Free to USB
This week's roundup of Mac accessories includes several devices that aim to take advantage of the power of USB 3.0, along with backpacks, sleeves, and other ways to protect your Apple computer.
The DiskGo Sonic USB 3.0 Flash Drive is a handy bit of external storage that's available in 60 GB, 120 GB, and 240 GB capacities—with a whopping 480 GB version coming soon. Thanks to USB 3.0 technology, it can achieve transfer speeds of up to 450 MB/s, but it’s small enough to be attached to your key chain.
The new Air Mount line of accessories includes the $30 Air Mount Express, which lets you raise your AirPort Express to maximize its wireless range and performance. The company also offers the $45 Air Mount (shown), built for cradling the AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule. Each is made of laser-cut, hand-cast acrylic.
This European company has debuted two new lines of sleeves, for both iOS devices and MacBooks. The Understated line is generally a bit pricier and features a black felt body with tan leather flaps; the Low-key collection is black felt with black leather. Either way, you get a classy way to tote your MacBook from one place to the next.
The $55 Ruck 20 (pictured) and $70 Ruck 22 packs are designed with bigger laptops in mind. Each has a dedicated laptop compartment that accommodates computers as large as 17 inches, as well as a padded iPad pocket. The Ruck 22 offers 1450 cubic inches of storage space, with the Ruck 20 a bit smaller at 1300 cubic inches.
The $168 Mercury Pro External Blu-ray Optical Drive has been upgraded to 16X BD-R write speeds, 128 GB BDXL compatibility, and USB 3.0 connectivity. The accessory supports burning up to 128 GB of data or high-definition video on a Blu-ray disc, or up to 8.5 GB onto a dual-layer DVD.
The $40 4-Port USB 3.0 Premium Aluminum Hub is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a USB 3.0 hub that adds four high-speed USB ports to your Mac for connecting external hard drives, cameras, printers, scanners, smartphones, tablets and other devices. It’s got an aluminum sheen to match your Mac’s style, and it delivers data rates of up to 5 GB/s.
The $399 Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 2 PCIe Expansion Chassis is “is ideally suited for use with high-bandwidth networking cards, host bus adapters, and storage interface cards,” says Sonnet. The chassis supports low-profile, single-width PCIe 2.0 x8 cards, which includes the majority of 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, SAS and SATA host bus adapters, as well as RAID controller cards.
The $99 Rutledge Book Book is perhaps the ultimate hipster Mac accessory. What appears to be a leather-bound book is actually a beautiful—even rustic-looking—MacBook case with a padded interior. It’s designed to make your expensive computer look instead like a really expensive ancient manuscript, while protecting the MacBook from bumps and scratches.