What's New in Technology for December 2016

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Cool Tech Gifts for the Holidays

Frequent Traveler’Tis the Season to be racking your brain thinking of gift ideas for family, friends and colleagues. Technology gifts can fit the bill for all ages and for all pocketbooks, but if you’re technologically challenged, things can get a little tricky. You can always ask for suggestions, but if you’d like a few ideas to get the ball rolling, here are some.

The Frequent Traveler

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, frequent flyers might appreciate the following:

  • Noise-canceling (NC) headphones. People on your gift list may already have them, but unless they are really top-of-the line (i.e. expensive), their NC headphones might not perform well. And, it must be noted that because NC headphones’ technology is designed to isolate and remove unwanted sounds whilst retaining the audio you do want to hear, inevitably there will be some loss in sound quality. Few will argue that Bose probably makes the best NC headphones – wireless and wired. However, not all models are designed to plug into consoles in the plane seat and therefore wouldn’t be a good choice for frequent flyers who like to plug into in-flight entertainment.
  • Bear in mind that noise isolating headphones are another option and a slightly less expensive option. Not as thorough as noise-canceling headphones, they can block some of the ambient noise. To be effective, you’ll need to find an in-ear version (the over-the-ear really doesn’t do much) that best fits the user’s ears.
  • A USB car charger with two ports is great for any driver. Many tech reviewers like the Scosche car charger, which can be ordered on Amazon. It provides 24 watts/4.8 amps of output and charges up to two devices quite quickly.

Home Office and Phones

Lots to choose from here, but consider these:

  • A portable charger that keeps phones and tablets charged up and ready to go when you can’t get to a regular socket. A popular choice at under $30 is the myCharge RazorPlus portable charger, and it works with any cell phone. It’s available at the big box stores – Best Buy and Walmart – as well as on Amazon.
  • Not a startlingly original suggestion, but the iPhone 7 (and iPhone 7 Plus) are Apple’s biggest and brashest phone offerings (around $650 and $770, respectively). For dedicated photographers, the Plus version offers a two-lens camera with optical zoom. Both versions are water resistant and have improved storage options. Apple got rid of the headphone jack in both versions, opting for Bluetooth technology.
  • Anyone who needs to keep several gadgets charged simultaneously in their home or office probably would love the 5-port USB charger from Anker 40W/8A. It’s small, fast and powerful.

There’s no shortage of great and innovative products out there to help our home and work life, as well as our travel, entertainment and health needs. Happy shopping!


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