If Dad can live without the Urban Spoon app, ignore the new iPhone 3G S and consider buying him a Palm Pre. It’s beautifully designed and small enough to make the iPhone feel bulky. Web pages look great on the 3.1-inch screen, the calendar program can combine your work and personal schedules, and, best of all, the device allows you to have multiple programs open at once. Check out our video demo for more.
A lot has happened since we first recommended four netbooks for business users. New models have arrived, which offer bigger keyboards, sleeker designs, and faster processing. We particularly recommend the Asus Eee PC 1000HE, but check out this blog post for more information about netbooks that cost $400 or less.
Does Dad have a penchant for green technology? The solar panel in this hand-held accessory ($94) will let him charge most cell phones and music players, as well as some digital cameras. After between six and eight hours in direct sunlight, the charger will contain enough juice to power a cell phone for up to 32 hours.
Also in the eco-friendly-gadget category, the 4GB Eco Media Player ($209) requires no battery; it has a wind-up system instead. One minute of winding yields 45 minutes of music or 10 minutes of video. An adapter allows it to work as an emergency cell phone charger as well. Tired of winding? Plug it into your computer for an old-fashioned charge.
If you’re tired of lecturing your father about the importance of regular backups, get him this automatic backup drive. In person, it's the size of credit card. Plug it in, via a thin USB connector, and the drive automatically starts backing up documents, music, videos, and photos, as well as any e-mails stored on the computer. No clicking, dragging, or software installation is required. Now, he’ll have no excuse.
A svelte design and unusual features make the Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 a great option for a home computer. This desktop PC has a bright 21.5-inch screen and crisp built-in speakers. The higher-end versions come with some fabulous features, including a remote control that doubles as a handset for VoIP calls. The remote can even be used as a Wii-style joystick for playing Ping-Pong or other games. The higher-end versions can also be used as TVs; you can watch broadcast television out of the box or add a cable set-top box or satellite feed. Click here for more information on pricing.
This is not your father’s camcorder. Or, wait, maybe it is. The Flip Mino HD is easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and tiny enough to be slipped into a pocket. It's $205 at Buy.com, or $190 at Sale Zones, but if Dad can live without HD quality you can find it for $150. Not into the Flip? Check out three other equally cool portable video cameras here.
Looking for a good book for Dad? Inc.'s resident book reviewer, Leigh Buchanan, recommends The Daily Drucker. "It offers up genuine wisdom in bite-size morsels and so it feels more like a "gift" book," she says. "It also has a lot of self-management stuff and is motivational. And really, you can't go wrong with Drucker." Click here to buy the book on 800ceoread.com.