With graduation season upon us and Father’s Day just three weeks away (June 15th) now is the perfect time to start shopping for the special dads and grads on your list! If your tech loving dad or the high school or college graduate in your life is in need of a new laptop/tablet, phone or just loves technology in general, you are in luck. Tech expert and all around great dad, Mario Armstrong joined me for an interview yesterday to dish on six amazing tech gifts your doting dad or your favorite grad will adore!
Candace Rose: What would you consider a must have computer?
Mario Armstrong: “A must have is something that combines the best of both worlds, something that gives you a laptop as well as a tablet all put together, it’s like peanut butter and jelly.
My favorite is the Dell XPS 11 fully functional laptop, but also a fully functional tablet 4th generation Intel Core Processor, super fast performance, great battery life, enhanced graphics; but also a fully functional tablet as well. It’s very light, but also super thin (thin as a magazine). It’s a great device to buy for a dad or grad, about a thousand bucks for that.”
Candace Rose: How can we protect ourselves in this digital world?
Mario Armstrong: “You want to have software that keeps away the viruses and secures all your data, so you want something like McAfee LiveSafe. This will protect you on PCs, MACs, tablets, smartphones. 24/7 security on all of those devices as well, and it also has a free app…so if you have an Android or Apple device, you can also use your app to access things and check in on your virus software. Make sure you’re covered and protected. It’s important that if you’re buying technology, you protect that technology.”
Candace Rose: What’s the smartest phone plan?
Mario Armstrong: “One that saves you money! The one I like is Net10 Wireless, they have a phone plan that is $40 for unlimited data, text and talk, so that’s pretty huge for unlimited. If you know you’re going to be going online to watch videos, you’re going to be downloading apps and using them a lot, you text a lot, you want an unlimited plan- so $40 is really inexpensive dependable wireless network which is great, but the other good thing about Net10 Wireless is that you can bring in your own phone, something they call ‘BYOP’. So if you have a phone that you already like, you can bring that in. They sell new ones as well, but if you have a phone that you really like you can bring your phone in and get it connected.”
Candace Rose: Are there any new gadgets for the sentimental dad or grad?
Mario Armstrong: “Yes! I’m a sentimental dad, I love taking pictures of my kid and the problem is I take pictures and then they end up on my laptop, they end up on my tablet, they end up on my phone so they’re all over the place. I use a device I’ve been testing out called Lyve Home and it comes with a live app on your phone so it’s a high capacity device that’s basically a smart device that brings together all of that content, all of those images that are in all these scattered places that puts them in one location and you can access it any time from any device from anywhere which is really great. It has two terabytes worth of data storage. For those that may not know what that means, it’s kind of geeky speaky…it means a huge amount of data that you’re probably never going to end up using all of that up. And it’s secure as well, too.”
Candace Rose: How do dads and grads stay smart?
Mario Armstrong: “Dads and grads stay smart by continuing their life long learning and education. Grads can try and do that if they want to sharp up on some business skills to enter the work force, dads can do it if they’re maybe changing jobs, or maybe they want to start a new hobby. I use a service called Lynda.com. Basically they have an extensive online library of videos and tutorials of tons of different subjects. So if you want to learn something about Excel and Powerpoint, you can do that; learn code and design, you can do that; or if you want to learn how to do better photography as a new hobby, you can take that course as well. They’re all taught by esteemed instructors. It costs about $25 a month, but you get unlimited access to all of those courses, which is great.
Then you have to stay connected to the internet and to stay connected to the internet, I always use a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. I’ve been testing out the Karma, really like this guy- the Karma mobile Wi-Fi hotspot is thin, small, great battery life on it. You can connect up to eight devices to it as well, but most of all you can save money. You can pay as you go, so you only pay for the data that you really end up needing. There are no monthly fees, no contracts or anything like that, the data never expires, so you only pay as you need to use it.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Mario Armstrong: “I think people just need to really think about who you’re buying devices and technology for. So if it’s a grad student, really think through what they’re going to benefit from? What’s going to make them more productive or really help them in the workforce.
If you’re really looking for something for dad, find out what are his hobbies? What are his interests and really find something that’s going to cater to that, to their passion, and I think you’ll find a gift that they’ll be happy about.
I did cover a lot, so it’s all up on the website if people want to go and check it out: ThunkNews.com.com/SmartDadsGrads.”
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