12 Technologies for the Holidays: 3 Great Tech Gifts
by Ken Dulaney
The annual Consumer Electronics Show is upon us (Jan 11 -14). Having attended in person for the past 10 years, it should be interesting to view a trade show as large as this in an online format. One of the highlights of the show is always its Innovation Awards. While many of these products are already on the market and can be considered for the 12 gifts of for the holidays, I chose my 3 for this list as follows:
Complete Chef Cooking Food Processor by Cuisinart
(available at cuisinart.com)
With many of us working from home, more meals need to be prepared during the day. Time is precious, so quick ways of preparing nutritious meals are a priority for those wanting to avoid the call to DoorDash or popping a frozen meal into the microwave. And for many counter spaces is valuable.
Cuisinart has developed its own take on the food processor by integrating two key innovations: a programmable engine that can follow meal preparation steps without intervention and an ability to cook the meal. It does chopping, kneading, and slicing prep and then can sauté, simmer, and steam among its many other capabilities. There are several recipes that come with the unit.
At $699.95 list the price might be a bit high but think how much money you could save by having it make your lunches. Its high-end food processor is $349.95 so you only have to make up $350.00 worth of savings over its lifetime (remember to count your time as part of the savings)!
(available at myamberlife.com)
Many of us have committed to a variety of cloud services where we store our digital life assets (photos, videos, etc.). OneDrive, and Google are examples of cloud storage where I must pay monthly fees and constantly monitor the messages I receive to buy more or deal with managing the storage I really need. I guess I am getting tired of so many organizations wanting to take $5 or so a month out of my savings!
So, I jumped on this product that consolidates all my cloud needs and doesn’t require a monthly fee. And I can buy expansion on my own and easily install it. It also has nice sharing features.
However, the product is not yet shipping so you will have to place an IOU card in someone’s Christmas stocking. But it should be well worth the wait.
(available at netgear.com or amazon.com)
Most homes today have multiple computers, streaming devices, and smart IoT devices with the prospects for more. And with TVs in many rooms being used simultaneously most homes can use an increase in overall throughput. WiFi 6 (802.11ax standard) is the latest standard that can provide up to 6Gbps performance deployed in a mesh network (the interconnection among the units will consume some of the overall performance in a mesh system). Note that WiFi 6 will only marginally help with Internet access since most homes today have less than 1 Gbps throughput from their service provider. Your overall internet capability is bound by the lowest common denominator, your service provider in this case. But household performance in excess of internet performance can reduce things like contention, improve efficiency, and can better serve those niche areas where walls and other interfering factors reduce available bandwidth.
NETGEAR’S’s Orbi is one of the first to support the standard. The attractive mesh units are intended for the tabletop throughout the house. No ugly antennas protruding from the units. The router plus satellite is on sale now for $649. You can also pay over time. This Orbi package can cover up to 5,000 sq. ft. Compare this with the popular Google WiFi mesh that does not yet support WiFi 6.
These three holiday technology gifts cover a variety of needs that your family members and other loved ones may have on their minds. Whether it is a home appliance, a digital storage solution, or an internet service upgrade, a new technology gift can be a great way to show someone you care about that you recognize their needs and have considered a thoughtful solution.