ON THE CHEAP
The nearly ubiquitous Arduino had one major weakness, if you ask me: a lack of on-board WiFi. It's pretty rough building an internet of things with piles of shields and yards of Ethernet cord. The YUN solves this most basic of conundrums by putting the versatile ATmega on the same board as a MIPS-powered WiFi SoC. You can even reprogram the Arduino wirelessly, so you can load up a whole new set of instructions without having to pull apart your meticulously crafted project. -- Terrence O'Brien, Deputy Managing Editor
Key specs: WiFi, microSD slot, ATmega32U4 microcontroller, Atheros MIPS WiFi SoC.
Price: €52 (about $70) from Arduino
Here's something for artists who have just about everything. This brand-new 3D-printing pen will have them drawing in air in no time. At $99, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than desktop 3D printers, and it's a small price to pay to unlock some really cool creative potential. One small caveat: Unless you donated to the now-funded Kickstarter, you won't get the pen before February of next year. -- Brian Heater, Director of Media
Key specs: Ships with 50 strands of ABS or PLA, wall-powered via included cable, fast and slow speeds.
Price: From $75 on Kickstarter, $99 pre-order from 3Doodler
When it comes to fitness wearables, few brands are as recognizable and prominent as Fitbit. From the clip-based models of old to the more recent Force, the company's devices count steps, calculate calories burned and track the quality of your sleep. Personally, I'd opt for the Force merely because it also works as a watch and an alarm clock. Plus, with a future update, it will handle caller ID information when paired with an iPhone 4s (or later model) running iOS 7. -- Nicole Lee, Associate Editor
Key specs: OLED screen, altimeter, Bluetooth 4.0, small and large sizes, seven to 10 days of battery life.
Price: $130 from Fitbit
Don't underestimate the value of an external hard drive as a gift, as it can be a lifesaver for those with valuable data. If you know someone who needs that extra peace of mind, we'd recommend Western Digital's 4TB My Book drive. For less than $200, you're buying a fast USB 3.0 disk with enough space to back up just about everything on a typical computer. It's not as exciting as other gifts here, but trust us -- the lucky recipient will likely thank you later. -- Jon Fingas, Associate Editor
Key specs: 4TB hard drive, USB 3.0 interface, Mac and Windows compatibility, Dropbox integration, hardware encryption support.
Price: $160 (for 4TB) from Western Digital
It always helps to have your full gadget arsenal at hand, so you can be ready for anything, but keeping all that gear safe and dry is a challenge. The folks at Mission Workshop have made it their job to provide a variety of quality, weather-resistant bags that play nice with your electronic gear, and this Vandal bag in particular caught our eye. Not only does it look good and keep moisture at bay, but its flexible sizing also allows you to stuff several days' worth of necessities on top of your regular kit. -- Jon Turi, Associate Editor
Key specs: Weatherproof compartments and materials, urethane-coated zippers, carbon fiber-reinforced internal frame, roll-top and flap-down modes, capacity of 1,800-4,000 cubic inches.
Price: $295 from Mission Workshop
You don't need to spend thousands for a studio setup in order to start churning out some quality beats and rhythms anymore. Teenage Engineering created this portable and versatile OP-1 Synth with both the budding producer and seasoned professional in mind. The unit includes a selection of synthesizers, sequencers, effects and recording and tape-edit capabilities, all in a slick package. It's perfect for live performances -- just ask Reggie Watts -- and it will save you a bundle on roadies. -- Jon Turi
Key specs: Multiple synthesizer engines, effects and sequencers; USB MIDI controller (Mac/PC); tape editing; four-track mixer; up to 24-minute recording time; AMOLED display; mini speaker; three-axis accelerometer.
Price: $849 from Teenage Engineering
Here's something to complete the 3D-printing experience for the maker in your life. This 3D scanner lets you create printable 3D files in less than 12 minutes. Once an item is scanned, artists can further adjust and animate it via their third-party 3D modeling program of choice. Just don't be surprised when you receive some weird ornaments this time next year. -- Brian Heater
Key specs: Outputs standard 3D file formats, includes MakerWare for Digitizer software, USB connection, 6.6-pound maximum weight for scanned objects.
Price: $949 from MakerBot
Other than making you (or anyone else, for that matter) look unbelievably impressive, Sony's new HMZ wearable display has what it takes to create a personal viewing experience unlike any other. Inside are dual 720p OLED screens that, according to Sony, formulate the equivalent of a 750-inch display for watching video content. But that's not all; the T3W also features virtual 7.1 surround sound, a 3D mode and the ability to pair up with other devices (such as laptops, smartphones and tablets) via the HML-ready HDMI inputs. -- Edgar Alvarez, Associate Editor
Key specs: Dual 720p OLED screens, 3D-ready, HDMI/MHL connectivity, virtual 7.1 surround sound, WirelessHD mode.
Price: $998 on Amazon
MONEY IS NO OBJECT
Brammo's Empulse R e-motorcycle carries a premium price, but it delivers the exceptional reward of fun, guilt-free transportation. You'll get a nimble, torque-loving bike that just happens to be good for the environment. And when it costs an estimated $4 in electricity to ride 400 miles, you may ultimately save more money than you would by springing for a cheaper, gas-powered alternative. While range and long-term battery endurance remain issues, I'd gladly take the Empulse R down a winding country backroad. -- Jon Fingas
Key specs: 40kW (54HP equivalent) electric motor, 77-mile combined city/highway range, 105MPH top speed.
Price: $18,995 from Brammo
Still believe that only pinkos and Ed Begley Jr. drive electric cars? You need to spend some time with Tesla's Model S. In addition to its gorgeous sports sedan looks, the Model S has been engineered from the ground up to make the best of its modern engine. That means your legs don't get boxed in by a drivetrain, and there's more than 30 cubic feet of storage space just for your luggage. Then there's the driving experience; we're talking shredding corners and hugging the road. Of course, looking amazing and saving the planet don't come cheap, but $60,000 isn't a lot considering the only thing this doesn't do is fly. -- Daniel Cooper, Associate Editor
Key specs: Electric motor, charges at up to 100 km of range per hour, 4.2 seconds to 60MPH (Performance model), up to an 85kWh battery, 17-inch touchscreen.
Price: $62,400 and up from Tesla
We can think of few gifts as incredible as an off-world vacation that'll make most any terrestrial trip seem staid and boring in comparison. Aside from the obvious allure of messing around in zero gravity and viewing the globe from outer space, you also get to join Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride on the short list of humans who have ever left Earth. Oh, and you can put a price on the perfect gift: $250,000. -- Michael Gorman, Senior Editor
Key specs: IT'S A TRIP TO SPACE. ON A SPACESHIP.
Price: $250,000 from Virgin Galactic
The lens-style QX10 clips onto your smartphone and uses your handset's display as a viewfinder. It's a nifty, portable setup, and WiFi makes it easy to share photos instantly. Though it won't replace your standalone camera, it's a great accessory to add to your toolkit. Enter the raffle below for a chance to win, and be sure to check out our giveaway rules.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
- Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.
- Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States and the District of Columbia, 18 or older! Sorry, we don't make this rule (we hate excluding anyone).
- Winners will be chosen randomly. One winner will receive one (1) Sony Cyber-shot QX10.
- If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes a contact email. Social media contact details are not carried over into our system.
- This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Sony and Engadget/AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
- The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
- Entries can be submitted until December 31st, 2013 at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!