Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Father’s Day 2020: ideas for a dad in your life

Dads everywhere are a little different, so buying a Father’s Day gift may not be easy. But if you have an idea of what dad likes or needs, these ideas could help, too.

Cooking for Dad

Does your dad love to spend time in the kitchen cooking up feasts? Consider these ideas that can help him come up with new ideas, and lead you to tasty treats you can consume.

Panasonic ZP2000 Bread Maker

Price: $469

There’s nothing quite like waking up to the smell of baked bread, but unless you leave next to or above a bread shop, chances are you’re not doing this.

Bread machines have been around for quite a while, so this technology is in reach of more people, but Panasonic’s take on the tech solves a problem bread makers have long had: softer sides less likely to look (and taste) like proper loafs.

Panasonic’s ZP2000 fixes this with a ceramic lid, which aims to maintain a stable baking temperature, working with two sensors in and outside the machine to keep everything good. It means that the bread dad rises with should taste as good as the loaf from the local bakery.

Kenwood Chef XL Titanium

Price: $999

If dad loves working in the kitchen on his next big recipe, it might be time to upgrade how he does it, possibly moving to a big mixer.

Kenwood’s Chef XL Titanium is a big mixer, including a light in the design that can show what’s in the bowl — handy for pictures — and a 6.7 litre stainless steel bowl and tools to use for the whole thing. There’s a big 1700W motor to keep everything working and churning, and al you really need to bring is the chef, the ingredients, and a sense of imagination.

Breville The Smart Oven Pizzaiolo

Price: $1249

If you know a dad looking to perfect a pizza that doesn’t have the time, inclination, or space to build a backyard pizza oven, it might be a good time to check out what technology can do.

Breville’s take on how to pizza right in the home comes from a kitchen friendly external oven that can heat up to 400 degrees Celsius, and good wood-fired style pizza in only a couple of minutes, complete with the spotted crust artisan pizza is known for. The Pizzaiolo also comes with specific settings to handle other pizza styles, such as “New York”, “Thin & Crispy”, “Pan”, and “Frozen” if pulling a pizza from the freezer is even easier.

Delonghi Maestosa

Price: $4999

Some dads are baristas, and some just want to be. Whichever dad is, if you have the need to buy your dad something that no one will think of (and you have the money to do so), you may want to consider the De’Longhi Maestosa, an automated coffee machine that built to handle everything for him.

It’s not one of those capsule machines, either; this is the real deal for espresso and cappuccino aficionados. There’s a bean grinder with two bean compartments, a milk texturising system capable of making two drinks at a time, a 19 bar pump, and a five inch touchscreen for him to pick the coffee he wants, plus an app to customise the drinks.

While the Maestosa isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination, it might just mean your dad never has go to do the coffee shop again, except, of course, maybe to buy some beans.

Entertainment for Dad

Know a dad who loves to be entertained? Whether it’s listening to music by himself or sharing it with a big burst of audio, or even just watching or reading, here are a few ideas your dad could love.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Price: $179

Reading has clearly changed over the years, and while you can still turn to a proper book, your dad might want to dabble in e-reading, because why not. Thinner, lighter, and often waterproof, an eReader provides versatility for folks who still love reading, but don’t want the weight of a book.

Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite delivers much of that, with a thin and light water-resistant design, only missing out on the warmer screen of the more expensive Kindle Oasis. In short, it’s an eReader that can provide a great starting point for someone who wants to read books anywhere, be it indoors, outdoors, or while they’re in the bath or even fishing.

Jabra Elite Active 75t

Price: $329

A fitness-focused dad needs a pair of fitness-friendly earphones, and the Jabra Elite Active 75t might just be those.

The slightly more water-resistant version of the standard Elite 75t (which we checked out last year), the Elite Active 75t provide marginally more water and sweat resistance, with the same attention to audio in a diminutive design.

They’re easily one of the best options for a dad to go running with, particularly if he’s concerned about being seen in larger earphones that ruin his sleek, aerodynamic look.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro review

Price: $399

While the Apple AirPods design might not win everyone over, the sound of the AirPods Pro can help make the case.

These earphones sound excellent, and offer one of the smallest and clearest approaches for in-earphone noise cancellation, particularly if you’re using an iPhone.

The AirPods Pro can work across other phones, but Apple users will have the best go with these earphones, which sound fantastic and are growing with subsequent versions of Apple’s mobile operating system. Essentially, if dad has an iPhone, these are a solid option for in-earphones that deliver audio awesomeness.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4 reviewed

Price: $549

Easily the best over-ear headphones around right now, it’s hard to go better than these benchmark-setters, the Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless noise cancelling headphones.

Offering slightly more comfort than the older already impressive WH-1000XM3, the 1000XM4 deliver a smidgen more noise cancellation control and just as solid a sound. They’re one of the best ways for dad to relive the music he loves so much.

HTC Vive Cosmos

Price: $1299

The future of gaming is nestled somewhere in the world of virtual reality, because rather than merely play the game, you can be immersed in the game.

While the PlayStation 4 has a variant of VR, the PC is where all the real action is, so consider spoiling dad with a VR headset if he has a fast gaming PC.

The Vive Cosmos builds on the VR headset design of previous HTC VR headsets, but finds a way to remove the little boxes around you, using camera sensors on the outside of the headset to track your position in space. It means your dad won’t need to the base stations, and can just enjoy the VR without the regular large amount of room a VR headset has been known to need in the past.

Sonos Arc

Sonos Arc

Price: $1399

If dad is more into sharing his sound, or even wants to engage in some top notch surround sound, you might want to look into the Sonos Arc.

A fantastic option to start dad into the world of 3D audio, the Sonos Arc delivers what the name implies: an arc of sound over and around the person listening to it, and works not just for 3D surround-capable movies, but also for Dolby Atmos music, too.

Epson EF-100W

Epson EF-100 laser projector

Price: $1699

We’re not all clamouring to go to the cinemas these days, and while the coronavirus will likely keep us at home for time to come, it doesn’t mean dad can’t have a cinema experience without the cinema. A small projector can make that happen, bringing movies to life.

Epson’s take on the small projector might just be one of the better ways to do that, delivering a laser light picture that can work in daylight, or beautifully in the dark, too. Granted, it’s only 720p, but when the picture is big like a cinema, your dad probably won’t care.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance

Price: $3300

Every dad has different tastes, but if the dad you’re buying for is one who likes a more luxurious combination of sound and style, the Beosound Balance could be the speaker for them.

Offering seven speakers and separate amps, the B&O Balance is a different take on a wireless speaker, arriving in metal and wood, and covered in knitted fabric. It’s somewhere between furniture and sound, and meant to handle sound wirelessly from a phone via AirPlay, Chromecast, or even spoken to via the Google Assistant.

Wearables for Dad

Getting dad to take more of an interest in his fitness can be difficult, but a gadget could get him there. Wearables are all about keeping you informed from your wrist, and the few ideas here might just get dad physically active while providing a great gift.

Upright Go 2

Upright Go 2

Price: $129

Not sure if your dad has the right posture, and is it something you or your mum are complaining about regularly? “Sit up, don’t slouch”, that sort of thing?

The Upright Go is a gadget he can wear that will remind him to sit up, nudging him lightly on the back with vibrations when he’s not sitting up properly, or even standing incorrectly. After a few weeks, Upright Go can start to become something to help build back some core strength, and depending on how used to the vibrations your dad gets, it might just be muscle memory.

Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch

Price: $299

While a smartwatch makes a lot of sense as a gift for the fitness-focused, not everyone wants a timepiece that screams digital. Some may prefer a decidedly more analogue look.

French outfit Withings may provide the answer for that, with an analogue watch that includes an electronic smartwatch inside, though you’d never realise upon looking at it at first glance. The Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch says it in the name, and includes an analogue face with smart tech inside, supporting a heart-rate tracker, distance tracking, and water resistance down to 50 metres, plus it can talk to a phone for notifications as well.

It just doesn’t look like a standard smartwatch, or cost as much as others, either.

Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5 review

Price: $649

But if dad’s not bothered by getting a standard smartwatch, you might want to consider an Apple Watch, especially if they have an iPhone (as the Apple Watch needs one to work).

We’d caution anyone buying an Apple Watch this close to when Apple Watch models are typically updated, but it’s hard to beat this wearable, as it just offers so much. A great screen, a pretty solid health-tracking feature set, and app compatibility for quite a lot of things out there.

Plus the bands: virtually no other smartwatch has such an easy to snap-in watch band system as Apple, making a more individualised and personalised approach to a smartwatch possible for Dad in the Apple Watch, provided he normally uses an iPhone (which is something you should check first).

Cameras for Dad

If dad doesn’t mind spending time behind a lens and viewfinder, and wants to capture the world to show to his friends and family, a camera is a solid idea for a dad’s day present, even if it can get a little exy.

Sony ZV-1

Price: $1299

While we’re big fans of interchangeable lens cameras at the moment, the Sony ZV-1 has our attention simply because it’s designed to bring video blogging — “vlogging” — to an easier crowd.

Featuring a 4K capable sensor, a flip out screen you can watch, and some eye-tracking that comes from Sony’s other cameras, plus a bokeh switch to let the background go fuzzy, Sony’s ZV-1 feels like a camera made for a dad keen to turn his life into an online production.

Nikon Coolpix P1000

Nikon Coolpix P1000

Price: $1399

A different category again, Nikon’s P1000 is an advanced point and shoot that is more like a telescope in what can do.

While a first glance might see this camera as just that — a camera — the Coolpix P1000 features a 125x camera that can see a staggering equivalent to a 3000mm, making it more like a telescope in design. Match it with a tripod, and you have a way to turn your camera into a way to check out the planets viewable from the ground at night.

Leica M10 Monochrom

Leica M10 Monochrom (2020)

Price: $13,500

The most expensive thing on this list, the Leica Monochrom is a very special type of gadget for a special dad. At over $10K, it’s not going to be for everyone, but even the sensor inside suggests it. Body only, it carries a $13K price tag, and can only capture images in black and white.

For a classic photography dad, this might be a dream come true, and is tantamount to an endless supply of black and white film, providing 40 megapixel black and white images on tap.

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