Last minute family friendly holiday gadget gift ideas

Four tech options that will entertain the entire family, record family moments, or keep the family safe

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gift ideas
Contact Greg

EDMONTON, AB, Dec. 23, 2015/ Troy Media/ – Gadgets make great gifts and many seem to fit in the personal technology category. It’s nice to know that you can find some this holiday season that expand the personal to the entire family.

Family Printing

First up is the Epson Expression Premium XP-830. It’s a small versatile compact family five-cartridge inkjet all-in-one printer that also copies, scans, faxes, and more but won’t break the bank.

What’s cool is that it’s wireless, so no cables are required to print and you don’t even need to be hooked up to a computer. You can also print from a USB drive or SD-Card and, through Epson’s Connect software, you can print directly from your iPhone, iPad, and most other smartphones and tablets.

EPSON Expression Premium XP-830 Wireless All-In-One Printer
EPSON Expression Premium XP-830 Wireless All-In-One Printer

It’s fast, printing at 14ppm in black, and 11ppm in colour. To save time, it also has a 30-sheet document feeder, and to save paper it has automatic two-sided printing.

To preserve those family memories, it prints long lasting, fade-proof, smudge-proof and water resistant borderless photos. And if you use CDs and DVDs, the XP-830 can print directly onto the surface.

Epson Expression Premium XP-830 makes a nice gift for the whole family and doesn’t take up a lot of desk space.  It retails for $199.99 but can be found right now for under $130 at [popup url=”http://www.epson.ca/cgi-bin/ceStore/jsp/Product.do?sku=C11CE78201#3″ height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Epson.ca[/popup] with an instant rebate.

Family Wireless Home Security

Perhaps the family has been looking for a home security system but have been holding off because they find it a challenge to wire it in those hard to get at places. Then Arlo, Wire-Free Security System, by NETGEAR, might just make the right family gift.

Arlo Weatherproof Wire-Free Security System by NETGEAR
Arlo Weatherproof Wire-Free Security System by NETGEAR

Arlo’s cameras are wireless, weatherproof, and easy to set up. You can put Arlo almost anywhere; indoors, or outdoors, in a snap. Each camera has a magnetic flat bottom that can also sit on its supplied magnetic base, or attach securely to an adjustable screw mount. It shoots crisp 720p high definition video and features enhanced night vision so it can shoot in the dark.

Arlo offers programming options and flexible motion detection that can phone, or email you, when an alert is triggered or when the batteries are running low.

It’s also great for baby and pet monitoring.

Arlo works with Macs, PCs, Android and iOS devices and comes with everything you need to get started; the Arlo base station camera(s) and cables. Batteries, also included, are designed to last up to six months depending on how frequently you access the camera, and on weather conditions.

Any video footage (there’s no audio) Arlo takes can be stored privately, and secured freely in cloud for seven days. There are also low-cost premium service upgrades for longer storage times and more cameras.

Arlo is available in configurations of up to five cameras with prices starting at $249.99 and is available from [popup url=”http://www.bestbuy.ca/Search/SearchResults.aspx?path=ca77b9b4beca91fe414314b86bb581f8en20&query=arlo” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Best Buy[/popup], [popup url=”http://www.londondrugs.com/netgear-arlo-2-camera-hd-security-system—vms3230-100pas/L8872079.html” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]London Drugs[/popup] and [popup url=”http://www.amazon.ca/Arlo-Smart-Security-Wire-Free-Outdoor/dp/B00ZX05MJG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_421_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=413hTdzeAtL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR133%2C160_&refRID=0N9FT3MZ0H512063PVR8″ height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Amazon[/popup].

Family Music

How about one wireless Wi-Fi speaker for the entire family? You’ve got to be kidding! you might be thinking. The new Sonos PLAY:5 might look big, and all alone, but it performs it’s own solo with its six drivers: three mid-woofers and three tweeters with dedicated amplifiers.

And you can place Sonos almost anywhere without having to worry how it will sound. That’s because it features Sonos’ new TruePlay. Instead of having to move your speaker to suit the acoustics of the room, you can place it almost anywhere and an app does that for you. The app also controls all your tunes and streaming services, too.

Sonos PLAY:5 Ultimate Wireless Smart Speaker
Sonos PLAY:5 Ultimate Wireless Smart Speaker

That may sound strange, but it’s true, and Sonos doesn’t sound strange; it sounds good.

You can easily configure Sonos to play or emit a special tone. You walk around the room waving your iPhone and through the phone’s microphone, the Sonos app listens and analyzes the tone as the sound reflects off the walls, windows, and whatever is in the room. It uses that data and within a minute creates a profile that fine tunes the Sonos to create the perfect sound no matter where it’s placed.

Sonos PLAY:5 is the ultimate smart speaker ideal for the family room. You can configure a second for better stereo separation or additional units around the house, and still control them with one device and one app. It retails for $549.99 and comes in black or white. It’s available from [popup url=”http://www.amazon.ca/SONOS-PLAY-Ultimate-Speaker-Streaming/dp/B014LFIN58/ref=dp_ob_title_ce” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Amazon[/popup] and [popup url=”http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/sonos-sonos-play-5-multi-room-wireless-speaker-black-pl5g2us1blk/10391775.aspx?path=71b5d7eb44ccb0eaa4410b706df06ce8en02″ height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Best Buy[/popup].

Family Camera

Every smartphone these days has a camera, but they are fragile and many are limited in what they can do. So it’s nice to be able to have a dedicated camera like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30 to be able to record those family memories.

Lumix DSC-TS30 Waterproof, Freeze proof, Shockproof Point and Shoot Camera
Lumix DSC-TS30 Waterproof, Freeze proof, Shockproof Point and Shoot Camera

The Lumix DMC-TS30 is a small, pocket-sized point and shoot camera that anyone can use. It’s tough and shockproof. You can drop it from up to five feet; it’s also freeze proof, so you can leave it in the car in temperatures down to -10°C. You can take it to the beach; it’s dust proof and water proof. And, the Lumix is not only safe from beach conditions, it has a special configuration to allow you to take underwater photos down to a depth of 8 metres.

It grabs 16.1 mega-pixel pictures and shoots high definition video. It also has a 4x optical, and 8x intelligent, zoom and a 25 mm wide-angle lens giving you many options, including a number of shooting modes that the average smartphone just doesn’t have. And its optical image stabilization will ensure you get the picture each time.

The Lumix DMC-TS30, makes a great family gift. It includes a battery pack and charger, USB Cable, hand strap and software.  It comes in three colours, retails for $189.99 and available from [popup url=”https://shopping.panasonic.ca/product.aspx?ID=68aa5480-2080-4d37-953b-16a522ab1703&g=7416ae8a-66eb-47dc-9c93-b42d9688e399&c=e5d0fa38-d5cf-4476-b50b-1494a106e787&lang=en&_ga=1.140246451.1051336530.1417216040″ height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Panasonic Canada[/popup] and [popup url=”http://www.amazon.ca/Panasonic-DMC-TS30A-Active-Lifestyle-Camera/dp/B00RBG60U0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450755364&sr=8-1&keywords=TS-30″ height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”0″]Amazon[/popup].

There you have it. Four tech options that will entertain the entire family, record family moments, or keep the family safe.

Senior Editor Greg Gazin is a Syndicated Veteran Tech Columnist and Small Business and Technology Speaker, Podcaster, Author and Past Toastmasters District Governor. He can be reached at GadgetGuy.CA or on Twitter@gadgetgreg. Contact speakersbureau@troymedia.com to book Greg for your next event.

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