He was your first hero. Who else would go out in the middle of the night for cold medicine because you had a sniffle? He wiped your nose (and, uh, other things). He taught you how to throw a curve ball or splice a wire, didn't tell Mom when he caught you red-handed (you know what for), and always made sure there were things in the fridge other than carrots and yogurt. And now the day is coming to honor the man who has always stood by you, even though you didn't make it easy for him.
So how do you say, "Happy Father's Day — sorry for all the goofy things I do throughout the year"? It's not with a tie, I'll tell you that.
Sure, if you're rich, it's pretty easy to throw cash at the situation and get him something that'll make his jaw drop. It's a bit tougher when you're on a budget. But take heart — getting him a gift he'll love doesn't have to take a huge sum of money, just a little thoughtfulness and a lot of love. Start with one of these under $100 gift ideas.
eReader: Kindle Touch
The Kindle Touch is easily Amazon's best eReader. And the best part is, this e-ink device is an affordable item in the mobile tech world, starting at less than $100 (for the ad-supported WiFi-only version). Actually, there are two great points to this: The Kindle Touch has appeal for both gadget-heads and technophobes. Whether he's a voracious reader of old-school paper tomes or a fan of "newfangled" audiobooks, digital eBooks and eMags, or MP3s, this should suit him well without putting you in the poor house. It may not put him in the red either, thanks to Amazon's online lending library.
If Dad's an iOS user, then an Apple TV is a no-brainer. Not only can the $99 box stream titles from Netflix, iTunes, MLB.TV and more, but that nifty AirPlay feature will let him send pics, vids and music from his iPhone or iPad. It's also pretty simple and intuitive to use, so you can make him happy without adding another gadget to your parental tech troubleshooting list. On the other hand, if he's a huge couch potato (or not an iTunes user), you might want to consider a Roku box ($49.99–99.99) instead. The real gift here is Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus and many other channels of content that can keep on giving all year long.
Printer: Epson Stylus NX430 Small-in-One
Stop me if you've heard this: "Yes, I got the picture you sent me, kiddo. So how do I get it out of my email, and onto our coffee table?" Oy. Okey dokie, first thing's first: He needs a printer. And here's an all-in-one that not only offers high-quality printing, plus scanning and copies, but is also small enough to make sure Mom doesn't jump all over him about a huge, ugly printer or more cables marring her home. This $99.99 model's best suited for wireless printing, and because it has Epson's iPrint software, compatible mobile devices (like iOS devices and certain Androids) will work with it too.
Virtual Golf: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13
Maybe you can't afford to get him a membership to that snazzy country club or a new set of golf clubs, but that doesn't mean he can't get in a tournie from the living room — especially if it's equipped with a PS3 or Xbox 360 (without or now with Kinect). Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is just $40, and now offers additional courses as well as a new online country club.
The mother of all universal remote controls: Logitech Harmony 650
Grab the black remote, change the channel. Grab the gray one, up the volume. Back to the black one, change the source, pick it up the little remote, watch Netflix. Shoot, volume's too low… where's the gray one again? No one enjoys this dance, so shouldn't you help Dad on his special day by ending it for good with the Mercedes Benz of remote controls, the Logitech Harmony? Sure you should, but not everyone has $350 for a top-of-the-line model (ouch). Take heart — the company does offer a more affordable option in the Logitech Harmony 650. Featuring a LCD smart display, easy online setup, compatibility with 5000+ brands and a constantly updated device database, this one unit can replace 5 different remote controls, all for less than $100. (At Logitech.com, it has a $79.99 retail price, but a quick Amazon search easily knocked 20 bucks off that.)
What are you getting for your dad for Father's Day? Tell us what it is and where you got it in the comments.
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