Welcome to AppleInsider's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Below you'll find a collection of our favorite and most promising products of the year, along with quick links to in-depth reviews and price-saving links for all.
The Apple TV is a low-cost box that adds a variety of features to your HDTV. High-definition 1080p and optical audio output enhance the massive library of music and video available to buy, rent, and stream from sources like iTunes and Netflix, while its ability to act as an AirPlay receiver for Mac laptops and iOS devices offers a lot of potential for future expansion.
Nike's second-generation FuelBand is a more complete activity monitor, featuring support for Bluetooth LE, an improved accelerometer, increased durability and a new iOS app. People already invested in the Nike+ ecosystem who don't have the original, or those interested in a solid performing all-around monitor, should give the Nike+ FuelBand SE a look.
The world's most versatile camera and the world's most popular smartphone lineup join forces thanks to the official GoPro app for iOS. Built-in wireless connectivity, stunning picture quality and a stellar lineup of accessories make the GoPro Hero3+ camera an easy recommendation -- one made only better by connecting it to an iPhone.
Apple's second-generation iPad mini squeezes a high-resolution Retina display -- one with an even greater pixel density than the iPad Air -- into its diminutive form factor. It's an impressive technical achievement, and despite its added cost, Apple's iPad mini with Retina display remains an easy recommendation with best-in-class software and hardware in the strongest mobile ecosystem available.
Kwikset's Kevo is a Bluetooth-enabled, touch-activated smart lock that lets owners use their iPhone as a door key. With its new eKey digital keys, painless installation, and well-designed app, we can't say that it's a life changer, but Kevo does make life a little easier.
For users looking for a superportable laptop that doesn't compromise on build of battery life, the MacBook Air is their ticket. Power users for whom portability is still a factor will find comfort with the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, while the 15-inch Macbook Pro with Retina display sacrifices some portability to be a true professional-grade machine that doesn't disappoint.
The Nest learning thermostat is the sort of device we have trouble believing wasn't invented earlier. We don't mind that it adjusts the temperature autonomously to find a balance between our desired temp and saving energy: the specific temp number isn't as important as 'are we comfortable?' And we almost always are.
Sony's newly-released high-end DSC-QX100 and low-end DSC-QX10 iPhone-compatible wireless camera accessories are forward thinking device with a great deal of potential that remain held back by shaky software. If Sony can improve the PlayMemories app to improve reliability, add more functionality, and, most importantly, speed up the connection process, the QX10 and QX100 would be easy to recommend.
The quantified self movement meets the smartwatch market in the Fitbit Force wristband, combining activity and sleep tracking with wrist-borne notifications over Bluetooth. The Force features an OLED display -- which carries notifications from iOS 7's new notification services function -- wireless synchronization, and altimeter in a rugged wristband form factor.
Philips added the Bloom portable LED bulb and stick-able LightStrips to its lineup of iPhone-connected Hue lights. TheBloom is a compact fixture that can be placed on a flat surface such as the floor or a bookshelf and will bounce colored light off any surface, while the LightStrips are 6.6-foot LED strips that can be cut to size and mounted where users see fit.
The iPad Air is the best full-size tablet on the market today, and it easily trumps all of Apple's previous efforts to date with its new, thinner and lighter design and A7 processor. Anyone in the market for a tablet can buy an iPad Air with confidence. This is the new standard.
The Charge Card is a flat, credit-card-sized USB "cable" that can be easily carried in a wallet, and in that inevitable instance when you don't have a Lightning connector available, it'll be your dependable standby. If you're looking for a portable charging cable that you can always keep with you without any hassle, this product is easy to recommend.
Belkin's FastFit Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard Case is well crafted and nicely designed, though for serious writing we would have to recommend a separate cover and full size wireless keyboard. However, for those
who want a nice looking cover that can double as a stand-in keyboard for the odd email or note, the Belkin FastFit Keyboard Case for iPad mini may be a good fit.