Tech Gifts for Dad This Father's Day

Not sure what to get the old man for his special day?  Forget the "Kiss the Cook" grill apron and the ugly ties.  Get the guy something he'll actually use and love... a gadget!

For the TV Watching Dad - A 3DTV

Most dads (except for mine) really like to watch TV.  Whether it's for their favorite shows on Lifet... er, Spike, or ESPN for sports, it's likely your patriarch parks himself on the sofa at least once in a while.  So, why not bring him to the next level with a 3DTV?

The next generation of television and movies is upon us, and now is the time to upgrade.  Sure, you might not be able to get one on your own, but why not pool together for a family gift?  Check out a full list of 3D ready or 3D compatible TV's from Mitsubishi, Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic.  You can also see a big list of projectors, glasses, Blu-Ray and DVD players, and associated resources and articles, by clicking here.

For the Traveling Dad - A GPS

What?  Your dad doesn't have a GPS?!?  This is a gift that any father will appreciate, regardless of his geek cred, or whether his longest trip is to the nearest Walmart or cross-country.  Sure, he might have a paper map in his car or a cellphone with a mapping program, but mark my words (as an iPhone owner who has GPS in his phone already) a GPS unit is unrivaled for convenience and accuracy.  

I've been a longtime Garmin Nuvi user and as such, I would recommend the Nuvi 1200 as a nice, budget sensitive receiver.  If you want to check out other models, there are plenty.

For the Old School, Tinkering Dad - An R/C Model

This is my dad, the non-TV-watching one.  Maybe yours is like this too - good with computers and technology, but still uses an old analog cellphone and prefers to work with his hands rather than in cyberspace.  For this dad, an R/C model is a perfect gift.

If he likes cars, boats, planes, jets, trains, or robots - there's a little something for everyone.  You can choose from RTF (ready to fly, which means it has a remote control included) ARF (meaning your dad has to supply some parts and a remote control) or a kit (which generally means no parts are included and the model must be built by hand.)  Some of my favorite places to shop are Hobby Lobby, XHeli, ThinkGeek, and  I'm still a bit of a noob when it comes to R/C, but I know enough to be dangerous - if you have questions about which model would be right for your dad, post a comment and I'll try to help!

For the Digital Media Dad - A Pogoplug

Is your dad constantly annoying you by emailing pictures of his dog?  Is he always the shutterbug at family gatherings with his digicam?  Has he friended you on Facebook?  Does he have a large collection of MP3's at his disposal?

Help your father organize, store, and share his digital trappings with the Pogoplug.  In a nutshell, this pink powerhouse (yep, it's pink, but your dad's manly enough to take it, right?) is simple to use, but complex behind the scenes.  The Pogoplug will help your dad not only back up his files, but also share them easily on the Internet via simple email links or even through Facebook.  Not to mention he'll be able to stream his music to any browser, even iPhone.

I've worked closely with the Pogoplug for a long time, and I can say with confidence that I love it and use it every day.  Your dad should love it too.  To learn more, click here.  

For the Dad in the Networking Stone Age - A Wireless Router

Ok, so your dad's not a techie.  Maybe he doesn't know a whole lot about gadgets.  He

probably still needs to use a computer, however.  I recently encountered someone who owned a laptop, but did not have any wireless Internet, and had never had it.  Ever.

As a dyed-in-the-wool computer nerd, this surprised me.  The truth is, however shocked I was to discover it, is that not everybody is as nerdy as me.  Fine, it wasn't shocking at all, but still - I feel compelled to urge anyone with a tech-less dad to hear me out.  He needs wireless Internet.  What dad wouldn't want to kick up his feet in the living room chair and check the scores of the game without having to use the desktop computer?

NETGEAR, Linksys, Belkin, and D-Link all make exceptional wireless routers for home use.  A few of my favorite places to look at networking stuff are NewEgg and TigerDirect.  If you are looking for a suggestion, I'm particularly fond of the NETGEAR WNDR3700 and the Apple Airport Extreme.

For the especially nerdy dad, you might want to look into an open source router, like the WNR3500L, which lets your dad tinker to his heart's delight.

Oh, and if you do get him a router, here's a basic guide on how to set it up for him.

For Any Dad - an iPad

It's no secret, at all, that I love Apple products.  It's for that reason that I think an iPad would be a perfect gift for virtually any dad, with the exception of Microsoft fanboys and Linux server administrators ;)

There won't be anyone at the office that isn't envious of your father's brand new shiny tablet that can surf the web at lightning speed, not to mention perform as the best e-Reader out there.  Does your dad have Netflix (which, by the way, is a great gift too)?  He can stream that to his iPad.  Does he love sports?  How about a Major League Baseball app?  There is simply no limit to the usefulness of this thing, and everyone I have showed it to has loved it, whether they love tech or consider it an annoyance.  If your dad doesn't like getting it as a gift, he's just weird.  To learn more about the iPad, you can read my review or check out

What kind of gadget would your dad want?

Don't see anything on this list that strikes your fancy as an appropriate gift for the paternal unit?  No worries.  Tell me what kind of dad you have and I'll suggest a gadget gift... just leave a comment below.

Father's Day is on the 21st, so don't delay!



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