MacVoices Holiday Gift Guide

 

The subject of MacVoices Briefing #14205, The Swimmer is a personal favorite for an excellent shower/portable Bluetooth speaker with versatile hanging/mounting/standing options.

Part of our essential car tech, The SCOSCHE Car Charger lets you charge two iDevices in the shortest possible time, including two iPads. Especially important for those day-long trips where navigation is in constant use. Don't arrive with a dead iPhone or dead iPad.

The most recent addition to my Drobo family, the Drobo 4-Bay Storage Array can be set up to handle one or even two drive failures, is easily upgradable to a whopping 32 TB, and is USB 3.0 fast

The NAS (Network Attached Storage) version of the Drobo, the Drobo 5N puts all your documents, media and assets on your network, to be shared by Macs, PCs and iOS devices alike. With the same great Drobo redundancy and ease-of-upgrade, the Drobo 5N makes network storage simple and reliable.

The Thunderbolt-equipped Drobo 5D we've all lusted for is here, and delivers blazing fast speeds if you are a video or audio editor or if you have fast-storage demands. Able to withstand one or even two drive failures, sporting USB 3.0 if you don't have an open Thunderbolt port, and supporting up to 32 TB of storage, this is the Drobo that you will seriously lust after.

My Transporter is, as the saying goes, my own private cloud. No annual fees, no concerns about where my data is being stored or who has access to it, and a whole lot of space for a very reasonable, one-time prices. Simple to set up to sync your photos to, share large files with friends, or get a second Transporter and use it as off-site back-up.

Already have a hard drive? The Transporter Sync will let you use it as your own private cloud storage, secure and in your control. No recurring charges apply like some of those cloud services.

The latest and greatest from GoPro, The GoPro Hero4 Black's claim to fame is 4k 30fps video. Don't need 4K? Any of the new GoPro Hero models are worth the money if you are looking for best in action cameras.

The Sonos Play:1 is the most affordable way to get into and experience the wonderful world of Sonos wireless music. Though the smallest of the Sonos options, don't let it fool you. It delivers great sound whether used as a main speaker or one of a pair of rear-channel speakers for your home theater.

The Sonos Play:3 sounds great in any room for pretty much any application. One will fill a room and beyond; a pair will give you amazing stereo wherever you want it.

The Sonos Play:5 is the heavy-hitter of the Sonos line-up. With more speakers in the cabinet and more bass, this is the one to get if you're serious about your music.

All of my messy, wire-strewn surround sound system has been retired, and in its place is the compact, great-sounding Sonos - Playbar that acts as my TV speaker, and left, right and center channels for home theater. A little on the expensive side, but worth it for the convenience and flexibility it offers.

What's so great about the Sonos Wireless Subwoofer? First, the bass. Want to rattle the windows a bit? This will do it. Make your home theater really sound like a no-compromises home theater. Just plug in power, hide it behind a chair or behind the drapes, and get ready to rock. I dare you to crank it up and play the "Ride of the Valkyries" scene from Apocalypse Now.

Is your old WiFi base station out of date? With the latest iteration of the highly-regarded Apple Airport Extreme Base Station, you get the benefit of 802.11 ac, better internal antenna delivering stronger signal farther, and the noted simplicity of set-up and maintenance.

Everyone needs batteries. The eneloop batteries hold up to 70% of their charge on the shelf and come with a charger. Save money, help the environment, and never have your keyboard or track pad go out on you.

Sure, there are lots of cool iPad stands out there, and I have several. But the most practical and portable may be the Stump. Comes in lots of colors (including black) and holds the iPad securely in portrait or landscape mode. Even better, it doubles as an excellent iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus stand!

The iPhone mount I'm using right now, the Satechi Smartphone CD Slot Mount puts that unused CD slot to work, puts my iPhone at a great height to view the Apple Maps screen and doesn't put ugly suction cup marks on my windshield. In spite of the listing, it does hold an iPhone 6 Plus, in a hardshell case, just fine.

The same as the Satechi mount for the iPhone, the Satechi Universal Tablet CD Slot Mount does just fine with the iPad Air, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini.

Protect your Mac investment with a Speck hard shell case. Available for all MacBook models, you can get a clear one that is all but invisible, or select a color that is still see-through, but reflects your tastes and personality.

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The Roost MacBook Pro Stand

$75

Buy at TheRoostStand.com

The Roost might be my favorite MacBook Pro stand. It folds up neatly to fit in your backpack if you want to take it with you, adjusts to fit any MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, and is much, much sturdier than it looks. Even better, because of the unique way that your MacBook "hangs" on The Roost, the screen is elevated nicely to compliment an iMac or other desktop monitor. I talked with James Olander, the founder and designer of The Roost at Macworld on MacVoices #14093. Worth the watch if you have any doubts. 

 

Make use of the space above your flat screen TV with this shelf. Surprisingly sturdy, it will hold up to 20 lbs of gear, including a center channel speaker for your home theater set-up, an Apple TV, a Roku, etc. All the cables end up hidden by the screen itself, and your stand is free and empty of distracting, potentially view-obstructing equipment. Also works just great for wall-mounted TVs if there is enough depth behind the screen.