In every issue we pick the dozen or so coolest gadgets to hit that month–looking beyond the fare being pushed by your friendly neighborhood Best Buy sales teen, we highlight the gear that’s better, faster or completely different than what’s out there now. Click the gallery thumbnails below to dive in:

Whirlpool Vantage

This Whirlpool is the first washer you can teach how to handle clothes. Its built-in USB port will soon let you add custom cycles (downloaded to a flash drive from your computer) for garment-specific instructions. Price not set

Q2 Cube

Among the thousands of Internet radio stations, this four-inch cube radio tunes in only to the favorites you select from your PC. Rest it on one of four sides, and accelerometers signal it to switch between four presets of your choosing. Tipping it back and forth adjusts the volume. Price not set

Sony Dash

Get headlines automatically. This seven-inch Wi-Fi display updates and scrolls your picks of thousands of free feeds. Its apps (including Reuters news and others from gadget company Chumby) broadcast changes whenever fresh info pops up. $200

Sharp Aquos LE920

Our eyes are capable of seeing millions of colors, and this HDTV is the first to re-create just as many. Sharp’s LCD adds a separate yellow filter to the usual red, blue and green, so it can mix more than a trillion colors. From $3,600 (est.)

New Kinetix Re

The Re dongle and its app make your iPhone a remote. Its infrared emitter stores the codes for your TV and other devices, which it can learn from other remotes by capturing and replicating their signals. Price not set

DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w and SPOT Communicator

Stay in touch even on desolate trails. Absent cell coverage, the SPOT hooks up to a satellite signal to send text messages of up to 50 characters that you type on a DeLorme GPS. Price not set

Samsung MD320

Samsung’s six-panel monitor is the first to show multi-screen high def. When paired with an AMD graphics processor, it can show one image (as large as a 60-inch display) or six separate views. $3,100

Canon Vixia HF S21

This Canon works harder to steady shake-prone zoom shots. It has a more sensitive image stabilizer than other models, which moves its 10x zoom lens slightly from side to side to compensate if you wobble. $1,100

Recon-Zeal Transcend

Read your current speed, temperature, altitude and more from the inside of your goggles. A lens and mirror make the image from a 0.6-inch LCD in the lower right-hand corner appear as a virtual 14-inch display. From $350 (est.)

Philips Portable DVD Player PET749

This seven-inch DVD player is the first device to pick up free digital TV. Its tuner chip is more reliable than comparable cellular services and can show live local programming in 22 cities. $180

Haier Trainer Earphones

Haier’s earbuds turn any MP3 player into a heart-rate monitor. A sensor on the controls takes your pulse through your thumb, and the data is dictated to you and saved for review on a PC later. $40

Bostitch 43-723 Clamping Level

Bostitch’s level saves time by freeing up your hands. The 24-inch level has aluminum clamps that lock onto wood as thick as a 4×4. $60