6 Good Electronic and Technology Gift Ideas for Christmas 2017
If you're searching for that perfect technology gift that hits a home run with the gadget lover in your family, then hopefully I can help. I regularly stay up-to-date by reading reports or going to conventions where new inventions and technologies are showcased.
With that being said there's only a handful of all the items I see at these conventions that are really, in my opinion, worth showcasing. Here's my short list of 6 game gadgets that just about everyone should own in 2017.
1. The New Google Chromecast
When I think of devices that I use every day one that comes to mind is the Google Chromecast. This device allows you to stream video from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone on to your TV. In order to Function it connects to the same Wi-Fi network that your portable device is using.
Current Support for the Chromecast:
Right now it supports Hulu, Pandora, MLB.TV, Watch ESPN, Netflix, HBO Now, YouTube, SHO Anytime, and a plethora of other apps. It continues to be updated with more features and support for more applications. If there is a strike against it it's that it has no native Amazon Instant video, no remote control, and it doesn't support very many games.
New Chromecast vs Old Chromecast
One of the biggest changes with the new Chromecast is that it supports 5GHz connections. This is great news for those wishing for a short but powerful connection. That means less lag for everyone.
The look of the new Chromecast is different as well featuring a hockey puck-like design with an HDMI cable that basically fits anywhere. This makes it a lot more flexible for different types of TVs.
How it's powered:
If you have HDMI v1.4 or higher, then it simply plugs into that HDMI port. For those who don't have HDMI V1.4 the Chromecast is powered by a USB connection.
It's obvious that this device continues to be a great addition to many people's TVs with over 1.5 billion sold. That being said we're sure to see huge updates in the future and even with the support it has currently it's a great compliment to any TV. For $35 it's a perfect mid-range gift.
If you want a little more functionality with a bit of a higher price tag, then you could also consider the Roku Streaming stick which has more flexibility than the Chromecast and the Amazon Streaming Stick.
2. Fitbit Flex
Whether you're a fitness fanatic, trying to lose weight, or just want to manage your calories the Fitbit Flex will appeal to many.
This little device keeps track of steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes and displays LED lights throughout the day to show you how you're doing. One light lit means that you've reached about 20% of the goal you've set for the day on your customizable daily dashboard. At night it keeps track of how well you sleep.
The fit syncs to select Bluetooth 4.0 devices without doing any work. This includes support for Android and iOS devices.
This device still isn't perfect and may not be a perfect replacement for the Fitbit One. That being said what really turns me on to it is just how small it is. Its really a lot less invasive than a watch and still maintains a lot of really cool features that I enjoy. Overall it's a bit pricey, but will be well worth the cost for some.
3. New Tablets and Cell Phones for 2017
I think there will come a point in time when I feel that one year's cell phones and tablets don't feel significantly better than the previous years. I certainly haven't reached that point yet as some of this year's portable devices seem like a must-have upgrade for those who are on the go a lot.
This is especially true for *any devices which are able to incorporate Intel's new Haswell processors which provide a significant boost for both processing power and increase in battery life.
Video Review of the Nest Learning Thermostat
4. The Nest Learning Thermostat
In 2017 it's time to have a smarter thermostat to go along with all of our other devices. While you could program your thermostat to certain temperatures each day, there are just a few people who truly do so.
This is especially true when you consider how many people actually pause to adjust their thermostat each time they leave the house.
With this thermostat it keeps track of your habits, learns, and then eventually reacts to how you would during the day.
It syncs to your Wi-Fi so you can control it from your portable device. That way you easily adjust it form any room in your house.
Nest Saves You Money While You're Away:
In addition, it has a Auto-Away feature which saves you money by going to an energy-saving temperature while you're away.
Considering that up to half of your energy bill each month is controlled through your furnace or AC, it's quite an upgrade.
Overall this is a great product that my wife and I have had a lot of success with this year. It's cut our energy bills and honestly looks great in place of the old thermostat.
5. Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt
In addition to making your home smarter with the Nest thermostat you should also consider adding a great device like the Schlage touchscreen Deadbolt to your home. It makes it easier when trying to enter and can be connected to Nexia home intelligence for a monthly fee.
Unfortunately, Not Compatible with Z-wave:
While I personally like Schlage's new touchscreen deadbolt, some of you may prefer a Z-wave compatible touchscreen deadbolt. If that's the case, then I highly recommend the Yale YRD220-ZW-619. It's a but more pricey upfront, but you'll most likely be able to avoid any fees.
6. Epson Home Cinema 5040UBe 4k Projector
Home projectors have been around for a long time. That being said the picture quality you'd get for the money you'd spend, in my opinion, had been somewhat lacking until the last couple of years.
Some of the reason for this is that basic home projectors simply could not provide good dark-room images. In addition black colors had previously left much to be desired for the money I was looking to spend which was around $3,000.
Enter the Epson Home Cinema 5040UBe 4k Projector. With this projector you get most of the picture quality you get on higher-end models for a much more affordable price. In addition it produces a great dark room picture, something which ,as I mentioned, had been missing in the past.
This is a game changer for any theatre room. Not only do you get the addition of 4k, you get ultra black levels, a bright picture in a variety of lighting, and a virtually silent operation. On the other hand, you could also go with an older 1080p model and save a lot of money. That being said, it's hard for me to not want to go with the newer resolution when it's available.
Overall there's a lot of great new technology and electronics that would make a great Christmas gift in 2017. Have something to add to this page? Feel free to use the open discussion area below.
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