2016 has been a stellar year when it comes to gadgets and gear. We wanted to offer some of our recommendations if you're still looking for a great gift for the gadget owner in your life.
Gadgets & Gear
As a dual monitor user, I never would have imagined how useful a third monitor would be until I say down with the USB powered M-155 from GAEMS. While it was designed for use with consoles I was really surprised at how versatile it was for other applications including a monitor for a camera, test monitor for my consoles and the third monitor for chat sessions during our live show. If you are in the market for an extra monitor I definitely think you should check out the M-155. Read our full review of the unit here.
Sonos Play 1
When it comes to wireless home audio our friends at Sonos continue to improve the space with their Play series speakers. You can add a few around the house and have different music for every room. Spotify fans will appreciate the seamless integration and control options for the Sonos speaker line.
Comfortable, versatile and with some great sound. What more can you ask for? A home run from Plantronics all around. Read the full review here.
Amazon really impressed me with their Alexa interface and I was originally going to pick up an Echo speaker to start adding home automation to my home but then Amazon dropped the Echo Dot which with its $50 price point was tough to ignore. We picked one up and it has been an awesome addition to our home. It can answer the usual “What time is it?”, “How's the weather?” questions but it also can stream music, control your lights and even your thermostat. If you're looking to add some smarts to your home or office without hurting your pockets we recommend giving the Echo Dot a shot.
Price: $129 normally but retailers have been doing sales for $99.99
While Amazon has been the established name in the smart home experience for some time it was only a matter of time before Google jumped into the pool. The Google Home while similar to Alexa leverages its Google assistant along with Google's other products to give Android/Google users a complete voice-activated experience. Google Home can cast to TV's, control lights and answers most of the questions you throw at it with relative ease. While Alexa from Amazon has a more robust option of learning add-ons it will not be long before Google Home is on par or supersedes Amazon in that area. Google recently unveiled Netflix integration so you can say “Ok Google, Play Luke Cage from Netflix” and it will go into your Netflix app and start the show. It can even track Santa for the kids which is pretty cool if you ask me.
I was never a big drone fan as I found them to be cumbersome to carry and manage but DJI has made a believer out of me with the ultra portable Mavic Pro. The $1000 price tag makes this a pricey gift but if you're into drones this a must have. You can see it action via Casey Neistat's YouTube channel. I may grab one in the new year for some new video shots.