Adonit Jot Script Stylus

Adonit Jot Script Stylus

Drawing and note-taking on an iPad is tricky without a stylus---but most styli on the market are lamentably thick and awkward. The Adonit Jot Script has a tip that's one-third as wide as competing styli, and uses accelerometer and Bluetooth technology to lend finer control. Though it was designed in collaboration with Evernote, it works with a range of sketching and note-taking apps. $74.99 at adonit.net.

Courtesy of Adonit

Anki Drive

Anki Drive

Anki's robotic racing cars sense the vinyl track 500 times per second to stay on course. Players guide the cars and control "weapons" from their iPhones, via a Bluetooth radio connection. Fun for kids of all ages. Starter kit: $199.99 at Apple stores or anki.com.

Courtesy of Anki

Automatic Link Smart Driving Assistant

Automatic Link Smart Driving Assistant

The Automatic Link plugs into a car's onboard diagnostics port and sends data about mileage, performance, and engine trouble to the Automatic smartphone app via Bluetooth. It's a great tool for drivers who want to be more conscientious (or at least, more conscious) about how their driving habits affect their gas mileage. $99.95 at automatic.com.

Courtesy of Automatic

Chromecast

Chromecast

Google's Chromecast device plugs into an HDMI port on your television, connects to your home Wi-Fi network, and lets you stream cloud video and music from sources like Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, and Google Play. You control what's playing from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. $35 from play.google.com, amazon.com, and various retailers.

Courtesy of Google

Dropcam Pro

Dropcam Pro

Dropcam's Wi-Fi video camera is great for keeping a remote eye on your home or your pets while you're away. It streams live video on demand to a smartphone or Web browser, and sends an alert when it detects movement. Dropcam's new "Pro" version offers a wider field of view, deeper zoom, and better sound and low-light capabilities than its predecessor. $199 at dropcam.com.

Courtesy of Dropcam

GoPro Hero3

GoPro Hero3

GoPro keeps making its cameras smaller and lighter, so you can attach them to almost anything to make dramatic point-of-view video recordings. The GoPro Hero3 White Edition can capture 1080p video, or 5-megapixel photos at three frames per second. More expensive versions offer higher resolution and higher frame rates. $199.99 at gopro.com.

Courtesy of GoPro

Hulu Plus Gift Subscription

Hulu Plus Gift Subscription

Cord cutters love Hulu Plus because it provides access to current TV episodes via streaming-video devices from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku, Sony, and others. (The only downside: the commercials.) Gift subscriptions are available at increments of 1, 3, 6, or 12 months. $7.99 to $95.88 at secure.hulu.com/plus/gifting.

Courtesy of Hulu

iPad Air and iPad mini

iPad Air and iPad mini

With the original iPad mini, released in October 2012, Apple showed how thin and light a tablet could be. With the iPad Air, it has brought that same slimness to the full-size iPad. And it's finally given the mini a proper Retina screen. These are the two best tablets on the market; which one to buy depends on whether the giftee will use their device primarily for consuming content (iPad mini) or also for creating it (iPad Air). $499 to $1029 at store.apple.com.

Courtesy of Apple

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

It took years, but e-book device makers have finally figured out to make an e-ink display with a contrast ratio almost as good as ink on paper. The glare-proof screen on the Paperwhite arguably makes it a better reading device than an LCD-based tablet like the Kindle Fire HDX or the Apple iPad. $139 Wi-Fi, $179 3G at amazon.com.

Courtesy of Amazon

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad

Snap this super-thin Bluetooth keyboard to your iPad and you've got what I've jokingly called a "poor man's MacBook Air." Seriously---I never take my laptop with me when I leave the office anymore, because this keyboard lets me take notes and process e-mail right on my iPad. Logitech makes versions for the iPad 2, the third- and fourth-generation iPads, and the iPad Air. $99.99 at logitech.com.

Courtesy of Logitech

Maingear Force Gaming PC

Maingear Force Gaming PC

If someone you know is a hardcore computer gamer, sooner or later they'll want a custom PC that can handle the highest resolutions and frame rates. The top-of-the-line Force from Kenilworth, NJ-based Maingear includes Intel or AMD processors with up to 6 cores that overclock to 5 Gigahertz; single, dual, or triple GPUs; and liquid-cooled radiators to deal with all the resulting heat. Starting at $3,735 at maingear.com.

Courtesy of Maingear

Misfit Shine Activity Tracker

Misfit Shine Activity Tracker

Since all of today's fitness trackers do exactly the same thing---measure your movement using a three-axis accelerometer---the choice of devices should come down to appearance and convenience. To my mind, the Misfit Shine is prettier and more wearable than competing devices from Jawbone, Fitbit, or Nike. It tracks your movement as you run, walk, swim, or sleep, and sends the data to your iOS or Android smartphone. A recent firmware upgrade has eliminated most of the bugs I wrote about in a review earlier this year. $119.95 at store.misfitwearables.com.

Courtesy of Misfit Wearables

Nomiku Immersion Circulator

Nomiku Immersion Circulator

If there's a home chef in your life who's been eager to try sous vide cooking, Nomiku's high-tech circulator is just the ticket. The silent, attractive device keeps a water bath at the perfect temperature needed to cook meats, fruits, or vegetables to their optimal tenderness. $299.95 at nomiku.com.

Photo by Wade Roush

Rickshaw Bagworks iPad Sleeve

Rickshaw Bagworks iPad Sleeve

San Francisco-based Rickshaw Bagworks makes beautiful, rugged custom messenger bags, backpacks, and tablet and laptop sleeves from fabrics of your choice. There's an extensive line of sleeves that fit all models of the iPad, Nexus 7 Android devices, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops, and Kindle devices. The iPad sleeve shown here goes for $40 at rickshawbags.com.

Courtesy of Rickshaw Bagworks

RTF Quadcopter from 3D Robotics

RTF Quadcopter from 3D Robotics

Quadcopters are great for aerial photography and other missions, and companies like 3D Robotics are making them more affordable for hobbyists. The RTF is, as the name implies, ready to fly. (The newer autopilot-equipped 3DR Iris looks even cooler, but won't available in time for the holidays.) Base unit $599.99 at store.3drobotics.com; extra for telemetry set, radio control, etc.

Courtesy of 3D Robotics

Romo

Romo

Romo combines a robotic platform and an iPhone app to turn a smartphone into a mobile digital companion. Kids can program it to zoom along planned paths, or parents can guide it remotely for roaming video conversations. Available for iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S. $149.99 at Brookstone.com.

Courtesy of Romotive

Shinola Runwell Chrono Watch

Shinola Runwell Chrono Watch

Shinola is a classic Michigan comeback story: the company assembles craftsman-quality watches, bicycles, and leather goods in midtown Detroit. The 47mm Chrono watch shown here has a stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal, a Detroit-built Argonite quartz movement, and an alligator-leather strap. $950 at shinola.com.

Courtesy of Shinola

Sony's Waterproof Xperia Tablet Z

Sony's Waterproof Xperia Tablet Z

Here at Xperience, how could we not like a tablet called Xperia? The amazing thing about Sony's new line of Xperia Z Android tablets and smartphones is that they're truly waterproof and dustproof, and can therefore go just about anywhere. You can't actually use them underwater, but they'll easily survive a dunking. Finally, a safe way to read e-books in the bathtub. $449.99-$579.99 at store.sony.com.

Courtesy of Sony

Sphero 2.0

Sphero 2.0

Sphero is a robotic, self-propelled ball that you control with your iOS or Android smartphone. It can roll at up to 7 feet per second, perform jumps and other tricks, and play games in augmented-reality environments. $129.99 at gosphero.com.

Courtesy of Sphero

Spira WaveSpring Shoes

Spira WaveSpring Running Shoes

Spira Footwear in El Paso, TX, makes high-tech running and walking shoes built around a unusual leaf-spring device called WaveSpring. The startup claims WaveSprings are more stable, and retain their bounce longer, than the coil springs inside other athletic shoes. This fall Spira collaborated with A&E and crowdfunding site RocketHub to create a "Duck Dynasty" camo version of the shoes. $79.95-$144.95 at shop.spira.com.

Courtesy of Spira

Wait, what? Cyber Monday was four days ago, and you still haven’t finished your holiday gift buying?

Don’t worry, we haven’t either. But we thought we’d take some time away from our busy shopping schedules to help you find the best presents for the gadget geeks in your life. In the slideshow above, we’ve collected some of the Xconomy staff’s favorite tech and tech-related products of 2013.

We’ve written about many of these items right here at Xconomy and Xperience, including Anki Drive, the Automatic LinkDropcam, Hulu PlusMaingear custom PCs, the Nomiku sous vide circulator, the Misfit Shine, the Sphero robotic ball, and Spira shoes. Most of the products we picked are made by companies based in Xconomy’s home cities, such as 3D Robotics, Rickshaw Bagworks, and Shinola.

The two most obvious high-tech holiday gift ideas this year—at least for big spenders with video game enthusiasts in their families—aren’t on our list. Of course, we’re talking about the Xbox One game console from Microsoft ($500) and the PlayStation 4 from Sony ($700). We haven’t tried either one yet, so we can’t tell you whether they’re worth the money or which one is better.

We also thought about including a smart watch in the list, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear or the Pebble. But we can’t, in good conscience, recommend any of the current generation of wrist-sized devices. They’re all too bulky and feature-poor. This is one product category that needs to percolate for another year, at least, before manufacturers have a compelling product that’s worth your hard-earned cash.

Happy holidays! And if you have a favorite high-tech gift idea that we forgot to include, let us know in the comments.

The Author

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy.