Tech the Halls

Here are a few ideas for the man or woman who has everything—almost.

Alienware 18 HD Gaming Laptop

I have recommended laptops for a dozen years. The price of these portable computers has dropped dramatically over time while the processing power has risen exponentially. But the newest beast from Dell-owned Alienware will impress the best.

The Alienware 18 has a 1080p 18″ WLED display, factory overclocked and user-replaceable 4th gen Core i7 CPU, at least 16GB RAM and starts with dual 6GB GTX 970M in SLI. While it is useful for word processing and surfing the web, this laptop is a gaming powerhouse. It has copper sinks for superior cooling, Klipsch speakers for ultimate sound and plenty of ports to make this 12-pound machine the hub of your entertainment system and—quite possibly—your life.


PhunkeeDuck Scooter

I’ll give credit for this one to my son who is a college freshman. Apparently two-wheeled smart self-balancing scooters are all the rage on campus and he “must” have one. If a product has this much buzz with the kids then look out for an invasion.

There are several companies offering similar products but the industry leader seems to be PhunkeeDuck. The boards—which can go up to 10 miles an hour with a battery that lasts for several hours—are controlled by two motors, one controlling each wheel.

To begin moving, you simply shift your weight slightly forward. To make a turn to the right, you lean your left foot forward, and your right foot back. To turn to the left, you do the opposite. Like a Segway, the wheels of these scooters are gyroscopically stabilized. If you’ve ever gone skiing or Rollerblading, you’ll get the hang of it in five minutes.



Meet the outdoor grill with a brain—the SmartGrill from Lynx Grills. It’s a gorgeous 42-inch stainless-steel monster that will make your neighbors jealous.

Push the start button and a Siri-like voice welcomes you to the future of cooking. It can be operated by voice command or via an app running on your phone or tablet. The app comes pre-programmed with over 200 recipes—grilled veggies, meats and even desserts. After preheating, the SmartGrill tells you (and texts you) that it’s time to place the food, when to flip it and when to take it off.

The free-standing version of this unit has three variable temperature infrared burners with a 1,200-square-inch cooking surface. It also packs a 1.5GHz Intel processor, 64GB and a Wi-Fi chip.


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