Quirky but Useful Gifts: Rob Enderle’s 2018 Personal Tech Product Guide | Tech Buzz

Quirky but Useful Gifts: Rob Enderle’s 2018 Personal Tech Product Guide | Tech Buzz

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That is the time of yr for a product information, and this yr I assumed I would checklist my favourite uncommon merchandise as reward concepts. I am an enormous fan of merchandise most individuals do not have that clear up a particular work drawback, in addition to those who may make your (or my) life simpler, extra comfy or extra enjoyable.

I like to offer presents that folks truly would use. In some instances, because of the price, these could also be belongings you’d purchase just for your self, a partner, or a relative you actually need to impress.

So right here is my information to 2018’s private merchandise which have a little bit of wow related to them.

2-in-1 Laptops

One of many guarantees of a 2-in-1 laptop computer is that it may be used as a laptop computer and a pill. Just about each 2-in-1 laptop computer I’ve ever gotten to evaluation is extra laptop computer than pill. The Floor laptop computer was constructed to repeat the iPad Professional, however the iPad Professional usually is used as a laptop computer, not a pill.

Coated in leather-based, the
HP Spectre Folio is the primary giant display screen 2-in-1 that actually is smart as a pill for individuals who like to jot down or draw. The leather-based and padding make it really feel pure when held in your hand, and the mix of close to Eight-hour battery life, gentle weight, and 4G wi-fi immediately made this one in all my favourite laptops to hold.


HP Spectre Folio

HP Spectre Folio


Usually I put my laptop computer into my backpack and lug that factor round as a result of I hate carrying a unadorned laptop computer that’s all sharp edges, and I fear about dropping it.

With the Folio, I toss the small USB-C energy provide (which has a pleasant retro material lined wire) into my pocket after which head over to the assembly (I truly do not have to make use of the ability provide however I am of the assumption that it’s higher to be totally charged and never want it than it’s to find once you get to the assembly that you simply forgot to cost the factor in a single day.)

For somebody who likes to attract, take written notes, or annotate with a pen, that is ultimate. It truly is the primary laptop computer I would even think about using at size as a pill. It is not an affordable date at round US$1,299 (Amazon) however it’s actually, actually value it.

Lenovo’s
Yoga Ebook C930 is arguably one of the modern 2-in-1 laptops I’ve ever used. As a substitute of a keyboard it has twin screens, which is fairly superb if you wish to use each shows.


Yoga Book C930

Yoga Ebook C930


This can be a 10-inch product, placing it within the measurement class of the big Amazon Hearth pill or authentic iPad.

Ten inches is mostly too small a display screen for many to make use of, however with two screens and a small Bluetooth keyboard you all of the sudden have extra display screen actual property than on a 15-inch laptop computer, however carry weight and portability consistent with an iPad.

Twin-screen merchandise aren’t new, however they principally sucked up to now. Nevertheless, over time, screens have develop into extra energy environment friendly, haptics (for the screen-based keyboard) have improved, and we have all gotten used to iPhone-like smartphones which have display screen keyboards with keys that do not transfer.

The Yoga Ebook additionally has the superb Lenovo watch hinge, which is a chunk of artwork in and of itself.

I take advantage of this as very like a transportable desktop laptop as I do a laptop computer, and I feel this factor can be ultimate for somebody going to highschool who wants the flexibleness of two screens however needs the carry weight of a pill, to keep away from having to hold a ton of weight. Only a tad over $1,000 (Lenovo website), however of essentially the most modern designs I’ve ever used.

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Dan Lyons’ new guide Lab Rats factors to an enormous drawback with the brand new open plan workplace configuration, which has led to huge productiveness issues, will increase in stress and melancholy, and a want both to retire or die early (I am not kidding — learn the guide).

One of many methods to mitigate these issues is to get rid of the noise, however most noise-canceling headphones are designed to get rid of aircraft noise and are not tuned or configured to work ideally in an workplace atmosphere.

Microsoft’s
Floor Headphones are the primary headphones designed particularly for workplace use. Whereas there are higher selections for aircraft journey, I’ve by no means tried a set of headphones that labored as magically as these do within the workplace.


Surface Headphones

Floor Headphones


After I first tried them in a loud workplace atmosphere, I child you not, it was nearly a non secular expertise. These could possibly be career-saving for individuals who work in a type of open plan errors. (In line with Dan, one of many prime groups at Apple so hated the open configuration in Apple’s new headquarters, they mentioned they’d resign on the spot in the event that they needed to work in it.)

These headphones have options like selective noise cancellation, which permits you both to massively scale back the noise round you or to amplify it (as an illustration, in the event you wanted to take heed to a particular alert or query). I liked this stuff a lot I purchased a set for every of my siblings. They’re round $350 every on Amazon.

Keyboard Smartphone

Take into account the
BlackBerry Key2. Sure, I do know what you might be considering, I’ve misplaced my thoughts (my spouse, an avid iPhone consumer probably would agree).


BlackBerry Key2

BlackBerry Key2


Here is the deal: Display screen telephones with out keyboards require a ton of consideration. There are not any movies of individuals utilizing a BlackBerry and strolling into site visitors, and within the years earlier than the iPhone we did not have the huge variety of phone-distracted accidents we now have. That’s as a result of you may be taught to blind kind with a keyboard cellphone. Again within the day, the Japanese execs I as soon as labored with used to have the ability to take in depth notes beneath a convention desk with out trying.

This cellphone can also be one of the safe, and id theft prices round $300Ok and takes as much as 9 months to repair if it occurs to you.

This cellphone may save the life of somebody who simply cannot keep away from selecting up a cellphone whereas driving.

The BlackBerry Key2 runs Android, so all of your apps work, however the working system is wrapped with BlackBerry safety, making it the most secure Android cellphone at the moment in market.

I would be sure that my child used this cellphone, if I had a child. It’s round $614 (Amazon) unlocked.

Sport Smartwatch

Good luck getting a
Fossil Sport Smartwatch, as a result of they had been bought out at each place I checked.


Fossil Sport Smartwatch

The Sport Smartwatch


What makes this smartwatch completely different is that it has an always-on face, which suggests it truly works very well as a watch — it truly appears like a watch.

It has the complete characteristic set of a smartwatch, and you should utilize GPS with out killing the watch in minutes (although GPS nonetheless makes use of a ton of energy, so that you usually are higher utilizing your cellphone when you have a selection).

At round $250 (when it’s in inventory at Fossil) it will not break your pockets. Oh, and it takes off-the-shelf 20mm bands. I by chance left it house — I am at the moment touring — and I am having critical separation nervousness points because of this.

That is the primary watch that makes use of Qualcomm’s newest know-how for this class of machine, and it actually showcases an enormous quantity of practical development over prior generations.

Curved Monitor

Granted, even at Dell’s diminished value of $1,350 (market value $1,700), the
Dell UltraSharp 49 Curved Monitor is much from an affordable date, however that is principally 2 27-inch QHD displays in a single show.


Dell UltraSharp 49 Curved Monitor

Dell UltraSharp 49 Curved Monitor


It’s extremely spectacular to have a look at in an workplace, and I nearly actually undergo withdrawals after I depart it to go on a visit.

This factor is big for productiveness, as a result of you may have a ton of stuff on the display screen to reference once you write. I feel it could be sensible for a driving or flying simulator in the event you did not need to use VR goggles, although I have never tried doing that but.

The factor a couple of monitor as a present is that the recipient appears at it for an excellent chunk of the day and has to consider you no less than a number of the time after they do it. Speak about an in-your-face-gift — this probably is about as in your face as you may ever get.

Pocket Printer

For these of us who grew up with Polaroid, it probably is fascinating that youngsters apparently just like the HP Sprocket printer, which they will carry round to print out photos for his or her buddies.

I just like the
Sprocket Plus myself ($149.95 at Finest Purchase).


HP Sprocket Plus Printer

HP Sprocket Plus Printer


Simply pocketable, it is nice for adults (I am considering grandparents) and children who need to share bodily photos taken from their cellphone. (It really works immediately from the cellphone, and it’s battery pushed.)

Tech Clothes

I lately got here again from a visit utilizing the brand new
Baubax jacket, and it’s superb. Constructed into the hood is an inflatable pillow.

It has a panic whistle on a lanyard within the pocket. It has routing so you may put a set of wired headphones into the jacket so they’re each safe and all the time prepared. It has pockets for every part you may consider (I think about in the event you had been to fill all of them up TSA can be involved).


Baubax 2.0 Travel Jacket

Baubax 2.zero


It has fingerless gloves constructed into the sleeves in the event you get caught out within the chilly, and connected to the entrance zipper is a particular pen to make use of in your cellphone once you’re carrying gloves. It has a collapsible water bottle, a second bigger inflatable pillow, a thermal blanket, and certain a ton of different stuff I’ve but to find.

It’s principally slightly condominium pretending it’s a jacket. I am satisfied that if Batman wore a jacket, this might be the one he would put on (it has 25 separate options). The Baubax is out there by way of Kickstarter for round $159.

Go-To Pill

At $149 for a reasonably respectable pill,
Amazon’s Hearth HD 10 is simply an unimaginable deal. That is my go-to pill, and through Cyber Monday you can purchase three of this stuff for $300.
Regardless that I do not want one other I used to be actually tempted to purchase three extra of them simply because the deal was so good.


Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet

Hearth HD 10 Pill


I usually assume tablets are finest for leisure, and this has sufficient battery life to make it by way of greater than Eight hours of flying. It helps Amazon Prim motion pictures, the Amazon Kindle reader and Netflix.

Not all Android apps will run on it, however actually, I’ve solely run into hassle just a few instances. The video games aren’t dangerous, however I principally watch motion pictures or TV, browse the Internet or store on this factor.

It is a actually nice worth for the cash, notably in case you are speaking three for $300. In context, an analogous sized iPad begins at $329, and whereas it’s a bit higher, it’s removed from 3x higher. Additionally, I do not assume the Amazon integration, notably with the reader, is nearly as good.

VR Headset

The factor with VR headsets is picture high quality. One of the best one available on the market is the HTC Professional, however it’s depraved costly, and I simply do not assume the content material but justifies the value.

The bottom-priced headset that has enough high quality is the
Samsung HMD Odyssey+ at $499 (Amazon). I’ve but to search out something cheaper that did not give me movement illness.


Samsung HMD Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality Headset

HMD Odyssey+ – Home windows Combined Actuality Headset


That is a type of wow merchandise that folks will need to strive however it does require an honest PC to hook up with to be able to insure enough efficiency.

It is among the better-looking headsets as effectively, with clear strains and a comparatively sturdy construct, making it much less probably that it is going to be broken completely by your youngsters.

Loss of life-Defying Drone

In drones there actually is just one I like to recommend in the intervening time, and that’s the
DJI Mavik Professional 4K Quadcopter for a stability between efficiency, value, portability, and ease of use. Amazon has it in a bundle for round $999.


DJI Mavic Pro Drone

Mavic Professional


I’ve used DJI drones for a while and so they simply are typically simpler to fly. They take nice photos and are comparatively sturdy, although I’ve but to have one suicide on me.

With a drone, like a digicam, it does you no good if you wish to take an aerial image and you do not have it with you, so the bigger drones, until you’re a skilled, probably won’t ever be the place you might be.

I discover that low-cost drones for essentially the most half will not be well worth the cash, and I’ve a six-rotor drone that’s so large I’ve solely taken it out as soon as. It instantly tried to commit suicide right into a tree, as a result of my one acre lot apparently wasn’t giant sufficient for it to really feel comfy taking off and touchdown on. (Nevertheless, it did scare the crap out of my canine.)

The Mavic professional is transportable. It would deal with wind, so it is not too small. It has respectable sensors, and it showcases why DJI leads this market.

Wrapping Up

What’s fairly scary is that I even have all these things myself, which is why my spouse would not let anybody look into my workplace in the intervening time. It type of appears like a small Finest Purchase was hit by a twister.

I did not point out TVs, as a result of the
new QLED TV from Samsung that disappears towards the wall can be my selection, however I can not seem to discover one to see if it truly works effectively sufficient to advocate — so a TV advice should wait until subsequent yr.

Good looking this vacation season, and here is hoping all of us survive into the subsequent yr!

The opinions expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t essentially replicate the views of ECT Information Community.


Rob Enderle has been an ECT Information Community columnist since 2003. His areas of curiosity embrace AI, autonomous driving, drones, private know-how, rising know-how, regulation, litigation, M&E, and know-how in politics. He has an MBA in human assets, advertising and laptop science. He’s additionally a licensed administration accountant. Enderle at the moment is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the know-how business. He previously served as a senior analysis fellow at Giga Info Group and Forrester.
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