Category Archives: Gadgets

Tech Gift Ideas for Dads & Grads

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cobra. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m not the best driver in the world, but I’m also not the worst. I’m okay with calling myself an average driver with average needs.

I stick to the posted speed limit, I yield to pedestrians, and I stay within the lines (not just in driving, but in coloring books as well).

There are certain features I wish my car carried with it – not the least of which is a warning light that would illuminate whenever I was about to obey the law and incite a fellow driver’s road rage. They’re probably working on that in a lab indirectly somewhere right now (along with edible turn signals since drivers don’t seem to use them for anything else).

Heading out with the family? Heading back to school? Dads (and grads) could use better tools to further enhance our driving experiences, but we’re not necessarily the kind who will pull over and ask for directions. Sometimes, you have to gift us with technology before we will accept it into our lives.

I was sent an Escort Max 360 radar detector, and my immediate thought was: “I’ve never felt like I needed one before, so how will this tool actually help me as a driving dad?” Then I saw the “Posted Speed Limit Data” feature and got very excited. Yes, this device knows the posted speed limit in your location and will warn you (unlike your car) when you’re going over.

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I’ve wanted something like that for the longest time, and I can’t tell you (as someone who respects the law) how genuinely excited I was to see this. Yes, it’s a system with dual front & rear detection, arrow indicators to point out the source of a radar, GPS-powered for rejecting false alerts, and lightning-fast data detection – but all of that intelligence means nothing if you’re playing fast and loose with the rules.

Yes, I’m a stickler – but that’s what keeps me (and others) safe on the road.

I also like planning ahead, so my trunk has a tiny kit with all sorts of emergency accessories in it. As soon as I saw the Cobra JumPack – Tiny but Mighty, I knew it would be a permanent part of my prevention pack. With it, you can not just rapid-charge your favorite mobile devices, but actually jump start your car multiple times (on a single JumPack charge). And it has a little LED flashlight built-in!

Okay, the smallest things often get me the most excited. Does your portable battery pack have an LED flashlight built-in? Didn’t think so. Oh, and it also comes with jumper cables – without any worry about needing another vehicle to help you start moving again.

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You don’t need to wait for a specific occasion to gift a dad or grad the right tech tools – they may not know that these experiences exist, so why wait another day to enable them to become a better-prepared driver?

I wouldn’t recommend waiting too much longer – because they probably needed these tech tools last week at some point.

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7 Things I Like about Huawei’s Nexus 6P Android Smartphone

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Huawei. All opinions are 100% mine.

Before I dive deeper into my experiences with Huawei’s Nexus 6P device, you might wanna read what I’ve already written about the company. As much praise as Google’s biggest flagship smartphone is getting with techies, the company that created it deserves a bulk of the credit.

There are certainly an array of Android-driven experiences in the marketplace to accommodate a variety of users (which is the power of the platform), but this was my first experience with Huawei. I had been eyeballing it for quite some time, if only because I had been using an older product as my go-to Android gadget and had been wanting something with updated internals and a far more responsive screen.

The Nexus 6P did not disappoint.

  1. It shipped with the latest version of Android (currently 6.0, also known as Marshmallow). This is a welcome surprise. It will always be at the head of the pack for updates, too – given its status as a Nexus device. It’s as pure of an Android experience as you can get today.
  2. It looks good all around with clean edges constructed of metal and glass. Moreover, the front is all it needs to be with a screen and speakers – no design distractions (all logos are on the back of the device).
  3. The ability to record 4K video is currently a cutting-edge feature, fully available with the camera (and 1080p video in the front camera is also wonderful to have).
  4. The power button and volume rocker switch have different textures. This is a fine detail that really makes the device more usable (since you know which button you’re pressing without needing to look).
  5. The screen is bright and responsive. I felt that the animations and transitions were always smooth – always hitting around 60 frames per second without serious snags.
  6. The fingerprint sensor is blazing fast. I never had to rejigger my hold on the phone to get it to recognize my registered fingerprints, either.
  7. The software is running in parity with the hardware. I didn’t feel like I was dealing with an Android’ish experience – I felt like I was using a device that was designed with a singular vision.

These days, there are a smattering of smartphones from which to choose – but sacrificing quality for budget isn’t an absolute anymore. You can have premium products without necessarily paying a premium price, and that’s pretty much what Huawei has produced in the Nexus 6P. If you want to get one, you can go directly to Huawei and experience a level of customer service satisfaction that helps further set the company apart.

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How Cardboard Can Bring You $10,000 in Tech

This sponsored post was brought to you by LG.


The UltraWide Festival 2015 – “Dream Setup” is an online competition wherein participants introduce their computer setup ideas on YouTube (and throughout social).

Unless you dare not dream of a dream setup?

The finalists are getting a chance to build their dream PC Setup with a prize of US$10,000. That’s a lot of dough (and more valuable than real dough, unless you had US$10,000 worth of actual dough). 

The contest started in September, so (as you can imagine) this festival has attracted a good deal of interest from tech enthusiasts and those who love playing video games.

Though this specific competition is now closed, there are still a lot of interesting events in store for those who found out about the event too little too late. One such event is the “Cardboard Dream Setup.”

Instead of showing off your tech, feel free to demo your creativity by building your dream setup in cardboard. Ya know, that stuff which usually gets discarded and recycled? Three lucky ducks will be chosen and they will be given LG’s latest Ultralight laptop “gram” (along with a 34UC87C LG UltraWide Monitor).

Cardboard Dream Setup

And if you’re not a duck, you’re in luck – since ducks can’t qualify. Again, I was just being liberal with the lingo. No real dough, no real ducks – just you and an immense pile of value. 

LG will select the 20 semi-finalists based on the engagement around your original post (so, don’t try to take someone else’s idea). I sure hope you have a 

Even if you don’t consider yourself a geek, that’s okay – you can still qualify. Just don’t let the nerds know that it doesn’t take any amount of tech proficiency to appreciate what tech can do for anybody. Even if you’ve already applied to the Dream Setup competition, you can still take a shot. 

Great Grills Have Grates and Top Tech Tastes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Char-Broil. All opinions are 100% mine.

They don’t tell you, but… when you officially become a father, your DNA reconfigures itself to transmogrify you into someone who enjoys flipping meat. You actually look forward to performing what would seem to be a mundane task. Regularly. Like, you’ll jump at the opportunity to do it.


“Honey, could you hand me that can on the counter?”

“Sure. Hey, while we’re on the subject… how about I go ahead and fire up the grill for breakfast steaks?”

“That’s great, but… it’s three in the morning.”

“Oh, I know. I’m just saying… we’re better off beating the four o’clock rush, ya know?”

“What are you talking about?”

Char Broil Commercial Series 3 burner

I’m talking about a father’s day gift that keeps giving. Granted, this things doesn’t actually produce the food you’ll prepare on it – but it’s a grill that has a patented TRU-Infrared cooking system which cooks food evenly across the entire cooking surface and without flare-ups.

And, in case you’re with someone who doesn’t appreciate when any kind of excess gas is passed, you should also know that it uses 30% less fuel than a traditional gas grill. 

It. Them. Char-Broil Commercial Series Grills!

Now, before you suggest that my approach to this topic is terribly dry, might I also note that the infrared system in one of these grills produces juicier food compared to a traditional gas grill.

Because nobody asks for a dry steak. Nobody. 

Well, there’s that one guy who wants a dry steak, but he also wants to be a fire truck when he grows up (so, you should take his opinion with a grain of salt – and some Maytag blue cheese crumbles to complement). 

World s Biggest Burger

Did you know that infrared grills are used in high-end steak houses? They are, and if you’ve been looking for restaurant-quality meat meals without having to put up with waiters who don’t refill your breadstick bowl frequently enough… well, then… now you know this life is within your grasp. 

Char-Broil recognizes that your significant other loves to crank the thermostat in the opposite direction from your temperature preference. While it cannot help you win this never-ending battle over domicile climate control, the grill can sear as well as it can cook low-and-slow. Everybody will be happy. So long as nobody touches the thermostat again. 

Bacon Meat Roll

My propane salesman is awesome (his name’s Hank – tell him I sent you). The problem is: sometimes, I don’t know if I’m about to run out of propane before I start the grilling process. And guys just can’t stop grilling mid-stream. This grill has a gauge on the tank that measures fuel level – because it’s smart, and guys love gauges. 

At this point, I should also point out that it’s perfectly normal for non-guys to love grilling, too. You could be full-on female and still love to twirl tongs over a tool engineered for performance. 

And I’m also not suggesting that meat is the only thing you could throw at it, either. I’ve yet to meat a vegetable that doesn’t taste great when it’s been grilled – except for peas, which are insanely difficult to balance on the grates. I don’t like peas, though (so I don’t run into that problem frequently). 

This is a rugged grill. You could haul it up to the campground if you wanted to do so (though I wouldn’t recommend doing that, really). You will look more rugged standing next to it in any case. In any backyard. On any deck. Over the river. Through the woods.

Learn more about Char-Broil’s infrared technology!

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Phoniture: Furniture for Your Phone!

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I love puns. That’s why I was delighted to happen upon this hilarious little device that’s actually furniture for your phone: Phoniture!

But Phoniture is not just a quaint idea designed entirely for show. This eensy chair and ottoman set actually doubles as a cradle for charging and displaying your phone and playing audio from its itty bitty speakers. That’s right! It’s a Phoniture Wireless Bluetooth Speaker and Charging Station!

And investing in tiny — but functional — furniture means you’re not going to be pulling a Dick Van Dyke any time soon.

Phoniture: Furniture for Your Phone!
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