WITH LESS THAN a week to go until Father's Day, here's some weird and wonderful ideas for presents for papas. OK. We'll admit. This is basically a list of stuff we've been wanting to tell you about for a while and haven't got round to - but they're all great gift ideas, for realsies.
Cross Pen with Trackr or Trackr Pouch
Cross make nice pens. Which we all know. But the problem is, nice pens have a habit of getting lost. So why not get Dad a pen that he can't lose? Choose between the Cross Calais, which comes in a pouch with an embedded Trackr, or the Peerless, that actually has a Trackr within the pen itself. The price difference between the two is a bit galling, we'd much rather have the trackable pen, but they're both lovely items, available in Black or Blue (Peerless) or Black or Satin Chrome (Calais). The Calais can be engraved too.
Kitsound's onslaught of reasonably-priced, scrumptious-looking Bluetooth headphones is augmented by the Harlem - very lightweight, entry level headphones with lots of buttons and nice sound quality. There's a bit of bleed, but for thirty smackers, that's not a big deal. We prefer the Immerse with noise cancelling for very little extra money, but these are still nice headphones.
KooGeek FG1 Six Pack Bluetooth Pad
You've probably seen products like this on TV, usually with oil-clad blokes with perfect bods. But if your dad is a bit more belly than bloke-off-telly, get him this, part of a range of Bluetooth-enabled smart fitness devices. It takes a bit of getting used to and you look like you're having convulsions wearing it, but we're sure our beer bellies will be gone by Father's Day. Honest.
Chuwi Hi13 convertible tablet
We've talked a lot about Chuwi tablets, so we thought it was worth mentioning the latest edition. It's a whopper at 13.5in, and that makes it quite heavy, but it also boasts a lot of lovely features. It supports Windows 10 Inkspace, and with the new Chuwi Pen it offers a really nice drawing experience. The screen is excellent and the specs are once again superb from a value point of view. It's not a Surface Pro, but it's a fraction of the price. Another winner from Chuwi, though not one we want to take around with us. For that, there's the Lapbook 14.
The Chuwi Hi13 is available for $339.93 including shipping from Europe. If you wait a bit longer and order it from China it's even less.
MGCool Explorer 1S
You may be wondering why we're reviewing a bunch of Chinese products. Well, because you can get bang for your buck and look like a hero, if you know what to look for. And as if by magic, how about this GoPro-style action camera which scores all the points by being the first we've seen at this price range to record 4K video at a full 30fps, so you can actually jump off things and look ruddy awesome doing it afterwards.
Otherwise, it's a bog standard action camera, but the software interface is attractive and it comes bundled with loads of extras including a waterproof case and loads of stands and clips. Plus it's in a rather lovely giftbox that Dad will love.
Logitech G433 Headset
If you're Dad isn't a gamer, don't worry, these headphones, brand new off the block are ridiculously comfortable and stylish for music too, more so than most gaming headsets. But if you want the whole experience, there's a 7.1 surround sound card to make your games come alive. With breathable fabric that you can just chuck in the washing machine, a choice of cable for gaming or every day, and a removable microphone, It could be the only set of headphones you need. They're like slippers for your head.
We instantly fell for these tough-yet-sexy cases and bags for your kit. With padding for squishiness tempered by reinforcement in all the right places, our universal model was able to cope with an 11in tablet with a sturdy stand. Also available there's a bunch of briefcases, messengers bags, totes and duffels all with the same styling. In a world full of companies making their case for their cases, these are something a bit extra, which is why they've made it in here.
Oxyled Desk Lamp T35
Although we've previously had some mixed results with Oxyled stuff, when they get it right, they really get it right. This USB powered desk lamp can also work off batteries when needed, it's bright enough to burn the midnight oil and yet being LED it uses no power. Plus the arm folds out of the way when you're not using it, a feature you didn't know you needed till you did.
Doctor Meter MS10 Sound Level Meter
If dad tells you to turn that noise down, then we have the very thing to show him he's talking rubbish. It's super sensitive, and although it's probably not something you'd buy for yourself, there's something deeply satisfying about pointing it at the telly and finding out that yes, Poldark does mumble. It's accurate to within 1.5dB by the way. And yes, we'd prefer a Geiger counter too, but they cost a bit more.
We're going old school for this next entry - analogue coffee brewing with a modern twist, in a world of pods and quick brew. Coffee Gator gives you all you need to make amazing coffee with specially engineered kettles and flasks, with a gorgeous dial thermometer atop the kettle marked with the idea temperature range for brewing (if you're boiling it to 100 degrees, you're doing it all wrong. We can't lie. Coffee made this way just tastes better. It's not about the gadgets, it's about the engineering.
iClever Bluetooth headphones (BTH-02) and Bluetooth speaker (BTS-02)
No gift guide would be complete without a mention for our friends at iClever. A couple of pointers from the current range - the BTH-02 headphones sit incredibly comfortably in the ear and give remarkable sound volume, while the tiny but incredibly high definition BTS-02 is definitely coming camping with us as it fits a wall of sound into a palm-sized pack. The Union City company seems to be able to do no wrong.
Another Amazon seller - prices are between £10 and £15 for the items we've mentioned. Look at previous gift guides and you'll soon see that we're yet to find a duff product from them.
Restiffic Sleep Aid
If you've got a Dad that constantly twitches in bed, they may have restless leg syndrome. Well, fear not, friend, because Restiffic is a pair of cuffs you wear on your feet that somehow (and we don't get the science here) makes your feet calm right down. They take a bit of getting used to, but the technology here is clearly well thought out because it just works.
Hype for HyperThreading
Hey kids, leave them iPhones alone
The Mac lady sings
Babel in yo ear