Gear Guide: For Macs

Know someone who (a) owns a Mac and (b) is hankering for some new gear to go with it? We've got some suggestions.

Beer Gear

What’s more useful than an easily portable USB flash drive that holds up to 4GB of data and fits on a keychain? A USB flash drive that holds up to 4GB of data, fits on a keychain, and opens a bottle of beer. After extensive testing in the Macworld Lab, we’ve determined that, despite its name, Avastor’s sturdy stainless steel USBeer can open both domestic and imported beers. The USBeer drive is almost certainly able to open nonalcoholic beverages as well, but the lab hasn’t gotten around to fully testing that feature yet.—James Galbraith
$18; Avastor

Swiss-Army Mouse

Canon’s (oddly named) X Mark | Mouse Slim is a Mac-compatible wireless mouse, calculator, and keypad, all in one. On the upper half of its face, it’s a standard two-button mouse. On the lower half, it has a number keypad and a little LCD screen. You can use the keypad and screen together as a simple calculator. Or you can use the keypad alone to input numbers on your Mac. If you’re in the market for a mouse, and you have one of the (increasingly common) Apple keyboards without a number pad, this could be a one-stop solution.—Dan Miller
black or white, $60; Canon USA

Upscale Labels

Think label makers are hopelessly ho-hum? Not this one. Epson’s Labelworks LW-400 handheld label printer offers a range of 300 symbols, 75 frames, and 14 font types in ten styles such as italic, bold, and outline, and lets you print on dozens of different tapes in a multitude of styles, borders, sizes, and colors (you can order the tapes from Epson or from a retailer). You can print glow-in-the-dark safety tapes for home or work, iron-on labels, decorative tapes for scrapbooking, and on and on. The unit’s built-in memory stores up to 50 files and accommodates tapes up to 3/4 inch wide, and its specialty print modes can print bar codes as well as cable and wire wraps.—Jackie Dove
$50; Epson

Light Typing

Wireless keyboards seem mighty convenient—until the batteries die. Logitech’s Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac sidesteps that inconvenience. A full-size keyboard, with a numeric keypad and Mac modifier and function keys, the K750 for Mac gets its power from the sun—or office lights, a desk lamp, or any other source of ambient light. With a full charge, the K750 can operate for up to three months in total darkness. The low-profile keys include concave tops for a better typing feel than Apple’s flat-top versions, and the keyboard is available in Mac-matching silver and white; black; or white with either pink, blue, or green trim. Logitech also provides a Mac app that tells you the keyboard’s battery level.—Dan Frakes
$80; Logitech

Screen Sharing

You bring your work laptop home, where you already have a desktop Mac, keyboard, mouse, and Cinema Display. You want to use both computers with that monitor without plugging and unplugging a bunch of cables every time. Kanex’s SnapX solves that problem: Plug the display cable from a 24- or 27-inch LED Cinema Display into the SnapX, connect the SnapX’s two Mini DisplayPort cables to your Macs, then use the switch on top to alternate between your two machines.—Dan Miller
$70; Kanex

Thunderbolt Meets ExpressCard

While recent Macs have come with Thunderbolt ports, there haven’t been many new devices that can take advantage of that new high-speed connection. However, there are plenty of ExpressCard/34 expansion cards. With the Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt adapter, you can combine those two connections: It’s an ExpressCard/34 adapter that you plug into a Thunderbolt port. Once you’ve done that, you can plug any ExpressCard/34 card—eSATA, FireWire 400, USB 3.0, memory card readers, whatever—into your Mac. And if you are lucky enough to have a Thunderbolt device connected to your Mac, you can attach the Echo at the end of your Thunderbolt chain.—Roman Loyola
$150; Sonnet Technologies

Storage to Go

Drives like G-Technology’s G-Connect and Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite (pictured) come equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, making them perfect tools for augmenting the storage capacities of an iPad, an iPhone, or even a Mac. The G-Connect and the GoFlex Satellite each provide 500GB of storage and come with apps that give you Wi-Fi access from an iOS device; both can also stream videos and music directly. The G-Connect has ethernet and USB 2.0 ports; the GoFlex has USB 3.0 ports.—Roman Loyola
G-Connect: $200; G-Technology
GoFlex Satellite: $200; Seagate

Office Chic

The HP Envy 110 e-All-In-One is a compact, chic-looking multifunction inkjet printer that should fit neatly into the setup of almost any home or office. It has a sleek black case, with no visible paper tray (the tray extends and retracts into the body of the unit). It can print photos, make copies, scan reprints, print from the Web, and use eFax without a phone line, and it does all this (relatively) quietly. The 3.5-inch touchscreen makes it especially easy to use. And it’s wireless, so you can avoid cable clutter; you can also print to it directly from your iPad or iPhone via AirPrint.—Jackie Dove
$250; Hewlett-Packard

Clean Desk Club

If you (or someone you know) is sick of desktop clutter, the Iomega Mac Companion can help: It’s a hard drive, iOS device charger, and USB hub all rolled into one. The black top and silver sides match up great with the MacBook Pro and its unique design looks perfect at the base of an iMac. Connect the drive via USB 2.0, and you can also connect flash drives, printers, and other accessories through the drive; you can also sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Connect it via FireWire 800, you get all that extra speed. The drive includes capacity gauge, encryption software, and a 3-year limited warranty.—Mauricio Grijalva
2TB, $240; 3TB, $370; Iomega

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