Some of the summer’s hottest and coldest deals
And top picks for Dads and Grads
By Richard Sherwin, Amy Eller, Bob Plunkett, Rich Macias, Jennifer Auspitz, Christine Eads and Susan Davis. With special assistance from Gary Kaye and the Tech 50 plus news organization..
LG which is slowly but surely gaining market share against industry leaders Samsung, Vizio and Sony, just released its 2016 line of OLED TVs encompassing several features not available in its arch rivals’ new models. (An OLED display works without a backlight; thus, it can display deep black levels and can be thinner and lighter than a conventional liquid crystal displays (LCD). The entire 2016 LG OLED line of 4K Ultra HD Smart TVs delivers the stunning picture quality and advanced technologies of OLED: perfect blacks, improved brightness, expanded color, and amazing pictures even at wide viewing angles. Each of the eight models also delivers a complete high dynamic range (HDR) experience for images that come to life with support for both Dolby Vision™ and HDR10, two of the newest high end video/audio technologies.
Housekeeping for Dads and Grads If your kid is getting ready to set up housekeeping for the first time, we have some home appliances to help outfit that new apartment:
Electrolux Expressionist Toaster – Your grad will know when his or her toast is ready to the second with this toaster’s premium digital vision precision timer feature. The sneak peek feature lets them pause the cycle and check for the perfect toast and temperature sensor technology adjusts the browning cycle for consistent results every time. The toaster’s true bagel function will toast their bagel’s sliced side while gently warming the rest. The programmable darkness selector has 7 digital toasting levels for light to dark toast. A convenient cord management system hides away the cord for a tidy countertop. Plus, most of the parts are top rack dishwasher safe. I DON’T GET IT, ITS JUST A TOASTER
Cordless Stick Vacuum
Electrolux Ergorapido EL2081A – The Ergorapido lithium ion brushroll clean Xtra 2-in-1 cordless offers two vacuums in one for cleaning on and above bare floors. The 14.4V high performance lithium ion battery delivers optimal cleaning performance, a long run time, and a fast charge. The Electrolux patented self-cleaning brushroll removes tangled hair from the brushroll with the touch of a button. It also features a detachable handheld vacuum. The crevice tool and dusting brush store conveniently in the handle so they can clean stairs and more in one easy step.
The BISSELL® PowerGlide® Cordless Vacuum combines the best of a powerful, upright vacuum and a lightweight, portable cordless vacuum. Unique lithium-ion battery technology delivers run times of up to 45 minutes with powerful, dual-cyclone suction. With Lift-Off® Technology™, it’s easy to detach the canister to clean stairs, furniture, cars, and hard-to-reach areas. Swivel steering makes quick cleanups a breeze with easy navigation around furniture and in tight corners. The quick-release hose and wand offer extendable cleaning without the hassle but we found that the battery was difficult to get out of the unit, which you have to do to charge it.
Electrolux Expressionist Immersion Blender – This immersion blender’s innovative blades and foot design provide better circulation of ingredients for superior blending results. The titanium coated blades protect and keep blades sharper longer for excellent results every time. The turbo speed option delivers a burst of extra blending power, while accessories such as chopper, whisk, and blending jar create endless possibilities in the kitchen.
A Home web cam that’s really easy to use
Logitech always has something new and useful for Father’s day or graduation day.
Logi Circle ($199.99)
Dad can be tough to shop for, but this year, you can give him something he actually wants – a new way to stay connected to the family!
Logitech’s Circle Home Connection Camera is the perfect in-home monitoring system. With Day Briefs, you can see a full day’s video highlights of your home’s activities in just 30 seconds, and easily save the 30-second brief to share with family or view again later.
Of all the dozens of home cams we’ve tested, the Logi Circle was the easiest and fastest to set up and provided one of the best sharpest pictures too. The strong magnetic holder or wall mount was very convenient. http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/circle?WT.ac=HPB3-CTA1-circle&WT.mc_ID=AMR_CircleCampaign_PPC_Google_042016_EN_US&WT.srch=1&ci#product-hero&cmp=
Logitech Harmony Elite ($349.99)
If Dad loves the latest connected home gadgets, get him the one device that works with everything in the living room and beyond – the Logitech Harmony Elite. Mom and kids will like it too as it replaces those dozens of remotes on the living room table. With a large 2.4” touchscreen for simple tap and point gesture commands, Dad can control his entertainment system and any compatible home automation device which includes Philips Hue lights and Lutron shades, to name a few. All these options easily managed with one sleek remote.
UE ROLL ($99.99)
For the graduate who wants to take the party to the beach, road trip or next adventure, give the gift of music that will survive water, sand and dirt. UE ROLL is a powerful, pint-sized wireless Bluetooth speaker that is built for adventure. Its shock-proof and IPX7 ?? waterproof, so you can dunk, drop or toss it in the water or anywhere without worry. Its 9-hour battery life and 65-foot wireless capacity is good any domicile. The sound seems like it’s coming from a full-size speaker.
Streaming Media Player
Roku 4 – As more and more millennials move away from cable, a streaming device like the Roku 4 may be all they need. The Roku 4 features brilliant picture quality for 4K Ultra HD and standard HD TVs and powerful wireless for the best streaming experience. The included point anywhere remote offers voice search, headphones for private listening, gaming capability, and even a lost remote finder app. Your grad or dad will be able to enjoy more than 2,500 streaming channels, offering access to 300,000+ movies and TV episodes, plus games, music, sports, international, kids programming, and more. Roku’s model 2 and 3 are great value buys at about one third of the $120 price for model 4.
Time to upgrade your or their PC. Time to upgrade that clunky computer you bought when they graduated from high school? Here are some options to get your grad ready for the professional world or your Dad to stop him from yelling at the old slow computer.
Lenovo Yoga 700 – With the ability to flip 360 degrees, this versatile 14″ laptop provides multiple usage modes to suit your grad’s varying needs. They’ll be able to use the 11.6″ multi touch screen to navigate features using all 10 fingers, or control functions using voice recognition. The Yoga 700 has a Full HD LED multi-touch screen which delivers bright, sharp colors, and it comes with two bottom mounted stereo speakers that meet the Dolby DS 1.0 certification. The base model comes with Windows 10 Home Edition.
Digital Family Advisor also endorses Acer’s PC and Hbrid and Tablets. Acer is fast becoming the leader in consumer and business based PCs, and Android devices Acer has competitive models of convertible and or Hybrid PCs that meet or exceed industry lraders Dell and HP at a lower price point in many cases.
Acer Iconia One 10 – This tablet features a slim 10″ touchscreen with a beautiful display for multimedia enjoyment. It comes with Android’s latest 5.1 Lollipop operating system and plenty of processing power. Its lightweight design and long battery life are perfect for grads on the go. Acer also has special buys at Costco but unlike other PC makers gives discounts on its own website.
Epson Expression Home XP-430 – Every day printing will be a breeze for your grad with this compact, easy-to-use Small-in-One printer. Featuring a hi-res 2.7″ color LCD, the XP-430 makes setup and navigation a snap. Plus, a 100-sheet paper capacity means they’ll reload paper less often, while individual inks allow them to replace only the color they need. They’ll be able to print from virtually anywhere, with or without a network — even from an iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, or smartphone.
Apple iPhone SE – We still love the iOS ecosystem – and the nice thing about the new iPhone SE is that it fits comfortably into a pocket yet still has the top of the line iPhone functionality. It’s available in an unlocked version direct from Apple for $399, but carriers are offering it with a two-year contract at some more attractive prices. Because of its memory limitations, Samsung’s and LG’s latest android entries are outselling IPhone nearly 3-1. So there must be a reason. And Motorola, now owned by Lenovo, has two models recently rated higher than the other market leaders at much lower prices.
If your grad is always on the go, these travel-friendly products will help them to stay safe, connected, and entertained on the road.
Rugged Smartphone Case
Urban Armor Gear – No matter which popular smartphone your grad may have, it’s worth an investment in some sturdy protection. Urban Armor Gear has cases to fit many popular models and the armor shell comes with an impact-resistant soft core that’s ultralight and ruggedly durable. The aesthetically pleasing design makes a striking profile that stands out in the crowd. And the oversized tactile buttons and easy access to the touchscreen and ports complements the design with great convenience. The screen surround makes this case the total package. Available for $35 at Amazon.com.
Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones – Part of Sony’s Extra Bass series, these headphones deliver superior-quality sound. With cushioned ear pads, your grad will be able to listen in style and comfort and the built-in mic will even let them take hands-free phone calls.
Rugged Bluetooth Speaker
Black+Decker 20V Max – Your outdoorsy grad will love this wireless 4″ Bluetooth speaker that delivers loud, clean, crisp high performance sound. It has a durable rubber handle for easy portability, and also offers a control volume from built-in buttons or with mobile device. This speaker can be powered by a 20V MAX battery or an AC wall power cord. The speaker is compatible with all Bluetooth enabled phones, tablets, or devices and is perfect for both indoor or outdoor use.
GPS with Dashcam
Garmin DriveAssist – We think this is one of the smartest travel companions on the market. It has all the bells and whistles of the famous Garmin Nuvi GPS line, including lifetime maps and real time traffic. But it also has a dash camera and alerts for front collisions and lane departure. The 5-inch pinch-to-zoom display combines the latest in driver awareness features with Bluetooth hands-free calling, voice-activated navigation, and onscreen smart notifications (calls, texts and other app alerts) to encourage safer driving.
Fossil Q Founder – This stylish touchscreen watch features a silver-tone case with a built-in activity tracker and seamless phone/laptop connectivity. Powered by Android Wear, Q Founder has an always-on display so your grad can discreetly see who’s calling, texting or emailing. Crafted as a Fossil watch first, the traditional full circle design features a scratch-resistant touchscreen face, a stainless steel case and premium leather and stainless steel straps. Better priced, just as feature laden,
Aniother top watch choice for any holiday is Motorola’s Moto 360 (men’s style and women’s style) are now being seen from college campuses to the finest restaurants and stadiums.
Bluetooth Speaker with Notifications
JBL Pulse 2 – This portable Bluetooth speaker offers sensational sound with an interactive light show. The splashproof design enables the Pulse 2 to light up any party with high-quality stereo sound for up to 10 hours of playtime. The Pulse 2 also features a noise and echo cancelling speakerphone for crystal clear calls and JBL Connect technology that can wirelessly link multiple JBL Connect enabled speakers together to amplify the listening experience.
Technical Trail Shoes
Chaco Outcross Water Shoes – These athletic shoes are designed to tackle rugged terrains. Set in single layer mesh, they have a synthetic leather toe cap for optimal protection and traditional lacing with adjustable webbing heel lock for a secure fit, polyester jacquard webbing tabs, and stretch collar for easy entry and foot protection from debris. Lined with lycra collar and perforated neoprene, it offers long-lasting comfort and cushions with each step. Prices vary by style and size, but are usually available nationally at the finer sports and shoe retailers.
MEEM is for memory backup safe, secure and fast for Mobile phones
MEEM Memory, a design and innovation technology company, launched the MEEM memory cable, a fresh new take on smartphone back up. MEEM is a phone charger cable that automatically backs up personal data on a smartphone , every time the phone is charged.
With people using phones more and more for high quality photos and video and quick text communications, a phone’s storage fills up quickly with precious content and the more personal information stored, the higher the anxiety of losing or having that data stolen is. With MEEM, backing up your smartphone is a simple solution that fits into a daily routine.
Just plug in your MEEM (either for an Android or iPhone device) into a battery charger or wall outlet and choose and confirm a four-digit PIN. Back up of your personal data starts immediately and automatically, every time you charge. MEEM keeps personal data safe in your hands, under your physical control, and inaccessible to anyone else.
MEEM is available directly through the manufacturer or on Amazon.
Work Smart with the Penclic
Penclic has taken the keyboard to a new level combining contemporary Scandinavian design, function and ergonomics without sacrificing comfort for size. Enjoy the simple and sleek design of Penclics’ six by 12 inche ergonomic mini keyboard and create a healthy working position while you’re at it.
It allows a more relaxed and natural working position to help reduce repetitive syndrome issues from occurring. Furthermore, the optimal 5 mm profile lets you to free up more space on your desk. The answer is less clutter on your desk which gives you more to be glad about. Your desk will thank you. Your fingertips will too. $69.95 from The Human Solution
Stanley Brand of Mugs, Bottles has Served Dads, Grads since 1913
You probably saw or borrowed your grandpa’s green, slightly scratched camping bottle with the Stanley name on it that he used for cold and hot drinks. Well your dad or grad can still purchase that bottle seven decades later with new technology added to that reliable container.
Still one of the most awarded outdoor product makers, Stanley PMI now makes a bunch of products with old-time and space age technology built-in. Invented by William Stanley on September 2, 1913 (official patent date), the all steel vacuum bottle revolutionized the way people enjoyed food and beverage. Since then, STANLEY products have been delivering superior food and beverage gear for rugged, active lifestyles and remain dedicated to this simple promise: buy STANLEY brand products, get quality gear. Built for Life®.
Our favorite models:
Learn more. www.stanley-pmi.com.