Father's Day: tech gifts for the man in your life


As Father’s Day approaches, you might feel a little stumped on what to get to your father, grandfather, brother, or other meaningful guy in your life. You know how it goes – men so often just get everything they want for themselves, regardless of whether they could get it at the next holiday.

Well, we’ve got your back. There are gadgets that your Father’s Day recipient doesn’t have, probably wants, and may not even know he wants yet. Let’s start at a low price point and work upwards from there, depending on how much you’re willing to shell out.

Under $50

Google Chromecast

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The Chromecast jumped on the scene as a great deal and it just keeps getting better. At first, its compatibility with popular streaming services was pretty iffy. Now, you get many of the top dogs as Google has relentlessly developed the software and brokered deals. Here’s a sampling of the services available:

  • Netflix
  • Youtube
  • MLB.tv
  • HBO Go
  • Hulu Plus
  • Pandora, Google Play Music, Rdio, and Songza
  • Google Play Movies (buy and rent streaming movies)
  • Chrome tab streaming – stream the contents of any tab on Chrome browser (desktop or mobile) to the your screen. Makes other streaming services possible.

$35, buy it on Amazon.

Phillips ActionFit Sports Headphones

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Maybe you couldn’t get him the GPS watch or new smartphone to make his workouts rock, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to boost the workout experience. Do not let him wear those ear buds that came in the box with his cell phone or MP3 player. Instead, these headphones are designed for athletes and workout warriors. The hook-around-the-ear design as well as the grips on the outside make sure these don’t fall out, no matter what you do. Even better, they are waterproof, so don’t worry about sweating on them or running in the rain. For the price, you won’t do any better.

$23, buy it on Amazon.

Under $150

Vizio 2.0 Home Theater Bar with Integrated Deep Bass

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Whether he’s going to start his home theater system or needs to finish it, this sound bar is the perfect addition to the living room. Sitting right in front of or below the television, you can add some real boom and clarity to your everyday TV audio. If he already has a surround system, this still works perfectly in the same placement. If he doesn’t, you can drastically improve the experience without shelling out for a pricey and complicated system.

$99, buy it on Amazon.

TDK Life on Record Wireless + Weatherproof Speaker

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This bad boy has a variety of uses, none of them more awesome than adding some life to your summer outings. Whether or not there is a threat of rain or an electrical outlet at your disposal, you can still jam out in a big way. Any phone, tablet, computer, or MP3 player that has Bluetooth capability can connect to the speaker seamlessly. Even if you don’t have Bluetooth capability, it comes with an auxiliary port just in case. Being wireless, you can easily tote it wherever you want: the campsite, the room where you shower, your friend’s old car whose stereo doesn’t work, wherever you want.

$129, buy it on Amazon.

Under $300

Nest Learning Thermostat

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For the real tech enthusiast, Nest is becoming a must-have. After connecting the Nest thermostat to your home Wi-Fi, you can program it to change temperature as you need it. Away from the house? Let’s not blast the A/C. Do you like it a little cooler as you sleep? Nest knows and will take care of it for you. Combining comfort and efficiency, Nest aims to make your life at home more enjoyable and less expensive. It installs quickly and changes the way it works based on what type of heating and cooling set-up you have. Stuffed to the gills, with cool features, Nest can even automatically detect when you’re away from the house. There is simply not enough space here to tell you how awesome this is.

$249, buy it on Amazon.

HP Chromebook 14

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For the right guy, the new HP Chromebook 14 can be the absolute perfect gift. First of all, if all the person really does on their computer is browse the web, it’s a no-brainer. Chrome OS is designed to be extremely lightweight and run on minimal hardware, which is something the Chromebook does really well. The amount of apps and extensions available for Chrome nowadays means that only the most specialized needs will require the more capable Windows or Mac operating systems. You should have all the bases covered: 14 inch HD screen, Intel Haswell processor, a 16GB SSD (very fast, very little storage), 2GB RAM, 100GB of free Google Drive online storage, USB 3.0 ports, user-facing webcam, and a battery with 9 hours of battery life.

For another $30, you can get free 4G LTE connectivity for the life of the machine, so he can use his new laptop anywhere he goes. It also comes with a RAM boost to 4GB.

$290, buy it on Amazon. $319 for 4G LTE version, also on Amazon.

For when you don’t care about cost

Samsung 55-inch 1080p LED Smart TV with 240Hz refresh rate, 3D

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It does not get much more beastly than this, when it comes to TVs. This one has it all. First of all, it’s huge, but not so huge that it becomes impractical. You get LED backlighting, which looks great and is much more energy/space/weight efficient than its plasma counterpart. There are practically no bezels, so you get the screen and nothing else. The refresh rate, 240Hz, is as good as you’re going to see on an LED TV – this is extremely important for how sports, action movies, or anything else with a lot of movement will look. Even better than that, you get 3D capability. For when there’s nothing on, you get Samsung’s best-in-class Smart TV functions so you can plug your Chromecast into another TV.

$1497, buy it on Amazon.

MacBook Pro 15.4″ with Retina Display, Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GT-750 2GB GPU

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This is the most souped-up MacBook you can get your hands on and why not? You did say cost didn’t matter. You get the best Intel Core i7 processor that you’ll be able to get into a consumer laptop, a relatively massive 512GB SSD which will make things even faster, plus a massive 16GB RAM and NVIDIA GPU to keep even the most taxing activities from having the slightest hiccups. The retina display is going to make things look beautiful and, if you want, you can always connect it to a larger monitor and it will outpace all but the most powerful desktops.

$2449, buy it on Amazon or from Apple directly (this configuration is $2599 from Apple).

Featured image by William Warby (Flickr).

Tags: Audio Chrome Os Chromecast Father's Day Fitness Gifts Holiday Mac Nest Samsung Technology TV