The holidays are coming – so here’s part one of our 2018 holiday gift guide for those 50 plus – although many would be are just as welcome for younger gift-getters.
Posture Stand – Helping You Straighten Up All Over the House: Good posture is important at any age but becomes vital as we get older and back pain turns into a daily reality. For anyone who remembers foldable TV dinner stands, think of the Posture Stand from back pain help. as the high tech equivalent. While it’s not a small folding table exactly, the foldable platform is perfect for making nearly any flat surface more comfortable thanks to its ability to raise up to 22”, 360 rotating legs, and sized to hold up to a 17” laptop. The Posture Stand can carry up to an impressive 110 pounds. Whether you need a book, breakfast, or laptop surface, it fits the roles and works perfectly on beds, countertops, desks, the sofa, and beyond. Under $75 at Amazon
Outrek II Heated Insoles – To Keep Your Tootsies Toasty: Winter is coming, but you don’t have to suffer through with cold feet. The Outrek II heated insoles are something of a modern miracle. Made to fit most shoes and boots, these are foot warmers worthy of the next generation. Rechargeable slim batteries provide four to six hours of soothing warmth for the coldest treks. The micro-USB charger, thinner and more efficient design, and simple to use wireless remote make the Outrek IIs easy to use and versatile. Under $120 at Amazon.
Acer Swift 3 Laptop – Fast And Affordable Windows: If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced, lightweight Windows machine, Acer’s Swift 3 offers a wide variety of options based on price and power. All of them weigh under four pounds, sport sharp HD 14” screens, and around ten hours of battery life. These Windows 10 machines can also come equipped with both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE cellular service, making them fully functional at home and away. The smooth and sleek aluminum body looks great too and comes in a variety of colors. $500 t0 $1000 at Amazon.
Google Pixelbook – The Gold Standard Of Chromebooks: For people who don’t want to deal with Windows, Chromebooks have steadily been improving to the point where they are a completely viable choice for most users. Chrome is essentially a browser-based operating system (using Google’s Chrome browser), but thanks to some major enhancements can do almost anything a standard Windows machine can (and probably faster). Since Google opened up the Android Play Store to the OS, Chrome has access to thousands of applications. While Samsung and several other companies offer exceptionally good, touchscreen-endowed Chromebooks, if you want the absolute best, Google’s own Pixelbook is the only choice. Absurdly thin, with a fantastic 12.3” super sharp screen, built in Google Assistant, up to 10 hours of battery life, and overall intuitive interface, this might become your new all-purpose machine. The screen can flip completely over to make it a tablet as well and the Pixelbook weighs just shy of two and a half pounds. Under $1000 at Amazon.
Ryobi Garage Door Opener – A Lot More Than Just Open Doors: The Ryobi Garage Door Opener isn’t just one product, so much as a whole system of innovative and convenient devices to spruce up your garage and make things more convenient with tech. The base garage door opening unit is the start of a customizable and expandable series of upgrades for the garage, whether you use yours just for parking the car or as a workshop. The garage door opener is a hub with ports that let you attach an array of Ryobi custom gear. From extendable extension cords and a Bluetooth speaker for easy listenin, to a laser-guided parking assist and safety sensors, this is a great way to get the coolest high tech garage on the block. Under $250 at Amazon.
Apple Watch 4 – Telling Time In Apple Style: Got an Apple lover on your list who hasn’t yet taken the leap to their surprisingly useful watch? This year saw some serious price drops on the premiere smartwatch and these are especially useful – possibly even vital – for older users. Thanks to the watch’s incredibly smart sensors and fitness and health-minded applications, the new Apple Watch can help keep you healthy and even safe should you need emergency care. The Watch monitors your heart rate, tracks your physical activity, and can be used to call for help if something happens like a bad fall. And that’s not even getting into the myriad of other cool functionality it provides like convenient messaging and alerts for texts, calls, emails, and much more. $279 and up from Amazon.
Como Musica Music System – For The Music Purist: Como Audio’s Musica is the perfect choice for the audiophile in your life who wants classic styling with top-notch sound quality and modern technology. Available in a lovely wood grain, the Musica sports a CD player, LCD screen, Wi-Fi (and an Ethernet port), and a host of other connections (from USB to optical in), the Musica is as versatile as it is great sounding. As any modern sound system should, the Musica allows you to connect to most streaming services (Spotify Connect, Amazon Prime Music, Tidal, Deezer, and Napster) and tune in to thousands of Internet radio stations. It even has an FM radio and supports Google’s Chromecast, making it one of the most well-rounded high fidelity music systems we’ve tested. Under $600 at Amazon.
Nuheara IQ Buds Boost – Skirting The Line Between Hi-Fi Earbuds & Hearing Aids: Wireless earbuds are all the rage now and the sound quality for such devices is far better than it used to be, but none of them are quite like Nuheara’s IQ Buds Boost. Skirting the line between high-quality earbuds with excellent sound quality and a hearing aid, the Boost, connected to its mobile phone app, actually tests your hearing much as an audiologist would, and adjusts to your specific hearing needs. This allows it to compensate for low-level hearing loss and provide exceptional active noise canceling at the same time. While it won’t help those with severe hearing issues, this is a more versatile and far cheaper solution for those who want a great music listening experience and some extra help hearing the world around you. Under $500 at Amazon.
Orbi Voice Wi-Fi Mesh System – A Mesh System That Really Sings: Mesh Wi-Fi systems are gaining popularity for plenty of great reasons. They’re easy to set up, seamless to use and provide incredibly fast and comprehensive coverage across most homes. While we highly recommend several different brands of mesh routers (Eero and Google both offer excellent solutions), the latest from Netgear, the Orbi Voice Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System adds a little something extra that makes it noteworthy. The Orbi Voice turns its Wif-Fi broadcasters into Harmon Kardon, Amazon Alexa-powered speakers as well. It’s the surest way to get your tunes all over the house without worrying about Wi-Fi issues. Under $430 at Amazon.
Quell 2.0 Pain Relief System – Technology-based Relief: Home medical technology has come a long way over the last few decades. The latest version of Quell’s rather unique pain management system, for instance, uses an array of tech to help manage chronic pain in the digital era. The Quell 2.0 Wearable Pain Relief Technology is smaller and more efficient than the original model, but works largely the same. You strap the device around your calf, calibrate it through the mobile app, and it stimulates the sensory nerves in your leg, which sends signals to your brain to trigger your body’s innate ability to block pain. Best of all, if you’re skeptical of Quell’s claims, they have a free 60-Day money back guarantee trial period. Under $300 at Amazon.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A – Top Of The Tablet Heap: When it comes to topnotch tablets, Apple is far from the only game in town. Samsung has been releasing exceptional alternatives for the last several years. This year’s iteration, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, is no exception. With a gorgeous 10.5” screen, surprisingly powerful sound, and ample horsepower for any tablet tasks–all a reasonable price point–the Tab A is a great choice for those of us who need that bigger screen real estate to read and browse in comfort. Under $330 at Amazon.
Ryobi ONE+ Brushless Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver & Impact Driver Kit: Ryobi’s ONE+ line of 18-Volt rechargeable tools have more than proved their mettle in our household, but their new brushless drill/driver and impact driver combo kit does impressive double duty for the kind of hard work that used to squarely be in the corded realm. With the ability to support both ½” and ¼” bits, along with the 24-position clutch, two-speed gearbox, and impressive power that delivers up to 2000 inch-pounds of torque, this is the perfect gift for hardworking handymen everywhere. The kit even comes with two lithium-ion batteries and a charger to keep you going. Under $150 at Amazon.
Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 520 – A Desktop with Nearly Portable Sensibilities: If you prefer the durability of a desktop, but hate the bulky boxes of a standard PC, Lenovo’s IdeaCentre All-in-One line offers a wide array of options and price ranges to make sure you get the computing gear you need. Since the hardware is all safely hidden in the monitor, all you’ll have on the desk is a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. With screen-size options ranging from 21.5” all the way up to 27” for their top tier model, these space-saving rigs are ready to handle most any task you throw at them. The IdeaCentre even has a pop-up webcam that hides away when you don’t want it. Starting at about $500 on Amazon.
Eargo Hearing Aids – Setting A New Standard: Tiny, comfortable, and rechargeable, Eargo takes hearing aids into the modern age. The unique design makes these hearing aids far more comfortable and discreet than other costlier models. Suspended in your ear canal, the Eargo lets natural bass pass through, while amplifying mid- and high-range frequencies. Since they go in the ear canal, as opposed to behind the ear, the Eargo intelligently amplifies sound in front of you instead of from behind. The unique design also ensures a breathable fit and you can adjust them on the fly by tapping your ear to switch between four different hearing profiles. See our full review. $1950 to $2450 – direct.
Alignmed Posture 2 Shirt – Pain Relieving Shirts: Back braces are so last century, especially in the face of Alignmed’s Posture line of rehabilitation and pain managing shirts (and also bras and insoles). The tension panel technology works by activating and stimulating specific muscles in your back, shoulders, and other trouble spots, increasing recovery time, lowering pain, and helping muscle growth. Posture shirts are especially helpful for aiding rehabilitation after back injuries and, as the name implies, helps with posture too. Some models can even be covered by insurance. Starting at $95 on Amazon.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – The King Of Android: In the world of Android phones, there are two contenders that always manage to rise to the top of the crowded competitive heap. Google’s superb Pixel (now on revision 3) and Samsung’s Galaxy Note. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is this year’s version and doesn’t disappoint. The Notes have always been special phones, with their large bright vibrant screens and unique S-Pen that lets you jot notes, draw, and a variety of other things. This new model isn’t a huge sea change from the Note 8 but features more power, an enhanced camera that’s easily among the best available on a phone, an all-day battery life, and tons of space with the option for 128 GB or 512 GB of space. Plus, unlike either the Pixel or any iPhone, the Note 9 still has an SD Card slot.
Gourmia GPC1000 Smart Pot Electric Digital Multipurpose Pressure Cooker – Can Really Handle The Pressure: This pressure cooker is about as versatile appliance as you’d like. It features:
- 13 included cooking modes: meat, poultry, soup, steam, sauté, slow cook, dessert, beans, porridge, rice, timer, a preset time, warm
- Cooks up to 70% faster while retaining more flavor and nutrients in meals.
- Automatic pressure control and locking for swift, completely safe cooking.
- Inner removable non-stick liner and stainless-steel exterior clean quickly.
- 24-hour delay timer, and auto resume after power loss.