I'm a 39-year-old dad living in Pasadena, California with my wife and 5-year-old daughter, and I have most of the interests you'd expect of a dad: spending lots of time with my family, and in the corners of the day, woodworking, watching YouTube videos about woodworking, and collecting tools for more woodworking.
So when it comes to tech gadgets, I'm not into things that don't make sense - I look for products that fit into my existing life to make it easier. An incredible, sound-blocking pair of true wireless bluetooth headphones that cost 1/5th of my continuously-lost Airpods? In my pocket every day. A set of Amazon's Blink security cameras, so I can spy on any and all bad behavior in our general vicinity? Running 24/7. With that in mind, I've done my share of prospective shopping and picked out tech gadgets that are a must-grab during Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale.
Our house is old, and our garage is at the far end of our rectangular backyard - which means I struggle to get decent Wi-Fi in the workshop (important if I'm going to endlessly stream videos while woodworking). Mesh wifi routers allow you to create a web of access points for internet, which means you've got full coverage anywhere you wander.
After years of resisting smart devices, I think I'm finally caving after seeing one of these in action at a friend's house. When combined with some other smart devices on this list, I'm seeing a George Jetson-like future just over the horizon. And at such a low price-point? No brainer.
Huge screen, small footprint, minimalist design. It's everything I love about a great modern timepiece. Even if your phone has completely replaced the principle of a bedside clock, I can't help but love the look of this one.
We are always losing charging cords. I mean... constantly. We can keep a pair of socks together for years, but power cords? They disappear almost daily. But with a charging station like this, which puts all of our charging needs into one place? No more cords to lose.
I've eyed this one with envy at a friend and neighbor's house for a year or two. I refuse to wall-mount a normal TV (don't like the look), which is why we hide ours behind the couch and bring it out for movie nights. But this one masquerades as a work of art while not in use - I was totally fooled into thinking our friends had hung a new painting above their mantle until it turned into an episode of "Bluey" with the touch of a remote.
I wouldn't change a single thing about my daughter - except her general lack of interest in sleep, which started at about age 0. In our quest to help her gain maximum snooze, we want to add some good white background noise to the mix. This sound machine comes highly recommended by thousands of reviewers.
We're not typically a tablet family, but we let our daughter use hers for plane rides, and (I'm hoping soon) long road trips. Hers is showing its age, and we need something with better battery life, a better screen, less lag, and plenty more memory. Amazon Fire tablets completely fit the bill, and do so at an amazingly great price.
Pricey, but worthwhile to protect 'the shop' (AKA our freestanding, 1920's garage that's packed full of tools and guitars). No more trudging out in the middle of the night, paranoid, to ensure that it's deadlocked!
With an Echo Dot and just a few of these handy plugs, I could control every device in my house - including my daughter's bedside light, which somehow finds a way to magically 'turn itself on' long past bedtime.
I lived in NYC for well over a decade, and I have a strong aversion to opening the door (and honestly, I get a little triggered when people even knock on it). A Ring allows easy and secure screening of any and all people who come to the house.
I already have a set of these, but being a protective and slightly paranoid person, I want as many as I can get. Our current setup is fantastic, and Blink makes it very easy to add a camera on demand, so I can surveil my entire (tiny) kingdom.
In our family-wide efforts for an (at least somewhat) appropriate level of comfort lighting in an otherwise very dark room, this is the solution. Easy to control via Alexa and with 16 colors (blue included, which is a must for my daughter), the Echo Glow can even set up wake-up lights for any time we want.
I've had Rokus since the first model, and now there's no excuse not to snatch them up. Equipped with voice control and a handy remote, the Roku Express even controls volume without programming. Fast, affordable, and with every channel under the sun, no other streaming device even approaches what the Roku can do.
Once upon a time, I may or may not have had a problem with hoarding TVs, but we've now pared down to one in the house... which might now have to get replaced with this beauty. A 65-inch screen for this low a price? Um, hello.