The Goods: July 2011’s Greatest Gadgets

Cameras that snap photos in complete darkness, incredibly sturdy phones, the thinnest external hard drive and more

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.

Shots in Dark

Never mind low light—the NV-1 infrared camera is built for no light. Most cameras have a fixed infrared filter to maintain true-to-life color in daylight. The NV-1’s filter retracts in night-vision mode to see more wavelengths of light. Midnight Shot NV-1, $150; ThinkGeek

Measured Mug

The perfect cup of java begins with the right amount of grounds. The Vario-E single-pot coffee grinder’s bin rests on a digital scale that’s accurate to within 0.2 grams. The machine stops grinding when it hits your preset weight. Baratza Vario-E, $575; Baratza

Stash and Carry

At nine millimeters, the GoFlex Slim is the thinnest external hard drive on the market. Its 320-gigabyte drive, borrowed from ultraportable laptops, is encased in durable aluminum. SeaGate GoFlex Slim, $100; Seagate

Safer Saw

The JawSaw mini electric chainsaw tears through branches of up to four inches thick. Its jaw-shaped frame lets you hold wood firmly in place and shields your hands from potential accidents. Worx JawSaw, From $120; Worx

Light Foot

In these sneaks, lightness is not at odds with support. At 9.8 ounces, Adidas’s kicks are the trimmest basketball shoes available. To provide ample ankle support, a one-millimeter-thin nylon upper is bonded to an equally thin, reinforced leather backing. Adidas adiZero Crazy Light, $130; Adidas

Gentle Glow

To combat the eyestrain that happens when your monitor is brighter than the room, Antec mounts six LEDs to the back of your screen. The result is an eye-relaxing halo. Antec Soundscience Bias Lighting Halo 6 LED kit, $13; Antec


Slide the Dot lens over your iPhone 4 camera and set it down on a table to shoot 360-degree video panoramas. The optical element includes curved plastic and reflects the entire scene down into the image sensor. An app recomposes the footage into a circular scene. Kogeto Dot, $100; Kogeto


Wacom’s Bamboo stylus, 25 percent thinner than other touchscreen styluses, offers minute control over your iPad or tablet doodles. Its conductive rubber tip compresses slightly on the screen, giving it a more natural pen-to-paper feeling. Wacom Bamboo Stylus, $30; Wacom

Speed Racer

The fastest palm-sized remote-controlled car, this four-wheeler zips around at 20 mph (the scale equivalent of about 600 mph). The racer’s motor produces so much torque that it can spiral up a 10-foot cylinder. Air Hogs Hyperactive, $50; Air Hogs

Computer Capture

The first motion controller for PC gamers may be more accurate than a Wiimote or PlayStation Move. The Hydra’s base emits a magnetic field, which it uses to identify where the wand is and how it’s moving across six axes. Razer Hydra, $140; Razer

Green Gazer

Plan shots without seeing the flag. Bushnell’s laser rangefinder is the first to come with 16,000 golf courses preloaded, so its GPS lets you see past dogleg curves. Use the laser to measure the distance between you and a bunker. Bushnell Hybrid Golf Rangefinder, $500; Bushnell

Hard Shell

Casio’s Android smartphone has the über-durability of a G-Shock watch. Its rubberized shell is reinforced with magnesium alloy to withstand drops, while O-rings seal seams and ports, such as the headphone jack, from dust and water. Casio G’zOne Commando, $200 (with two-year contract); Casio