Moms and dads are just women and men, right? But those with young kids still living at home might especially appreciate certain tech gifts. Here are some ideas.
Philips Airfryer XXL
An Airfryer is one of those small kitchen appliances that many moms and dads are curious about, but rarely actually take the plunge to buy one, unsure of whether they'd really use it. Surprise them with one, and let them experiment. This one can hold up to three pounds of food: that's an entire chicken, or up to about six portions - perfect for frying up goodies for a Sunday night football party with friends, or simply making wings or fries for the family. $370
Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 All-in-One Printer
If they're often helping the kids with school projects, run a home-based business, or just happen to be crafty, this small all-in-one printer would be a great gift. It has a 4.3" touchscreen for editing and printing photos onto specialty photo paper as well as DVDs. Use the Creative Print App to print wirelessly and directly from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. $200
Nikon D3500 DSLR
For moms and dads looking for a decent DSLR for snapping pics of the kids playing sports, or to take on vacation, this entry-level model will help them take photography to the next level. It features Bluetooth, so it can remain connected to your smartphone or tablet for easily sharing pics instantly. They can simply point and shoot, or adjust settings manually once they learn more about how to use it. It comes with a 24.2MP sensor, and boasts features like 5 frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting, 100-25,600 ISO, and can also take full HD 1,080p videos. Plus, it's super-portable and lightweight, and offers a simply and intuitive menu. Grab it on its own for $569.95, or with the 18-55mm lens for $699.95.
Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
For moms and dads who want to experiment with landscape photography, portraits, and have kids in fast-paced sports like soccer or football, this camera is a bit more intense.It has a 21.77MP sensor to achieve an effective 17MP in 4:3 aspect ratio, along with a high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine image processor. The Leica Vario-Summilux lens (35mm camera equivalent: 24-75mm) boasts a high-speed of F1.7-F2.8, and high descriptiveness in detail and resolution corner-to-corner. The versatile zoom range of 24-75mm (35mm camera equivalent) is ideal for wide-ranging photography from snapshots to portraits: landscapes can be captured in dynamic 24mm ultra-wide angle in any of 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratios, thanks to the multi-aspect capability. With an aperture ring, widescreen live viewfinder, and 3" rear monitor, it can also record 4K videos, along with features like Auto Marking, Sequence Composition, Post Focus, Focus Stacking, and Light Composition. It has tons of other creative features as well as practical functions; and comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. $1,300
Apple Mac Mini
Mom and dad can enjoy computing at home, or in a home office, with this compact computer, which offers quad- and six-core processors, up to 64GB of faster memory, and fast all-flash storage. It also includes Thunderbolt 3 ports, the Apple T2 Security Chip, and a 10GB Ethernet option. Large files can be loaded quickly and easily, and with capacities up to 1TB, mom and dad can store years' worth of family photos, home videos, and more. It starts at $999
Thermador Home Connect System
Help the mom and dad who is re-doing a kitchen to make it smart with a series of Thermador Home Connect appliances, which can be controlled remotely from smart devices, send remote diagnostics, and afford access to things like recipes and tutorials. There are a number of products from which to choose, ranging from built-in coffee machines, to cooktops, dishwashers, ovens, and ranges. Link other smart home devices, like a Nest thermostat, so they work together. For example, when a Nest thermostat is in "Away" mode, a Thermador oven that's still running will send a notification to the homeowner to advise, and ask if it should be turned off. The new appliances will also work with the If This Then That (IFTTT) platform, which will allow owners to make connections between them and other services and devices, creating smart actions like turning on a Thermador coffee machine when your alarm goes off in the morning. If mom or dad has a Tesla, there's also the option to use Evolved Vehicle Environments (EVE), which allows you to define automatic actions based on the GPS location of your car. For instance, when approaching home, you can turn on the lights, open the garage door, and pre-rinse the coffee machine. The ovens have a remote start option, so you can preheat it from wherever you are, and receive notification when it's reached the desired temperature, or when the cook time is done. Pricing varies.
Bell Crave Subscription
What was once CraveTV and The Movie Network (TMN) has now just become Crave, and signing a mom and dad up for a plan will afford them access to a host of hot television series for binging on lazy Sunday nights in. They can access content from popular networks like HBO and Showtime, so if they've been meaning to watch Game of Thrones, this subscription will let them access the entire series. Plans start at $9.99/mo., or double the price ($19.98/mo.) to add access to HBO's current line-up of series, movies, documentaries and specials, along with Hollywood movies. Sign them up for a year, and they'll be good to go through 2019.
Keurig K-Select Coffee Brewer
If mom and dad are looking to save money and avoid buying expensive cups of coffee every morning from the local shop, consider introducing them to the Keurig world. In fact, I became a Keurig customer after receiving a single-cup machine as a gift. Fill the reservoir with water (up to five cup's worth), buy individual coffee pods, and insert one to brew a personalized cup. Dad can have his extra dark roast while mom enjoys her hazelnut latte and the kids make hot chocolate. It has a Strong Brew feature for brewing more intense coffees for those extra tough mornings (perhaps after mom and dad stayed up late binging Game of Thrones!) You can select from hundreds of different types of K-Cup pods. If mom and dad have a specific ground coffee they like, grab them the My-K-Cup Universible Reusable Coffee Filter as well so they can continue to enjoy it, in single-cup servings. $128
Mom and dad will appreciate a new TV for the living room or bedroom - wherever they love to binge their favourite series. LG's new TVs with AI ThinQ and webOS now include Google Assistant as well, so they can use the screens to control other smart home devices, get answers to queries, and manage daily tasks. Pricing varies depending on the size and model, but look for special holiday pricing, which may be in effect this time of year.
Safe by Hub6
For moms and dads who are looking to cut costs, and might have expressed frustration over having to pay monthly fees for security monitoring at home, consider this new device. It connects to an existing alarm panel, then leverages it to send notifications to your smartphone if a breach is detected. There's no security monitoring subscription needed (though that means you will have to contact the authorities should something be amiss.) $300, but check for holiday promotions online.
iRobot Roomba i7 Robot Vacuum
A vacuum might seem like an odd gift, but when it's a high-tech robotic one, mom and dad will jump for joy. This one is especially neat for making clean-up even easier through the addition of a Clean Base, which collects up to 30 bins of dirt over time via the Automatic Dirt Disposal system. Once the vacuum is finished cleaning, it goes back to its dock, and automatically empties the contents into the base. Once the base is full, then you can empty it. Use the iRobot app to initiate a clean, or voice via Alexa and Google Assistant, or even set the machine on a schedule, to clean the floors on the main level every Friday at noon, for example. So mom and dad can put their feet up when they get home, and reduce cleaning time by at least a few hours every month. $1,250 for the vacuum and the Clean Base. (You can also get it for $900 without the Clean Base.) Dirt disposal bags are $20 per pack of three.
Belkin Boost Charge 8-Port Charging Station
Help mom and dad keep all of their devices sufficiently powered up with this charging station that lets you maximize a single AC outlet by turning it into four, as well as four USB charging ports. That means it can power up to eight devices at once - great when the kids are monopolizing other outlets with their gear. $70
Frigidaire 38-Bottle Freestanding Dual Temperature Zone Wine Cooler
What do mom and dad do to unwind after a long day? Probably relax in front of the TV with a nice crisp glass of wine. To keep it crisp, surprise mom and dad with a cool wine cooler like this one, which can hold up to 38 bottles of white, red, and everything in between, with dual temperature controls to keep the pinot grigio and cabernet sauvignons just right. It has a reversible door that can be installed to open right or left, depending on their preference and kitchen, den, or bar area set-up. And it has an LED digital display that can be used to set and review the temperatures. The shelves are made of natural stained wood. A tip: the fridge can also be used to keeping other bottles cool, like sparkling water or fruit juices for guests who don't imbibe alcohol. About $550
Want more gift ideas? Check out our other themed gift guides.