New Targus Accessories Cater to Mac Users

By  |  Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 6:08 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Seagate’s new hard drives designed specifically for Macs, and noted that it was interesting to see how booming sales for Macs have led large companies to enter the Mac market rather than flee it, as many were doing not so long ago. Here’s more confirmation of that trned: Targus, the big manufacturer of computer cases and mobile accessories, is rolling out its first products tailored for Mac users.

The “Targus for Mac” line includes mice, a USB hub, a presentation remote, a file-sharing cable, a cooling pad, and privacy screens. For the most part, their Mac-isness doesn’t relate to functionality, and Mac users already have access to products in all those categories which are fully Mac-compatible. But Targus has done a nice job of styling the products with a look that’s pleasingly complimentary to MacBooks and MacBook Pros without simply being an unimaginative knockoff of Apple’s own aesthetic.

The mice, USB, remote, and cooling pad all combine light gray and dark gray plastics that feel different to the touch, and which are pretty classy by any standards–here are images of the first three products:

One reason why companies are coming back to the Mac is the reputation of Mac owners as being willing to pay more for cool stuff than their Windows-using brethren–both Targus and Seagate mentioned that to me as a factor in their thinking. So none of these products are cheapies, but they’ve got upscale features, too: The mice, for instance, have a four-way scrollpad that sits under your fingertip, and the USB hub has a cord that wraps snugly around the hub when not in use. (Actually, the hub design is so clever and practical I might buy it for use with a Windows laptop.)

Prices are as follows:

–Bluetooth mouse: $70 (same as Apple’s Bluetooth Mighty Mouse, which only has up-and-down scrolling)
–RF wireless mouse: $50 (same as Apple’s wired Mighty Mouse; I was surprised to see Targus do an RF mouse, since all Mac laptops have Bluetooth, but it is cheaper, and the company told me that some users are intimidated by Bluetooth. The RF dongle is tiny, too–a nub you can leave plugged into the USB port)
–USB hub: $29
–Presenter: $80 (it works with both PowerPoint and Keynote, natch)
–File transfer cable: $50 (it includes built-in software for both Windows-to-Mac transfers and Mac-to-Mac ones)
–Cooling pad: $50 (Targus calls it a Chill Mat)
–Privacy filters: $50

The problem with designing accessories to look good with Mac portables is that Apple could change its portable designs on you–and there are plausible rumors that Apple may overhaul its laptop line real soon now. I asked Targus’s Al Giazzon about that, and he said he felt reasonably comfortable that Apple wouldn’t go in a design direction that rendered the new Targus products a bad match. I suspect he’s right, since it seems intuitively likely that Apple will do more aluminum cases that’ll match Targus’s gray products nicely.

Oh, and one final note: The Targus for Mac line won’t be in Apple Stores for the time being; it will, however, be stocked at Best Buy.


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