While many gadgets can be expensive when they're initially released, there's a "wow factor" in being the first on your block to own one. With that in mind, here's a top 10 list of must-have gadgets that have been recently released or will hit the market soon.
E-readers are an increasingly popular way to read books. There are many different brands and styles, but Amazon's Kindle Fire features a color display, has touch-screen and Wi-Fi capability and can be used for a variety of media including books, movies and games. It retails for $199. (www.amazon.com)
Apple 'iPad 3'
Every new Apple product is surrounded by buzz long before it’s actually released, and the iPad 3 is no exception. In fact, we won't know for sure whether Apple is even calling it the “iPad 3” until the company's official announcement sometime in early spring. Rumor has it that the new iPad will be faster and have a high-definition display and longer battery life, among other things. Based on current pricing it could retail for around $500-$600. (www.apple.com/ipad)
Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3
If you want to create stunning photos and home movies, 3D digital cameras are where it's at. One example is the Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3, which retails for less than $400. It has a streamlined design, and images can be converted into a variety of formats for viewing on multiple devices. No special glasses are needed to see the 3D effects. (www.fujifilm.com/products/3d/camera/finepix_real3dw3)
Angry Birds speakers
Angry Birds is not just a popular game on smartphones, tablets and computers. The franchise has also spawned T-shirts, plush toys and other products. So why buy standard audio speakers when you can get a pair shaped like Angry Birds? They come in a few different varieties, and prices begin at $79.99. (http://us.gear4.com/category/_/219/angry-birds-speakers/)
Smartphones are awfully handy, except in winter when you're standing out in the freezing cold trying to text. These gloves solve that problem. They're made of conductive material that lets you use smartphones and touch screens while wearing them. A pair sells for less than $20. (www.agloves.com)
Razer Project Fiona
Some people like computers. Others like tablets. Still others prefer video game systems. Razer's new gaming tablet will combine the best of all three devices into one package complete with video game controllers. The tablet has not been released, but estimates are that it will cost around $800-$900. (www.razerzone.com/projectfiona)
TVs are of course not new, but the latest models feature a stunning display and are much more streamlined. Now they are also “smarter,” as wireless functionality allows users to access web content and various types of streaming services. Samsung's 6050 series 55-inch model, for example, is available for under $2,000. (www.samsung.com/SmartTV)
Singing in the shower has reached a new level of sophistication. This speaker can be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth to a compatible computer or other media player. It sells for less than $100. (www.ishowerinc.com)
Saeco espresso machine with fingerprint scanner
Brewing the right cup of coffee can be a challenge, especially when you share your living space with other coffee lovers. This machine saves preferences for each individual, activated via a fingerprint scanner. The unit sells for a cool $3,200. (www.hammacher.com/Product/Default.aspx?sku=11921)
ION HD Camera Goggle
Goggles aren’t just for protecting the eyes. This unit has a built-in camera that can take HD video and pictures. Special gloves are used to operate the buttons, and the product sells for $399. (www.zealoptics.com/ion.html)
Gadgets are both fun and functional. With a modern emphasis on electronic equipment, there is constant innovation in this field and always something new on the horizon.