There’s so much tech around everyone’s lives these days – in our homes, in our cars, our pockets – and with so many now working from home at least a few days a week, tech has become more important than ever. But as the world and its technology gets faster, more capable and more demanding, it’s easy for those all-important devices to start lagging behind, slowing down and missing essential features.
That makes a tech update for dad’s devices an ideal Father’s Day gift choice. If he’s the sort of person who happily just soldiers on with the same phone, computer or internet, constantly mumbling about how frustrating and slow it is, it’s the perfect time to get him that long-overdue upgrade, making both life and work feel better.
Of course, the number one device that every dad uses – and the most likely to be in need of an upgrade – is his mobile phone. The tech in mobiles has come a long way in just a few short years, with the latest models sporting gorgeous big OLED screens, loads of computing power (great for everything from streaming video on the go to winding down with some mobile games), and connected features that are enhanced by the latest version of Android.
ASUS might be a less familiar name in the phone market, but as a leading maker of computers of all sizes, they know their stuff when it comes to packing a quality experience into a small package. Their jet-black Zenfone 8 boasts the latest Snapdragon 888 processor for ultra-fast performance, with a huge 5.9-inch 120Hz Samsung AMOLED screen (with HDR10+ support) ensuring everything’s smooth as silk, and pro-grade Sony camera sensors for brilliant photography. With all this power under the hood, everything – even recording 8K video – is handled effortlessly.
Alternatively, Nubia’s RedMagic 6 Pro aims for super-big, with a massive 6.8-inch AMOLED display running at up to 165Hz. That makes it a great pick for dads who are into mobile games, with that same 888 CPU backed by a massive battery and actual trigger buttons on the phone’s shoulders. The Vivo X60 Pro, meanwhile, aims squarely at photographer dads with its advanced camera engineered with Zeiss and an eye-grabbing curved screen with its almost-invisible front camera.
The other thing that dad has probably not updated in years is his computer, and with the upcoming Windows 11 requiring the latest tech, it’s the perfect time to do it. If he’s more of a laptop user, then Microsoft’s stellar Surface Laptop 13.5″ is a great pick, with its 11th-gen Intel CPU and super-sleek design, packing a lot of speed and functionality into a surprisingly light device that travels great. The Dell XPS 13.3” laptop is also one to take a look at, especially for its eye-catching 1080p screen with almost no borders, and a high-quality webcam making Zoom meetings look great anywhere.
For many dads, though, a desktop PC will be the computer of choice. Dell’s done some cleverness with their latest desktop release, an “all-in-one” PC that gets away from the “big box” design of the traditional PC and puts the entire computer inside a futuristic-looking 24-inch desktop display. That means less clutter, less cables, and a screen that looks just as good when streaming content as it does shuffling spreadsheets.
But Dell’s not the only company to squeeze a desktop PC into a screen – HP’s latest Pavilion PC also takes the super-compact approach, with an even bigger 27-inch touchscreen and an ultra-low-profile wireless keyboard.
If dad’s current tablet is, like many, starting to feel slow and frustrating to use even for the basics, a solid upgrade can be found with Lenovo’s Android-powered P11 – as the model number suggests, an 11” tablet with a high resolution 2000 x 1200 IPS touchscreen display. Made with movies in mind, it boasts four speakers with Dolby Atmos capability, along with a huge 15-hour battery life, making it dependable on the go for work and play.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A7 also goes for that high resolution on a slightly smaller 10.4” screen, still managing to squeeze Dolby Atmos audio and an 8-core processor inside an even more compact package that’s extremely well-priced.
There is one major update you can gift dad that’s less visible, but endlessly useful – an upgrade to your home networking. Even the best modem/routers can only offer limited Wi-Fi range, and while there are ways to extend that via the use of add-ons like repeaters, speed can be compromised. A mesh router system can solve all that, providing fast, expandable Wi-Fi coverage around the home and making sure fast internet is always on tap.
One of the more popular mesh systems comes from eero, whose TrueMesh 6 delivers Wi-Fi 6 speed to up to 460 square metres of house, supports smart home devices like Philips Hue via its built-in hub, and takes only a few minutes to set up. It fully supports gigabit speeds, too, so it’s ready for the fastest NBN plans available.
Also onboard the gigabit mesh train is Netgear, whose Orbi System promises even more in-home speed without slowdown – perfect for sending big files between devices without interrupting anyone’s video streaming. Made up of a main router and a satellite device, its powerful antennas and tech promise to eat gigabit speeds for breakfast while eliminating dead zones. As far as tech updates go, mesh Wi-Fi is a game-changer.