The end of 2012, and maybe the end of life as we know it, is coming up in less than a month; so this is the perfect time to look back at the year and reflect on the best it had to offer. Now we give thought to what the best gadget innovations of the year, with products from companies like Samsung, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and some new companies, and in various shapes and sizes. After reviewing the list, let us know in the comments if you agree with us or if you have found even more innovative gadgets from this past year.
10. AR.Drone 2.0
The first AR.Drone was an incredibly fun toy for all ages that could be controlled by your favorite iDevice and stream video to it as well. Now Parrot is back with their update to this innovative flying device. The AR.Drone 2.0 is tougher, faster, and more high-tech than its predecessor, with 720p HD video recording/live streaming, a faster processor, and carbon fiber body structure. Go as high as 165 feet with your new drone for a personal eye in the sky.
Parrot’s AR.Drone 2.0 site, also available from Apple and Amazon (Link)
9. Google Glass
While it is still just a device in development, Google’s Project Glass is making strides toward being a legitimate product in the coming years. This gadget had a high-flying and fast-paced unveiling/demo during Google I/O 2012 when the audience got a first-person point of view skydiving from a plane over the convention center and a BMX biker jumping across the roof and riding through the lobby and finally onto the stage. Attendees at the conference got the privilege to purchase one of these developer devices, shipping next year, and see what they can some up with.
The Project Glass Google+ Page (Link)
$1500 for Google I/O attendees
8. Microsoft Surface RT
Although the Surface hasn’t been selling as much as Microsoft would prefer, there is no doubting that the Redmond company definitely took a chance changing the mold for the traditional tablet device (even when they insist on still calling it a PC). The Surface running Windows RT is an incredible step forward in the mobile computing industry with it’s great build quality, a fresh new OS, and the very innovative Touch Cover, albeit it could be better without the desktop option. The Surface Pro should be what everyone is really waiting for but we’ll see how that turns out in 2013.
The Microsoft Surface RT site (Link)
$499, $599 w/ the Touch Cover
7. Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite
It might not be the first handy, little light-up e-reader on the market but Amazon has certainly made it worth the wait for their version. The extensive battery life of up to 8 weeks, all touch interface with the appropriately-bright light guide, and super light weight of 7.5 oz, make this e-reader the perfect travel library for all anytime reading pleasures. The low-cost and 4G option is the push over the edge that make this the more innovative product.
Obviously on Amazon (Link)
$119 w/special offers, $139 w/o special offers, and $179 4G option
6. Samsung’s Galaxy Note II
Like the AR.Drone, Samsung first Galaxy Note brought a new type of product to the mobile market – the phablet. With a minor screen size upgrade from 5.3 to 5.5-inches, Samsung still has packed quite a bit of tech into their gigantic smartphone. The 1280×720 resolution, 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, new S-Pen, and innovative multi-tasking performance has certainly made the Note II the king of the phablet monarchy. There has even been a demonstration of how to use it as your all-in-one productivity device with a keyboard, mouse, and external display.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note II site (Link)
$299.99 w/Verizon contract, $655.00 from Amazon unlocked