The Top 10 Tech Accessories of 2012
1. The Equiso is a dongle that turns your TV into an Android device
2. Logitech's Ultrathin iPad keyboard turns your iPad into a writing machine
3. Nest 2.0 is a smart thermostat that controls your home's temperature automatically
4. iGrill checks your food's temperature and displays it on your phone
5. OlloClip improves your iPhone's camera
6. The Parrot Zik are the best headphones you can buy
7. The Ion Air Pro is a high-definition camera you can clip anywhere
8. Sphero is a little robot ball you control with your phone
9. The Nike FuelBand helps you stay fit
10. BONUS: Wicked Laser's new accessory is the closest thing you'll get to a real light saber
We saw a lot of advancements in big-name categories like smartphones, tablets and laptops this year, but that shouldn't overshadow some of the coolest gear that make those devices work better.
Here's a quick look at the best accessories in tech this year.
The Equiso is an Android-powered dongle that plugs into your TV's HDMI port and lets you run apps on the big screen.
It's primarily designed as a streaming device, so you can run Android versions of HBO GO, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc. and stream content to your TV.
Logitech's Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover is one of the most well-reviewed accessories for the iPad.
The keyboard has a magnetic clip that attaches to the side of your iPad. It also doubles as a Smart Cover, so your iPad will wake up when you flip the keyboard open.
Overall, the Logitech's keyboard cover makes a great accessory if you want to replace your laptop and go all-iPad.
Nest is a smart thermostat developed in part by Tony Fadell, one of the geniuses behind the original iPod.
The Nest can learn your habits and adjust your home's temperature accordingly, saving you money in the process. You can also monitor your home's temperature from your computer or smartphone.
This year, Nest launched version 2.0 of its thermostat with a sleeker design and improved software features.
The iGrill is a meat thermometer that wirelessly transmits the temperature to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth. The concept is pretty simple, but the device did recently pique the interest of Mark Zuckerberg.
The OlloClip is a clip-on lens for your iPhone 4/4S or iPhone 5. It has three different lenses -- macro, fish eye, and wide-angle -- that let you take unique photos with your iPhone.
They're not cheap, but the Parrot Zik headphones are widely regarded as the best ones you can buy. They feature a touch panel on the side for controlling your music, noise cancelation, and a variety of listening modes.
The Ion Air Pro is a digital video camera that you can clip on anywhere. It's extremely rugged design is targeted toward adventurers –– surfers, mountain climbers, skaters, bikers, etc.
It's a great alternative to the popular GoPro camera you've probably seen on TV.
Price: Starts at $299.99
The Sphero is a neat little accessory for your smartphone. The ball has built-in motors that you control with a smartphone app after connecting via Bluetooth. There are a bunch of clever games you can play, but it's just as fun to race this little guy around the house.
Price: Starts at $138 on Amazon
The Nike FuelBand is a bracelet you wear that tracks your movement throughout the day. Using an accelerometer, the FuelBand can tell you how man steps you took and upload all the data to your smartphone or PC to track your progress.
No, it's not a real light saber. And no, it doesn't really do anything other than light up.
But Wicked Lasers made an attachment for its the most powerful laser consumers can buy that essentially turns the gadget into a light saber-like toy. It's pretty cool. And expensive.
Price: Starts at $299.95