The rest of you are going to have to go to the store or shop online like the rest of us.
Now, I tried to pick products that would be of the utmost importance to us as parents....and am starting with dads...of course.
FreeAgent - by Seagate
The first product that I’d like to share with you (and please notice how (For Dad) comes first) is a product by Seagate. Seagate has been around, seemingly, forever and I have always seen the company as one who consistently provides quality consumer products without worrying about all of the media hype and bells and whistles. Anyway, I was sent an external hard drive to check out for this review and HOLY… (I need to make up a term for “The absolute best thing to hit my desk since…well let’s just say since Mariah and I have used the desk for things other than work.”)
I got the package, immediately pulled the drive out and couldn’t help but to marvel at its size and sleekness. (ladies…keep your minds out of the gutter…we are talking about technology here.) Roughly the size of an 8-track cassette this little monster (Seagate’s FreeAgent Go 1TB drive) is absolutely massive! Not only does it offer immense storage space, it is set up to perform automatic backups, secure specific files and even synchronize files between computers with its desktop manager.
After I finished checking out all of the cool features and stuff, I went straight to offloading all of the crap from my computer. I grabbed all of the folders of music, pictures and other old files and just dragged them into the drive. After both Mariah and I transferred all of our clutter to the FreeAgent Go, the drive still has around 80% free space on it. Sage, Hubman and Dadshouse….do you know how much….adult material can be stored on 1,000 GBs? I have the drive set up on my computer and with our network, Mariah and all of the kids can store and retrieve all of their music and pictures on it with ease.
As I fell in love with this drive…and rekindled my love for Seagate. They offered their FreeAgent Go 640GB to Hot Dads as a giveaway on the site. For entry details please go to the bottom of this post.
Seagate’s FreeAgent products can be purchased at: Seagate and range from $90 to $230.
TuneBase - by Belkin
As all of you out there already know…I am WAY behind the times when in comes to cell phones. Over the years I have gone through the whole smart phone thing but I always keep reverting back to phones like my current one…Motorola Razor…that being said…for me to truthfully give you all an honest review of Belkin’s TuneBase – for the iPhone/iPod, I had to (yep) give it to our daughter…cuz she is the high tech phone, texting, apps, music genius of this humble abode.
Needless to say, she was thrilled when I handed her the kit which includes everything needed for an 18 year old high school senior to achieve mastery in multitasking…while driving. Aside from the fact the only thing I want her doing while she drive is to KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE DAMN ROAD, I know the truth…which entails; calling friends, flipping through her 1,000+ songs on her iPod and trying to navigate her way to the ‘hottest party ever!”
At any rate, when I got in the car with her, I was actually kind of amazed at the amount of ‘stuff’ she was doing …while keeping her eyes on the road. She first showed me how the TuneBase connected her iPhone to the car stereo and made a quick, speakerphone, call to her boyfriend…just to show me how cool it was. Then she proceeded to start some (rather confusing) music
At the end of the car ride, I have to admit that if you have an iPod or iPhone, this is one Hot Product that should be on the list for the holidays this year. The tune base is available at Belkin for $99.00
*Giveaway details at the bottom of this post
FotoBox Plus - by Honestech
Now, I don’t want to make any enemies here, but it is a Hot Dad consensus that the wives and even some of the Hot Mamas are… a bit on the slow(er) side when it comes to technology. That is why this next product tops my list for moms. FotoBox Plus from Honestech is one of the coolest little gadgets that I’ve seen lately. Yes ladies, this cute little USB device will allow you to turn all of the beautiful photos, of your kids, trips and even your husbands, into state of the art slide shows and videos.
It is a rather small device that you just slip tour media card for your digital camera into and then the super easy software walks you through the process. There are even two modes; Easy and Advanced, which allows both novice and computer-savvy, PC-using people can get creative with and easily edit their photos and videos. By the time you are done tweaking your masterpieces with the themes, background music and narration options they can then be shared with the world by uploading the content directly to websites to share with family and friends…or leave it on your computer, burn DVDs or load files onto your iPod.
Any of you who take a lot of pictures and who like to share them with others…trust me…YOU WILL LOVE THIS HOT PRODUCT!!!!
FotoBox Plus is available at www.honestech.com and retails for $79.95
*Giveaway details at the bottom of this post
EyeClops Mini Projector – by JAKKS Pacific!
I have put this product, though kind of techy, into the moms category because if most households are like mine…Mom is the entertainment queen, organizer and coordinator.
When JAKKS Pacific approached me with several products, this mini projector jumped right out at me as a must have for every home.
The concept is simple…attach A/V cables to the mini projector, plug it in, press the power button….it transforms any simple viewing into big screen fun. The unit can be plugged into TVs, DVD players, VHS, iPods, video games…anything with the red white and blue A/V cable outputs.
After receiving the product we bolted straight to the living room to test it out. The girls were watching some Hanna Montana thing (not recommended viewing) so I just pulled the plugs going to the TV and popped them into the EyeClops. Within a minute they were laying on the floor looking up to the ceiling at their show…on a 4’ by 4’ ‘screen.’ We tried it on the walls, drapes (not so good), ceiling, etc and it all worked well. The image from a distance of more than 5 feet was definitely not as crisp as an HD TV…but I would not expect it to be…the experience was a blast and we now plan on using it for our weekly movie night.
Tip…If you buy one of these guys…make sure to have a long A/V cable. It adds mobility to the unit and allows you to have a ‘drive-in’ just about anywhere. Additionally, I would suggest (with larger crowds) to have some external speakers to plug into the headphone jack. The speaker was enough for the 4 of us, but with more people or a larger room…you might want to boost the sound.
As avid campers, we are planning to bring this awesome invention with us on our next trip and have a movie night on the side of a tent. At only about 3X2X1 ½ …or slightly bigger that a normal bar of soap…you can take this Hot Product pretty much anywhere.
Available at stores such as Wal Mart, K Mart, Amazon.com and KB Toys for an MSRP of $99.00, I say that this is definitely one Hot Products for families. Find more info on the EyeClops and other Jakks Pacific products HERE.
*This product is not currently available for the giveaway.
As I am not the biggest advocate of kids and technology….I mean I’d much rather see the kids outside doing jumps on their bikes, getting gashes in their appendages and sporting raspberries the size of grapefruit on their thighs than watch them surf the web and fiddle with their video games…but…nobody asked me…and I know that schools are making the kids embrace the Internet.
SO….I wanted to introduce you all to a product that has made my days at least 30% more stress free than they had been.
I am the kind of guy who has things in their certain spot and I like my stuff clean, unbroken and ready to use when I need them. (I am hoping that many people out there are like that…otherwise I just admitted to the world that I am an obsessive compulsive, neat freak with greedy tendencies.)
When the kids come running up and start shouting that they NEED to use my computer, flashes of me being on tech support with someone in India for the better part of the next day begin to fill my head.
We have been through about 5 keyboard, 3 computers and 4 mice in the past 2 years. Food and drinks on the desk, downloads, viruses, dirt in the keys, etc tend to do wonders on tech products…..UNTIL NOW!!!!
Unotron has created a kid proof keyboard!! This absolutely normal looking keyboard is my new favorite thing ever!!! I was wary at first with its claims, but we indeed put this guy to the test.
After hooking it up and playing around for a bit, noticing nothing out of the norm for a keyboard, I called our 10 year old over to my desk. I told her that we were going to do an experiment together. Smiling, she looked up and just nodded.
I handed her a list of things to bring me from the kitchen (orange juice, apple sauce, soda and jelly.) Then I asked her to get me one teaspoon of dirt, after looking at me a bit weird, she took off.
After she returned I told her to one by one pour the ingredients onto the keyboard. Yes…she gave me that look…you know, the one that says, ”Really? Can I?...and I won’t get in trouble?” Upon reassuring her that it was just an experiment and it was OK…she proceeded to, like a mad scientist, pour everything onto the keyboard. Once done I told her that we now had to wait 10 minutes.
When we returned to the seemingly lost keyboard, I unplugged it and we carefully walked it over to the kitchen sink. I turned on the warm water and ran it over the keyboard…back and forth. After thoroughly rinsing the whole thing and rubbing it a bit with a dish cloth, I set it aside to dry.
20 minutes later, we returned and plugged the keyboard back in…looked at one another and then booted my system. I don’t think either of us expected it to work right…but it did. No grit, no sticky keys, nothing.
All I am going to say is…if you don’t win this keyboard in this giveaway…go buy one. This thing ROCKS!!!!
Unotron’s patented SpillSeal® technology and airtight structure prevents any germs from getting stuck in hard to clean areas, which is also what makes it waterproof. You can literally rinse this product right under the sink! At an affordable price of only $45.99, Unotron washable antimicrobial protected keyboard is a reliable product and is conveniently sold at most retail locations all over the U.S. as well as online.
***Giveaway entry guidelines....
To enter the giveaways mentioned above, leave a comment (mentioning the products that you are interested in winning) for one entry and tweet this giveaway URL for another entry (please make sure to comment again with your tweet).
I will have an unbiased 10 year old draw the winners from 4 different hats on Saturday, December 5th, 2009.
Good luck everyone...and happy Cyber Monday shopping!!!!!