Two great Mac Bundles headlined by Parallels 8 and Roxio Toast 11 for $50/ea

It’s Bundle Season at 9to5Toys.com again where there are currently 4 solid bundles happening simultaneously:

First up, we have MacUpdate’s Parallels Desktop 8 bundle which effectively knocks $30 off the price of Parallels 8 and then hooks you up with 9 additional Mac applications for free (normally $618). A free demo is also available.

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Not to be outdone, MacLegion/Stacksocial has their Spring 2013 Bundle which is headlined by the normally $100 Roxio Toast Pro 11 media creation software for $49.99 but also includes nine other great apps valued at over $390 below:

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Don’t forget the $45 Lifehacker bundle is still happening as well as the $50PickaBundle’ which allows you to choose 10 of 25 quality apps including a Mac Blu-ray player. Read more

Add a portable Blu-ray player to your Mac (including playback software) for less than a SuperDrive

tl;dr: Buy a $40 Portable USB Blu-ray/DVD-R drive and $30 Blu-ray player MacGo for $10 less than an Apple SuperDrive and you get to watch/rip Blu-ray movies as a bonus.

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With Apple having eliminated optical media from just about every product it makes, including the redesigned iMacs, Mac Minis, and Retina MacBook Pros, many readers will be considering whether they need to procure a separate external DVD reader for emergencies. Some folks store archives, have software installers, backups, or have vast movie collection on DVD – and then there is Blu-ray…

Apple’s remedy is the DVD SuperDrive that costs $79 (well, $70/$50 used if you know where to shop). The SuperDrive is an Apple-quality product and can be used as a boot drive for many Macs that need to be upgraded or repaired via DVD.

But perhaps we can get a little more for our $80?

Steve Jobs viewed Blu-ray as a “bag of hurt” from the “mafia,” and Apple would frankly rather you stick to the iTunes ecosystem for video watching. But there are many nice Blu-ray titles out there, and iTunes’ compressed 1080p content still doesn’t come close the video and sound quality of Blu-ray. So, for those thinking of dropping $80 on a SuperDrive, we think we have a better option:

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MacMall Special: Lowest prices on MacBook Airs plus Free Parallels & Free FedEx Overnight until Fri 9:15PM ET

From 9to5Toys.com and 9to5Mac Product Pages comes a special deal from MacMall for our readers who are looking for MacBook Airs at the lowest prices. Across the board, Macmall has the lowest prices when coupled with additional 3% off 9to5Mac promo code NTFMMWB38592 

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MacMall goes beyond lowest prices: Until Friday at 9:15PM ET, readers will get free overnight shipping and a free copy of Parallels Desktop with every order. MacMall also offers financing and/or no payments for 6 months and accepts payments with Paypal or Amazon as well as major credit cards. This week’s MacMall specials include half off Quickbooks 2013 for Mac, iPad  SmartCovers starting at $26.99 and other Blowout deals on peripherals.

MacMall has additional MacBook Air 8GB BTO configurations that knock an additional 3% off the already lowest prices we could find: Read more

On location at Macworld/iWorld 2013

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As per usual, 9to5mac is on the scene here in San Francisco for Macworld|iWorld 2013. We’ve got some exciting things lined up for this year and we’re looking forward to seeing what the Apple community has on offer. Our coverage starts tomorrow morning.

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A quick pre-setup run through video of the main exhibition hall is below: Read more

Apple Japan ‘Lucky Bag’ sale slated for Jan. 2 at 7 stores

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As we move past Christmas and into Boxing Day worldwide, Apple has confirmed its annual ‘Lucky Bag’ sale for Jan. 2 in Japan. The sale, which takes place in seven stores across the country, allows shoppers who get in line early to purchase a 33,000 yen ($390 USD) gift bag that includes the possibility of headphones, an iPod touch, cases, an Apple T-shirt, and other accessories. The real surprise is a few gift bags are loaded with special items like a MacBook Air or iPad that a few lucky people will receive.

Lucky Bags are a big tradition in Japan and other parts of Asia to bring in the New Year. Apple’s Lucky Bag event, much like Black Friday in the United States, brings out overnight campers who seek the silicon treasures. As one person noticed in 2011, getting in line at 5 a.m. still wasn’t early enough. Will any 9to5mac readers venture out? Check out a gift bag below: [Apple via Tech in Asia]

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27-inch iMac with 3TB Fusion Drive can’t yet do Boot Camp, early adopters frustrated

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As customers begin receiving the new iMac this month, business-end users and gamers may find one issue when booting up their new machine. As reader Michael Verde first shared with us, the built-to-order 27-inch iMac configuration with a 3TB Fusion Drive (an extra $400) will not allow any Boot Camp use. This essentially cuts off access to a full Windows experience that some Mac users may want to benefit from. Many might consider this a bummer, as a sizable amount of users turn to Boot Camp to access necessary Windows programs or just simply enjoy Windows paired with Mac hardware.

Apple highlighted the issue on both its iMac configuration and Fusion Drive explanation page. “Boot Camp Assistant is not supported at this time on 3TB hard drive configurations,” Apple said in buried text. “At this time,” could mean the feature is enabled down the road in a software update, but it is non-existent as of now.

There are virtualization solutions, such as Parelles and VM Ware, that provide a Windows experience, but they do not offer a full experience that many may want. Boot Camp users include gamers who want to run games at full settings and business users looking to use specific business apps in a full Windows environment.

Right now it is not clear what the cause is, or if it has anything to do with Apple’s new Fusion Drive technology, but it seems that Boot Camp is limited to hard drive with less than 2TB of space (PC World has a good explanation for this). Announced in October and shipping in the new Mac Mini and iMacs, the top Fusion Drive configuration provides 128GB of flash storage coupled with 3TB of HDD space. The cheaper configuration, 128GB Flash Storage + 1TB HDD, supports Boot Camp. So, we have to wonder: what is holding back the more expensive configuration? We reached out to Apple for comment.

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Apple seeds OS X 10.8.3 build 12D43 to developers

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 4.12.52 PMShortly after releasing iOS 6.0.2 to the masses this afternoon, Apple seeded build 12D43 of OS X 10.8.3 to developers. The folks in Cupertino have not listed any new features or known issues, but they asked developers to focus on AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, Graphics Drivers, and Safari. The last pre-release build was released on Dec. 5. You can check today’s release out on the developer center, while the full release note is below:

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$100 iTunes gift cards for $85 at Best Buy, Sam’s Club

From 9to5Toys.com:

Update: You are too late for Best Buy but Walmart has that beat with 20% off $50 iTunes gift cards.

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Today only, Best Buy offers the $100 iTunes gift card for $85 with free shipping (which will arrive before Christmas) or in-store pickup.  iTunes gift cards are good for music, videos, movies, iBooks, Mac and iOS Apps and much more.

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 2.21.17 AMNote: Sam’s Club has a $25 4-pack for $84.64 with free shipping for delivery before Christmas. Read more

Quick Review and Gift Guide: Synology DiskStation, AOC 27″ IPS Monitor, DLP portable projectors

As we approach Christmas and the end of the year, we thought we would throw together some of the more interesting review items we received over the past months.

27-inch AOC LED IPS super slim monitor


First up is the $299 27-inch AOC LED IPS super slim monitor (I2757FH) that has a vague Mac aesthetic with a silver stand and ultra-thin bezel around the edges. This one comes with two HDMI ports, a VGA port, AUX audio ports, and some small speakers. The 27-inch IPS LED display is very nice, but it is obviously not as crisp as a Thunderbolt Display of the same size. And, after some adjustments to the default washed-out look, I was very happy with the color representation. Front capacitive controls are easy to deal with, and overall build quality is very nice, especially for AOC, but the downsides include: the lack of a USB hub, it is not easily wall-mountable, and the super small and poor tiny 4W speakers. You are definitely going to want to have separate speakers.

This AOC display would be best suited in an office/dorm room/bedroom doing double duty as a PC/Mac external display and perhaps display for an Apple TV/Cable box. Recommended at $299, or check out the USB Display link powered 22-inch display

Synology Diskstation NAS… Read more

MapsOpener jailbreak tweak sets Google Maps as default maps app

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Some iPhone users who’ve tried the new Google Maps already will want to use the app instead of the often-criticized Apple Maps. Sadly, Apple doesn’t yet offer a way to make Google Maps the default application to allow iOS users to choose which mapping app opens when map URLs are clicked or using Siri.

As expected, the crafty folks in the jailbreak community have already cooked up a new tweak called “MapsOpener” that will make Google Maps the default. You can check out the tweak courtesy of Hashbang Productions and available via Cydia’s Big Boss repo. As we told you earlier this week, jailbreak tweak FullForce will also make Google Maps scale to the iPad’s large screen. Check out MapsOpener demoed below.

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3-in-1 Lightning Camera Connection Kit enables photo importing via USB, SD and microSD

The folks at iPhone 5 Mod now offer a 3-in-1 Lightning Camera Connection Kit just for the photo geeks in the crowd, allowing you to upload pictures and video to a Lightning-enabled iPhone or iPad. Available for $23.90, the connector packs a USB cable that connects directly into a camera via USB, an SD card, or micro-SD card. While Apple offers a camera connection kit —not supporting Lightning— that connects with a camera via USB or an SD card (better value 30-pin versions on Amazon), this seems like the better offering because it supports three formats and Lightning for a cheaper price. iPhone 5 Mod also offers the 3-in-1 Cable Pro, supporting users to charge their devices with Apple’s Lightning, 30-pic technology, or standard microUSB, for $13.90. We received a number of Lightning items from iPhone5mod.com that worked well.

Source: iPhone 5 Mod (1), (2)

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