Razer's portable speakers fire sound straight up for room-filling sound. Razer

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.

Click here to see our favorite gadgets of the month.

Stayin’ Alive

Improve your odds in the wild with the SOL Origin survival kit. The palm-sized, 6.4-ounce set consists of 17 one-handed tools (including a knife, whistle, compass, signaling mirror, sparking device and tinder), all housed in a waterproof case. SOL Origin Essential Tool, $60; Survive Outdoors Longer

Spin Master

The Hitman Pro aluminum yo-yo maintains near-perfect balance and stability. The trick is that its axle inserts completely into the casing, so the rod won’t get stuck on internal edges, cause friction, and make the yo-yo wobble out of control. Hitman Pro Yo-Yo, $50; Yoyojam

Speed Racer

Rather than getting bogged down copying files to an external drive, new MacBook Pros tear through the task 20 times as fast as other laptops—and can feed a high-def movie to a monitor at the same time. They’re the first notebooks to use Intel’s high-speed Thunderbolt port, which merges a data and display connection into one wire. Apple MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt, From $1,200; Apple


The MenasZoom is the first dome magnifier with multiple powers. Twisting the top changes the distance between its two lenses—much like a camera’s zoom lens—and adjusts magnification among five settings, from 2.2x to 3.4x. Eschenbach MenasZoom, $190; Eschenbach

Smart Car

Open your car doors even when you’ve locked your keys inside. OnStar’s new smart mirror can retrofit into more than 50 million cars on the road today and uses a cell connection to link your vehicle’s computer with a centralized server. OnStar mirror, $300 (plus installation and subscription fees); OnStar

Leg Up

Unlike most pogos, the BoGo has a flexible fiberglass bow on its front. Working with a coiled metal spring in the base, the bow helps capture more energy when compressed, and allows riders to bounce two thirds higher with no extra effort. Razor BoGo, $60; Razor [Image courtesy Outdoor Play Toys]

Tiny Tunes

At just 2.8 inches wide, Razer’s portable speakers can fill a room with audio from a cellphone, iPod or laptop. Each speaker’s 1.2-inch driver fires upward, so sound waves bounce off the top wall and spread a full 360 degrees out of the circular grill. Razer Ferox, $60; Razer

Drive On

Rockwell’s drill is the first 12-volt compact tool to double as a heavy-duty driver. For big, load-bearing screws, an anvil weight provides up to 800 inch-pounds of extra torque. Rockwell 3Rill, $180; Rockwell

Laser Tag

Blow opponents away—with lasers! In KHET, a chess-like board game, players arrange mirrored pieces to create a path for an eye-safe laser beam that kills the other player’s pieces. Last man standing wins. The Laser Game: KHET 2.0, $40; Khet

Corner Painter

Paint without scuffing the ceiling or going back to the bucket. The RapidRoller is the first roller with both a head that locks in three positions and a handle that sucks paint from the pail. Black & Decker RapidRoller, From $35; Black and Decker

Dual View

The Kyocera Echo is the first phone with two 3.5-inch touchscreens, so it can display two apps at once. Now if you’re lost, you can pull up a map while texting a friend to let her know you’ll be late for dinner. Kyocera Echo, $200 (with two-year contract); Kyocera

Line of Sight

Read your PC’s screen the same way you would a cookbook on the kitchen counter. Instead of staying rigidly upright, HP’s 23-inch touchscreen reclines backward up to 60 degrees, making it comfortable to see while standing. HP TouchSmart 610 Consumer PC, $900; HP