iMac Accessories
August 13, 2014 4:03 AM   Subscribe

Purchasing a new iMac, looking for accessories recommendations.


After posting this thread, I decided to purchase a refurbished iMac 21.5".

Now I am looking for some accessories that I should purchase to go along with it. I have used the magic mouse in the past, and I am fine with that, so I will stick with the stock mouse and keyboard.

I was thinking of maybe getting a usb hub (so I don't have to reach to the back), maybe an external dvd burner (I still have to incorporate all of my cd's to iTunes), so maybe a Super Drive or something 3rd party and an external hard drive (or a Airport Time Capsule...or is that also an external HD?). I know it works with Time Machine and backs up your machine, but can I use that as an external HD as well?

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
posted by dbirchum to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Magic Trackpad with Clique
posted by katrielalex at 5:13 AM on August 13, 2014

You can set up any old external hard drive with two partitions, one for Time Machine and the other for storage.
posted by katrielalex at 5:14 AM on August 13, 2014

Backpack - a shelf for your iMac. This for an external hard drive.
posted by get off of my cloud at 5:23 AM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Magic Trackpad. I'm still amazed at how quickly I switched from using a mouse to the trackpad for almost everything I do. YMMV on the Clique, though. Personally, it's more comfortable for me to have my trackpad closer to me than my keyboard is.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:30 AM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd caution against the Time Capsule. A simple 1 TB external drive is so much better for backups and other data storage.

Do you need wifi? The Airport Express is a must-have.
posted by Capri at 6:46 AM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions! I never considered a shelf (sounds like a great idea) or a trackpad. I will look into those.

I know I will get an external Hard Drive, so thanks for the suggestion of making two partitions (one for Time Machine and one for other storage). Thanks for the link.

To be honest, I have no idea if I need the Time Capsule or Airport Express (or Extreme). This iMac will be hard wired into my cable modem. I have an MacBook Air that I bought last year for work that I use in my house via wifi. I also have an iPhone that I use at my house on my wifi network, so I am not sure if Airport Express/Extreme (or even Time Capsule) will assist me? I have the lowest/slowest (most basic) Internet plan with my cable modem (and it suits my needs perfectly), and I know these devices won't increase my speed, so do you guys recommend me getting an Express or Extreme? Do I need one?
posted by dbirchum at 8:20 AM on August 13, 2014

Yeah I'd avoid Time Capsule as well and go Airport Extreme + USB external drive plugged into it.

And yes, a drive plugged into Airport Extreme shows up on your network as a storage drive. It will operate at the wifi speed between your Mac and the Airport Extreme, not the speed between the AE and your outside internet connection.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:22 AM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Skip the Super Drive if your iMac has an optical drive.

If you're arty at all, a drawing tablet of some kind might be fun.
posted by curious nu at 8:44 AM on August 13, 2014

For external hard drives I like the WD Passport drives. The key thing is they are 2.5" USB drives, powered straight off the USB, no need for a separate power adapter. I wouldn't bother with Firewire in the age of USB 3 although in full disclosure, a Firewire drive might be a little faster than the USB 2 your refurbished iMac is probably limited to.
posted by Nelson at 8:53 AM on August 13, 2014

The Magic TrackPad is awesome. I have a MBP, but often use it in clamshell with a TB display and using a mouse was miserable. I was so happy when they released a standalone trackpage. The GF uses a backpack to hold a TB SSD that she edits photos on and takes back and forth to school/work. Fall back to OWC enclosures with FW/USB if you're not jumping on the TB bandwagon. Time Capsule is a waste, a regular external drive is a better deal. I personally don't use Airport Extreme because I have 2x Unifi APs, but that's a bit overkill for most people.

Crashplan for off-site backups.
posted by Brian Puccio at 11:29 AM on August 13, 2014

AppleCare. You have until the original warranty runs out to purchase it, and occassionally it goes on sale.
posted by Gungho at 11:59 AM on August 13, 2014

Echoing a few of the recs in this thread— magic trackpad, AP Extreme with 1.5TB drive for Time Machine backups, mostly. I use a rMBP with a TB display as my 'desktop' and have a Logitech Marathon mouse for design work (a right handed mouse) and the magic trackpad on the left side which is my natural mousing hand.
posted by a halcyon day at 3:52 PM on August 13, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions.

I will certainly be getting an external hard drive and applecare; those two are a given.

I am really curious about AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme. After reading this thread, it sounds like I shouldn't get the Time Capsule, but I don't know the advantage of getting AirPort Express or Extreme. I mean, my cable modem gives me wifi for all of my devises in my house (iPhones, MacBook Air, etc) and I don't have any issues, so is there a "need" to get it?? I haven't needed to print wireless, etc. Just curious.
posted by dbirchum at 4:11 PM on August 13, 2014

If you're satisfied with your cable modem's wifi capabilities, I don't see why you'd need an AirPort. I have two Expresses and they're very capable, but hardly necessary if you're already set up.
posted by bulgroz at 5:49 PM on August 15, 2014

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