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

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):

Giving a technology gift can be tricky, especially if you don’t know too much about tech. Hopefully, my reviews will provide more insights and perspectives to help you make a “smarter” decision. If something isn’t listed on this guide, please check my “Reviews” category and browse through the list there. And, if you have other questions, I’m happy to respond on Twitter or Facebook. Or use one of my Contact Forms. But do note, it’s hard for me to have a strong opinion about something if I haven’t had some serious hands-on time with it.

All of the entries below, as I mentioned, are for 2018 reviews. You will find:

  • a photo
  • the title of the review linked to the review
  • a summary of the review
  • estimated price and a link to a shopping site (like Amazon or other online store – some links are affiliate links)

The entries are listed from oldest to newest.

Without further ado, here is the HighTechDad 2018 Holiday Tech Gift Guide of 25+ Reviewed Products!

Western Digital My Passport External Hard Drive

HTD Western Digital My Passport - external hard drive

Title (and link)2 New Year’s Resolutions Solved with 1 Device – Western Digital My Passport External Hard Drive

Summary: It’s always good to have goals when you start a new year. And it’s even better when a little gadget like the WD My Passport external hard drive can help you accomplish those goals more productively and learn something in the process. Once I overcame the High Sierra hard drive formatting issues and made the My Passport fully Mac-specific, the usage was easy. Just plug it in, and the volumes would mount.

With my testing for Time Machine, assuming the volume was compatible (e.g., not APFS), the backups would run automatically. There is ample storage for all of my Final Cut Pro projects, and the drive is light and small enough to just throw in my bag. And you simply can’t beat the price point for such large capacity. Since I fully reformatted the drive, I could not use any of the Windows-specific apps that came with the drive, so honestly, there weren’t any “features” that I could review.

Overall, this Western Digital drive is extremely useful in getting my New Year’s Resolutions resolved!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: 1TB version – $59.99 (Amazon price – $54.99), 2TB – $79.99 ($69.99), 3TB – $109.99 ($92.30), 4TB – $119.99 ($99.97)

JBL Boombox Bluetooth Speaker

HTD JBL Boombox Bluetooth Speaker Review - outside

Title (and link)Thunderous Bass, 24-Hour Battery, Beautiful Sound – JBL Boombox Bluetooth Speaker Review

Summary: If you want a booming portable speaker that will last for hours of playback and can handle the elements or a pool environment, the JBL Boombox is that speaker. And while your neighbors probably won’t be happy having the party continue from day and into the night, you can be sure that your friends and family will!

The JBL Boombox is incredibly easy to set up and pair with your device. And adding additional pairings is just as easy. In terms of sound, the bass is huge but without distortion even at high volume. You probably won’t need to max out the volume though because this speaker is thunderous. It is water-resistant (up to 30 minutes in less than 1 meter of water), but to play it safe, I wouldn’t recommend floating it around long. But it is definitely splash-proof and great for a pool or beach. You can charge 2 other smart devices from the onboard battery, and even pair other compatible JBL speakers with it.

The only item I marked a bit down in the ratings is the price point which is a bit hefty. But you are paying for some powerful, quality, JBL speakers. The JBL Boombox speakers rock, literally and figuratively!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Retails for $449.95 and is available on Amazon for $385.00

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Tips & Tricks - on laptop

Title (and link)14 Apple Watch Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know About

Summary: While the article linked above is not a review per se, it does go into some of the features and functionality of the Apple Watch Series 3. And while the Series 4 is now available, the Series 3, I feel, is a great gift and a good deal currently.

The Apple Watch Series 3 offers some tremendous hardware improvements over previous versions of the Apple Watch and is driving some great functionality. But sometimes, just knowing some tips and tricks can make you excited about older versions of the Apple Watch.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Various options available on Amazon. 42mm Space Gray – $354.99 38mm Space Gray – $299.95

Noon Home Smart Lighting

Noon Home Intelligent Switches - wall plate

Title (and link)Noon Home Creates Smart Lighting Scenes, Not Switches – Review

Summary: Before you buy a smart light switch, consider getting a switch that gives you truly intelligent lighting scenes instead. From installation to configuration to usage, the Noon Home provides amazing layered lighting scenes designed to transform your living spaces. The Noon Home intelligent lighting switch earned 4 stars across the board. While not an inexpensive lighting solution, the clear attention to detail is obvious. And, as features are added to make this smart lighting solution even more useful, this product will only get better.

I was extremely impressed by the attention to detail in the design of the hardware, especially from the standpoint of an installer. The software features make a lot of sense, and with a few enhancements, will make this offering quite powerful and compelling. I love flicking through the different scenes and fine-tuning how my lighting works.

It truly has transformed my family’s living space into something richer. There is no more just “turning on the lights” in our home. It’s all about setting the mood!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Room Director – $249.00 (Amazon price varies) Extension Switch – $129.00 (Amazon price varies)

Trak At-Home Male Fertility Test

Trak Male Fertility Testing System - seal before you spin

Title (and link)Check Your Swimmers with this At-Home Male Fertility Test from Trak

Summary: Having a private, at-home test to quickly and easily measure sperm count is a blessing for those people who are trying to conceive. Male fertility and reproductive health are important topics to understand as well as monitor, and the Trak Male Fertility Testing System empowers men to learn more about their reproductive health.

The Trak At-Home Male Fertility Test is a great gift for people who are considering starting a family, or for those men wanting to be sure that they can NOT conceive anymore. It’s easy to use and get results in less than an hour. And you can perform regular tests with this at home kit.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Trak Male Fertility Testing System retails for $199.99 (and is available on Amazon for $124.99). You can also get 2-Pack testing refills for $49.99 (on Amazon for $49.99 also). If you order from Trak, use coupon code: TECHDAD25 to receive $25 off your order.

Fingbox Home Network Monitor

Fingbox

Title (and link)Review: Fingbox Will Be Parents’ Favorite Way to Manage Kids’ Online Time & More

Summary: There is no silver bullet to providing good Parental Controls on devices attached to the home network, but Fingbox gets pretty close. It’s easy to set up and use, gives you an incredible amount of insights into your home network and the attached devices, making your home network more secure in the process, and allows parents to gain more control over their children’s online time. But, what’s not to love about the Fingbox and the Fing app?

The setup is extremely easy: plug in and discover devices. Then, once you have devices, attach them to users. Then you can set up pause rules for your kids, and all of their devices are paused. You can quickly identify security holes or unknown devices. Blocking devices is just a click. The price point is quite reasonable, especially since you aren’t paying a monthly subscription service like other parental control offerings. You set something as allowed, paused, or blocked. And you learn all about the connected devices on your network.

This is a must-have for parents who want to ensure their kids are studying or sleeping or just off of their connected devices at a particular time.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: $129 (use my coupon code HIGHTECHDAD10 to get $10 off) or you can order on Amazon (no coupon) for $99.

ARCHEER Bluetooth Transmitter & Receiver

ARCHEER Bluetooth TX RX Review

Title (and link)Everyone Should Have the ARCHEER Bluetooth Transmitter & Receiver! Here’s Why!

Summary: Not being able to connect a device via Bluetooth is now a thing of the past thanks to the ARCHEER Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver. This handy gadget allows you to have Bluetooth connections just about anywhere…even without a power source!

While understanding the buttons to press and the switches to flip can be a bit daunting at first, as long as you understand the connection type and read through the manual, this ARCHEER Bluetooth transmitter and receiver is a super useful gadget to have around the home.

Being able to connect older devices that may not have Bluetooth or share a Bluetooth connection with someone while watching a movie is now super easy to do. And the price point is extremely reasonable. I only put a lower rating at the “Family-friendly” rating because it may be a bit complicated to set up initially. It’s helpful to have the manual handy. But once set up, it’s extremely useful!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Only available from 3rd Party Sellers on Amazon

BenQ treVolo S Bluetooth Speaker

HTD BenQ treVolo S speaker review - open

Title (and link)Review: Electrostatic vs. Electromagnetic? The BenQ treVolo S Bluetooth Speaker Rocks Both!

Summary: If you are looking for a portable, Bluetooth speaker that accurately reproduces music with crisp and amazing highs, and utilizes electrostatic technology typically reserved for high-end speakers, definitely take a listen to the BenQ treVolo S. Your ears will be thankful!

The BenQ treVolo S earned solid 4-star ratings across the board here in my opinion. Setup is easy, and once you pair the treVolo with a phone or computer, it’s easy enough to use. The fact that it has an onboard battery means that it is mobile and you can bring your audio and music anywhere. While it’s a bit heavy to just throw in a backpack and take on the go, it’s a great speaker for around the home (note: electrostatic speakers don’t like moisture so watch out for that).

The accurate sound quality is pretty amazing and if you aren’t looking for huge, booming bass but rather true audio fidelity, the BenQ treVolo S does very well with no distortion even at max volume. And the highs are simply amazing.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: $199 and available on Amazon for $199.00

Naztech VOLT Power Station

Naztech VOLT Power Station review - charging a Mac

Title (and link)Review: Naztech VOLT Power Station – 27,000 mAh Battery, 3 Speedy USB Ports, AC Outlet & More

Summary: There is nothing worse than a dead or dying battery on your device, especially when you need to use it. The 27,000 mAh Naztech VOLT Power Station gives you the ability to charge multiple USB devices and even plug in a laptop to give you additional gadget time on the go!

With this balance of power and plug-in options, what’s not to like? The VOLT is easy enough to use, fully charges in about 4 hours, and lets you take advantage of quick charging capabilities. You can even plug in non-technology electric devices. At $200 it is a bit hard on the wallet, but you are also paying for a very large capacity, lots of electrical protections, and the peace-of-mind knowing you have that extra power when you truly need it.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: $199 (and on Amazon for $199)

Rachio Gen 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

HTD Rachio Gen3 Review - in the box

Title (and link)Review: Rachio Gets Even Better with its Gen 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

Summary: The Rachio Gen3 smart sprinkler controller is a critical and important upgrade for any home that has plants or lawns that need to be watered. Water conservation is key to a sustainable planet and having a smart home device that knows when or when not to water based on the weather is extremely important.

This next generation of the already great Rachio smart sprinkler controller improves upon the previous version while adding some nice installation enhancements as well as the ability to connect a wireless water flow meter. The Rachio Gen3 is almost easier to install than the Gen2 and coupled with the updated smartphone app, is incredibly easy to use, earning a rare 5 star from me. However, with updates and new technology frequently means that the price goes up. Gen3 is slightly more than Gen2 (so I dropped that star rating by half a star) but still is quite good based on what you get.

But best of all, once you configure the Rachio, you can pretty much let it do its magic all by itself. It will periodically remind you that it is working away as it changes a frequency or duration automatically. Definitely a solid product!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: 8-Zone Rachio Gen 3 on Amazon $229.99 and 16-Zone Rachio Gen 3 on Amazon for $279.67

Logitech Speakers

HTD Logitech Speaker review - daughter's TV

Title (and link)Got a Flatscreen TV with Crappy Sound? Try these Inexpensive Logitech Speakers

Summary: Flat screen TVs have dropped in price tremendously. I just picked up a nice HD one for about $100. Great picture, great streaming hub, absolutely horrible sound! And it’s not the only flat screen TV in my house suffering from the same crappy sound. The bass is pretty much nonexistent, it sounds tinny, and simply uninspiring, definitely quite there opposite of the picture. Luckily Logitech came to the rescue with some small, low-priced speakers that bring enjoyment back to viewing, listening, and even more!

Remember to test out the video AND the sound when buying a new flatscreen TV. And, if you find that you just don’t want to spend much or you don’t have much space for a surround sound system, there are some pretty nice, inexpensive Logitech speakers to make viewing pleasurable again!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: The Logitech Z200’s at $29.99 (currently unavailable on Amazon) and the Z207’s at $49.99 (currently $39.99 on Amazon). The Logitech Z50 is $19.99 (or $16.99 on Amazon).

JBL Soundgear Personal Bluetooth Speaker

HTD JBL Soundgear & BTS unit

Title (and link)OMG! My Wife Loves the Odd JBL Soundgear Personal Bluetooth Speaker

Summary: I have to hand it to JBL! The JBL Soundgear fills a niche between earbuds and portable speakers in a way that provides stellar audio but also allows the wearer to still be connected to and hear the world around them.

In my brief time using the JBL Soundgear (until my wife completely took it over), I found the setup and usage to be extremely easy. It’s lightweight, so you barely notice that you are wearing it. The sound quality is superb. And the fact that you can still hear and interact well with your surroundings is great. And, my wife completely has taken over the Soundgear and uses it daily (and she’s not a huge fan of tech), so that is a testament to the design and functionality.

It’s easy to use and is reasonably priced, especially if you consider the prices of Bluetooth speakers and headsets or headphones. It does everything I expected it to. And with the BTA unit, you can connect the Soundgear to devices that normally don’t connect to Bluetooth. Nice job JBL!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: JBL Soundgear – $199.95 retail (available on Amazon for $179.95) and JBL Soundgear BTA – $249.95 retail (available on Amazon for $219.95)

BenQ ScreenBar Light

BenQ ScreenBar Review - on monitor

Title (and link)Review: BenQ ScreenBar is an LED Desk Light that’s Better than Traditional Ones

Summary: When it comes to your eyes, you need to be sure you use things that don’t strain them. The BenQ ScreenBar not only offers great, configurable and dimmable yellow to blue lighting scenes, it also has a zero-footprint on your desk while still providing ample lighting without screen glare.

I actually really love the lighting scenes that can be created with the ScreenBar from very dim and yellow for nighttime to bright and blue for the day or for times of high concentration, the ScreenBar does it. I like the soft-touch buttons, and it is very easy to control. It fully lights up my work environment but uses no desk real estate. The price is more than a lamp, but the ScreenBar does a lot more than a traditional lamp.

It’s a great addition to night-time work environments where you need the focus to be your desktop.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Retails for $99 (get it now for $99 on Amazon as well)

FlexiSpot Standing Desk Converter

FlexiSpot ClassicRiser Standing Desk Converter review - fully extended

Title (and link)How To Easily Transform Your Desk into a Sit/Stand Desk with FlexiSpot Standing Desk Converter – Review

Summary: Having a functional, stable, and secure sit/stand desk is good for your health. There are many benefits to standing while you work during part of your workday. And the FlexiSpot ClassicRiser Standing Desk Converter makes the conversion from a sitting-only desk into an easy-to-use sit and stand desk a no-brainer!

There is literally very little to do to set up the FlexiSpot ClassicRiser. Just unpack it, attach the keyboard tray (if you want), cover some of the hinges, do some cord management (optional) and that’s it. My wife finds it very easy to raise or lower the standing desk converter to a height that works for her. And it is stable to handle a large monitor as well as has the keyboard tray that can handle a mouse as well.

While it is not “inexpensive,” with something as important as this type of healthy solution, you will want to invest a bit more to get a better sit/stand environment. And it looks great! Here’s to healthy standing!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: The FlexiSpot ClassicRiser M2 – 35” retails for $329 (and is available on Amazon for $279.99)

BenQ 4K Monitor (EW3270U)

BenQ EW3270U monitor review - red display

Title (and link)Why Having a Quality Monitor Like the 4K BenQ EW3270U is Critical To Your Vision

Summary: If you spend hours in front of a monitor each day, your eyes could be suffering. The BenQ EW3270U is not only a powerful 4K/HDR monitor, it has built-in technology to minimize eye strain and fatigue while producing glorious, accurate images and media.

Putting the BenQ EW3270U together is extremely easy. Be sure you have a graphics card that supports HDR and/or 4K to get the most out of this monitor. There are many, many settings that you will need to test to find out the best for your work environment and what your eyes like. But the nice thing is, once you do many of the settings, this BenQ monitor will automatically adjust brightness levels as well as color in order to get you the best view experience.

This particular model is ideal for a home office and supports a variety of functions from viewing photos, videos, and movies, to being able to watch 4K content from various streaming providers. And you can essentially put the content of two monitors on one screen because of the size (32? diagonal). It’s amazing to use!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: The MSRP is $699.00 and you can get it currently on Amazon for $593.28. (The Amazon page does list other sizes and resolution options but I would highly recommend getting the larger size with the 4K/HDR to truly enjoy movies and images.)

Ultimate Ears WonderBoom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth speakers review - by the pool

Title (and link)The “Ultimate” Grad & Dad Gift – Ultimate Ears WonderBoom Bluetooth Speaker Review

Summary: Playing back music from your portable device is always a slam dunk when it comes to social activities. But having a way to play it back from a small, portable, water-resistant Bluetooth speaker that has good bass and crisp highs is even better. The Ultimate Ears WonderBoom Bluetooth speaker brings the audio party with you!

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom portable Bluetooth speaker is essential for any group that wants to bring streaming music on the go. This small form-factor Bluetooth speaker has a surprisingly nice sound and strong bass. It is IPX7 rated which means it is shock, dust, and splash-proof, making it ideal for pools, beaches, camping, and generally on the go. It’s lightweight as well making it easy to throw into a bag. With 10 hours playback, that is enough for a full day outing. And with two Wonderbooms, you can stream music simultaneously to provide a surround sound-like environment.

A perfect gift for anyone or just giving yourself the ability to bring the music anywhere you go.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Retail price is $99.99 (get one on Amazon for $61.99)

Quilo Humidifier, Cooler & Tower Fan

Quilo Humidifier, Cooler & Tower Fan review

Title (and link)Review: the Quilo Humidifier, Cooler & Tower Fan is a Personal Cooler That Works Great in Low Humidity

Summary: Instead of turning on the entire home air conditioner to cool just one room, try using the Quilo Evaporative Air Cooler and Fan which both reduces the temperature and humidifies the air for breathing and skin benefits. The Quilo is especially effective in areas of low humidity and saves you $$$ over expensive A/C units.

The Quilo is extremely easy to set up – just add water, plug it in, and turn it on. It does a relatively good job as a personal cooling device, especially if you have it pointed directly at you. Adding ice to the reservoir definitely helps the cooling process. If you live in a low humidity region, the Quilo is a great device to have to cool individual rooms, and it is portable too.

And you can’t beat the price point compared to an air conditioner, and the energy consumption of the Quilo is low in comparison as well.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link:  Quilo 3-in-1 Evaporative Air Cooler and Fan retails for $179 and is currently available on Amazon for $169

Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging

HTD Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging Base Review - charge 3 devices

Title (and link)Review: Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging Base Charges 3 Apple Devices At Once

Summary: If your nightstand is a tangled web of charging cables and docs for your various Apple devices, consolidate them all with the Kanex GoPower Stand which allows you to wirelessly charge your iPhone, juice up your Apple Watch, and charge one more device through a single stand.

The setup of the Kanex GoPower Stand couldn’t be easier. Just plug it into the wall, and you are ready to go! No need to use your own Apple Watch magnetic charging “puck” in the stand as it is built in (saving you on that cost). While you can charge up to three devices (iPhone, Apple Watch, and another USB device), the power output of the wireless stand and the USB port is a bit underpowered. So if you want to quickly charge your compatible iPhone (or smartphone), it may take a bit longer. But, if you are going to use it for overnight charging, the Kanex GoPower stand is awesome and a great deal.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Retails for $79.99 and available on Amazon currently for $79.95

Tovala Steam Oven & Meals

Tovala Steam Oven and Meals Review

Title (and link)Hey Busy Parents! The Tovala Steam Oven & Meals Is Your Automated, Personal Chef (Review)

Summary: Tovala has come out with the ultimate life-saver for busy families! Not only is the Tovala Steam Oven a great addition to any kitchen, the option of having reasonably-priced and extremely delicious and fresh meals shipped to you for easy cooking in the steam oven the knock-out punch!

The Tovala Steam oven lets you cook using steam, convection baking, or broiling. With the Tovala meals, you can have fresh meals shipped to you and have them cooked and on the table with 1-2 minutes of prep time and about 20 minutes of cook time. The $12 meals are made with healthy, preservative-free ingredients, and the recipes vary regularly, so there is always a good choice of meals even for those finicky eaters. And the Tovala oven can be used without a meal plan, with new recipes posted regularly.

The Tovala oven plus meal plan is a life-saver for busy parents, working professionals, or anyone who wants a little change from regular, humdrum meals.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Retails for $299 (and you can get it on Amazon for $279.44)

MyHeritage DNA Home Testing Kit

HTD MyHeritage DNA kit - kit contents

Title (and link)MyHeritage DNA Lets You Easily Discover Your Ancestral Roots (Giveaway)

Summary: Understanding your ancestral roots with MyHeritage DNA involves two processes. The first is using their at-home kit to collect a DNA sample. The second is unleashed once your DNA is analyzed. The second process unwraps a huge discovery moment for you that goes far beyond just DNA analysis. It involves understanding your family heritage, mapping out family trees, potentially discovering long-lost relatives, and more.

Understanding your “origin story” is a great family activity and MyHeritage DNA provides an easy, secure, at-home test plus a detailed analysis of your ethnicity, potentially allowing you to discover a much larger family heritage and ancestry.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Get a MyHeritage DNA kit and analysis for about $69 (depending on if there is a sale going on or not). And if you enter BABBLEBOXX2 at checkout, you get free shipping!

NixPlay Iris WiFi Cloud Digital Frame

HighTechDad Nixplay Iris Digital WiFi Frame Review - on work desk

Title (and link)Bring Your Kids To Work Every Day with the Nixplay Iris WiFi Cloud Digital Frame

Summary: The Nixplay Iris 8” Digital Cloud Frame is a fantastic addition to any work desktop. Being able to see countless photos of friends and family in a regular stream puts a smile on your face, even if you are having a hard day at work.

Setup is incredibly easy. Just connect the Nixplay Iris to WiFi and then start creating and managing photos, albums, and playlists. You can quickly tweak the settings of any frames you manage to change how photos and playlists are displayed, the type of transitions, and other options. Easily connect to various photo services like Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram, and more. And you can have different playlists on different frames.

The Nixplay Iris is an awesome addition to a work desk and makes everything just a bit more lively.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Retails for $199.99, but you can get it on Amazon currently for $157.00!

Omigo Toilet Seat

HighTechDad Omigo Toilet Seat Review - what's in the box

Title (and link)OMG, the Omigo Toilet Seat Cleans Butts While Saving the Environment – Review

Summary: Talking about toilets really isn’t that weird, especially if there is an evolution taking place. The Omigo heated toiled seat cleans your undersides using heated, sprayed water, all controlled based on your personal preferences. And you minimize the use of non-environmentally friendly toilet paper.

The Omigo toilet seat is extremely easy to set up. The instructions are quite clear, and someone with minimal DIY experience can actually do it themselves. Whether you have kids or not, the Omigo provides a great way to reduce reliance on non-environmentally friendly toilet paper and also goes a long way towards improving personal sanitation. If you have kids, they can easily learn how to use the Omigo using the easy to understand remote control.

While some people may think the concept of washing your undersides is a bit weird, I have to say that the experience is cleansing, and once you do it a few times, refreshing and a bit addictive. It’s hard to go back to the “old way” of just wiping once you try the Omigo.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: The Omigo retails for $750, but you can get $100 off by using this special code: HTD100 on the Omigo site.

Apple Watch Series 4

HighTechDad Apple Watch Series 4 - on wrist

Title (and link)After 8 Days Using the Apple Watch Series 4, These are My Top 8 Observations

Summary: The Apple Watch Series 4 takes a big step forward in terms of becoming a standalone device. With added cellular connectivity, longer battery life, better speaker, and a larger screen, it’s easy enough just to take the Series 4 on the road and leave your iPhone behind.

After using the Series 4 now for a bit over a month, I have to say that it is an essential part of my day. And as I discover new apps and functions, I’m beginning to rely and experiment with it a bit more, with the eventual goal of not being as reliant on my iPhone as I currently am.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Various versions and sizes available on Amazon by various resellers

California Design Den Sheets

HighTechDad Sleep Tips & California Design Den Sheets - upgraded sheets

Title (and link)11 Ways to Get a Better Sleep – Start with California Design Den Sheets

Summary: Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to your mental and physical health. These sleeping tips can get you along the way to ensuring you have a masterful slumber, good dreams, and waking to feel relaxed and refreshed! Oh, and get some good sheets too!

Using a sateen weave, the California Design Den sheets felt really great and were sturdy (no tearing), and with the higher thread count, they felt soft, even after the first wash. I’m sure that over time, they will become even softer. The sheets fit well, even over our memory foam topper and did not come off over the week of using them. They fit over up to an 18” mattress!

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: $67.99 on Amazon for King Sized sheets

Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp

HighTechDad Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp - warm night light

Title (and link)The Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp is Perfect for My Daughters’ Room! Here’s Why!

Summary: The Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp has many lighting configurations and using the smartphone app, enables lighting scenes to truly transform your bedroom environment. And the mic-enabled color cycling and pulsing beat colors make it a lot of fun in a kid’s room.

Out of the box, the Xiaomi is pretty easy to use, just plug it in and use the top button to change colors and spin the cylinder to make it brighter or dimmer. But once you connect the bedside lamp to the app, the lamp becomes much smarter. If you don’t know the trick that I mentioned in the article, you will never be able to connect the lamp to the app (at least until it become available in the US store). But once you have the app connected to the lamp, there are a bunch of great features that are “unlocked.”

My kids especially liked the microphone-enabled color changer.

Estimated Price & Shopping Link: Retails on GearBest for about $66

HighTechDad Caavo

Also, I have to give a shout out to Caavo Control Center. While I did not do a review on HighTechDad, I did provide a review within Amazon. Here’s a bit from my Amazon review:

The Caavo Control Center (which I will just refer to as “Caavo”) fills a technology gap that has existed for many, many years. As new types of HDMI-connected devices enter the market, consumers become increasingly perplexed by not only hooking up all of these devices in the proper way but also finding all of the loads of digital content on these devices. Caavo tackles both of these issues in a way that is simple yet elegant. This is not just a run-of-the-mill HDMI hub, it’s much more. It abstracts away all of your devices and streaming services so that you can get back to just watching what you want, when you want it.

The Caavo Control Center & Universal TV Remote retails for $99.95 and will definitely be THE gift of the season for anyone who is sick and tired of managing remote controls, TV inputs, and trying to find shows and movies on their streaming services!

And last but not least, I recently attended a tech media event which showcased a bunch of gadget and products that are relatively new to the market. While I haven’t reviewed any of these items, I did have a little bit of hands-on time with many of them, enough to form some opinions as well as give some HighTechDad awards.

Take a look at this article for more: PepCom Holiday Spectacular 2018 – HighTechDad Awards for Tech and Gadgets at the Show

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

Remember, choosing a great gift depends on knowing who you are giving the gift to pretty well as well as doing some research once you have some ideas. Regardless, holiday shopping can be a bit maddening. I hope that some of the reviews and recommendations above can help make that shopping and decision-making process a bit easier!

And lastly, the gift giving isn’t everything. Spending time with friends, family, and loved ones is what truly makes for a wonderful time! Happy Holidays!

Disclosure: I have a material connection because I received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.

HTD says: Finding that perfect gift can be tricky. But with a little bit of research, the process can be fun. And hopefully, the HighTechDad 2018 Holiday Tech Gift Guide gave you some great ideas!