2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Gadgets

Gadgets dominate our lives, and you can always start these days with dad’s phone. If he has the latest and greatest, don’t even bother. But if he’s still tied to his lame flip phone, then of course 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.

Winegard FlatWave Amped Indoor Antenna

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With cord-cutting at an all-time high, products like the Winegard FlatWave Amped are going to change the way that people consume television. This indoor HDTV antenna can pick up HD-quality channels up to 50 miles away, features dual-band reception so you won’t miss out on channels that other UHF-only antennas do, and prevents pixelation and dropouts using an ultra-low noise (1dB) amplifier. It’s lightweight and razor-thin (about the width of a plastic placemat) and can lay flat on a surface or hang on the wall or window for the best reception. Better yet, since the antenna is powered through the USB port on your TV, it only consumes power when the television is turned on. It sounds too good to be true, but within minutes of connecting the FlatWave Amped, we had 25 channels to choose from, including all of the major networks. This thing really works, and at a fraction of the cost of your annual cable bill.

Phosphor Touch Time Watch

Smartwatches are all the rage these days, but don’t let the Phosphor Touch Time digital watch fool you, because its lack of interconnectivity prevents it from competing with the more advanced models. Nevertheless, the Touch Time is still a major step up from your typical wristwatch thanks to some cool features, including a touch interface that’s incredibly easy to use, five different time displays, and custom language settings for English, French, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish and German. Some of the included apps feel a bit useless on such a small screen – particularly the calendar mode – but the time zone display is incredibly useful, astronomy geeks will love the lunar moon function, and the old-school calculator is a nice touch. One of the best things about the Touch Time is that you never have to sync or charge it because it’s powered by a replaceable battery (with up to a one-year life span), while the ability to upgrade from a silicone band to a stainless steel bracelet means that you can wear the same watch to work and the gym without anyone being the wiser.

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Cobra AirWave 360

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There are a lot of portable speakers to choose from these days, but many of them are impossible to use in the car due to their shape or size. The Cobra AirWave 360, on the other hand, is practically built for that purpose – a portable, 8-inch speaker that’s been smartly designed to look like a coffee tumbler and will fit into just about any vehicle or bicycle cup holder. You could even argue that it deters potential thieves, since no one is going to steal your mug, unless they’re really big jerks. For as functional as its design may be, however, the AirWave 360 also delivers 360-degree surround sound and features an integrated, noise-cancelling microphone that works with Siri and S Voice. There’s even a cool Gesture Control feature that enables you to pause music and answer incoming calls by simply waving your hand over the top of the speaker, and although that may not technically be considered hands-free, it’s a lot safer than the alternative.

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Gadgets

Adults like toys too, so if you’re on the lookout for a memorable gift for your spouse or just treating yourself to an early Christmas present, a cool gadget is always a great option. Of course, prices run the gamut in this arena, so you’ll need to be careful, but whether you’re shopping for the latest and greatest tablet or something to please that audiophile in your life, you can find something that fits almost any budget.

Click on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Seiki 4K TV

4K TV is very real. By that, I don’t mean that it simply exists, but rather that it is the heir apparent to HDTV as the next format of television which will become standard. However, you should be cautious. 4K is an improvement over HDTV like Blu-ray is an improvement over DVD. That is to say that it’s noticeably better looking, but not necessarily mind blowing. Not to mention, the technology is still in its infancy. That being said, if you want to get in on 4K now and don’t want to pay a price too ridiculous to do so, the absolute best way to go is Seiki’s 4K model, which routinely goes for around $1,000 for its 50-inch model and, for a limited time, around $500 for the 39-inch model on Amazon. It’s the cheapest 4K on the market to be sure, but having sampled it earlier this year at CES, I can say with some confidence that it is far from a bargain model in quality. Sooner or later, keeping up with the Jonses will mean buying a 4K TV. If you need that to be sooner, the Seiki is the way to go.

Sceptre LED HDTV

By now, most people have some sort of HDTV in their home, but if you still haven’t gotten around to upgrading and don’t have the money to splurge on a higher-end brand, Sceptre makes some pretty nice budget-friendly LED and LCD HDTVs that are worth checking out. The company’s newest 40-inch model features a FullHD crystal clear viewable area, 1920×1080 panel resolution and 3 HDMI ports for as cheap as $250 depending on where you look. And if you don’t need all the fancy add-ons (like Wi-Fi, entertainment apps and 3D capabilities) that some of the more expensive brands feature these days, that’s a really good deal for a TV that isn’t too far off in terms of quality. It also boasts a lightweight and slim design, which makes it perfect for mounting on a wall, and is Energy V6.0 compliant, with an estimated yearly energy cost of about $13. You really can’t ask for more from an HDTV that costs less than most tablets.

Apple iPad Air

Ah, the iPad. Since the very first iPad model was released, gift guides have featured one iPad model or another, and for very good reason. However, the iPad market has grown more crowded than it once was with many consumers wondering just what model is right for them amongst a sea of options. While it’s difficult to account for personal needs, if you’re looking for the best iPad period it’s hard to argue against the iPad Air. Its $499 price tag may be daunting, but for it you get a model that is in a league of its own among full-sized tablets. No other product in the field can possibly compare to the iPad Air’s enticing paper-thin design, crystal clear display or flex-worthy processing muscle. The debate on the best overall tablet period is not an easy one, but if price is not an issue, then it’s a conversation that begins and ends with the iPad Air.

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Phiaton’s new over-ear headphones

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Phiaton sent us a new set of over-ear Bridge headphones and right away we were very impressed with the design. Check out the photo above and you’ll notice the machined aluminum design with the soft black perforated leather and the red accents. With headphones these days everything starts with the design as we all want to look good while enjoying our music in public. These new headphones are also very comfortable as well.

The sound quality was also excellent with a deep bass response as the new Phiaton headphones feature the following specs:

- A dual -chamber structure providing richer detail and clearer, more powerful bass
- Frequency range: 15 Hz ~ 22 kHz
- Impedance: 16 Ohm
- THD: Less than 1% at 1 kHz
- Sensitivity: 99 dB at 1 kHz
- Maximum input power: 1,000 mW
- Weight: 250 g (without cord) / 0.55 lb (without cord)
- Cord Length: 3.6 ft / 1.2 m

Check them out here! The holidays will be here before you know it so these can be a great gift option for the fashion-conscious music lover.

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10 Must-Have Gadgets for the Summer

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Ah, summer. There’s just something about the summer.

It’s the time when possibilities seem endless and memories of summers past drive us to destinations as far as another part of the world, or as close as our backyard to try and create new ones. Summer, in a word, means adventure.

Like any adventure, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools to not only get the most out of it, but in some cases, survive it. So while items like a cooler and a good e-book might be known necessities, here are some gadgets you might not think of that can help make this summer adventure an instant classic memory.

Turtle Shell Speaker

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One of the most exciting gadgets of the summer, the Turtle Shell from Outdoor Tech might just be the most versatile and complete outdoor speaker available.

Sure, it’s wireless with perfect sound quality, exceptional range (30 feet), battery life (9 hours) and speakerphone capability, but you’ve probably come to expect that in portable speakers. The Turtle Shell is unique, though, in just how good it sounds, and how durable it is, as it can’t be stopped by dirt, rain or shock damage. When you factor in such features as the ability to attach it to a bike, and some undeniably good looks, this is the only outdoor speaker you need.

Price: $129.95

BioLite CampStove

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There’s a variety of gadgets built for camping that are, in one way another, designed to bring you the comforts of home wherever you go. That’s great, of course, but in some way you still want to be able to enjoy the outdoors without feeling like you’ve brought the entire modern world with you.

The BioLite provides a compromise in that department, as it’s an electric campfire that runs off twigs like a usual campfire, but provides a more powerful and sustained flame than you can get out of the old fashioned method. Even better, it takes the energy from that same flame and can convert it to an electrical output through its available USB port should you need it.

Of course, if a better campfire isn’t appealing enough, you can always add the available grill top add-on for a complete outdoor cooking tool.

Price: $129.95

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The Best of the 2013 Max Borges Holiday Tech Showing from NYC

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Recently, the Max Borges Agency threw a tech showcase party in Manhattan to display some of the best upcoming products their clients have to offer for the upcoming year. Fortunately, thanks to a very generous invitation by the hosts, I was lucky enough to attend.

While the view of scenic lower Manhattan would usually be the star of the space, instead all eyes were on a variety of gadgets, gizmos and gear that ran anywhere from under $50 to over a $1000, and included everything from unicorn slippers and tactical BBQ vests, to the newest models of headphones and speakers, all the way up too… well, things that can’t be discussed quite yet.

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Fortunately, there was plenty on display that can be talked about, some of which stood out even amongst the gadget smorgasbord available. So while it would be mind boggling to try to give a rundown of every item, here are five of the best gadgets I saw at the show.

USB Touch Lamp

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Most people look at an empty liquor bottle and see a series of bad decisions. However, the people at Satechi looked at that bottle and saw this devic,e which allows you to turn any bottle, vase or physically compatible glass item into a lamp. Setup is easy, as you simply affix the lamp shade to any compatible bottle and plug in the USB cable to activate the touch-controlled light.

While ideal as a desk lamp, with the right setup, this is a perfect item for college students looking for a cool dorm room decoration, bars making use of those pesky empties, or even for a man cave that could use some creative lighting. Recyclable, affordable and pretty damn cool, this is a great gift for anyone.

Price: $29.99

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