Life is a blur of cool gear here at the Cult of Mac offices. We put it all through rigorous trials, but it’s like living in a fast-spinning revolving door of flashy accessories, cool bags and high-end accoutrements. Some of it gets dropped like a lying girlfriend as soon as the next sexy thing comes along, but sometimes we develop long-term love affairs with certain bits of kit. The gear featured in our monthly Lust LIst roundups is the equipment that’s made the grade over the long haul: These are the items we couldn’t live without.
Ona’s The Chelsea
There’s something about all the smart compartments in camera bags that works even if you’re not actually toting around a camera. So Ona’s Chelsea ($370) is just the thing: This capacious bowler bag offers protected spaces for a DSLR, up to three lenses, your keys and stuff, plus an iPad or notebook. But I packed it with a 13-inch MacBook Pro, a pear (the lens dividers are perfect for keeping your snacks unbruised), The Economist and all the cords, headphones and chargers carried by a modern-day scribe. One thing: The size and saffiano leather (that’s the grainy type that Prada favors for long-wearing briefcases and the like) can be a little Insta-ma’am if you don’t dress it down. -- Nicole Martinelli
Apple Magic Trackpad
The name is ridiculous -- total Steve Jobs hyperbole. It’s actually embarrassing to say out loud. But the Magic Trackpad ($69) is actually kinda magical. Sitting on your desktop, it works better than any mouse. Tracking on it is intuitive and easy. But the magic is in the gestures. Once you get used to them (there’s a bit of a learning curve), you begin to wonder how you ever surfed the Web without two-finger swipes. -- Leander Kahney
Chrome Industries Excursion Rolltop 37
This giant duffel bag of a backpack grew on me, both literally and figuratively. I have to admit at first I was like, “Meh.” The Chrome Industries Excursion Rolltop 37 ($160) has no bells or whistles: no media pocket, no hidden compartments, no velco closures. It has a laptop sleeve and super-nice loop carrying straps, but it’s about as basic as a bag gets. What the lightweight bag lacks in features, though, it more than makes up for in massive gear-swallowing goodness. I keep tossing more and more stuff into this bag and it just keeps grinning back, always ready for more. -- Jim Merithew
When you have a high-pitched voice like mine that sounds silly and squeaky on any recording, you need all the help you can get. The Rode Podcaster microphone ($369) makes anyone’s voice sound rich and sonorous. OK, I made that up, but the Rode’s audio quality is not to be beat. The entire CultCast team uses Rode Podcasters to produce the best Apple conversation you’ll hear all week long. Since we switched from lesser microphones, soundcheck is a lot less painful. The Rode is a serious piece of pro-level audio equipment at a podcaster’s price. -- Leander Kahney
Mission Workshop’s The Orion
It was pouring buckets, but I didn’t care: I was pedaling with a huge smile on my face, because any time on the bike is way more fun than time spent on the bus or BART. Plus, I was protected. I was wearing Mission Workshop’s The Orion ($415): The hooded waterproof coat is seam-sealed, pit-zipped and cut perfect in the sleeves. No water was getting in and the bone-chilling wind was being held at bay. I don’t really think about getting my upper body wet anymore -- the jacket is just there, doing its job, while I go about grinning like a school boy. Ride on. -- Jim Merithew
Lacie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series
Simple. Elegant. Rugged. What more needs to be said? The Lacie Rugged series is the standard by which all other portable storage drives are judged, and now they’ve got Thunderbolt support ($229 for 1 TB model). If you are on the run and need to back up everything, this is a no-brainer. -- Jim Merithew
Teva Pivot MTB Shoe
Teva doesn’t make the Pivot MTB shoe ($150) anymore. They actually killed their entire bike line late last year. Find a pair. Buy them. Seriously. -- Jim Merithew
Ferrero Pocket Coffee
Smart people usually don’t stash espressos in their coat pockets, what with the stains and the blisters and all. But with the Ferrero Pocket Coffee, caffeine fiends are no longer tethered to the espresso bar. These thumb-size miracles wrap a satisfying liquid dose of inky Italian coffee inside a dark chocolate shell. Pop one and you’ll perk right up. Soon you’ll be buying them by the case ($38 for 60 pieces). -- Lewis Wallace
Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Chain
If the San Francisco bike thieves steal my whip, at least I’ll know they really wanted it. This will be a small consolation for me: I’ll cry a little less knowing I did everything I could to make those scumbags’ crime a difficult task. How to thwart the thievery? After visiting countless bike shops and online forums I settled on the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit ($175). It’s as close as I could get to a safe, for it is a well-known fact that if the bitches want to steal your steed there is nothing you can actually do to stop them. I am happy I can leave the beefy lock at the office, since I’m not sure I am man enough to haul this behemoth back and forth to work everyday. I still double-lock my bike with a u-lock and take my front wheel with me. Here’s to being safe and trying my best to get them to steal someone else’s chariot. -- Jim Merithew
BookBook for iPhone 5
There are only two things I carry with me every single day -- my phone and my wallet. Best of all, my wallet is also my phone case. The BookBook from Twelve South ($60) looks like an old, leather-bound pocket book. Slots inside hold several credit cards and my ID. My BookBook is totally beaten up -- I keep it in my back jeans pocket -- but it’s lasted really well. It protects my phone better than any case I’ve had and it gets tons of comments. Everyone says they wish they could ditch their wallet too, but they have too much stuff in it. I thought that too, until I jettisoned everything but a couple of cards. I haven’t looked back. -- Leander Kahney
The latest version of Safari for OS X has an iOS-like behavior if you’re using an Apple Trackpad, Magic Mouse, or Magic Trackpad to browse the web. If you double tap on the trackpad or mouse, the view within the Safari window will zoom in, just like a double tap on your iPhone or iPad version of Safari zooms in to help you read the web page on the smaller screen.
Logitech produces some of the best portable keyboards there are for the iPad, and it’s just announced another that will also work with your Mac, too. But not only is it compatible with both Mac and iOS devices, its awesome ‘Easy-Switch’ feature allows you to connect to up to three via Bluetooth at the same time and then quickly switch between them at the touch of a button.
Apple’s Black Friday sale is now live at Apple.com. As expected, the Cupertino company has reduced the price tags of several Macs, the iPad and iPad mini, and the iPod nano and iPod touch. A lot of its own accessories, such as iPad Smart Covers and the Magic Mouse, are also included in the sale.
The biggest shopping day of the year is fast approaching. The day after Thanksgiving in the United States is Black Friday, and it’s the best time to begin you’re holiday gift shopping — if you can face the frenzy, that is. Retailers all over the U.S. will be offering big discounts on some of this year’s hottest gifts, and the Apple store will be no exception, having given Black Friday discounts to Apple Store customers for the last few years regularly.
Next Friday the 23rd is Black Friday, and while Apple hasn’t tipped its hand as to when
If you’re looking to save cash on the latest Macs, iOS devices, and accessories, then Black Friday is an ideal time to buy them. Based on Apple’s previous Black Friday deals, here’s what you can expect to see this year.
Your keyboard lights up, so why shouldn’t your trackpad?
If you’ve got a fairly recent MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, you’ll know that typing in a dark room is a breeze thanks to its backlit keyboard. It now seems as though Apple is looking to extend this feature to the trackpad as well. In a new patent filing entitled “Illuminated Touchpad”, the Cupertino company describes a new touch-sensitive input technology that doesn’t just light up, but also provides an “improved feedback mechanism.”
The Magic Feet from Mobee looks set to become the perfect accompaniment to Apple’s wireless peripherals, by introducing an inductive charging system that wirelessly charges the batteries in your Bluetooth keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad, without you having to remove them.
It charges three accessories simultaneously, with just 6 hours required for a full charge. It also introduces four more USB ports to your Mac.
Apple famously keeps its Black Friday deals a closely guarded secret until the day of the event. But thanks to a leaked sales pamphlet from a “trusted tipster,” we already know where the Cupertino company will be slashing prices, with savings to be made on the iMac, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, iPod nano and iPod touch, iPad, and plenty of accessories.
The biggest shopping day of the year is fast approaching. This Friday, countless retailers all over the U.S. will be slashing prices for Black Friday, causing a frenzy amongst shoppers who cannot wait to spend some of their hard-earned cash on discounted goods.
Apple famously recognizes the event by discounting some of its hottest products in the Apple online store for one day only, with savings to be made on new Macs, iOS devices, iPods, and even the latest accessories for your beloved Apple gadgets. This year will be no different, so based on the past few years’ reductions, here’s what to expect at the Apple online store on Black Friday.