get your screen up to a comfortable eye level to eliminate neck strain.

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$179
April 2015
Cases

WaterField Designs Zip Brief 12" MacBook Case

The new MacBook may be small and ultra-slim, but WaterField Designs is still banking on the fact that users will be looking for stylish and elegant ways to protect and carry it. To that end, the company’s new Zip Brief ($179) aims to provide a sophisticated yet unobtrusive design for Apple’s slimmest MacBook ever. The exterior is made from naturally tanned leather with waxed canvas or ballistic nylon, and the bag is designed to be TSA-friendly, opening fully for airport security inspections without risking anything falling out.

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April 2015
Macs

Apple MacBook

Just when you thought Apple couldn’t possibly make a smaller and thinner MacBook, along comes The new MacBook ($1,299 / $1,599). Described by Apple during the company’s March event as the company’s attempt to “reinvent the notebook,” the latest entry shrinks the dimensions in all directions, providing a 12” Retina display in an all-metal enclosure that manages to reduce the size below the 11” MacBook Air — previously Apple’s smallest MacBook offering. The thickest point on the new MacBook is 13.1mm, and the unit weighs in at a mere 2lbs, making it the thinnest and lightest Mac that the company has ever produced. In fact, this one is so small that it’s only the need to include a full-sized keyboard and 12” display that keeps it from being any smaller; both the screen and keyboard flow to the edges of the device.

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Free*
Apps

Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac Preview

While there are no shortage of options for office productivity apps among Mac users, ranging from Apple’s own iWork suite to more cloud-based solutions like Google Docs, it’s pretty hard to argue that Microsoft’s Office suite remains the 800-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to features and compatibility for exchanging documents with others. Even though Microsoft tends to lag a bit behind in their Mac versions, they provide reasonably good support for the Mac platform, making it easier for users to work on files from their own computers, or even to use their Macs at work. With Microsoft’s Office 2016 for Mac Preview (free), the company is basically giving away preview versions of its latest Office apps, a bundle that now adds Microsoft OneNote alongside updated options of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

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$60
Cases

STM Dux for MacBook Air

We’ve seen STM’s Dux for both iPhone and iPad before, and now we have an early look at the MacBook Air edition of the protective case. STM’s Dux for MacBook Air ($60) is a transparent polycarbonate case with TPU edges for drop protection. Four textured rubber feet on the bottom of Dux prevent your MacBook from slipping on a smooth surface. We received the 13” MacBook Air version of Dux, but a 11” MacBook Air version should be available, as well. The 13” version should be released in late April/early May.

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$2,990
Furniture

Stir Kinetic Desk M1

Following up on its previous high-tech standing desk, the Stir Kinetic Desk, the Apple-inspired design company Stir has recently released the Stir Kinetic Desk M1 ($2,990), a new option that drops the price while adapting a more contemporary, curvy design, with rounded waterfall edges. Available in a black or white finish, the desk is CNC-machined, providing a seamless finish, with a powder coat applied over the engineered wood. Like its sibling, the M1 packs in quite a high-tech suite of features, however, that go beyond mere aesthetic appeal, providing smart, cloud-connected features for adjusting the desk and integrating with your Mac, iPhone, and other accessories.

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Epson Perfection V19 Scanner

Most of us will probably find it quite laughable when we look back at the promises of the paperless society that modern technology was supposed to usher in, considering that we’re surrounded by more paper than ever these days. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a paperless home or office, about the only way to deal with it is to take matters into your own hands, and Epson’s Perfection V19 ($70) is a nice affordable way to get started. Packing a handy set of scanning features into a small profile, flatbed scanner, this latest entry in the company’s Perfection lineup provides useful cloud-based scanning solutions, so you can even use it to scan directly to everything from Facebook to Evernote.

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$50
Apps

BusyMac BusyContacts

BusyMac’s BusyCal has long been a great option for many users who have found the standard Calendar app in OS X a bit too basic for their needs, and now BusyMac has brought the same sort of advanced features to your address book with BusyContacts ($50), a powerful replacement for the standard Contacts app on OS X. Designed to be a full-featured contact manager, BusyContacts integrates seamlessly with BusyCal and Apple’s Mail app, providing a flexible CRM solution. Features include customizable views to allow you to view contact information in a variety of different ways, along with an activity view that gives you a display of appointments, tasks, and even recent e-mail conversations, messages, and social media posts associated with your contacts.

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Satechi Aluminum Clamp Hub

While using everything from iPhones and iPads to cameras and flash drives, it’s not uncommon to run out of USB ports. USB hubs have become commonplace at many workstations, but adding one into the mix can increase the clutter in your life. For those who want to keep it simple, Satechi’s new Aluminum Clamp Hub ($28) offers a nice aesthetic solution at a reasonable price. Easily attached to any recent model iMac, this hub provides four front-facing USB 3.0 ports without taking up any disk space or increasing the cable clutter.

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Free*
Apps

Serif Affinity Photo

On the heels of last year’s successful release of Affinity Designer, Serif is back at it again with a public beta of Affinity Photo (free*), which promises to be a new affordable app that may give Photoshop a run for its money. Described as “unashamedly pro even as a beta version,” Affinity Photo is packed with higher-end features that creative professionals need and love, including end-to-end CMYK, LAB color, editing at 16-bits per channel, ICC color profiling, Frequency Separation editing, live blend modes, full support for Adobe Photoshop PSD files and 64-bit plug-ins, and more.

 

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$10
Apps

Overmacs PhotoSweeper 2.0

For some of us, keeping our photos in order can be a confusing mess, and the longer you’ve been into digital photography, the more problematic this is likely to be for all but the most hardcore archivists. While Apple’s iCloud Photo Library promises to fix this going forward, chances are that between Aperture/iPhoto, Finder, and your iOS Camera Roll, some duplicate photos may have crept in somewhere along the way. Sadly, most photo management tools don’t really do a very good job of even preventing you from importing duplicates in the first place, much less finding them after the fact. Fortunately, for those looking to tackle this problem, there’s PhotoSweeper ($10), a handy little tool provided by Overmacs that can quickly crunch through your photos — just about wherever they happen to be stored — and identify various forms of duplicates so that you can more effectively deal with them and clean up your library. We’ve been fans of PhotoSweeper for a while, and with version 2.0 it gets even faster and more intuitive.

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Free*
Apps

Apple Photos for Mac

When Apple originally took the wraps off iOS 8 at last year’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, one of the great new features introduced was iCloud Photo Library, promising the ability for iOS and Mac users to keep one big, master photo library in the cloud, with albums and even edits automatically and transparently syncing across all of your devices. While the idea was a neat one, the actual timeframe for rollout has required some degree of patience, with the feature debuting piecemeal. iOS 8.1 last fall provided a “beta” version built into the update, a web-based portal was provided a couple of weeks later, and this week the preliminary and long-awaited Photos for Mac (Free) has finally arrived, completing the circle.

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