Some gadgets just don’t fit into one of the classic categories, or only work in tandem with other pieces of tech. Here we present our selection of the finest add-ons, playthings and accessories of the year.
This two-bay NAS drive doesn’t include any hard disks in the price, but it’s easy (and cheap) to whack a couple in. Then you’ve got a quiet, energy efficient and speedy storage dump accessible to your computer(s), consoles and smartphones, whether you’re at home or on the move.
Synology DiskStation DS212j
The second generation of this one-of-a-kind gizmo is more fun and more tech-savvy than its predecessor, shooting 720p HD video and flipping on demand as you control its flight from your iOS or Android device.
It might look like just another toy ball, but Sphero is actually a sophisticated app-controlled robot, able to roll wherever you desire (it even swims through water), change to almost any colour imaginable and engage in a number of interactive games.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
A gorgeous printer? Shurely shome mishtake? The Envy 110 is probably the coolest product of its type in the world. Skinny and shiny, its looks are backed up with simple set up and great usability, including the chops to print documents direct from an iOS device.
A top notch set of gaming headphones gives you incredible sound while simultaneously protecting your family/housemates from the million-decibel report of your virtual AK47, and the U 320s tick that box. They work with pretty much any gaming platform and offer active noise cancelling to boot.
There may be fancier Kindles around, but the baseline ereader, now cheaper than ever, is a true class act: simple, stripped-down, small and lightweight, it does its job incredibly effectively.
This compact, two-octave keyboard lets you dock an iPhone or iPod Touch to form a cheap-yet-capable synth-cum-drum machine. A £1.50 app is required too, but it adds an extra control panel so is well worth the outlay.
Check out the Stuff Gadget Awards 2012 – and don't forget to come back on November 1st, when we'll be announcing the winners!