Every month we search far and wide to bring you a dozen of the best new ideas in gear. These gadgets are the first, the best and the latest.
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Milwaukee M12 Drill: Slight but Tough
This drill weighs under three pounds but can still bore holes in concrete. It’s powered by a first-in-class 12-volt lithium battery, which adds oomph without bulk.
Milwaukee M12 3/8-inch Hammer Drill Driver: $160; milwaukeetool.com
Timex Ironman Race Trainer: Wrist Twist
The screen of this training watch sits in line with your thumb on the inside of the wrist, so it’s always visible while biking or running. A sling under the strap holds it to keep the watch in view, letting it track your time and heart rate in the final sprint.
Timex Ironman Race Trainer Pro Kit: $200; timexironman.com
Olympus XZ-1: Night Shooter
Olympus’s new camera is equipped with the fastest lens in a compact, which lets it focus up close in low light. Its autofocus sensor also helps the cause by throwing a soft light on the subject to help pick out and sharpen whatever’s up front.
Olympus XZ-1: $500; olympus.com
iRobot Scooba 230: Smaller Scrubber
About half the size of earlier models, iRobot’s new auto mop is able to wash in tight corners. Instead of using two bins to separate dirty water and clean water, the ‘bot has two bladders that expand or shrink as needed.
iRobot Scooba 230: $300; irobot.com
Iomega Superhero Dock and Charger: Data Dock
Secure your info while you charge your iPhone. This charging dock automatically backs up your contacts, photos and videos to a four-gigabyte SD card, so you can quickly restore your data if you lose your handset.
Iomega Superhero Dock and Charger: $70; iomega.com
ION Audio Twin Video HD
The first HD camcorder with forward- and backward-facing lenses makes taping interviews or reaction shots easy. Switch the feed from front lens to rear with a single button-press for editing on the fly. Omnidirectional microphones on both sides capture audio for each feed.
ION Audio TWIN VIDEO HD: $200; ionaudio.com
Anti Sleep Pilot
The dashboard-mounting Anti Sleep Pilot helps make sure you’re not driving drowsy. It tracks alertness with intermittent tests, such as measuring how long it takes you to tap it after a beep, to recommend when you should pull over for a rest.
Anti Sleep Pilot: $250; antisleeppilot.com
Zork Reusable Cork
Yellow Tail has the first sparkling wine in the U.S. to use the Zork reusable cork, which keeps more fizz in your bubbly than before. Pressing a button reseals the bottle by suctioning out air, while a foil lining traps carbon dioxide inside.
Yellow Tail Bubbles: $10; yellowtailwine.com
Drop this three-inch, 1.7-ounce dongle into anything—your car, your camera bag—and you can track it from a smartphone or computer. Equipped with GPS, cellular and GSM radios, Garmin’s tracker lasts up to four weeks on a charge.
Garmin GTU-10: $200; garmin.com
Lutron Diva/C*L Dimmer
Old dimmers can’t adjust your new low-wattage CFLs and LEDs. Lutron’s model is the only one that can control up to 65 varieties of bulb, thanks to built-in voltage compensation that tweaks output to prevent flickering.
Lutron Diva/C*L Dimmer: $40; lutron.com
LG LW9500 HDTV
LG’s LED-lit HDTV distributes light 20 percent more evenly than others, without adding set-thickening bulbs. Light from its LEDs reflects off microscopic silver particles behind the screen, which ensures that the white level in one area of the screen matches all the others.
LG LW9500: Price not set; lg.com
Stream your iTunes library directly to this speaker and use its remote to browse songs. The setup uses a Wi-Fi connection with your computer and can sync with multiple wireless sets for home-wide audio.
iHome iW1: $300; ihomeaudio.com