2015 Back to School Gift Guide

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The new school year will be starting soon (and it likely already has for some people), which means that it’s time to get those students in your life the tools they’ll need in order to survive the next nine months. No, we’re not talking about boring stuff like pencils and notebooks, but rather the cool gadgets and gear that help make campus life a little more enjoyable. Here are some great gift ideas that just about any student can use.

SOL REPUBLIC Shadow Wireless Headphones

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One of the hottest trends on the headphones market these days is those futuristic looking Bluetooth headsets that people wear around their necks. But while they definitely take a little getting used to compared to more traditional headphones, it’s easy to see what makes them so appealing to some consumers. SOL REPUBLIC recently released its own version of a wireless, around-the-neck headset with the Shadow, and not only is it incredibly lightweight and flexible, but it rests so comfortably on your neck that you sometimes forget it’s even there. In addition to boasting CD-quality audio that’s good enough for the average user, the Shadow features a built-in microphone and three-button remote, as well as a fairly decent battery with up to 8 hours of playback and a week of standby time. It can also control two devices (like your phone and laptop) at the same time, and is both water and sweat resistant, so you can wear it just about everywhere you go without worrying about damage. Although it would have been nice if the headset included retractable earbuds like some of its competitors, it’s not a deal breaker, especially when there’s so much other stuff to love about the Shadow.

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2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Gadgets

Gadgets dominate our lives, so you can start your shopping with dad’s phone. If he has the latest and greatest, don’t bother. But if he’s still tied to his lame flip phone, then you can go with an iPhone or a new Android phone to get him into the 21st century.

If you’re looking for something a little different, however, we’ve put together some ideas for you. And for more great suggestions, be sure to check out the other categories in our Father’s Day gift guide.

Fitbit Charge HR

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There’s an ungodly number of fitness trackers these days, but after testing out some of the other major players in the game, the Fitbit Charge HR (available at Walmart) is hands-down the best of the bunch. The “HR” refers to the included heart rate monitor located on the underside of the band, which provides additional data like your daily resting heart rate the time spent in different heart rate zones (peak, cardio and fat burn) during exercise. The tracker is housed in a rubber watch band that’s a lot more comfortable than the bangle-styled Jawbone and Nike Fuelband, and it contains a small display screen that lets you cycle through the following data: clock, steps, heart rate, distance, calories burned and floors climbed. When used in conjunction with the mobile app or online dashboard, you can track specific workout sessions and monitor your sleeping habits (including time spent awake or in a restless state), and when paired with your phone via Bluetooth, the display shows Caller ID notifications. The Fitbit Charge HR also has pretty great battery life, so you can spend more time using it instead of waiting for it to charge, which is the whole point of the product in the first place.

SOUL Run Free Pro Headphones

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We’ve reviewed some of SOUL’s on-ear headphones in the past, and while they proved to be a solid alternative to the more popular brands on the market, they never really wowed us in any way. However, that’s not the case with their latest in-ear model, the Run Free Pro, which improves upon other likeminded wireless headphones by getting rid of that cumbersome earhook and utilizing an interchangeable ear lock system that provides a custom fit guaranteed to stay put no matter how active your lifestyle. The Run Free Pro is comfortable enough to be worn for long periods, and features wind noise reduction technology that allows runners to listen to music outdoors without interference. They’re also waterproof and sweat-resistant, while the sporty design smartly hides the mini USB charging port inside the buds. The integrated remote control can be a little difficult to operate blindly, but that’s a minor complaint about an otherwise great pair of in-ear headphones perfect for the dad who frequents the gym or marathon circuit.

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Stand Out And Be Yourself With A Wide Array Of Custom MacBook Skins

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With so many new, leading-edge laptops on the market and so many people embracing computer technology, it’s getting more difficult to differentiate one laptop from the next—especially if you’ve always stuck with one product and never worried about what else was out there. These days, everyone from eight-year-old kids to eighty-five-year-old grandmas own laptops that already put those released just a few years ago to shame. With this kind of saturation, how do you still retain your individuality and make a statement? In a sea of grey or white MacBooks, each with its little Apple logo and factory designspecs, how do you make your own an extension of your style, fashion, and philosophy?

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Shinola Watches – Made in Detroit

Shinola Blue Watch

While everyone else may be talking about a new watch from Apple, there are incredible watches made right here in American that you should be checking out as well.

The Runwell pictured above is a classic, hand-assembled watch made in Detroit by Shinola. Features of the watch include:

– A sapphire crystal, Super-LumiNova printed dial details
– A solid stainless steel case with screw down crown
– Three hands and date indicator driven by the Detroit-built Argonite 1069 high-accuracy quartz movement
– Laser-etched case and etched lightning bolt on the buckle

If you like attention to detail and beautiful styling, you’re going to love these watches. Browse the Shinola site for watches, and then check out their leather goods as well, along with the bicycles!

It’s great to see companies like Shinola bring manufacturing and quality back to the domestic market. The products aren’t cheap, but you’re still getting excellent value for your money.

  

It’s Coming – The Galaxy S6 – Jewels

Does your phone make a fashion statement? Check out what’s coming from Samsung with the Galaxy S6 – Jewels in this cool video showing off this new release from Samsung. It features a beautiful display and wireless charging capabilities, making the the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge the most advanced smartphones on the market. To learn more, visit Samsung here.

  

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