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Dad-Approved Gadgets for Father’s Day

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Father’s Day is just around the corner, and what dad doesn’t love gadgets? After testing and approving them, contributing writer Phil Baker has rounded up his favorite gadgets for Father’s Day. Check out these practical gifts that any dad would be able to use all year long. 

Pocket Pro Cameras


There’s been lots of improvements over the past 2 years in pocket sized cameras, spurred on by the competition from smartphones. But this group of cameras beats a smartphone every time with its larger sensors, stronger flashes, and optical zooms. The best pocket-sized models you can buy are the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II and the new III, the fixed lens Ricoh GR, and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark, each $700-$800.

Gene Coffee Roaster


If you can’t afford to tour the world’s coffee growing regions, then you may want to imagine visiting them by tasting their beans. Start with the green coffee beans from Sweet Maria’s, which has over 70 choices that are constantly changing. Each comes with a detailed description of the geographic area and the farms where the beans are grown.

Then you need a coffee roaster. The Gene Coffee Roaster is one of my favorite products I’ve tested over the past year. My wife gave it to me last Father’s Day and I liked it so much I’ve been using it nearly every week. The Gene Cafe roasts a half-pound of coffee in about 15 minutes using a clever off-axis rotating design that lets you watch the beans turn from green to brown. I find that the coffee is usually far better than it is from my local roasters. Coffee beans cost about one-third to one-half of roasted beans. $585.

T-Mobile and the HTC One (M8) Phone


This is the perfect gift for the international traveler. For the first time ever, you can use your normal cell phone wherever you go in the world. Forget those huge roaming fees for calls and data the other companies charge, which sometimes total up to thousand of dollars. T-Mobile’s new plan lets you call for just 20 cents a minute in nearly any country and get data for free. Couple it with an HTC One (M8) and you’ve got the best possible combination.

Shoulder Bags

With some of us now using just a lightweight computer such as a MacBook Air, Microsoft Surface, or even just a tablet, there’s less need to travel with a huge briefcase once you arrive at your destination. Consider these cases, which are also small enough to carry inside your larger case.


Briggs & Riley KA001 Digital Cross Body is just the right size for carrying a 13-inch notebook tablet, adapters, pens, keys, and cards. I used it on a recent business trip to China and it was much easier carrying this each day than a fully loaded briefcase, particularly while climbing up six flights of stairs in a factory I visited that had no elevator.


Another choice is Muzetto Leather bag from WaterField Designs. Handmade in San Francisco, it’s another vertical bag available in a wide range of sizes and colors for $179-$259.

Logitech Case [+]


Logitech Case [+] is an entirely new approach to iPhone cases, and it’s so new your dad will not have even heard of it. Dubbed as the only case you will ever need, it’s really a multi-piece system. The basic case has a high quality matte black design with a brushed metal back panel. It’s attractive and provides good protection. It comes with a snap-on battery back that provides a full recharge of the phone without adding a lot of bulk. The advantage over other battery cases is it snaps off when you don’t need it and it can be recharged while off the phone.

logitech 2

The case comes with a modern compact mount for your car window or dashboard; the phone case’s metal back snaps on to it, held in place with a magnet. Lastly, there are two add-ons to the back of the phone when the battery pack is not being used. One is a compact wallet that holds a few cards and the other is a folding stand to prop your phone up for watching videos. The case is $199 and comes in a huge gift box.

For more travel gadgets anyone will love, check out:

By Phil Baker for