Father’s Day Holiday Gift Guide

With Father’s Day looming we’ve assembled a guide of some of the things we’re either wishing for as fathers ourselves or thing we’ve considered purchasing for our own dads.

Storage

The Mushkin Reactor is one of the drives we’ve been recommending for a long time. Available in massive 1TB and 2TB capacities with excellent performance they offer excellent value. Any father who’s a gamer or form of content creation professional will surely appreciate such a spacious drive

 

 

 

 

The Mushkin Impact is by far the fastest flash drive we ever tested reaching a startling 400MB/s for both reads and writes. Available in both 64GB and 256GB sizes the Mushkin Impact offers impressive capacity alongside its performance.

 

C20i_product_Image_wCableMoving on to mobile storage is the ever interesting phone+usb flash drives. Lexar made some of the fastest ones we’ve looked at and they’re well priced for their convenience. Iphone users will be happy with the C20i which weighs in at a reasonable 47 usd for the 64GB model. It is in the process of being phased out for the faster but more expensive C25i however. Android users will be at home with the C20c or C20m depending on their  phones’s age.  Type C and microUSB at 128Gb both weigh in at 41 dollars and change, not bad considering the “apple tax” lightning models carry.

 

 

Rounding out mobile storage is as always microSD cards. microSD cards are always a staple of android storage and we’ve looked at some fantastic ones. The largest card we’ve had our chance to look at was the staggering 200GB 633x from Lexar. This card impressed us offering reasonable performance along with it’s size, Lexar however not to rest on their laurels has followed it up with a 256GB model. Both are large enough to keep shutterbugs and media collectors alike happy. Those who prefer performance over speed should look to either the record setting 1800x UHS-II U3 card we tested. Although it carries a premium(166.99 for a 128GB card) this is without question the fastest microSD we’ve looked at. A happy middle ground between the two is occupied by the very palatable and quick Kingston gold microSD.  At 43.85 for a 64GB card it offers a boost in performance with an acceptable size for most fathers.

Power

Powerbanks are always a good gift choice, although not the largest bank I’ve worked wth Olala’s C2 series banks are the most convenient offering an integrated charging cable and 6000mah worth of capacity(roughly two charges for an average device) the C2-i offers a lightning connector for apple devices and runs 23.99 android users will find the C2-a a bit cheaper at 19.99 however both banks are the same outside of the connector offered.

 

 

If integrated cables aren’t your thing. Or if you need massive capacity, the Zendure A5 we reviewed is an excellent choice. The Zendure A5 survived our initial crush test with a small sedan. It has also survived and a follow up with a pickup and quite a few drops, this thing is tough. And offering a 16,750mah capacity for 52.95 makes them an excellent value proposition for anyone needing it’s capacity or durability.

 

Sometimes carrying a precharged bank just isn’t practical. Appealing to both emergency prepared as well as the outdoor types is Stower energy’s Candle charger. We looked at this back in october but with summer looming it’s sure to be a welcome addition to those camping trips that are being planned out.  At 99.99 it isn’t the cheapest way to charge a phone. However it is the only one i’ve seen that can cook dinner or sterilize water at the same time.

 

 

Audio

dsc_3092-304x203Although we’ve looked at quite a few audio devices this year the BTS05 was a standout, reviewed by our own tasker aficionado Mat Zolnierczyk he came away generally pleased with the speaker and at 26.99 these are an excellent deal for portable sound to supplement your phones internal speakers. A Bluetooth speaker is an excellent gift for music enthusiasts.

 

 

skybuds-caseSkybuds by alpha are likely the most expensive audio device I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing but they’re also one of the most comfortable, with more phones dropping their 3.5mm audio jack from their devices Bluetooth headphones are moving from being a fringe category to a desirable accessory. These offer excellent battery life with audio quality as well as advanced features including integration with siri/google now. Although I find their price a bit high at 219.99 with apple not having launched the airpods yet and several of the cheaper fully wireless solutions not living up to their promises.

 

 

For a more basic set of earbuds we have some very inexpensive but pleasantly impressive Pacuwi earbuds we’ve reviewed previously. At a startling low 9.99 for stereo Bluetooth earbuds they lack most of the frills that the Skybuds pack but function just as well as wired earbuds in our experience. For those looking for a workout accessory or simply something cheap to accommodate for their phone losing it’s 3.5mm jack they’re an excellent choice.

 

 

Everything else

Azulle has impressed us with both devices that they’ve sent us in for review, these are fanless windows 10 systems that are very flexible despite their diminutive size, the stick model is at home as a streaming accessory with any TV(I currently have one doing this at home) and the larger desktop model is excellent for a wide variety of uses including acting as a primary pc for many users. The desktop is currently available with a recommended 4gb of ram for 169.99 and in this configuration it’s more than sufficient for streaming and retro gaming emulation(project 64 is a personal favorite)

 

Nixplay EdgePaul has a few items he’s found he uses every single day and with members of his family. You can check out the reviews of the daily-use Nixplay photo frames here, here, and here. They really are great, you will end up loving them.

 

 

Ditto in box

Ditto. It’s a remarkably simple concept – a vibrating silent alert. I never thought I’d love the thing as much as I did but with a little setup I knew when an important notification came in and when junk notifications were coming.

Paul used it right up to the day it disappeared and suspects toddler foul play was involved in the disappearance.

You can read about Ditto here

Speedify VPN – it’s absurdly useful for more than just hiding your tracks. It also seamlessly transitions between WiFi and Cell networks and can combine the two to make a faster more robust connection. Paul loves it.

rocketbook-wave-smart-notebook-standard-sizeThe rocketbook impressed us as both easy to use an innovative, an difficult combination to hit at times but one they did well, an excellent gift for students and professionals alike it’s available the manufacturer for 27.00 with a promotional inclusion of three free “rocketpads”(50 sheet single use notepads) here as well as on amazon for 36.99 with an added bundle of pens.

 

The toolcard fills both the tradition of tools for fathers day with the addition of being more practical than the 50th screwdriver someone receives. One lives in my wallet every day(and gets used nearly as often) At 28.00 with prime shipping without the clip and 31.30 with it will be a welcome addition to anyone’s regular carry.

 

 

Fizzics Beer EnhancerPaul really like the Fizzics Beer Enhancer while he’s still a little by set back by the price, the results have been tasty. The Fizzics Beer Enhancer basically turns so so bottled/can beer into fresh from the tap tasting beer. You can think of it as a wine aerator for your beer with two tap positions that allow you to make the perfect pour and give it the perfectly crafted head.

As a father of two under four, his ability to get to go to a bar and drink something fresh from a properly maintained tap, eat cheese fries, and watch sports something I’m not interested in on TV are greatly diminished. This solved at least one of these.

You can read the review of this beast over on his other project. Paul also has a list that’s close to up to date with his favorite things.

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Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is a full time IT administrator at a medium sized private business former FRC coach and technology enthusiast.