June is here and that can mean only one thing. It’s time to go shopping for the latest technology and travel gear for the dads and grads in your life. Here are a few suggestions for some items that are sure to make them happy.
Geneva: Model XS Travel Alarm Clock
The Model XS travel clock from Geneva also happens to be a powerful, compact sound system. With a built in FM tuner and integrated Bluetooth technology, it can stream music, podcasts or other audio sources directly from a smartphone or tablet. The device features two tweeters and a woofer for a surprisingly big sound and its included waterproof leather case makes it an excellent travel companion. Better yet, its compact size and solid audio performance means it is also the perfect addition to any dorm room. After all, you wouldn’t want that new grad to miss any early morning classes, right? (Price: $249.95)
Sony NEX-F3 Camera
Compact interchangeable lens digital camera systems are all the rage right now, and Sony’s new NEX-F3 just might be the hottest of them all. The camera takes photos like a DSLR, isn’t much larger than a point and shoot and has the option of adding a host of different lenses to the mix. It features a 16.1 megapixel sensor, a bright, crystal clear LCD screen that rotates 180 degrees and a built-in flash. It will even shoot full HD 1080p video or capture photos at a rate of up to 5.5 fps in burst mode. Its compact size and outstanding feature set are sure to make this a popular camera on campus or on the road. (Price: $599.99 w/ 18-55mm lens)
Western Digital TV Live
Western Digital has made it extremely easy to get your favorite streaming video services onto just about any television thanks to their TV Live media player. This little black box allows you to watch Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and so much more in the comfort of your living room. It is incredibly easy to set-up, has an intuitive interface and built-in wireless along with a good remote and it supports full 1080p HD streaming. The TV Live connects to more than 25 different Internet content providers for movies, music and games and will even stream your personal collection from a networked source. (Price: $129.99)
V-MODA In-Ear Headphones
V-MODA is a company that is well known for making tough, durable headphones that provide excellent audio performance across the full spectrum of sound. Their in-ear models in particular are comfortable to wear and will redefine your expectations of sound from earbuds, without putting too large of a dent in your wallet. The Remix Remote ($79) models are affordable and provide great performance, while the more expensive Vibratos ($129) amp up the bass considerably and feature a more rugged build quality. Both models include an in-line remote and mic that is compatible with the iPhone and iPad, as well as numerous silicone earplugs to ensure you get just the right fit. V-MODA even backs them with a two-year warranty.
Whether you’re traveling or at home, a good flashlight or lamp is always a handy tool. But when that flashlight is able to stand on its own and provide light exactly where it is needed, it becomes useful on a completely different level. Created by the same company that brought us the GorillaPod, the GorillaTorch sits on a tripod of articulated legs that can be bent and shaped as needed. This allows the light to easily sit on uneven surfaces or wrap itself around pipes, branches or just about anything else that might be close at hand. As a result, the GorillaTorch can shine its light exactly where it is most needed while allowing us to keep our hands free for other purposes. (Price: $29.95)
Nokia Lumia 900 Phone
The latest smartphone from Nokia is not only powerful and sophisticated, but it also happens to be beautiful. The Lumia 900 sports a stunning 4.3-inch AMOLED screen, an 8-megapixel camera and 4G LTE high-speed networking. It is also powered by Windows Phone 7, runs thousands of apps, shoots HD video and comes in three different colors – black, white and cyan. If your dad or grad is looking to stick out in field full of iOS and Android devices, the Lumia 900 can help them do it. (Price: $99.95 with contract from AT&T)
Braven 600 Portable Speaker
Weighing in at just 12 ounces, the Braven 600 portable speaker system is a great option for travelers. Not only does it wirelessly stream audio from a smartphone, tablet or computers, it also doubles as a speakerphone for hands-free calling. The device’s integrated rechargeable battery provides up to 12 hours of use while away from a power outlet and the built-in USB port allows you to charge other devices while on the go. On top of all that, the device looks great and gives off surprisingly clear and loud sound. (Price: $149.99)
Zoom Q3HD Video Camera
Compact video cameras are fun to use and great for travel, but they often lack features and can suffer from less than stellar performance. That isn’t the case with the Zoom Q3HD, however, as the diminutive device records in crystal clear 720p and 1080p HD widescreen formats. The camera is fast, easy to use and even maintains solid image quality in low light conditions. But where the Q3HD really shines is in its ability to record high quality audio. With two finely tuned mics built in and several onscreen tools to help fine tune input, there has never been a compact video camera that has offered this kind of control over audio. The result is great video and superior sound that makes sharing your travel movies better than ever. (Price: $299.99)
Lenovo Ultrabooks and Touchscreen Multimedia PC
Every dad and grad needs a good computer and Lenovo has plenty of models to choose from. For those heading off to college the new IdeaPad U410 and U310 Ultrabooks are fantastic choices. These incredibly slim and lightweight laptops have beautiful high-def screens, plenty of memory and a battery life of up to nine hours. That makes them perfect for those long study sessions at the campus library. They’ll be available later this month starting at $749.
For something completely different, check out the new IdeaCentre A720, which features a unique 27-inch, 1080p touchscreen display. Built from the ground up to be a multimedia powerhouse, this PC comes equipped with a built-in TV tuner, integrated Dolby home theater system and a Blue-ray disc player. It also comes standard with dual hard drives (1TB hard disk and 64GB solid state), HDMI in and out and a high definition webcam for video chatting. The IdeaCentre runs $1849 and makes for a great addition to any home entertainment system.
Gerber Steady Multi-tool
A handy multi-tool is another one of those items that is useful both while travleing and at home. The latest creation from Gerber demonstrates this very well as it not only includes the usual array of blades, screwdrivers and can openers, it also has a built-in mount for smartphones and cameras. Gerber says the tripod is rated to hold up to 340 grams, which means the device you attach has to be relatively small. Still, this is a handy option to have when it comes time to take those impromptu self-portraits while on the go. (Price: $64)