Turning your existing TV into a smart, internet-ready streaming system is now as simple as plugging in a set-top box. But while most of these devices are content to be concealed, the Google Nexus Q, a beautiful matte black ball with a colored line around its equator, stands out as an elegant exception. An amp hidden inside can power speakers: To turn it up, just dial the top of the orb. [$300; play.google.com/nexus]
Gear of the Year
The best tools, tech, and toys of 2013.
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