The 10 Best Gadgets of 2014 (So Far)

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With WWDC and Google I/O behind us, we have a fairly good idea of what some of the biggest players in tech are up to this year. Whether it’s Amazon moving into the smartphone space or Google moving into the smartwatch space, 2014 is already proving to be landmark year for consumer technology. While many of the biggest new devices and technology products are saved for the holiday season release cycle, we’ve certainly had no shortage of innovative and forward-thinking pieces of consumer technology in 2014 thus far.

From high end smartphones to beautiful middle range digital cameras, here are the 10 best gadgets of 2014 so far:

10. Adobe Ink and Slide

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You’re right to be weary when software companies make the plunge into hardware manufacturing. But the Adobe Ink and Slide really is something special—and part of Adobe’s slow, but calculated move into the smartphone and tablet space. With the Ink and Slide, you have no reason to not make some beautiful art—especially considering that you have Adobe’s great iOS apps and also countless other third party apps at your disposal. It’s a bit spendy for the average user, but artists on the go won’t find a better solution for doing some drawing on the iPad.—Luke Larsen

9. Amazon Fire TV

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The Amazon Fire TV isn’t a must-have option over any single set-top box out right now, but anyone who is knee-deep in the Amazon ecosystem can’t go wrong with it. But who knows where Amazon will take the Fire TV next. With this much potential, the 2015 version just might be the one must-have media device to have in your living room.—Chris Carter

8. Sony Xperia Z2 tablet

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The Z2 tablet would be an easy gadget to glance over and totally forget about. It might not stand out among the sea of Android tablets at Best Buy, but it’s by far the best to come out this year so far. This 10.1-inch tablet is absolutely gorgeous, showcasing Sony’s return to the simpler, more refined design sensibilities of its past. Beyond some nice integration with Playstation and the fact that it’s water resistant though, the Xperia Z2 is light on gimmicks. Instead, Sony has delivered a powerful, premium, light, and incredibly thin tablet that is the best Android alternative to the iPad Air on the market.—Luke Larsen

7. Sony A6000

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When it comes to cameras, only ones under $1000 really feels like they can be called a gadget. In this price range, however, you’ll find some incredible mirrorless middle range shooters, most notably the new Sony A6000. Known for its super quick 0.06 autofocus speed that even surpasses a lot of professional DSLRs, the a6000 really does give you an incredible bang for your buck. If you’re looking for a place to start in digital photography it even a light second shooter, the A6000 will give you that professional look without breaking your bank.—Luke Larsen

6. Dell Chromebook 11

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The perfect formula of performance, battery life, design, build quality, display, and price hasn’t quite happened yet in the world of Chromebooks. However, the Dell Chromebook 11 just might be the closest thing yet. Thanks to the power of its Intel Haswell chip, the Dell Chromebook 11 has fantastic battery life and performance—all for just $299. It’s design isn’t the most inspired thing you can buy, but you feel embarrassed to pull this machine out at your next meeting or coffee shop either. —Luke Larsen

5. Mophie Space Pack

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If you’re going to stick a case on your iPhone, you’d better make it the new Mophie Space Pack. It sounds futuristic, but this iPhone 5/5s case really does everything you need to keep you going all day—most notably, extending your battery life with its 1700mAh battery. The Space Pack also acts as a portable hard drive, providing 64GB of additional storage, which can all be managed within the free app. It seems like a no-brainer, but those two features alone make it the only case worthy of sticking your iPhone in.—Luke Larsen

4. Pebble Steel Smartwatch

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2014 will no doubt be remembered as the year of the smartwatch. With multiple Android Wear devices coming soon and a rumored iWatch coming later this year, there will be a huge amount of options for consumers this holiday season. But right now, it’s still all about the Pebble Steel. The Pebble Steel is the perfect upgrade to Pebble’s original smartwatch, with just a dash of class for good measure. If strapping a giant screen made by LG or Samsung to your wrist doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, the Pebble Steel just might do the trick. —Luke Larsen

3. HTC One (M8)

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The HTC One is, quite simply, a gorgeous smartphone. It has a well designed body that’s got the highest of build quality and is made of only the finest of materials. Furthermore, HTC’s Android skin has only gotten better over the years, having removed a lot of the fluff that was getting in the way. The One might not save HTC, but if it’s premium quality you are looking for, the HTC One should be your next smartphone. —Luke Larsen

2. Surface Pro 3

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The line of Surface devices have always had a bit of an identity crisis. However, the Surface Pro 3 is the first of its kind to finally deliver on the grand promises that Microsoft has made. It’s as powerful as any top of the line ultrabook, can actually sit up on your lap thanks to the new kickstand and hinge, and finally has an aspect ratio that doesn’t make holding it as a tablet totally silly. It’s not perfect, but it’s the closest thing Microsoft has to both an iPad and a MacBook Air killer. The cool part is that this all comes in one product. —Luke Larsen

1. LG G3

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The G3 might not be the absolute, undisputed, best Android phone, but LG’s new high end Android phone the G3 is the physical representation of a company that actually listens to its customers. The result isn’t just a good phone—it’s a device that’s made the manufacturer a serious part of the high-end Android conversation again. —Tyler Hayes

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