Better Than Neckties: 5 Awesome Gadget Gifts For Father’s Day


With only five shopping days left until Father’s Day, it’s time to make a decision on what to get for dear old Dad. A necktie? Fail. A new drill? There’s nothing wrong with the old one. No, if you want a happy dad this Sunday, there’s only one way to go: gadgets.

Dad loves ‘em, and there are plenty of cool new toys out there that won’t break the budget. Here’s my list of five can’t-miss picks for Father’s Day.

GOgroove BlueSync WUD

Bluetooth speakers are awesome, but most of them are boring-looking plastic bricks. The BlueSync WUD, on the other hand, is all cool and retro–just like Dad. Encased in wood and styled like a 50s radio, it sports a big volume knob and even a carrying strap across the top. Vintage, baby!

Inside, however, it’s all modern tech. In addition to Bluetooth technology, the WUD offers NFC, meaning it can pair wirelessly with compatible devices just by tapping one on the other. And if Dad is really old-school, still rocking an iPod or other MP3 player, the speaker supports wired connections via an included cable.

A rechargeable battery powers the speaker for hours of on-the-go play. And as an added bonus, the WUD has a built-in microphone, meaning it can be used as a speakerphone for making and taking calls. The price for this sweet speaker: $59.99.


Dad’s an on-the-go guy, meaning he’s not always near an AC outlet. The LithiumCard is a pocket-size mobile charger that supplies extra juice to an iPhone or Android phone–and looks really cool while doing it.

This thing is is literally the length and width of a credit card, just a little thicker at 5.5mm. Though made of plastic, it has brushed-metal plates on either side to provide added durability and a look that borders on sexy.

Now for the bad news: It’s not yet available for purchase, though you can preorder now for an expected delivery later this month. (In the interim, print Dad a picture you can slip inside his Father’s Day card.) It’s available in a variety of metallic color combinations, with a price tag of $49.99.

Martian Notifier
Most smartwatches have a high Dork Factor, and your dad is no dork. So help him dress for success with a watch that’s classy first and smart second. That’s the Martian Notifier in a nutshell: It looks like a traditional analog watch, but sports an OLED display that shows caller ID, text messages, Twitter updates, appointment info, and so on.

In other words, the Notifier lives up to its name by providing real-time notifications, chirping and/or vibrating so Dad doesn’t miss important alerts during board meetings. He can even customize the vibration patterns to distinguish between, say, texts from the boss and texts from the kids.

The watch is compatible with Android and iOS devices and has a list price of $129.99. It comes in several different colors.

Roku Streaming Stick
Like most dads, your dad probably loves TV–and therefore deserves a media streamer. Google’s Chromecast may be a bit cheaper, but in terms of bang for the buck, there’s no better option than the Roku Streaming Stick ($49.99).

Like the Chromecast, it plugs directly into an HDMI port–no cable required (except the one that provides power). That keeps it more or less out of sight, a feature Mom will appreciate. From there it serves up everything streaming service known to man, including Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Netflix, Pandora, and Vudu. (Bonus points: Get Dad an subscription so he can watch endless baseball.)

Unlike the Chromecast, the Roku comes with a remote. And nothing makes Dad happier than a remote.

ZBoard Classic

Help Dad rediscover his inner kid with the ultimate driving machine. The ZBoard is a weight-sensing electric skateboard with a top speed of 15 miles per hour and a range of up to five miles. At $649, it’s not cheap–but it’s ridiculously fun, and it’ll make Dad the envy of all the other “kids” in the neighborhood.

Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and, and also writes for PC World andWired.


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