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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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High-tech gifts fit nicely into stockings

Ron Harris Associated Press

If you were naughty this year, you might end up with something big and boring, like a vacuum cleaner. If you were good, you might ask for one of these little high-tech gems instead:

Asus S1 LED projector ($330): Yes, there is a digital projector that can fit into a Christmas stocking. That, in itself, is an accomplishment. It’s also a hearty performer for its size.

The Asus S1 weighs less than a pound and has a battery that can last up to three hours. That claim held up well during my tests, which included hosting a children’s sleepover viewing of “Frozen” on a large wall.

Cogito Classic smartwatch ($180): If you’re going to buy your loved one a nice watch, it might as well talk to your phone. The Cogito Classic does just that, connecting to your phone via Bluetooth and alerting you when text messages, social media updates or phone calls come in. It also has traditional analog hands alongside a digital time display.

Orbotix Sphero 2.0 smart ball ($130): The Sphero is a plastic ball full of smart electronics and sensors. With a phone or tablet, you can make the ball spin, swim, chase your dog and even dance in response to completing challenges. For the rugged outdoors, you’ll want to outfit the Sphero with a knobby rubber cover, which is sold separately for $15.

Intel Edison and Arduino Breakout Kit ($100): The Edison is an Intel-chip Linux computer about the size of an SD memory card. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities built in, making it ripe for developing portable or wearable devices, or just fun side projects.

NuForce Mobile Music Pump ($60): The amplifier in your smartphone likely isn’t strong enough to drive high-quality headphones. That’s where a portable headphone amplifier can be useful. This matchbox-size amp pumped up the volume for me while retaining clarity and limiting distortion on several larger, over-the-ear headphones I tried.

MOS phone cables ($30 Lightning of Apple; $20 Micro-USB for Android): The good news? Your smartphone came with charging and syncing cables. The bad news? They don’t always last very long, given daily use. Give the gift of durability with these tough cables from MOS.

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