Best Tech Stocking Stuffers of 2017

Top Tech Stocking StuffersThe holidays are here and that gives us all the excuses we need to brag on some of our favorite tech gadgets for 2017. These gadgets can stuff stockings or be wrapped up under the tree; however you deliver them they will surely be a hit. And with everything under $20 your bank account can rest easy.

9 Best Tech Stocking Stuffers

Earbud Holder Keychain We rely on our earbuds for so much, yet seem to lose them constantly. An earbud holder keychain is a great way to wrangle your earbuds and attach them to your keys, purse or backpack. Earbud holder keychains come in a variety of styles and colors, and typically range in price from $5.99 to $19.99

PopSockets Expanding Stand Grip You’ve probably seen these around and have wondered: what in the world is that? This awesome gadget grips the back of your smartphone or tablet, and allows you to prop-up your device so you can look at it without holding it. Our suggestion: with a high level of usefulness and a price tag below $10, get one for everyone on your list!

Sabrent 4-Port Mini Portable USB 3.0 Hub It prides itself on being the world’s smallest USB 3.0 Hub, making it the perfect travel companion for those in your life who are always on the go for work. 

Branch Earphone Splitter You’ve been there. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there! You are watching a movie on an airplane and wish you could watch it with the person you’re traveling with, but how do you share the audio? This earphone splitter doesn’t just allow two headphone plug-ins but three! You can watch with your travel buddy and with the close talker in the aisle seat for only $12.99.

Case-Mate Pockets A great gift for the ladies on your life! These pockets stick right onto smart phones and hold up to 2 cards. Next time they don’t feel like lugging their purse, they will be all set! They come in a variety of colors and styles and are available for $14.99.

Google Cardboard Know someone who might like to dip their toe in virtual reality but aren’t quite ready to commit. Then you have GOT to get them Google Cardboard. For only $15, a smartphone, and some VR Apps, they can experience virtual reality without a heavy price tag!

Leaf Metro Indoor HDTV Antenna Cord-cutters listen-up! This TV antenna plugs directly into your television and receives over-the-air broadcasts within a 25-mile radius for a one-time cost of $20. 

Sarki 10-inch Writing Tablet This gift is an option for kids, teachers, co-workers or even spouses. The tablet comes with its own stylus. Use it around the house or office to leave notes or reminders. Kids can use it to practice their writing, and with the low price of $20, you won’t cringe if they break this tablet.

Tile Mate Ok, ok, fine. We know, this is $25 and not under $20. But how could we exclude the Tile Mate? Tired of getting in arguments with your spouse over where they left the car keys? Spare yourself the future headaches and get them the Tile Mate. Attach the Tile to the car keys (or in a wallet) and download the app. Next time you can’t find the keys, simply pull-up the app to locate them.

Great tech gifts and stocking stuffers for the people on your list don’t have to cost a fortune. Unless, however, you buy one of everything for yourself as well.

It’s ok, we won’t tell.

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The New Universal Remote Controls are Getting Smart

Universal Remote ControlWhen most people under the age of 30 hear the words “universal remote”, they shudder as they think back to memories of their father stomping around the living room, frustrated with the remote their mother bought him for Father’s Day in 1995. We can promise that the days of desperately trying to setup your universal remote are truly a thing of the past! The new universal remotes are a fantastic addition to your living room and setup is simple.

Why a Universal Remote?

While the experience of a universal remote is vastly different than that of the past, the purpose has pretty much remained the same. Essentially, a universal remote serves the purpose of replacing lost manufacturer remotes or eliminating the excessive number of remotes we all seem to collect between our televisions, sound systems, DVD players and the like. Any device that can be controlled via an infrared (IR) signal can be synched to a universal remote.

The most appealing aspect of universal remotes is the price range of available devices. You can add a universal remote to your coffee table for anywhere from $9 – $283. In general, the more tech devices you are looking to connect to your remote, the more you can expect to pay. As you increase in price to the higher-end remotes, you will start seeing smarter functions like custom programming, often referred to as “activities”. These activities allow you to create custom functions. For instance, you can customize a button so that when it is pressed, it not only turns on your TV but also your cable box and switches the input on your television.

New Universal Remotes are Becoming “Smart”

If you’re looking to spend between $50 and $150 for a mid-range remote, there are still some great perks. For example, the Logitech Harmony Smart offers a remote for $79. The Harmony Smart remote offers a smartphone app as well as voice control. The remote also works with Bluetooth devices, which allows it to work with devices that are hidden in cabinets or even in a nearby room.

Lower end remotes offer a great value for those who are looking to eliminate additional remotes. The ease of synching up your devices is much more foolproof than in the past. However, you won’t see nearly as many bells and whistles as the higher-end remotes.

Regardless of the price you are willing to pay, we can guarantee you can let go of your traumatic universal remote memories from the past and replace them with a much more enjoyable experience. While universal remotes have come a long way, we are looking forward to the near future when these remotes have more capabilities when it comes to working with smart home devices such as smart lighting and home appliances. Until then we will sit back and enjoy our clutter-free coffee tables.

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Second Screening

Second ScreeningYou’ve maybe never heard the term, “second-screening”, before, but chances are you’ve done it. In fact, 87% of individuals with more than two personal devices “second-screen” all the time.

So, what is second-screening? The term is used to describe the phenomenal trend of individuals viewing media content on more than one device at a time. Continue reading

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Virtual Reality: Is it a Trend or our Future?

Virtual Reality Trend or FutureMany tech experts are predicting that the Virtual Reality (VR) industry will be a 100 billion-dollar industry by the year 2025. However, some skeptics say Virtual Reality is just another tech trend that will fade into the horizon if it doesn’t figure out how to market itself to businesses or create a space for itself on social media. Continue reading

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Best TVs for Watching Sports & Gaming

Best TVs for watching sports or gamingIf you are a sports fanatic or dedicated gamer, you probably already know that the type of TV you view your game on makes an undeniable difference in viewing experience. But do you know exactly what specs you should be looking for? Continue reading

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Today’s Smart TVs: What You Need to Know

Smart TVs for your Charlotte NC HomeSmart TVs made their debut with most major TV brands 6-8 years ago. At the time, their “smarts” weren’t really that impressive. Fortunately, Smart TVs have become (truly) smarter with age, and we are finally beginning to see the technology as a useful tool to add to your smart home arsenal. Continue reading

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The New Apple 4K TV

Apple 4K TVMaybe you aren’t a die-hard Apple fan like some of us, but trust us – you are going to want to know about the new Apple 4K TV that was recently released. The Apple TV has notably taken a backseat to other Apple devices in the past 3 years. However, the ambition of the new Apple 4K TV proves that Apple is working hard to be the future of TV, today. Continue reading

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Pre-Construction Wiring for your Future Smart Home

Pre-Construction Wiring for Charlotte Smart HomeIf you are building a home or doing a major remodel, do yourself a favor and spend some dedicated time planning your home’s wiring. Too many folks make the mistake of leaving the wiring plans to the builders, and in turn, they get a standard home wiring setup.

Unfortunately, what is standard today will likely be inefficient 5 years from today, and may not even be ideal for your current needs given all the smart and connected devices and appliances we all own.

As technology evolves, so does your home wiring needs. So plan for the future, today by thinking BIG. Continue reading

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5 Tips for a Secure Home Network

Home Network SecurityThe majority of U.S. households connect to the internet using a wireless router. Wireless internet (Wi-Fi) is a convenient way to allow multiple devices internet access without the inconvenience of ethernet cords. However, Wi-Fi presents security risks to information stored on your devices including: documents, photos, financial information, login credentials and emails. Fortunately, most of these security risks can be easily eliminated or reduced with a few easy changes to your network setup. Continue reading

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Refresh your Home’s Theater Space for Football Season

Design Home Theater for Football SeasonFootball season officially kicks-off on September 7th.

If you’re considering a revamp to your home theater to make this the best football season yet, we’ve got you covered with these 3 easy-to-follow guidelines. Continue reading

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