Easily digitize all of your favorite stuff — whether it's old family photos, maps from past vacations, scraps of memories, newspaper clips, paper journals, sketchbooks, even coins and other small items — no matter where you find yourself, with the Doxie Flip Scanner ($150). This portable flatbed scanner is made to work anywhere, small enough to fit in a bag or large pocket, it features battery power and flash SD memory, so you can use it without the need for a computer. Use it as a standard scanner, or remove the lid to flip it over and scan nearly any object. A window lets you see through the scanner, letting you perfectly line up your subject every time.
Just because you've already gotten your hands on one of the many great e-readers available doesn't mean you should discount the portable reader you have in your pocket at any given time — your smartphone. Readmill ($Free) gives you the kind of reading experience you've always wanted, with the convenience of a device you're already carrying. The app is designed beautifully, paying careful attention to typography, contrast, and usability, and includes a host of adjustable attributes like font size and brightness. The ability to highlight and share your favorite passages makes reading a bit more social, while a wealth of free reading material means you'll never be left without a good book to dive into.
Know who's knocking on your door — no matter what time of day — from any place on the planet with the DoorBot ($200). Whether you're just venturing into the world of complete home automation, or you already have your place efficiently networked to a range of devices, this is a great piece to add to your setup. It easily connects to your smartphone or tablet over WiFi, letting you communicate with anyone at your door (from inside your home, at the office, or away on vacation). It features night vision, an adjustable camera angle, a rechargeable battery, and the ability to connect to your existing doorbell wiring.
Whether you're on the hunt for a beautiful set of wireless speakers to sit on top of your desk, or you're just looking to add to your existing home audio set up, the Harman Kardon Nova Sound System ($270) is a strong solution combining a great listening experience with striking design. Each speaker produces 40 watts of power played through two-and-a-half-inch drivers and one-and-a-quarter inch tweeters, while passive radiators provide powerful bass response. They're compatible with just about any device you could think of, thanks to wired analog and optical inputs, as well as Bluetooth connectivity with near field communication.
While all your strongest instincts tell you to pack on a few pounds, put on your warmest pair of sweat pants, and just wait the winter out, you can still defy those urges and remain active with Nike+ Move ($Free). Designed exclusively for the iPhone 5s, this app takes advantage of the new M7 motion coprocessor to track detailed information about every type of movement you engage in, throughout the day — all without the need for additional hardware. It charts your movement and gives you points called NikeFuel, letting you compete with groups of friends to see who's the most active. Detailed graphs and charts tell you your most active days, locations where you moved most, and your peak times for movement, even breaking it down by type of movement.
With all the advances in DSLR technology we've seen on the market lately, camera makers run the risk of losing touch with where they came from. The Nikon Df Camera ($3,000) is deeply in touch with its roots, bringing us a camera that's aesthetically inspired by classic 35mm film cameras, but packed with professionally-focused digital tech. Wrapped in leather and chrome and covered in dials and knobs galore, this full-frame camera features a 16.2 megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor and Nikon's Expeed 3 processor. It ships with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, and is priced for professional photographers who want a slightly smaller body that doesn't sacrifice features (save, of course, its hard-to-ignore lack of video capability).
Music is meant to be shared — but that can be a problem when you're wanting to listen with a friend in a public space (like a bus, airplane, or very odd restroom). This Kikkerland Branch Headphone Splitter ($10) solves this problem by splitting a single headphone jack into three. In addition, it comes with a handy keychain attachment so you can keep it with you, and features a simple, nature-inspired plastic design that adds a touch of whimsy to the proceedings. Rock on.
Forget about all of those lightweight, plastic audio boxes out there that feel like they would crumble with their first fall, and embrace the Grain Audio Packable Wireless Speaker ($250). Its solid walnut construction gives it some heft and durability, while lending the natural beauty and acoustic properties of a hardwood cabinet. Dual two-inch drivers, a passive radiator, and the technical proficiency Grammy Award-winning Waves MaxAudio Suite deliver music the way it was meant to sound — without all the gimmicky enhancements found in lots of portable speaker systems. Combine all that with powerful Bluetooth connectivity, eight hours of battery life, and a carrying pouch, and what you get is one of the best (and best looking) small speakers available.
Sponsored by our friends at Grain Audio.
Whether you're an aspiring club DJ, or a seasoned veteran who has been spinning records in crowded dance halls for years, the Nocs NS900 Headphones ($250) were made with you in mind. Enclosed, interchangeable ear cushions house specially-developed 40 millimeter titanium coated drivers to deliver dynamic, balanced sound, even in spaces filled with the loudest audiences. The durable construction features replaceable parts, a PVD-coated adjustable stainless steel headband with a comfortable inner band, and a range of available cables to connect to just about any device. So, no matter where you find your next gig, you'll have a set of headphones that fits perfectly, sounds great, and will never let you down.
Faced with the choice of spending your afternoon mopping the floors, or doing just about anything else, nine times out of ten, you'll choose something else. But with the iRobot Braava Floor Mopping Robot ($300) you'll never have to mop your floors again. The rechargeable battery lets it dry sweep for up to three hours on a single charge, or wet mop for up to two hours. Its intelligent sensors know when to avoid carpets, raised surfaces, and area rugs, while its perfect edge technology lets it get right up against walls and other obstacles.
When you choose to compete with giants like Amazon, you've definitely got your work cut out for you — but Barnes & Noble's new Nook GlowLight ($120) may have just what it takes to make a go at it. While it may never be able to boast the kind of ecosystem available with Amazon, its feature set and competitive price point make it an option worth considering. They've stuck with e-ink, and made the reading experience better than ever, with 60 percent more pixels, no glare, and a higher 1024 by 768 resolution. They've also put it on a diet, reducing overall weight by nearly a fifth, while the four gigs of storage will hold up to 2,000 books, and the battery will last up to eight weeks on a single charge.
If you're the kind of guy whose deep pockets are matched only by his desire to listen to music exactly as the artist intended, then these Bang & Olufsen Beolab 18 Speakers ($6,600) are an obvious necessity. As is typical of products from the Danish speaker company, these towers are a work of modern art, with stunning curves, gorgeous woodwork, and an unbelievable attention to detail evident in every inch. They operate on a 24-bit wireless frequency even an audiophile would approve of, letting you say goodbye to those unsightly speaker wires. Twin four-inch midrange drivers powered by separate 160-watt amplifiers and acoustic lens tweeters complete the package.