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9 Things I Love about the Swissgear 5358 USB ScanSmart Backpack – Review

In General, Hardware, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I have to admit – I have a bit of a backpack obsession. Every year or so, I swap out my backpack (that I use every workday on my commute), with the next best one. I have pretty high standards when it comes to choosing a backpacks, particularly around durability, features, and comfort. And while backpack construction and features have definitely improved since I was in school, there are still plenty of sub-par packs out there in my opinion. For the past month or so, I have been using the Swissgear 5358 USB ScanSmart Backpack, and honestly, it has checked off a ton of things that I look for in a quality backpack. (*Disclosure below.)

HighTechDad Swissgear 5358 USB ScanSmart Backpack Review - wearing

To be honest, while I had seen a lot of Swissgear backpacks in the wild, I had never considered actually getting one, mainly because the packs that I had were “doing ok.” But that all changed when my buddy showed me one that he had picked up and all of the pockets and solid construction on a trip to the mountains. And, as we were geeking out on the Swissgear pack (not the 5358 model but a different one), we actually had to go to Twitter to ask Swissgear what some straps were for.

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The HighTechDad 2018 Holiday Tech Gift Guide of 25+ Reviewed Products

In Apple, Audio, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, iOS, Review, Tech News, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

It’s that time of year when we open our wallets to get our loved ones some gifts for the holidays. While I’m sure you have specific items in mind, there are probably some of you who don’t have a clue as to the type of technology or gadget gifts to give this holiday season. Well, have no fear! Over the past year (well, over the past decade for that matter), I have been reviewing gadgets, consumer electronics, and other items on HighTechDad.com. It’s always better to learn more about a particular product before you give it as a gift. So, I present you with the HighTechDad 2018 Holiday Tech Gift Guide of 25+ Reviewed Products. (*Disclosure below.)

The HighTechDad 2018 Holiday Tech Gift Guide of 25+ Reviewed Products

What you will find in this HighTechDad Holiday Tech Gift Guide are short descriptions of a variety of products that I have reviewed over 2018 and links to the more comprehensive reviews on my site. Do note, I have done other Holiday Gift Guides for previous years and there are a LOT of great gadgets and tech gifts out there for the high tech dad, mom, son, daughter, grandparent, friend, coworker, or anyone. Here are a few of my past Gift Guides (remember, older tech is probably quite good still and could be more discounted in price):Read More


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PepCom Holiday Spectacular 2018 – HighTechDad Awards for Tech and Gadgets at the Show

In Consumer Electronics, Event, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Tech News, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

With the holidays upon us, it’s fairly common for media to get invited to shows where vendors push their latest and greatest technology in hopes of receiving coverage which in turn gets that momentary attention of frazzled holiday shoppers. I recently attended the PepCom Holiday Spectacular 2018 show which was packed with all sorts of gadgets, services, and other tech goodies worthy of commentary. But I decided to approach this tech media show a bit differently. I wanted to give out some awards based on what I saw and experienced. (*Disclosure below.)

My process was pretty simple…and extremely selfish. There was tech I was interested in, and some that I wasn’t. There were companies that I know, and many that I didn’t. So, what I decided to do, as I searched for those tech diamonds in the rough at the PepCom show, was to walk the floor without talking to anyone, and then only stop at the ones that really grabbed me (not physically of course). And there were over 35 tech companies to choose from.

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The Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp is Perfect for My Daughters’ Room! Here’s Why!

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

It takes a lot for my daughters to be impressed by technology. There is a lot of tech that flows in (and out) of our home. Much of it they seem to just not care about. But the Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp seems to be one of the exceptions. So much so, that they actually requested that it be in their room so that they could use it. This kind of testimonial coming from two teenaged girls is one to pay attention to because it truly doesn’t happen very often. (*Disclosure below.)

HighTechDad Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp - purple light

Having the proper lighting in your room can transform the area from a place where you just are physically there to a place that you are connected to and feel comfortable in. There is nothing worse than a poorly or over-lit room. It’s important to find that perfect lighting balance. And you have to remember that lighting scenes can change depending on a variety of factors, your mood, the time of day, and if you have people with your or not. This is why the Xiaomi bedside lamp is a great choice. You have the ability to not only manage the brightness, but also the color.

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11 Ways to Get a Better Sleep – Start with California Design Den Sheets

In General, Review, Sponsored by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

According to neuroscientists from Western University’s Brain and Mind Institute, 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is the optimal amount for cognitive performance. These are the findings of the world’s largest sleep study where over 40,000 participants from around the world were part of this online scientific investigation. So that’s great, right? We now have confirmation that you probably need to get more sleep than you are actually getting. And while I’m not a neuroscientist, nor do any of my recommendations in this article have any scientific backing, I’m pretty good at getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. It’s not always deep, nor restful, but I definitely don’t feel sleep deprived (too much). I thought that I would offer some tips on ways to get a better sleep, one of them starting with getting some new bedsheets, like from California Design Den. (*Disclosure below.)

HighTechDad Sleep Tips & California Design Den Sheets - dogs sleeping

We spend much of our lives sleeping. If you take that 7-8 hour recommendation, that’s almost one-third of your life. That’s a lot of time just lying around…literally. So wouldn’t it make sense to devote some time to ensure that you are optimizing your sleep? For some people, this is easier said than done. I remember when I had young kids. Getting them to go to bed was always a chore. Getting them to stay in bed, sometimes even harder. And, as a young parent, your regular sleep patterns are often disrupted. Babies, toddlers, and little kids are often a huge disruptor to getting a better sleep. (But I’m NOT going to make a recommendation of NOT having kids…that’s just silly.)

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