The 12 Best Gadgets We Reviewed This Year

From tablets to gaming consoles, smartphones to personal drones, and much more, these are the 12 gadgets that earned PopSci's top marks this year.

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Windows Laptop
From the crop of new Windows 8 laptops, the Lenovo Yoga 13 was easily our favorite--its 360-degree hinge proved surprisingly useful and non-gimmicky, and we loved the responsiveness and hardware. Read the full review here.Dan Bracaglia
Smartphone
Our favorite smartphone? Not the iPhone 5, not the Samsung Galaxy S III, and not the Nokia Lumia 920. Instead it was a relatively low-profile phone made by LG and sold unsubsidized, contract-free. Weird! But the Google Nexus 4 blew us away: lightning-fast, responsive hardware, and the best Android experience we've ever had. Read the full review here.Dan Nosowitz
Tablet
Our favorite tablet of the year is the iPad Mini. It's a divisive choice, to be sure--the Nexus 7 is great, and the new iPad 4 has a much better screen and more processing power--but for sheer enjoyability of use, we love the Mini. It's light, cheap, no problem to transport, great for reading books, and still has that amazing iPad app selection. Read the full review here.Dan Bracaglia
Keyboard
Our favorite keyboard is the Logitech K760. Wireless, solar-charging (even by ambient artificial light--basically, you just never have to worry about charging again), great size and weight, nice action on the keys, and a cool fast-switching Bluetooth connection so you can switch it between three devices (like a laptop, desktop, and tablet) with one button. Read the full review here.Dan Nosowitz
Portable Gaming Console
Though the PlayStation Vita is the most absurdly powerful portable gaming console we've ever seen, for flat-out fun, we've got to go with the Nintendo 3DS XL. The glasses-free 3-D works astoundingly well, and the big new screens finally make the experience immersive. Super Mario 3D Land is a must-play. Read our full review here.Dan Nosowitz
Home Gaming Console
Well, there was only one major home game console released this year, but we liked the Nintendo Wii U a lot. A little gimmicky, sure, but Nintendo's making an effort to make great games more great, and the Wii U delivers on that. Now bring us the amazing exclusives! Read the full review here.Nintendo
Speakers
All hail Jambox. The tiny speaker we never knew we needed wowed us last year--the thing is tiny and sounds amazing--and the jumbo-sized Big Jambox (yeah, that's its real name) impressed us just as much. Wireless, battery-powered, Bluetooth-enabled, looks great, sounds great. Read the full review here.Dan Bracaglia
Headphones
Thanks to the build quality, incredible sound quality, and all the thoughtful audiophile extras, our favorite high-end headphones of the year were the V-Moda M100. Admittedly, they cost over $300, so these aren't for everyone, but man, are they a treat for those who can afford them. Read the full review here.Stan Horaczek
Camera
So, we're going to leave the serious camera talk up to our buddies at Popular Photography--you can check out their camera of the year winner over here. But we still love photography, and we had a bunch of great, innovative cameras to play with this year. We loved the Samsung Galaxy Camera, despite its high price, but the most innovative camera of the year has to be the Lytro, which allows you to adjust the focus of a shot after it's taken. Amazing. Read the review here.John Mahoney
Ebook Reader
Despite our concerns about the difficulties of abandoning page-turn buttons, we have to admit that the newest flagship Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite, is one fantastic ebook reader. Simply designed, light, comfortable, a fantastic screen, the best book selection and app ecosystem, and that glowing front-light that lets you comfortably read in the dark--it's got it all. Cheap, too! Read the full review here.Dan Bracaglia
Personal Drone
There isn't really a competitor, but that doesn't mean the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 isn't a really awesome toy. Perhaps the best improvement is the navigation: it automatically reorients based on your location, so the drone's left is always also your left. But it also has a new suite of iPad apps, better cameras, and new tricks. Read the full review here.Dan Bracaglia
Pico Projector
Finally, a pico projector we can love. The 3M Streaming Projector is a tiny palm-sized projector with some key elements that set it apart. Most importantly, it comes with a Roku Stick--a full Roku the size and shape of a USB flash drive, a $100 value by itself--and a little compartment for it, so you get all the greatness of a Roku built-in. Plus it's battery-powered and has a speaker, which means it's fully self-contained. It's awesome. Read the full review here.Dan Nosowitz