by Paul Mah

11 Father’s Day gifts that techie dads will love

Jun 06, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsGadgetsMobile

If you’re getting your dad a tech gadget as a Father’s Day gift, it’s easy to overreach and get him something that may be too ostentatious or complicated to use. Here are a bunch of practical presents instead.

1. Griffin PowerDock Pro

The Griffin PowerDock Pro charging dock is the kind of present everyone will welcome – and perfect for sharing if you’re still staying with dad. Sporting a new design that is improved from the original PowerDock 5, the new Pro model now delivers a full 12 watts of charging for each of its five ports to charge both Android and iOS devices. The new charging bays are more contoured now, and holds smartphone and tablets without having to remove their cases. A new built-in cable storage mechanism helps eliminate cable tangles, though you would still need to get your own cables.

Price: $130

[ Find it on Amazon *What’s this?* ]

2. Logitech Harmony Elite

2 logitech harmony elite

The latest in a long line of universal remotes from Logitech, the Harmony Elite packs a 2.4-inch color touch screen to give your dad integrated control of both his home entertainment and home automation devices. Importantly, you can now help him set up the Harmony Elite using the free Harmony mobile app, which lets you get quickly up to speed by specifying the remotes according to device model numbers and brands. And yes, the included Harmony App appliance lets you use your own iOS or Android smartphone as a handy remote control when you come visiting, too.

Price: $350

[ Find it on Amazon ]

3. Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

3 microsoft wirless display adapter

Perhaps your dad is making his first forays into watching streaming video from his Windows laptop or Android tablet, or he’s wondering if he could test out his work PowerPoint presentation on the new 60-inch TV in the living room. In this case, the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter may just be what the doctor ordered. The display plugs straight into an available HDMI port, and is powered by plugging the other end into a USB port found on all new TV models. While the adapter is hardly new, support for Miracast and WiDi is much better these days for a “it just works” experience.

Price: $50

[ Find it on Amazon ]

4. Flir FX Wi-Fi camera

4 flirfxwificamera

The Flir FX Wi-Fi camera is a versatile Wi-Fi video camera that can be deployed for different uses depending on the accessory you pair it with. With the default stand, the Flir FX serves as a simple wireless surveillance camera to monitor a specific part of the house for up to four hours at a stretch. Optional accessories such as an outdoor security housing and dash camera mount also lets you can deploy it as an outdoor security camera or in-car camera. Alternatively, snap on the optional waterproof sport camera case and use it to record your extreme sports at full HD quality onto the included SD card. In this mode, the on-board battery is good for 2-hours of recording in between charges.

Price: $200

[ Find it on Amazon ]

5. Zolt Laptop Charger Plus

5 zolt laptop charger

Touted as the world’s smallest and lightest laptop charger, the Zolt Laptop Charger Plus is a highly compact charger that your dad will be glad to use in place of his own chunky laptop power adapter. The compact chassis of the Zolt hides circuitry that can produce 70W of power, and comes with eight PC tips to support the most popular laptop models. Two built-in USB ports means you can charge two other devices simultaneously, though you will need to spend an additional $20 to get the correct MacBook power cable if your dad is a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro user.

Price: $100

[ Find it on Amazon ]

6. Tile

6 tile

If dad’s memory is not as good as it used to be, then getting him a Tile or two will probably be appreciated. In its second generation, the nifty Bluetooth tags are designed to hook onto your keys, bags, or anything that runs a risk of being misplaced. Pairing a tag with your smartphone using the free Tile App lets you hunt down misplaced items within the 100-foot Bluetooth range easily, as you activate the built-in speakers to let out a 90-decibels melody. It is worth noting that the tags also work in reverse to help you to find your smartphone. Simply double press the tile to get your smartphone to ring loudly. Tile tags are water-resistant, and its internal batteries are good for a full year after activation.

Price: $25

[ Find it on Amazon ]

7. Logitech Drive

7 logitechdrive

The Logitech Drive is a universal dashboard and windshield mount that your dad will just love. Rather than having to grapple with clamps that are either too tight or finicky, the magnetic mount makes for single-handed attaching or detaching of smartphones. Two base attachments are provided for the Drive, one for mounting onto the windscreen, and a second one that attaches to the dashboard using an adhesive. For the system to work, two universal mount adapters in the form of small metal plates are also provided that you will need to stick onto your smartphone or tuck under its case.

Price: $50

[ Find it on Amazon ]

8. UE Boom 2 speakers

8 ue boom 2

The UE Boom 2 portable speaker is the upgraded version of the original Boom, but with a number of notable improvements. The most important will probably be the IPX7 rating of the Boom 2, which allows it to be immersed in water to a depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes. This means that your dad will feel at ease bringing it out for barbeques with friends, or to the beach. Of course, being 25 percent louder while retaining an excellent battery life of 15 hours are definitely advantages too.

Price: $200

[ Find it on Amazon ]

9. Huawei Watch

9 huawei watch

The Huawei Watch blends sophisticated style with the brains of a smartwatch in a stainless steel case that your dad will love. Powered by Android Wear under the hood, the watch comes with a large number of designs for its bright AMOLED watch face. Built-in Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi keeps the watch connected, while its internal 300mAh battery is adequate to keep it going for 1.5 days between charges – enough for the longest flights.

Price: $350 (Leather strap option)

[ Find it on Amazon ]

10. Jaybird X2 wireless earphones

10 jaybird x2

For the active dad, the Jaybird X2 wireless earphones will stay in place even during the most vigorous workouts or runs, thanks to the use of secure-fit ear fins. Despite its small size, the earphones deliver very good audio performance with up to eight hours of music playback on a single charge, and can also be used for phone calls. Finally, the X2 is touted as being sweat proof, and Jaybird has doubled down with a lifetime warranty on that front to back up its claim.

Price: $180

[ Find it on Amazon ]

11. Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker

11 fitbit blaze

Finally, the Fitbit Blaze with its color touchscreen display and built-in continuous heart rate monitor is a health super watch that actually looks cool. Aside from the usual sleep and activity tracking, the Blaze is able to map the routes and keep track of statistics like pace and duration of runs by tapping into the GPS of a paired smartphone. Ultimately, the need to recharge the Fitbit Blaze only about once every five days should go a long way towards ensuring that dad will keep using it.

Price: $200

[ Find it on Amazon ]