Father's Day gift ideas: Gadgets for every dad | Holiday
By Andrew Couts
Father's Day 2012 is coming up fast. (Hint: It's Sunday, June 17). So now's the time to snag the best present Pop could dream of.
Of course, these days, there are countless gadgets, gizmos, tools, and accessories to choose from — but that just means more chaff to dig through before you get to the good stuff. Here, 10 gift ideas that are sure to bring a smile to Dad's face come Father's Day.
1. Roku 2 XS… for dads who want to cut the cord ($99)
Dads are always looking for ways to save money — and the Roku 2 XS video streaming box provides just that: A way to cut out cable for good. The Roku 2 XS is the company's top-shelf device, and gives users access to more than 500 video streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, a variety of sports services, and more. If you're on a budget, Roku also offers the $60 Roku LT, which works great, but doesn't include the motion-controlled gaming remote, a free version of Angry Birds, nor an Ethernet cable port. For those of you whose dads are more into Apple devices, we'd recommend you go for the Apple TV instead — but don't worry, it's the same price.
2. Nike TW 13 Golf Shoe… for dads who like to hit the green ($220)
Tiger Woods may not be at the top of his game these days, but Nike has still managed to pack its TW 13 Golf Shoes, the consumer version of Woods's prototype kicks, with enough win to boost even the stalest of swings. The low-profile TW 13s (available starting June 8) come loaded with the Nike Dynamic Fit system, which runs two nylon straps from the foot bed to the lacing system, as well as an ultra-flexible sole, all of which helps make sure Dad never slips or slides on his backswing. As an added bonus, download the free Nike Golf 360º iOS app to his iPhone or iPad to give him the ability to track his game, capture videos of himself for later review, and even get coaching advice from Nike Swoosh staffers.
3. Sony Alpha NEX-F3… for dads who like to snap the perfect shot ($600)
These days, if you're going to buy a new digital camera, one that allows you to swap out the lenses is the only way to go. Unfortunately, many of these cameras are massively expensive — which is why the Sony Alpha NEX-F3 is a great choice for half the price of comparable devices. Features include a high-quality 16.1-megapixel sensor, solid battery life, a tilting 3-inch LCD display, and more. For less than $600, you can get Pop the NEX-F3 body with an 18-55mm lens. Of course, he can always upgrade to better lenses from there — but you can leave that part up to him.
4. Webber Rapidfire Chimney Starter… for dads who like to grill ($20 or less)
Despite being one of the lowest-tech items on this list, it's easily one of the most impressive. The Webber Rapidfire Chimney Starter completely eliminates the need for lighter fluid, and reduces the hassle of charcoal grilling down to zero. Just pop three or four crumpled sheets of paper into the bottom, fill the top with charcoal — it holds enough for a 22.5-inch kettle grill — light the paper, grab a brew, and wait. In a matter of minutes, the charcoal is miraculously glowing red-hot and ready to cook. You almost have to see it work to believe it. But after you have, you'll never want to grill without it again.
5. Eton Rukus portable Bluetooth speakers… for dads who like to jam ($150)
Whether dad is out at the park, camping, tailgating, or just hanging out with Mom in the back yard, the Eton Rukus portable speaker system is hands-down the best way to bring the tunes. The Rukus sports a solar cell, giving it the ability to rock out all day. The sound is great too, thanks to two full-range speaker drivers. And, best of all, the Rukus connects to any smartphone, tablet, or PC that has Bluetooth connectivity — meaning Dad doesn't have to be an Apple fanboy to enjoy his Bob Dylan catalog on the go.
6. Carhartt Ketchikan jacket… for outdoorsy dads ($180)
If you really want to make Dad happy, do something that will simplify his life. Like giving him the rugged-yet-stylish Ketchikan jacket from Carhartt. Built with 10-ounce, completely-waterproof cotton canvas on the outside, the Ketchikan delivers the no-nonsense durability that Carhartt is known for, while still looking good enough to wear to nearly any occasion. Other key features include a 100-percent-polyester, waffle-knit lining for comfort and breathability, fully taped waterproof seams, and inside pockets for keeping his gear dry, even on the wettest of days.
7. Leap motion control… for early-adopter dads ($70)
Put Dad on the bleeding edge of technology with the impressive Leap motion control system for laptop and desktop computers. Using this tiny device, Dad will be able to do all types of next-generation stuff with his computer, from playing games with just his hands to more practical applications, like signing a document digitally (with a real pen or pencil). Unfortunately, the Leap is currently only available for pre-order, and apps for the Leap are still being developed. But if your dad really is an early adopter, nothing as trivial as that will matter once he has the coolest gizmo on the block.
8. Portell Retro-Modern leather pocket/iPhone case… for style-conscious dads ($99)
As any man knows, our pockets are constantly weighed down with a dizzying variety of every-day items: keys, wallet, coins, smartphone, the list goes on forever. Fortunately, you can help Dad trim down his load while boosting his style with the Retro-Modern leather wallet and iPhone case from Etsy maker Portell. Made with aged leather, the Retro-Modern "pocket" is handmade, will fit any model iPhone (or iPod touch), and comes in either brown or black. Best yet: Each pocket is made-to-order, making this a one-of-a-kind gift.
9. Kelvin.23 all-in-one multitool… for handy dads ($24)
Even if your dad already has a garage full of tools, there's always room for one more — especially if that tool is as useful as the Kelvin.23 all-in-one. Packed into the Kelvin.23's durable cast aluminum body is an adjustable screwdriver and 16 interchangeable bits, a liquid level, a 5-foot tape measure, powerful alloy magnets to hold loose screws, a bright LED flashlight, an even a hammer. With this in his pocket, Pop will always have the tool he needs for jobs around the house.
10. Asus Transformer Prime… for dads on the go ($650 with keyboard dock)
If Dad is looking for a second computer, and can't decide between a tablet and a laptop, the Asus Transformer Prime is the answer. Sporting a 10.1-inch display, the Transformer Prime packs 1GB of RAM, a 1.3GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera (and 1.2-megapixel front cam), and comes loaded with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). But that's not the best part: The Transformer Prime can also plug into the optional keyboard and battery pack, which transforms the Prime from a simple tablet into a full-on laptop, and adds a USB port, touch pad, SD card slot, and an extra six hours of battery life. Can you say "best gift ever"?