Will 2010 go down in the annals of tech as the year of the iPad? The year Android took off? The year of the e-reader? It was all of the above—and then some.

Apple's instantly i conic iPad tablet (APPL) launched a new era in mobile computing. By yearend it had spawned a host of competitors, none able to match the sizzle of Steve Jobs's baby. On the phone front, though, Apple's iPhone faced increasingly stiff competition from ever-more polished and sophisticated devices such as Motorola's Droid X (MOT), which uses Google's Android software (GOOG). Meanwhile a price war helped fire up the e-reader market; by the holiday season, Amazon's latest Kindle (AMZN) could be had for as little as $139. That doesn't even take into account such hits as Microsoft's Kinect game controller (MSFT), which is breathing new life into the aging Xbox 360.

All these and many more make our list of 25 top tech gifts this holiday season. Click here to see the Bloomberg Businessweek Total Tech Buying Guide for 2010.
Getty Images
Will 2010 go down in the annals of tech as the year of the iPad? The year Android took off? The year of the e-reader? It was all of the above—and then some.

Apple's instantly i conic iPad tablet (APPL) launched a new era in mobile computing. By yearend it had spawned a host of competitors, none able to match the sizzle of Steve Jobs's baby. On the phone front, though, Apple's iPhone faced increasingly stiff competition from ever-more polished and sophisticated devices such as Motorola's Droid X (MOT), which uses Google's Android software (GOOG). Meanwhile a price war helped fire up the e-reader market; by the holiday season, Amazon's latest Kindle (AMZN) could be had for as little as $139. That doesn't even take into account such hits as Microsoft's Kinect game controller (MSFT), which is breathing new life into the aging Xbox 360.

All these and many more make our list of 25 top tech gifts this holiday season. Click here to see the Bloomberg Businessweek Total Tech Buying Guide for 2010.
Getty Images

Bloomberg Businessweek's Total Tech Buying Guide 2010

Gadgets We Liked Best
Gadgets We Liked Best
Will 2010 go down in the annals of tech as the year of the iPad? The year Android took off? The year of the e-reader? It was all of the above—and then some.

Apple's instantly i conic iPad tablet (APPL) launched a new era in mobile computing. By yearend it had spawned a host of competitors, none able to match the sizzle of Steve Jobs's baby. On the phone front, though, Apple's iPhone faced increasingly stiff competition from ever-more polished and sophisticated devices such as Motorola's Droid X (MOT), which uses Google's Android software (GOOG). Meanwhile a price war helped fire up the e-reader market; by the holiday season, Amazon's latest Kindle (AMZN) could be had for as little as $139. That doesn't even take into account such hits as Microsoft's Kinect game controller (MSFT), which is breathing new life into the aging Xbox 360.

All these and many more make our list of 25 top tech gifts this holiday season. Click here to see the Bloomberg Businessweek Total Tech Buying Guide for 2010.
Getty Images
A30 gaming headset
A30 gaming headset
What it is: A30 gaming headset
Who makes it: Astro
What it costs: $139

Why we like it: From the design studio that helped come up with the original Xbox, these headsets are designed with the gamer in mind. Delivering great-sounding audio with booming bass, you can pair it with an add-on MixAmp to rock the house without disturbing others nearby.
Astro Gaming
Bloggie Touch
Bloggie Touch
What it is: Bloggie Touch
Who makes it: Sony
What it costs: $199

Why we like it: Consumers may think first of Cisco's Flip when they're in the market for a pocket video camera, but they may quickly change their minds after taking a gander at the sophisticated look and feel of Sony's Bloggie Touch. Behind the 3-inch touchscreen interface, Sony incorporates technology found in its digital point-and-shoot cameras to deliver crisp, clear photo stills and video. New software makes it easy to upload images to Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and other online services.
Sony
DISH Network ViP SlingLoaded DVR 922
DISH Network ViP SlingLoaded DVR 922
What it is: DISH Network ViP SlingLoaded DVR 922
Who makes it: Echostar
What it costs: $649

Why we like it: TV junkies have reason to rejoice with Dish's high-end digital video recorder. The 922 is the first box to build in Sling Media technology, letting you watch live and recorded shows anywhere in the world on a Web-connected computer, smartphone, or iPad.
DISH Network
Droid X
Droid X
What it is: Droid X
Who makes it: Motorola
What it costs: $200 with Verizon contract

Why we like it: If your hand is big enough to accommodate the Droid X, it gives a lot in return: a huge, 4.3-inch screen, an 8-megapixel, dual-flash camera, and the ability to play Web videos that use Adobe's Flash technology, to name a few. Definitely worth a look if you find yourself repelled rather than attracted by Apple's iPhone gravitational-distortion field.
Motorola
Echo Smartpen
Echo Smartpen
What it is: Echo Smartpen
Who makes it: Livescribe
What it costs: $180

Why we like it: A ballpoint pen with a computer inside? Sure, it sounds a little wacky. Yet the Echo can quickly become a must-have for people who still like the feel of putting pen to paper. The device records audio and things you draw as you're writing. You can send those notes to your computer, e-mail them to others, and upload to websites. You simply tap on your written notes to go to the digital bookmark of your recording. With dozens of applications, you merely tap on a word or drawing to do such things as translate language or consult a dictionary.
Livescribe
Eye-Fi 4GB Connect X2 card
Eye-Fi 4GB Connect X2 card
What it is: Eye-Fi 4GB Connect X2 card
Who makes it: Eye-Fi
What it costs: $46

Why we like it: This is no ordinary memory card for your camera. It can automatically upload images and videos directly to more than 25 online photo- and video-sharing sites. It also lets users upload away from home at more than 10,000 Wayport and open hot spots, and will automatically geotag photos with information about where they were taken.
Eye-Fi
Flipboard mobile app
Flipboard mobile app
What it is: Flipboard mobile app
Who makes it: Flipboard
What it costs: Free

Why we like it: The makers of this application for Apple's iPad are billing it as a way to create a social magazine. We think it's an innovative way to aggregate your Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as content from other popular websites.
Flipboard
4G Wireless Service
4G Wireless Service
What it is: 4G Wireless Service
Who makes it: Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile
What it costs: Starting at $24.99 per month

Why we like it: Wireless carriers spar about who will have the fastest next-generation service, and even whether any particular service really should be called 4G. Still, consumers are poised to win from the Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile networks that were upgraded this year to handle fast data connections on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. No more congestion hassles? We're keeping our fingers crossed. (Pictured: the Sprint HTC EVO 4G.)
HTC
Galaxy S Smartphone
Galaxy S Smartphone
What it is: Galaxy S Smartphone
Who makes it: Samsung
What it costs: $199 with carrier contract

Why we like it: This year saw an explosion of eye-catching phones that use Google's Android operating system. Samsung's Galaxy S stood out with its gorgeous Super AMOLED screen and speedy 1 GHz processor. Even better, Samsung wins our prize for bringing choice back to the market by making versions available via all major U.S. carriers.
Samsung
HP Envy 14 Beats Edition
HP Envy 14 Beats Edition
What it is: HP Envy 14 Beats Edition
Who makes it: Hewlett-Packard
What it costs: $1,149

Why we like it: It may be a little smudge-prone, but the head-turning style of this black aluminum-and-magnesium laptop with red backlit keyboard and rubberized finish quickly put us in a forgiving mood. A partnership with Beats Audio, the maker of Beats by Dre headphones, transforms music with pulse-pounding bass that's enabled at the press of a button. We gave bonus points for the inclusion of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements.
Hewlett-Packard
iPad
iPad
What it is: iPad

Who makes it: Apple

What it costs: $499

Why we like it: To know the iPad is to love it—the extra real estate offered by its 9.7-inch screen, the instant-on access to Web content, the dazzling apps. It may not become the publishing industry salvation that some pundits initially said it would be, but Apple has once again shaken up the computer industry and set the bar for delivering a media and entertainment device.
Apple
iPhone 4
iPhone 4
What it is: iPhone 4
Who makes it: Apple
What it costs: $299 with contract

Why we like it: Despite complaints about its poor antenna placement and AT&T's overloaded network, there's loads to like about Apple's fourth-generation iPhone. From its gorgeous 960x640 Retina display to its easy-to-use Facetime videoconferencing software, the iPhone 4 stands out in a crowded field. Add in hundreds of thousands of apps and very solid battery life and you can see why they're flying off the shelves. Sales may get another jump if reports are true that Verizon Wireless is poised to get the device.
Apple
iPod Touch
iPod Touch
What it is: iPod Touch
Who makes it: Apple
What it costs: $229

Why we like it: Apple this year offered us an embarrassment of riches, with a fully revamped iPod line, new Mac computers, the iPad, and iPhone 4. The iPod Touch stands tallest with its high-resolution display, FaceTime Wi-Fi video calling, HD video recording, Game Center hub for social gaming, long battery life, and stylishly thin good looks.
Apple
Jambox
Jambox
What it is: Jambox
Who makes it: Jawbone
What it costs: $200

Why we like it: The Jambox, which has roughly the dimensions of a blackboard eraser, allows you to play all kinds of sounds from your smartphone, iPad, or other Bluetooth-enabled device. It's small enough and—at about 12 ounces—light enough to toss into a suitcase or laptop bag. It provides an out-loud experience that, if it doesn't rival full-fledged stereo speakers, is still a palm-sized package of sonic fun.
Jawbone
K100 Bluetooth speakerphone
K100 Bluetooth speakerphone
What it is: K100 Bluetooth speakerphone
Who makes it: Plantronics
What it costs: $80

Why we like it: Many states are adopting laws that mandate hands-free-calling, but consumers haven't had many stylish or quality options for Bluetooth speakerphones to use in the car. Plantronic jumps into the market with the sleek K100, whose dual-microphone and noise-reduction technology enables crystal-clear speech for both listener and caller.
Plantronics
Kindle
Kindle
What it is: Kindle
Who makes it: Amazon
What it costs: $139

Why we like it: With color-screen media tablets getting so much attention, everyone wondered if Amazon's black-and-white Kindle had much of a future. It does, thanks to a new, sleek form factor and an affordable $139 price tag. Amazon gets even more kudos for having worked tirelessly this year to make the Kindle app and digital bookstore available on rival devices such as Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
Amazon
Kinect
Kinect
What it is: Kinect
Who makes it: Microsoft
What it costs: $149.99

Why we like it: Look Ma, no hands. It took a while for the Xbox to get into the motion-sensing game against the Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation Move. Now Microsoft roars ahead with Kinect. The motion-sensing camera makes your entire body the controller, putting you inside the game. It's the best antidote to couch-potatoitis.
Microsoft
Livewire Powerline AV Network
Livewire Powerline AV Network
What it is: Livewire Powerline AV Network
Who makes it: Western Digital
What it costs: $100

Why we like it: We hear it a lot: Internet this and Web-enabled that. Companies often forget, however, that most consumers don't have a Web connection anywhere near the gear they want you to set up in the home. Western Digital's nifty Livewire solution puts a connection near your HDTV, Blu-ray player, or other boxes. Simply plug one adapter into the wall near your router and connect the two; plug the other adapter into the wall nearest your gear. Presto: Instant Internet where you need it.
Livewire
Logitech Revue with Google TV
Logitech Revue with Google TV
What it is: Logitech Revue with Google TV
Who makes it: Logitech
What it costs: $300

Why we like it: Techies have had their TVs hooked up to the Internet for years, but Google's software platform is an effort to bring Web entertainment to the masses. The initial version—also available through a TV and Blu-ray player from Sony—is too geeky for normal people, but it provides a big-screen gateway to the broad universe of online video.
Logitech
MacBook Air
MacBook Air
What it is: MacBook Air
Who makes it: Apple
What it costs: $999

Why we like it: Leave it to Steve Jobs to figure out how to charge $1,000 for what's essentially a netbook. Oh, what a netbook it is: impossibly thin and light, with flash memory and extended battery life that make it positively iPad-like.
Apple
Nook Color
Nook Color
What it is: Nook Color
Who makes it: Barnes & Noble
What it costs: $249

Why we like it: We were supposed to have to wait for full color on a dedicated e-book reader, but Barnes & Noble obviously didn't get the memo. Its new e-reader features a very good, 7-inch, backlit, color touchscreen display and a completely redesigned user interface that makes it far more enjoyable than the original digital-ink Nook. The device is heavy (you'll sacrifice battery life—and sunlight is an issue) but it's a big step forward.
Apple
Photosmart eStation
Photosmart eStation
What it is: Photosmart eStation
Who makes it: Hewlett-Packard
What it costs: $399

Why we like it: Is it an overpriced printer or an underpriced tablet computer? Fortunately for us, HP's hybrid device offers the best of both worlds, making it worth the price. The eStation edges out the stylish HP Envy 100 printer as a solid all-in-one, with whisper-quiet printing. It includes HP's ePrint technology, which lets you print from anywhere with your mobile device. The detachable 7-inch wireless touchscreen won us over by printing directly from Web pages and a Barnes & Noble application turns it into a great digital book reader.

(Image has been updated.)
Hewlett-Packard
PowerBack
PowerBack
What it is: PowerBack
Who makes it: Kensington
What it costs: $130

Why we like it: Apple's iPad offers an impressive 10-hour battery, though heavy use of the tablet's video capabilities will tax that. Kensington's PowerBack offers an additional five hours of juice. The battery is encased in a nice 3-way kickstand that can prop up the iPad in both vertical and landscape mode, with built-in speaker deflectors to counter the dock's wrap-around style.
Kensington
WD TV Live Hub Media Center
WD TV Live Hub Media Center
What it is: WD TV Live Hub Media Center
Who makes it: Western Digital
What it costs: $200

Why we like it: WDTV can stream 720p or 1080p video content, Netflix, Blockbuster on Demand, and content from any network-connected hard drive in the home. With its customizable user interface, 1 terabyte internal drive, and easy menu, it's well worth the price.

(Product has been updated.)
Western Digital
Zomm Wireless Leash
Zomm Wireless Leash
What it is: Zomm Wireless Leash
Who makes it: Zomm
What it costs: $80

Why we like it: This little plastic disk sits on your key chain and emits an alarm if you move more than 30 feet from your wireless phone. It also doubles as an external speaker for your phone. It can even be programmed as a panic button to automatically dial your local emergency-services number. If you ever need it, you'll be very glad you have it.
Zomm