The Top 22 Hottest And Newest Gadgets For Holiday Gear Hunters

Wining, Dining and Teching

Last week, tech firms schmoozed it up with the media one last time ahead of the holiday shopping frenzy that kicks off the day after Thanksgiving. Dozens of firms -- including Acer, Lenovo and HP Inc. as well as startups with cool gadgets hungry for attention -- showed up at organizer Pepcom's Wine, Dine and Demo event in New York on Thursday night.

Out in force -- we were surprised -- was a fleet of new gaming hardware coupled with wearables, drones and quirky gadgets. IBobber, for example, is a sonar-enabled fishing bobber designed to give even the worst angler a little edge over his prey.

If you want to look at the bleeding edge of what's new, affordable and cool this holiday season, read on.

Mammoth 27-Inch Tabletop Tablet And All-In-One

The Yoga 900 Home looks like a massive 27-inch tablet, and it kinda is. It's actually an all-in-one PC designed for family use that can also be unplugged (with a 4-hour battery life) and slapped down on the family room coffee table to be used as a tabletop tablet to play games, ranging from Risk to Game Of Life to air hockey. The massive tablet slips into a special gaming mode when placed on a flat surface. Special tabletop apps include a variety of multimedia applications and a growing number of specialized entertainment apps.

Specs include a 27-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 HD display; Windows 10; Nvidia Geforce GT 940A graphics chipset; three USB ports; and an HDMI port. It weighs a staggering 16.6 pounds.

Competitively Priced $150 Laptop

This entry level Lenovo Ideapad 100S laptop's most distinguishing feature is its $150 price tag. The smartly designed lightweight (2.2 pounds) 11.6-inch laptop features Windows 10, Intel's Atom Z3735F processor with 32 GB of eMMC storage, 2 GB RAM and battery life rated 8 hours between charges.

The $150 price is available only through Best Buy; expect to pay $200 elsewhere.

Lenovo Amps Up Gaming Lineup

Lenovo ramped up its gaming lineup with several models featuring Intel's latest Skylake processors, putting them on display Thursday for the first time. The Ideapad Y700 Touch is Lenovo's uniquely designed gaming laptop, which sports Intel's top-of-line i7-6700HQ and has a starting price of $1,200. This 5.7-pound laptop has a 15.6-inch display, 1 TB of storage (optional 8 GB to 128 GB SSD), 8 GB RAM (upgradeable to 16 GB) and an optional Nvidia GTX 960M (2 or 4 GB) GDDR5 graphics processor. Lenovo says the Ideapad begins shipping at the end of November.

Hulking Desktop Comes With Massive Firepower

This massive desktop is worth making some room for in your office space. The Lenovo Ideacentre Y900 powerhouse gaming rig features Intel's sixth-generation Quad-Core i7 K overclock-able processor and has a starting price of $1,600. Inside the beautifully designed chassis is support for 64 GB of DDR4 memory, 256 GB of SSD storage and up to two Nvidia GTX 980 4GB graphics cards. The desktop comes with premium sound that includes 7.1 surround sound with Dolby Home Theatre.

The matching backlit mechanical keyboard (seen in the image) will run you an extra $140.

Drones Expected To Be Huge This Holiday

The drone market is getting crowded, with each manufacturer trying to differentiate itself with what it hopes is the must-have feature. Hobby Horizon's Chroma Blade drone stands out from the pack with a controller that sports a 5-inch LCD display that gives you a bird's-eye view from the drone along with the ability to fine tune the drone's flight path. That should come in handy when trying to capture just the right angle on that aerial video or snapshot.

Hobby Horizon tells us the Chroma drone has a flight time of 25-30 minutes between charges and sports a 4K camera. Pricing starts at $1,200.

Angling For A Smarter Way To Fish

Can tech improve on something as simple as a fishing bobber? Need we really ask? Of course. Meet the $100 iBobber, a sonar-equipped bobber that links to your smartphone and tells you if there are any fish below the bobber. Company reps say the iBobber has an operational range of 100 feet from your phone and can detect fish at a 90-degree angle as deep as 135 feet.

BlackBerry Priv: An Android Phone With A Slide-Out Keyboard

The BlackBerry Priv phone, which debuted earlier this month, garnered a lot of attention Thursday as many got their first chance to see the innovative new BlackBerry for the first time. The BlackBerry Priv runs the Android OS, has a slick slide-out physical keypad and has beefed-up privacy features.

For an unlocked phone, expect to pay $700. With a carrier subsidy through AT&T Wireless, expect to pay $250 upfront and $20 a month for the duration of the contract.

Video Cube Brings A New Dimension To Video

This compact, 2-by-2-by-1.9-inch cube packs a lot of projector power -- but at the not such a small price of $300. Called RIF6, the projector is aimed at consumers who want to unlock video on everything from notebooks to smartphones. The Cube has a mini-HDMI port and Micro SD cards. The Cube comes with a tiny tripod, can pipe out 50 lumens and can project a 120-inch diagonal image at 854-by-480 resolution (not HD).

HP Inc. Goes After Microsoft's Surface With 'Built For Business' Tablet

HP Inc. was showing off its 12-inch Elite x2 1012, just announced Thursday. The $900 tablet borrows heavily from Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet family. We got a chance to use the tablet Thursday night and loved its chiseled metal chassis; sturdy, easel-like, multi-angle stand; and keyboard-screen cover. The backlit keys on the cover were virtually indistinguishable from that of a laptop. For $900, you get the keyboard cover and a Wacom-powered stylus. HP tells us it has a 10-hour battery life and yet-to-be released Skylake-based Core m3, m5 and m7 processors. The tablet is expected to ship in early January.

Smartwatch With A Marathon 96-Hour Battery Life

Don't judge the Basis Peak smartwatch by its monochrome cover. This powerful smartwatch may not have Apple iWatch's fashion sense, but what it lacks in chic it makes up for when it comes to unique features. Basis reps tell CRN that the watch can go an astounding 4 days between charges and can do things other smartwatches only wished they could do -- such as measure REM sleep. Along with those unique features the Basis watch also can serve as an activity tracker and a dashboard for smartphone calls and messages, and can nudge you to get up and get some exercise.

Basis Peak typically sells for $200, but is on sale this holiday for $150.

T-Mobile Talks Up Its Binge On Service And Kate Spade Covers

Along with talking up its Binge On mobile service -- which allows you to consume as much video content as you can stomach without incurring data overage charges using select content services -- T-Mobile was showing off some new fashionable accessories for Samsung and Apple smartphones. T-Mobile is out with a new real leather Rebecca Minkoff smartphone carrying case ($60) and new Kate Spade phone covers ($40).

Unlimited Backup For $100 A Year

Why pay $100 a year for unlimited backup when there are so many "free" backup cloud services? Here is the short answer -- you get what you pay for. Users of Microsoft's free "unlimited" cloud backup service were reminded of that earlier this month when Microsoft did an about-face and said it would no longer allow unlimited backups.

For that reason, you might want to take a look at Acronis' newly announced $100 True Image 2016 backup service, which allows you to back up three mobile devices and one PC. The company says, if you want, you can store petabytes (with an "S") of data on its services (just keep the annual $100 payments coming). Its backup solution, it says, doesn't just do file backup -- it does entire device image backup. That means it's not just backing up the data, but will also back up the entire PC's image along with applications.

Double MacBook Pro Hard Drive Space

TarDisk claims to have a unique way to double the storage volume size on MacBook's build between 2012 and 2015. TarDisk sells 128-GB SD and 256-GB SD cards that can be added to your MacBook. TarDisk says the extra storage space is not viewed by the Mac OS as a separate drive; rather, when in the SD card slot, the TarDisk card just expands your MacBook's existing volume capacity, creating more space on the MacBook for installing programs or packing away data.

Performance-wise, TarDisk says that SD cards are typically two times slower than MacBook's hard drive. But, TarDisk says, by using buffering and caching technology, TarDisk is able to boost read and write speed on the MacBook when the TarDisk is used. The 128-GB SD card runs $150 and 256-GB SD is $400.

Keurig For Cocktails

Single-serving coffee maven Keurig is getting into the homemade soda game of DIY carbonated drinks. The Keurig Kold Drinkmaker System claims to chill water, inject just the right carbonation and add the correct mix of flavor syrup to make the perfect drink every time. This is a premium carbonated drink maker, which costs $300 upfront for the soda maker; single drink cartridges run $1-$1.25. Keurig just released a mojito cartridge and a margarita cartridge, each of which sells for $5.50 for a four-pack.

Acer Curved And Huge Monitor

Bigger is better when it comes to monitors. Add a curve to the display and you knock it out of the park ever time. That's the idea behind Acer's curved 34-inch monitor that not only is curved and huge, but also infuses Nvidia G-Sync technology into the display to deliver smooth performance for gaming -- no screen tearing and display stuttering that can take you out of the action.

Gaming Tablet

Acer's 8-inch Android Lollipop 5.1 gaming tablet, called Predator 8, comes loaded with features you won't find in most tablets in the 8-inch class. For starters, the $300 tablet includes Atom X7-Z8700 processor, Intel HD Graphic Gen-8-LP GPU, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 or 64 GB of internal storage. The tablet has four front-facing speakers, on each corner of the tablet, and a microSD card slot expandable up to 128 GB. The tablet also features haptic feedback and a micro HDMI port to take the game action off the tablet and onto the big (HDTV) screen.

Desktop With An Overclock Button

Acer is getting serious about gaming with its monster Predator G6 desktop gaming rig, which sports an overclocking button at the top of the tower. The Predator is Acer's latest gaming PC and features Intel's sixth-generation Skylake Core i7 microprocessor. This rig can be configured with a 512-GB SSD drive as well as 12 TB of standard storage. The $1,500 desktop features one Nvidia GTX 980 graphics card and an overclock button on the top of the desktop for moving your game into high gear.

Can't Get Enough Wi-Fi? Here Is Your Dream Router

When six independent Wi-Fi router antenna on a single wireless router just won't do, why not go for eight. D-Link is hoping to attract SMB customers and power users with its AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (model: DIR-895L/R). This $500 router is for the most demanding of wireless environments, in which multiple devices are competing for Wi-Fi. D-Link says the router has the smarts to not only deliver ample Wi-Fi, but also dish up features such as quality assurance for better network management and "beamforming" for targeted bandwidth.

Swap Your Light Switch For A Smart Switch

If you're comfortable swapping out a light switch in your home, you can add D-Link's latest home monitoring system -- Komfy Camera Switch With Camera (model: DKZ-201S). The $300 smart light switch features a 1,080 HD camera that can connects to a smartphone app and allows you keep an eye on what's going on in your home with a 130-degree lens. The camera (which includes night vision) has a motion detector that can be used to both turn on lights and send or store a video clip to the cloud or locally to an SD card. The camera can alert you to activity in the camera's field of vision and report on environmental conditions such as energy consumption and room temperature.

Updated GPS Locator For Your Dog

Each year, the dog activity and location tracking firm Whistle updates its GPS Dog Tracker hardware and software, giving dog owners a little more peace of mind when it comes to keeping tabs on their four-legged friends. With its latest release, the company has increased the battery life of the unit from 7 to 10 days. Whistle has also updated its app and now combines dog tracking data and dog activity monitoring data into one seamless app.

The Whistle GPS Pet Tracker hardware to track Rover costs $80 and the cellular service that allows you to track his whereabouts will run you $100 a year.

Better, Smarter Smoke-Detector Battery

What's not to hate about square 9-volt batteries? Not only are they awkwardly shaped, and there seems to never be an extra one lying around the house, but worst of all, without fail, they make your smoke detector go "chirp, chirp, chirp" at 3 a.m. Never again, says Roost. This expensive 9-volt battery ($35) is Wi-Fi enabled and links up to your home network to send out a message notifying you that the battery is about to go dead. The Roost battery, the company said, will last 5 years. The battery can also send you a message via your phone to let you know if the detector is going off. A godsend, should you be out of town.

Nvidia's Gaming Tablet Looks Awesome And Is Priced Right

Graphics leader Nvidia was showing off its $200 gaming tablet, the 8-inch Nvidia Shield Tablet K1, that simply makes every game you play on it look amazing. Under the hood, the Nvidia tablet runs Android OS, has a 2.2GHz Cortex-A15 CPU and a 192-core Kepler-based GPU. The tablet has a 1,920-by-1,200 IPS display, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, and both back- and front-facing 5-megapixel cameras.