Most people just buy dad a wallet for Father’s Day, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
In fact, our gadget guy Phil Baker can tell you about the most innovative and tech-y new wallet on the market.
But he’ll also share the inside scoop on nine other nifty gifts and gadgets for traveling dads this Father’s Day.
More wallets are sold for Father’s Day than any other day of the year. Wallet designs have rarely changed in decades even though we carry more credit cards than ever before. Big Skinny, a small Massachusetts company, has pioneered wallets that can hold 20 or 30 cards in a size no bigger than your average wallet. It offers a wide variety of styles and shapes, all very reasonably priced. I’ve been carrying the Thin World Bi-Fold Wallet for two years with 22 cards, and room for international currency. $27; www.bigskinny.net
Verizon 4G MiFi card
On wireless networks, 4G is being rolled out across the country to provide faster data speeds. To experience Verizon’s 4G LTE network, consider the new MiFi 4510L next generation intelligent mobile hotspot card made by Novatel. Be aware that 4G is not yet widely available, but the card works with 3G as well. $100 with a two-year plan. www.verizon.com
Pentax’s new camera, WG-1, is its latest waterproof pocket-sized camera that can be used 30 feet underwater to take movies and stills, and will endure a 5-foot drop, the freezing cold, being stepped on, and buried in the sand. The all-black case has a scratch-proof finish. Oh yes, the 14-megapixel camera has a 5x optical zoom the camera takes decent images, too. This is a camera you can share and never worry about it being mishandled or damaged. I know this from experience having let 6-year-old grandson use it to take some amazing images while swimming underwater. $279; www.Pentax.com
Swiss Army Overnight Case
Victorinox’s Rolling Parliament expandable overnight case is the company’s latest briefcase and overnight case in one. It has three sections. One has plenty of pockets and sleeves for small gadgets, pens, phones and cards. A second can hold up to a 17-inch computer, papers and large objects. A third section opens wide with a built-in mesh packing folder for clothes for an overnight trip.
It has two pull-out mesh sleeves for cords and adapters and a side pocket for a drink. The case expands 2.5 inches for additional capacity. Use the pull-out handle to zip through the airport, or retract the handle and the wheels pull within the bag so you can carry the bag on your shoulder. This is Victorinox’s latest and most versatile bag. $450; www.swissarmy.com
The HTC Evo Shift
This 4G Android smartphone from Sprint has everything at a modest price. For just $150, there’s an excellent slide-out physical keyboard that is slightly smaller than some phones. Its soft touch finish with silver accents makes it easy to hold and to look at. Combined with Sprint’s aggressive pricing, it’s a top choice for an Android smartphone. $150; www.Sprint.com
Fujitsu S1100 Scanner
I’m including this product, which I also reviewed late last year, because it’s become one of my favorites. The S1100 is Fujitsu’s smallest, most portable scanner, about the size of a compact umbrella. It plugs into a computer’s USB port and is powered from the computer; no power adapter is needed. It scans documents of all sizes and is great for sending paper forms and signed documents and for documenting your travel expenses while on the road. The more you use it the more uses for it you discover. $199; www.fujitsu.com
Music on the Go
The Jambox is a personal speaker system in a compact rectilinear package, 2.25 inches high, 6 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep, and weighs three-quarters of a pound. Made by the same company that makes the Jawbone Bluetooth headset, it has some similarities in how it connects to your phone or iPod. The Jambox pairs to your iPhone, iPad or iPod, or any Bluetooth phone or music player, and plays music with a rich, loud sound quality that belies its small size. $200; www.jawbone.com
More ideas for making this Father’s Day one he’ll remember: Father’s Day Travel: Historic Father’s Day Landmarks
Lightweight Notebook Computers
Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air is the world’s thinnest and lightest notebook. I bought mine the day it came out and it’s been a constant companion ever since. Except for not having an optical drive, at 2.2 pounds, it’s on par with computers twice its size and weight. It is available with a 256GB solid-state hard drive at $1,199. It’s been a dream to use with its instant on and off, excellent keyboard and sharp, brilliant display. www.apple.com
If your Dad or husband prefers a Windows laptop, take a look at Lenovo’s new X220 ThinkPad, one of its smallest full-function notebooks. It builds on the ThinkPad’s legacy of being one of the best PC notebooks you can buy. It has a surprisingly bright and wide-angle 12.5-inch display and a wonderful keyboard outfitted with both a trackpad and track point. Its 6-cell battery lasts more than seven hours. (About $1,300 from thinkpad.com)
Wrap your gift in a little humor thanks to the Onion Store where you can buy decoy gift boxes to hold dad’s present. Each box appears to be designed to hold an unusual product, such Dept. Of Homeland Security Cologne, a USB Powered Toaster, and an iFeast Pet-Feeding & MP3 Station. ($7.99 at store.theonion.com)
By Phil Baker for PeterGreenberg.com. Phil Baker has more than three decades of experience in consumer and computer technology product development and program management. Check out his blog at www.philipgbaker.com.
Related Links on PeterGreenberg.com:
- Father’s Day Travel: Historic Father’s Day Landmarks
- Previously: Last Year’s Father’s Day Gifts For Traveling Dads
- International Cell Phones, Data Plans, MiFi Data Cards And Google Voice
- Traveler’s Tablet Computers: Motorola’s Xoom Versus Apple iPad 2
- Mother’s Day Gifts: Gadgets For the Traveling Mom
- Gadgets For Business Travelers On The Go