Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much. Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts that cost less than $50. Yes, you can appear to be a big spender, but without actually spending that much.
These paper notepads are ideal. No, seriously: They’re called iDeal Notepads, they come sized to match your iPad or your iPhone, and they’re designed to be strapped to their partner device with rubber bands.
I used to be a diehard Moleskine fan. I still love them, but I realized that I was spending too much time worrying about what to write in those precious pages that I never actually wrote much. So I switched to completely disposable (and easily scannable) index cards and I never looked back.
Well, apart from the time I found an index card written to me by my future self which said “Look behind you… NOW!” But that just turned out to be a drunken prank I played on myself.
So I have little time these days for Moleskine, Field Notes or any other fancy book that gets in the way of my scrawlings. But that’s not to say that this Field Notes Archival Wooden Box isn’t tempting.
It has been brought to my attention that people still use laptop computers when they travel. Instead of tossing a keyboard in with their iPad and calling it good, these masochists lug along an entire MacBook with them, just to do some work.
For these people, the Stukk stand exists. It is super-light and folds up ultra-small, helping you to not break your shoulder as you lug your behemoth around with you, and can be quickly assembled to keep your hot-running machine cool. Or cooler, at least.
If you think of a device that’s the very opposite of everything Apple makes, it would be the NexPhone. Whereas Apple makes a single product for each use-case (desktop, notebook, tablet, phone), each optimized for its own purpose, the NexPhone takes a Microsoftian approach. In fact, it makes the lame Surface “tablets” look sensible. Here’s the NexPhone’s tagline:
The smartphone that becomes a tablet, laptop or PC.
“The Mac is still growing, and I think it could still grow, but I strongly believe that the tablet market will surpass the unit sales of the PC market.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that at a Goldman Sachs conference several months ago. Cook has been one the industry’s most vocal proponent of tablets as the future of modern computing, and recent statistics support his argument. According to new data, traditional notebook computers will take a backseat to tablets in four years. By 2016, tablet shipments are estimated to surpass notebook shipments.
The new 2012 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro marks an evolution of the Mac: it’s the first of presumably the entire Mac line-up to get a Retina display, just like the iPhone and iPad.
Unlike the iPhone or iPad, however, the new Retina MacBook Pro is not aimed at the mass market. This is a professional machine, through and through, and has a price to match, starting at $2,199.
The beauty of the Retina MacBook Pro’s display can’t be overestimated: it’s like living print. Likewise, the Retina MacBook Pro is the most powerful all-in-one professional notebook you can buy off the shelf: it makes every Apple notebook before it look archaic.
It’s a Mac that has been designed by Apple for the first time as they would have it: completely without compromises, using cutting-edge technology that it will take at least a year for the competition to catch-up with.
Netbooks are still shipping, but the market has spoken
While we can debate how much the iPad cannibalizes Apple’s MacBook sales, there’s no doubt that the device is continuing to kill of the entire netbook industry. While iPad sales are literally selling as fast as Apple can make them, netbook sales continue to plummet – with the first quarter of this year representing a sixth consecutive quarter in which shipments of the small, inexpensive, and often low quality PC notebooks have declined sharply.
Hanger-on. This USB display works with your Mac, iPhone or even your camera
Ever struggled to juggle apps around your MacBook Air’s small screen as you work? And have you ever taken a look at that screen and though how much better it would be if there was another LED panel hanging off the side like an errant dust-jacket flapping in the breeze? If your answer to these two questions is “yes” and you have around £120 ($190) to waste spend, then the GeChic On-Lap Dual Monitor 1301 could be just the thing for you.
Ever since the redesigned MacBook Air first debuted back in late 2010, the rumor mill has strongly indicated that Apple would redesign its MacBook Pro line of laptops to suit, ditching their bulkier chassises, optical drives and slow, spinning hard drives for Air-like slimness and ubiquitous SSDs. But when is it actually going to happen?
It looks like it might finally happen in 2012, with a report now claiming that Apple “plans to exit 2012 having completed a top-to bottom revamp of its notebooks lineup that will see new MacBook Pros adopt the same design traits [as the] MacBook Air.”