We're proud to announce the start of the 9th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards, the UK's longest-running awards dedicated to gadgetry, entertainment technology and gizmos.

As with the past eight years, the aim is to find and celebrate the best tech and gadgets from the last 12 months, so you know what to buy when you head down to the shops or go online.

Pocket-lint's vigorous vetting process means that all the products up for nomination need to have been seen by a member of the Pocket-lint team (more than 500 items, so far) and were available somewhere in the world between December 2011 and December 2012.

However, rather than leave it up to a small panel of judges - basically, the Pocket-lint team - the Pocket-lint Gadget Award winners are decided by scores of leading journalists from around the world, a select team of super judges and you, the public.

We believe this makes the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards by far the fairest and most representative within the tech industry - more so than any other.

Therefore, come Awards day, you can be sure that when we announce what the must-have gadgets of the year are, they'll be just that - must have.

- Best digital camera

- Best laptop

- Best app

- Best game

- Best home entertainment device - including Home Cinema kit and home audio

- Best portable audio - including headphones and wireless personal speakers

- Best TV

- Best tablet

- Best mobile phone

- Innovation of the year

- Product of the year

Nominations for the award categories are being taken now, and the final list (five per category) will be announced on Tuesday 6 November. The deadline for entries will be the Thursday 1 November 2012. You can recommend your favourite products by either emailing us via the feedback form, adding them to the comments below, or getting in touch with anyone on the Pocket-lint team directly.  

The winners will be unveiled at the 9th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards gala at the end of November.