HighTechDad’s 2011 Father’s Day Gift Guide – Products I Have Reviewed & Like


Father’s Day is almost upon us and I wouldn’t be doing my part for the Dads out there if I didn’t put together a Father’s Day Gift Guide. Gifts are obviously very personal in nature so I can’t tell you what to get your dad. What I can do, however, is provide some ideas on some things that might make your dad smile a bit more and potentially appeal to the “HighTechDad” inside of him.


I won’t be recommending things that I haven’t actually tried, used, reviewed or have myself. That would, honestly, be quite silly. I might recommend some things that I don’t actually possess but know a lot about, but I simply won’t recommend something I haven’t tried first hand. Also not everything that I reviewed is on this list; some gadgets or electronics are just a bit better than others. In most cases, the items below will be linked to my reviews (check the object title for the link to my review) so that you can get details on just about every gadget on this list. But, since blogging is interactive, I encourage readers to leave a comment recommending some other gadgets or consumer electronics that they think are worth mentioning. And who knows, I might see something there that I actually WANT.

The following products are in no particular order or preference or anything apart from being grouped by price range. Do note, the Amazon price listed is as of the day of the writing this article (6/1/11) and is linked to the Amazon listing of that product (an Affiliate link and yes, I get a couple of pennies with each purchase…but that is what keep this blog running!).

Note: all links within the descriptions below are to reviews that I have done in case you want more details and my thoughts on that particular product.

Without further ado, here’s the HighTechDad Father’s Day 2011 Reviewed Gifts Guide.


Drawing/Hand-Made Cards – some of the best gifts are actually free. They just take time to produce. I know that I love getting hand-made cards or drawing from my kids and the creativity and effort that goes into those far outweigh any gadget that you might find in a store. Below is a picture one of my daughters drew many years ago. Amazon price: You won’t find this on Amazon!


CD Compilation – work with Mom to put together a CD of the classic songs that your dad grew up with. Not only will you learn about your dad’s music generation, but you might get introduced to some pretty cool music. And, I’m sure that Dad will love to play your mixed-CD in the car when you are there! Amazon price: various – you can purchase MP3’s from their site


iPhone Battery Case – I reviewed a few of these over the lifetime of my iPhones, specifically the Exolife Battery Case and the Mophie Juice Pack Air. Both of these battery cases can recharge your dad’s iPhone while he’s on the go – trust me, this is a good thing! You NEVER want to be out and about with a dead phone. My personal preference is actually the Mophie Juice Pack Air Plus which is a bit heavier than most but doubles your battery life, and I actually like that my iPhone is a bit easier to hold with it. Amazon price: Exolife – $50.46 and Juice Pack Air Plus – $99.95


Apple TV – I love my Apple TV. It unites all of my Apple devices in one place, whether I’m streaming content from Netflix or photos from my iPhone. It’s affordable and really makes a great gift for dad. I have lots of Apple product recommendations in this guide, and this is just the first. Dad will definitely love it. Amazon price: $97.99


Roku – I wouldn’t be right in not including Roku in the mix here. While the Apple TV is great, the Roku basically set the benchmark for these small types of media streaming devices. If you already have a Netflix account, this is almost a no-brainer. It’s a great way to bring TV and Movies to a TV that might not be connected to a dish or cable or antenna. Amazon price: $70-100


i-Stubble Shaver – Probably one of the odder gadgets that I reviewed, the i-Stubble helps you maintain a 5 o’clock shadow quite easily. Shavers are always great Father’s Day gifts, but this one is cool and unique. Be sure to watch the video where I shave my own face. Amazon Price: $68.65



iPad Cases – these are very personal so your best bet is get one with your Dad. Some of these are simply cases and some are have keyboards built in. I have reviewed quite a few of these. Check out my 4 way review (the ZAGGmate was my favorite), but also I reviewed a Sena Keyboard Folio, a Targus one to match your personality, and I’m currently playing around with a ClamCase which transforms your iPad into a “netbook” (review now available here). These are GREAT gifts for Dad if he has an iPad. Amazon Price: various – see reviews


BlueTooth Headsets – this is another category that is always a surefire hit with dads. One of ones that I have played with and is my go-to one is the Jabra Stone 2. Amazon Price: $89.84


BACtrack S75 Pro Pocket Breathalyzer – this is the gift that says that you care. Next time Dad is out drinking with his buddies, make sure that he has a pocket breathalyzer with him. In a matter of seconds, he can check the blood alcohol content before he gets behind the wheel (or just walks down the street). Amazon price: $125.83


Kodak Zi8 portable HD video recorder – I have been a long time supporter of the Kodak Zi8. I’ve done a couple of comparisons of it vs. the Flip Ultra HD (now no longer in existence) as well as the Sony Bloggie. The Zi8 is still a winner in my book. Regardless, a digital HD video record is a must-have for any dad capturing precious moments of the kids. Amazon price: $115.44


Kodak Zi10 (PayTouch) portable HD video recorder – I haven’t officially done a review of the PlayTouch, but I have used it a lot. It definitely upgrades the experience of the Zi8 and it a bit more current than the Zi8. It’s easier to share content and the touch screen is much bigger. Amazon price: $143.00


Sony Bloggie Touch – I haven’t done an official review of this either (hmmm, can you tell that I will probably do ANOTHER head to head comparison with the Kodak PlayTouch?). Anyway, I have used this new version of the Bloggie quite a bit as well and it is equal to the Kodak. So, either one is a great choice for Dad! Amazon price: $168.00


Logitech Harmony One – if you give your dad one of these universal touchscreen remotes, your dad will truly know how much you love him. I gave my dad one of these (and earlier model) a few years ago, and just upgraded him to the Harmony One. We use one at home and even my 7 year old can operate the remote without issues. It’s super easy to program and even easier to use. Amazon price: $146.76


Ooma VoIP – Does Dad ever fight for the phone line or grumble every time he has to pay the phone bill in the house? If yes, then you might want get him an Ooma voice over IP (Internet telephony) device. Amazon Price: $198.88


A GPS – so here is a generic category with a ton of possibilities. I have reviewed Magellan and TomTom GPS devices, but also have hands on experience with the TomTom GPS application for iPhone as well as the Navigon GPS application for the iPhone. So here it is a matter of choice. There definitely is something nice about having a larger screen of a device on your windshield. But on the other hand, I tend to like having the GPS on my phone. For one, the maps are updated more frequently, the application is not as expensive as the physical GPS, and you can easily get live traffic (add-on purchase). Note that you can “gift” an application via the iTunes App Store. Amazon price: various – see reviews


Epson WorkForce Printers – I have actually tested out 3 of these, the 610, 635 and 840. These are great multi-purpose machines that are not that expensive but can really do a great job cranking out printed paper. The 840 is particularly nice with a touch-screen interface. Dad would be happy with one of these WorksForce Multi-purpose printers. Amazon Price: 635 – $168.91 and 840 – $219.00


Single Serve Coffee Maker – I can’t remember the last time that I actually made a pot of coffee. My wife and I love our Cuisinart single serve brewing system and the Keurig brewer is pretty solid as well. Personally I like the Keurig pod system better than other pods because the pods in bulk only cost between $0.40-0.50/pod and are available at places like Target or Costco. Amazon Price: Cuisinart – $189.95 and Keurig – $145.01


DropCam – Sometimes it is helpful having a remote set of eyes to watch up on your kids or your house when you are not there. One of the easiest webcams that I have ever had the pleasure of using is DropCam which I highly recommend for dads with young kids. There are two versions, one without audio and one with. The one with the audio is worth the extra $80 in my opinion. Amazon Price: $199-279



Apple MacBook Air – This is a device that I actually have only held but not used. I’m a big Apple fan so from experience, I can say that MacBooks in general are stellar. Make one with a small form factor and with a solid state drive (SSD) which makes applications launch in seconds and startup fly, and you have a winner. The smaller sized MacBook Airs are reasonably priced and Dad would be so happy to get one of these (as would I…hint hint). Amazon Price: $938.29 (various models)


Xbox 360 & Kinect – Yes! I know lots of dads who like to play some video games now and then. I’ve had quite a few early morning Halo sessions with some other dads to say that giving a video game console is pretty awesome. And with the Kinect, it’s even more fun. But the best is actually playing with your kids! Amazon Price: $399


Sony NEX-5 – I haven’t reviewed any digital camera apart from this Sony one, however, I have used quite a few to know what I like and what I don’t. The NEX-5 is one of the most balanced cameras in terms of features, style and functionality, that I have used. Plus, it records HD video and has a compact size. Amazon Price: $698.00


Apple iPad 2 – OK, here’s another Apple device. If Dad doesn’t have an iPad, then you better get your order in ASAP since it’s a HOT item. As a Dad, I had fun with my daughters using an iPad 2 and iMovie. And if your dad is far away from your family, the iPad 2 features FaceTime and I have some ideas on how to use that as well. Amazon Price: $584.99 and up



I obviously have written quite a lot of other reviews as well. You can see all of my review by checking my “Review” category. These are just a few that I cherry picked from all of my reviews because they particularly stood out in my mind.

Remember, you don’t have to get your dad an expensive gadget or electronic device for Father’s Day. Give him a call, send him a letter or if you see him in person, give him a big hug and thank him for being your Dad. That is better than any gadget you could give him!

Disclosure Text: I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.

HTD says: Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and dads-to-be out there! Hope you have a great day!

3 Responses

  1. Those are all really great ideas for this year’s Father’s Day! I’ll be giving a bunch of my friends and family those ideas; our Father’s are going to be very grateful! I know for my Father this year I’m going to be getting him a Sling Adapter from our TV provider (also my employer) DISH Network. That way (since he already has an iPad) he’ll be able to download their DISH Remote Access app and “sling” all his favorite live or recorded shows from home to his iPad anywhere he goes just as long as he has a working 3G or WiFi connection. He’s going to love being able to keep up with all his favs while away on business! The Adapter is only $99 and a cool thing that is going on is that DISH is offering a $99 prepaid card rebate to anyone who purchases the Sling Adapter so I’ll be getting it for him practically for free! Check out the details here http://goo.gl.Qsggz. :)

  2. I’m so impressed by the way this article had divided each gift in price range. Really helps when you have a budget. I guess the remote control is out of my budget =(

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Disclosure: This is a global disclosure for product review articles on HighTechDad. It does not apply to Automobile reviews and there are other exceptions. Therefore, it may or may not be applicable to this particular article. I may have a material connection because I may have received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this or other content. I was/am not expected to return the item after my review period. All opinions within this and other articles 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.

About HighTechDad

Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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