For many of us Mac users there are a lot of extras that we can buy to spiffy up our already luxury computer experience. Since many Macs like the iMac and MacBook Pro can’t exactly be upgraded like a Mac Pro Desktop system, there are other peripherals we can buy to improve performance, storage, or our interaction with our beloved Mac. Below is a list of some affordable yet powerful peripherals for your favorite computer for this Q1 shopping season of 2009.

External HDDs for Macs

I have a few friends in the hard drive industry that have given me a bit of insider information in terms of how well some of these external hard disk drives hold up. Confidentially a resource of mine that specializes in data recovery said that drives made by Western Digital are by far the best manufactured in the business (I will omit the ones he trashed!). That said, I’ve personally invested in WD drives and never had one fail on me. Since our iMacs and MacBook Pros can’t be upgraded with bigger hard drives without voiding the warranty getting a USB 2.0 (or ideally a FireWire 800 drive) is the best solution.

For the Person on the Go – Western Digital “My Passport Essential” 320GB, MSRP $99.99
This little drive packs a ton of storage and fits inside your laptop bag without any huge wires or AC bricks. Portable and powerful, this drive for under $100 is really a great addition to your latop solution.

Nice and in the middle – Western Digital My Book Essential 640, MSRP $99.99
Sleek and black this USB 2.0 drive sports a nice 640GB of data. It’s the same price as our portable drive, but this one is bigger in terms of space (twice as much) and physical size making it best for an iMac user.

For the Money-Is-No-Object Person – WD “My Book Studio 1TB”, MSRP $199
The great thing about this drive is not only is it frickin HUGE in terms of space with a full tera-byte (aka 1,000 gigs) it also supports both FireWire 800 and eSATA external interfaces for the fastest possible transfer speeds available today. This is probably your best investment for any iMac and Mac Pro user.


Personally I am not a wireless mouse fan since they tend to get buggy at the wrong times, and I hate having to constantly recharge the batteries. However I’ve included a few for all kinds of fans and having an accurate and reliable mouse is your first step in a satisfying user experience.

For Laptop People That Like Wireless – The Logitech VS Nano Cordless Laser Mouse, MSRP $69.99
I’ve used this mouse and found it very easy to grip and enjoyed the wide range of buttons offered to ease the experience of using it with your Mac. The USB interface piece is absolutely the smallest thing I’ve ever seen plugged into a USB plug. Seriously, it’s that small. Overall I found this to be my favorite wireless mouse.

Gamers, Poker Players, and even Designers – Razer DeathAdder Gaming Mouse, MSRP $59.99
This wired bad-boy is a sexy black mouse that “breathes” a cool neon blue glow. The grip is outstanding and really conforms to your hand shape. It’s also highly programmable and features a proprietary hyper-response system making it one of the most sensitive and accurate mice you can find on the market. This is my personal favorite.

For the Mac Conservative – Rocketfish Optical Mouse, MSRP $25.99
This one is rather cheap but looks just like the mouse that comes with your iMac, only this one is wireless, has TWO buttons (yay), and is rather inexpensive. It might look on the cheap side of things but it’s actually not that bad and a great inexpensive replacement if your mac mouse met an untimely demise.

Mousepad for Macs

Please don’t be one of the countless dorks out there that invests $60 on a mouse and then gets a mousepad from WalMart with a picture of your pet kitten on it. It’ll just force me to vent on countless boards around the internet! Instead, protect your investment and also get the most out of its accuracy by investing in the best possible mousepad. It will help the precision of which your mouse performs which can be a key asset when multitabling at the poker tables.

Func Original 1030 Surface, MSRP $17
Seriously this might be the best deal out of all the hidden gems in this article. This isn’t just a mousepad is a “mouse surface” and features two sides, one smooth and the other rough for your personal preference. The textured base ensures that it stays in place while the construction is specifically designed to ensure a laser mouse is at its most accurate. At this price, it seems like a no brainer.

Func Mac Lover Mouse Surface, MSRP $40
This is a huge mousing surface at 11.5” x 9.5” and is completely white to match your favorite Mac setup. It’s outer border is textured just like a Mac Pro or a MacBook Pro and really gives off a gorgeous luster. This is definitely one that is made to impress the guests.

Razer Mantis Gaming Pad, MSRP $25
Although this may be a little too “gamer” for most people’s tastes it is made by Razer meaning that the quality of the mouse surface (which is large) will be top notch. It features a Fibertek Cloth Weave to ensure precise targeting and tracking.

Keyboard for Macs

If you’re like me you’re a freelance writer with his own blog and does 99.99% of his work typing emails all day long. Okay so you may not be just like me, but we’re all definitely in the same boat in terms of needing a fantastic keyboard. Also, I absolutely hate traditional “wireless” keyboards since they all seem to completely suck, so we’re looking at some cooler and more modern options.

Razer Tarantula, MSRP $99.99
This seems like it’s rather expensive for a wired keyboard but this is one sexy keyboard. Similar and matching to the “DeathAddler” mouse, this sleek black keyboard is built to handle a pounding. What takes away from this being a great keyboard is the lack of Mac support (you will not be able to program many of the extra buttons).

Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, MSRP $69.99
Now we can finally look at a wireless keyboard and not want to throw it into the ocean with frustration! Since this keyboard uses Bluetooth technology, it features a longer range and better accuracy than traditionally made wireless keyboards. This one is made by Apple and fully supports all the extra buttons you would ever want.

This article was written by Sean “icemonkey9″ Gibson exclusively for Mac Poker.