Great Gifts for Him: Fall and Holiday

25 September, 2013 Life No comments
Great Gifts for Him: Fall and Holiday

Some find fall and holiday shopping for gifts for guys to be more than a little difficult, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Provided the subject in question leans more towards technophile than rugged outdoorsman, there are a variety of staples you can come back to time and again to provide everlasting enjoyment. Following are several of the best gifts and gadgets for guys available now, all of which can help put a smile on that special someone’s face.

Beats by Dre Beats Studio – Dr. Dre is a legend in the music industry, acting as both a rapper and a producer. As a result, you can bet that he has a good idea of how music should sound when delivered to your ears. That inspired this line of headphones which allows fans of music to “feel the emotion and hear the music the way artists intended it to sound from the studio.” Read: Really loud, really crisp, and really likely to make neighbors jealous.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12 –The future is now. While Tony “Iron Man” Stark has J.A.R.V.I.S. and Master Chief has Cortana, those of us looking for high-quality speech-to-text translations have Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12 for PC and Mac. Designed for easy dictation and note-taking, you’re no longer limited to typing as this software allows you to dictate your needs directly so that you can modify documents and spreadsheets, send e-mail, search the web, and more. You can even relay on-the-go recordings back to it to be transcribed back on your PC. The free companion iPhone app works nicely for jotting down memos as well.

Kindle Paperwhite 3G  and Kindle Fire HDX – Reading books is fun, but reality tends to get in the way, particularly if you’re on the go a lot. The weight and space taken up by carrying numerous books is negated with this eye-catching tablet from Amazon, which works in a variety of lighting conditions. Just load it up with titles and take it wherever you go, whether it’s a hotel on a business trip, or you’re just waiting for Zs to kick in at night. The battery lasts for up to eight weeks per charge, and it even features free 3G wireless access for when you need to grab the latest hit novel while away from home. Great for both New York Times bestsellers and self-published books, also be sure to see the Kindle Fire HDX – a super-charged, color version of the device sporting a gorgeous 8.9-inch display, beefy 2.2GHz processor, and 11 hours of battery life – plus a Mayday button for free, 24/7/365 tech support between playing games, watching movies and web surfing.

Sony MDR-10RNC headphones – If dealing with ambient noise is a problem for you while listening to music, then Sony has the answer. The MDR-10RNC headphones are compatible with Android and Apple devices, and can analyze the environment around you to properly reduce up to 99 percent of ambient sound at the push of a button. With a swivel design, they travel well too, making them an especial boon to frequent commuters.

Targus 17 inch Deluxe Leather Laptop Case – One’s laptop can be a very valuable piece of equipment, and taking good care of it is always a priority. This particular case is designed to carry and protect such pieces of equipment bearing screens of up to 17 inches, and is designed for easy top-loading access. Other features include a workstation for carrying on-the-go business essentials, a removable pouch, phone section, file holder, and even a strap for attaching it to a larger rolling travel case.

Samsonite Columbian Leather Flapover Case – Made from full-grain brown or black leather, this luxury choice for transporting your laptop measurse in at 15.6 inches and features a main compartment with padded storage, a removable and adjustable padded shoulder strap, and a SmartStrap to slide over the handles of upright luggage, allowing for greater ease of mobility. Among the most stylish cases we’ve ever seen, it’s perfect for bringing along on business trips, and turning both clients’ and colleagues’ heads.

Amped Wireless REA20 802.11ac Range Extender and Router: Dealing with weak or dropped wireless Internet signals is always a pain, but Amped Wireless has the cure for what ails your WiFi network with its newest flagship product. Staking its claim as the first router model in the industry to utilize the 802.11ac standard, this device can repeat, amplify, and rebroadcast signals from any wireless router up to 10,000 square feet, and is reinforced by a variety of different security features. Trust us: When you’re trying to download games from Steam or stream videos from Netflix throughout the house, it can be a godsend.

Madden NFL 25 Are you ready for some football? EA Sports celebrates its quarter-centennial of Super Bowl winning victoies with legendary National Football League player, coach, and commentator John Madden like never before in this year’s release. Numerous new features have been added, from improved graphics and physics to new running controls and an environment which reacts to how you play within it. Designed with the next-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in mind, this title is also available now on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with some retailers allowing customers to trade up to the newer version when the new consoles hit in November.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist – Available for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC, the latest installment of Ubisoft’s hit stealth action series brings secret agent Sam Fisher back into the heat of the action with single and multiplayer modes, as well as a new “Killing in Motion” ability that allows Fisher to take care of multiple opponents in rapid succession without missing a beat. The Wii U and Xbox 360 versions feature unique elements, such as controlling Sam’s arm-mounted computer directly on the Wii U GamePad or saying things to distract enemies through the Xbox 360’s Kinect sensor before attacking.

Beats by Dre Pill Headphones are good when you’re keeping your music to yourself, but there are other times when you want to share the love with everyone around. For these party-time instances, the Pill portable speaker helps really bring the noise. Lightweight, wireless, and Bluetooth-enabled, it’s especially easy to swallow with a wide variety of different colors and styles to choose from.

Norelco SensoTouch 3D – One, two, three times the shaving power is what you get with this product line from Norelco. Touted as the company’s most advanced electric shaver, the three-way flexible heads boast a comfortable shaving experience, whether you prefer to go in dry or lather it up with some foam for a more refreshing wet shave.

Summer Tech: Top Apps, Gadgets and Trends

Summer Tech: Top Apps, Gadgets and Trends

Whether you’re planning on road tripping it, hopping a cross-country flight, or simply enjoying a relaxing staycation this season, technology continues to play a growing role in many individuals’ summer plans. Thank meteoric growth in apps, tablet PCs and travel-ready mobile devices, which increasingly allow leisure seekers to stay connected wherever they go, and cram an entire household’s worth of ways to unwind into sleek, easily transportable carry-ons. We’ve teamed up with some awesome companies to take a look at the latest technology trends that can help heat up the coming weeks. Several worth keeping in mind off the bat include:

  • The rise of home automation systems, multi-purpose mobile computing devices, and interconnected gadgets, quickly becoming more fully-featured and accessible through a growing range of apps. It’s getting to the point where you can control your home, DVR and entertainment collection remotely, and even your scale and refrigerator are starting to conspire together to help keep you looking trim by the pool.
  • Rising advancements in mobile devices, leading to larger screen sizes, higher resolution graphics, and a growing range of choices in every shape, style and size. Thanks to promising handsets from the Samsung Galaxy S4 to Sony Xperia Z and HTC One, be on the lookout for improved battery life and better computing performance, as well as enhanced multimedia capabilities and download speeds.
  • Massive strides in cell phone digital camera capabilities are also being made, meaning it’s easier than ever to capture or share vacation moments and memories. But dedicated waterproof and shockproof cameras from the likes of Olympus, Pentax and Panasonic are also growingly worth considering as an alternative, given shrinking prices and superior performance at capturing underwater or fast-action shots.

Of course, summer is also always a prime time for workout apps which promote fitness and exercise, several of which even use the GPS or other features of your mobile device to track distances and workout performance so you can compare progress with friends. Music apps that offer streaming audio from your favorite artists or quickly help identify songs playing in the background at BBQs and beaches should also prove popular as well. Expect deal apps to come in especially handy as well, potentially saving you tons of money and keeping you connected to the best activities and vacations available this summer.

As an example, if you’re looking to get away, definitely check out Expedia’s free mobile travel app. Not only can you book killer last minute deals at rates up to 60% off, but also track and manage travel itineraries with ease as well. Besides getting real-time updates on things like flight status, you can also add activities and car rentals if your plans change, plus access useful information like airport maps, addresses and confirmation codes on the fly. Plus, if you’re already on the road, it’s super easy to find and book last minute hotels with mobile-exclusive deals.

Like we mentioned earlier, tablet PCs are also increasingly becoming a preferred choice for many shoppers. Systems powered by the Windows 8 operating system like the Acer Iconia W3 make a great choice, letting you enjoy a full range of entertainment options – music, movies, TV shows, books, games, etc. – wherever you travel, without having to pack multiple devices. A great way to keep kids occupied watching movies or playing games, it can lie flat on any surface and two people can touch the screen at the same time. As with any Windows 8 system, you get power, performance, and the ability to customize your interface using live tiles with downloadable apps from the Windows Store, making for great times and great value.

While we touched on new features that are hot in phone technology previously, many of the most crucial new advancements are being made in processors, the heart of these devices, which directly impact performance, as well. As an example, the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor has steadily been raising the bar for mobile devices. Already in more than 800 phones like the super-popular Samsung Galaxy S4 and many other Android and Windows Phone devices, the Snapdragon processor provides the best mobile user experience possible. This means enhanced GPS, web browsing, music playback and gaming capabilities, as well as better battery life. When shopping for a mobile device, you’ll want to know if one’s inside, and can check out this handy tool to find a good fit.

Be sure to tune back in regularly for more of the best new high-tech gadgets, apps, online services and accessories. With so many promising ways to relax and recline, we’ll keep you posted as more news breaks.

Top 10 Home Gadgets for 2013

26 February, 2013 Life No comments
Top 10 Home Gadgets for 2013

Technology is playing a constantly-growing role in our lives. We can adjust our house’s temperature from miles away. We can charge our electronics with the aid of the sun. Rooms can even sense when people are absent, and dim the lights accordingly. What comes next? Possibly state-of-the-art playrooms that project a virtual veldt complete with parent-eating lions. No need to worry about that just yet, though. In fact, you should relax and enjoy the savings and convenience that modern household tech can offer you. 

Here are the 10 best home gadgets for 2013. 

MakerBot Replicator 2 3D Printer – 3D printers generate perfect replicas of objects. Sounds like something out of science fiction, but it’s completely real—and the technology is coming home at a rapid pace. The MakerBot Replicator 2 3D Printer can “print” copies of objects utilizing a sturdy bioplastic. 

Voltaic Solar Charger Kits – Voltaic’s solar charging kits are available as portable adapters, panels, and even as backpacks. Each one utilizes the sun to charge up a multitude of electronic devices. 

Maestro Occupancy Sensing Switch – Remember The Clapper, the device that turned lights on and off with audio cues? This works in much the same way, sans clap. Maestro’s Occupancy Sensing Switch uses sensors to turn on and dim the lights according to whether or not people are in the room. 

Fujitsu Lifebook 2013 – All-in-one devices are convenient, but the Lifebook 2013 goes above and beyond the call of duty. It’s a laptop, a camera, a phone, and a tablet. All of its parts buddy-up together for easy travel and storage. 

Raspberry Pi – Computers are vital components of our lives, and the Raspberry Pi ensures that everyone gets access to one regardless of income level. This simple credit card-sized board plugs into a TV and a keyboard and is capable of performing many of the same tasks as a full-sized PC. 

Google Glasses / Project Glass – Project Glass admittedly looks silly on the face of a human being, but these glasses allow you to surf the Internet hands-free via voice commands.    

Basis Band – The Basis Band is a must-have for fitness enthusiasts, or anyone who just wants to know their fitness problem areas. The band reads heart rate, blood flow, heat dissipation and sleep cycles, and then pushes you go beyond your previous limits. 

iPhone 5S – We’re almost certain to see the iPhone 5S before 2013 is done. Summer or Fall are popular estimates, and rumored features include improved durability and wireless charging. 

Lockitron – Lockitron should see release in 2013 thanks to a successful Kickstarter. This handy device lets you lock and secure your home from anywhere with a simple application. No more driving backwards back up your street to ensure that you locked the door before you left the house. 

SmartThings – SmartThings lets you monitor, secure, and control your house through your smartphone. You can also keep tabs on the comings and goings of your family. The device’s first pre-orders will ship in Spring 2013, so if you haven’t pre-ordered, do so.