Did you just win the lottery? Or maybe you’ve been saving up for that one special bit of new technology to make life feel all the more futuristic … and just plain awesome.
Also? When it comes to celebrating milestones — like I don’t know, maybe graduating from college during a pandemic or fathering a human — sometimes you just have to go all out. This year is all about the upgrade and only the best will do!
Gift dads, grads, and all the people you really, really love one of these incredible, splurge-worthy gadgets they will love for years to come. Yes, some of these picks ($74,000 robotic dog…) are a little over the top, but we can also dream, right?!
Samsung Neo QLED TV
This is Samsung’s just-released Neo QLED TV — simply one of the best, most cinematic sets on the planet. Their newest tech drives the design — Quantum Matrix Technology with Mini LED — brings brilliant colors in astonishing detail — from the brightest brights to the darkest darks. They leveled up with sound, gaming, and lifestyle features too — including a feature called Q-Symphony — that keeps your screen and soundbar perfectly in sync — so you feel the sound beyond your TV.
Available in 8K and 4K models — and in sizes ranging from 50’’ to 85’’ — and the 4K models will reflect an even wider selection, starting at 50’’. Starts around $1,399.99
This SOUNDBOKS Gen. 3 is the world’s loudest and only portable Bluetooth speaker with concert-level sound up to 126 dB — the same as a front-row spot at Coachella — so Dads and Grads can make their own music festival anywhere in the world. The speaker’s super durable and fully portable — lasts up to 40 hours on a single charge, and connects via app to your smartphone for the perfect playlist indoors and out. Take it anywhere and experience music like never before. Price: $999
I remember this desktop 3D laser printer from CES a few years ago and wow — just wow. I kind of can’t believe it’s actually in my house. It cuts and etch’s with all kinds of different materials including wood, leather, glass, metal, and even food — all with the touch of a button. It uses a beam of light the width of a human hair to cut, engrave and shape and is really easy to set up and get creating. You can use your own custom designs or pick one from their ready-to-print design catalog. You can even make furniture with this one device — so talk about leveling up Dad’s workshop — or starting that grad out with an Etsy-worthy side-hustle. Starts at $2995.
If you thought desktops were dead, Apple’s proven they’re alive and in demand. Apple’s revamped all-in-one desktop feels tailor-made for a work-from-home world, with a gorgeous 24-inch display, zippy performance, an excellent webcam, and a beautiful design that you can comfortably set up just about anywhere.
The new iMac completely refreshes Apple’s long-running desktop computer, with a slimmer-than-ever build, fun color options, and the same blazing Apple M1 processor that truly wowed us on last year’s MacBooks. Starts at $1,299.
For those adventurous guys and gals, the Fliteboard Series 2 electric surfboard is one of the best electric surfboards for your toybox. You control it with a hand-held Bluetooth remote, and it hovers about two feet above the water, using its emission-free electric motor. The new Series 2 range has four different models of varying lengths and weights. Most can last up to two hours on a single charge and go about 34-miles per hour. Starts at around $12,495.
My professional photog husband is a Leica guy, and everywhere we go, people stop him on the street to ask him about his camera. It’s buzzworthy, beautiful, and gets a ton of buzz – for good reason! The Q2 is the latest addition to the Q range of digital cameras and makes for an excellent splurge-worthy gift with its high-tech capabilities and compact size. The 47.3-megapixel sensor delivers 95% more resolution and is capable of capturing 4k video while offering ISO sensitivity settings of up to 50,000. The camera is also dust and water spray-resistant for all weather conditions. Starts at around $5495.
Here’s another marvel that I first saw at CES, and can’t help but lust after this beautiful new telescope from Italian company Vaonis. The Vespera takes the work out of stargazing. The scope takes the images hitting its sensors and sends a live view to your smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi. This means you can set up the telescope outside (it has a four-hour battery life), jump under the covers and tour the Universe. Right now you’ll have to wait til 2022 to get your hands on a ‘scope, but its bigger sibling, the Stellina, is on sale now. Preorder $1,499
Retaining the impressive technology of the brand’s R58 – “Cinquantotto” means “58” in Italian – Rocket Espresso’s new R Cinquantotto now features a touch display as well as auto on/off to enable it to wake up and sleep at pre-set times. Independently operated boilers mean you get the optimum extraction of any coffee or roast style, while a commercial-grade rotary pump draws water from an internal reservoir should you not wish to connect the machine to a water supply. Price: $3,200
Boston Dynamics’ creepy-yet-cute Spot robot is finally available to buy. Fully programmable, it has a running time of 90 minutes per charge from its swappable battery and, thanks to its 360-degree cameras, sensors, and the stability of its four legs, can handle a multitude of terrain, including stairs. Spot even has an attachable front arm to open and close doors. Its top speed of 4.8km/h will not see it chase off many intruders, but it can carry loads of up to 13.6kg. What’s more, an IP54 certification means it’s protected against dust and rain, so outdoor duty is on the cards, too. Price: $74,500
Since so many of these are splurge-worthy gifts, I want to mention something I’ve talked about quite a bit before. If you’re able to budget a specific amount and pay over time — take a look at Affirm. It’s a more transparent credit-card alternative that lets you buy a gift now then pay over time. They never charge any late or hidden fees, and it shows you the total cost of your purchase upfront — no surprises. You can use it to buy the Traeger smart grill, or a new TV at stores like Target or Walmart, or gifts from Callaway Golf, Williams Sonoma, and more. Type in a bit of info — applying does not impact your credit score — and if qualified, Affirm lets you spread out a purchase price into biweekly or monthly payments with as little as ZERO interest.
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