If you’re a fan of Lego Mindstorms, you probably have the new EV3 on your Christmas wish list. That’s assuming you didn’t buy one already. I haven’t. I have the Lego Mindstorms NXT and NXT 2.0, but not the EV3. Anyway, if you have the EV3 or if you’re going to get one, you should get the new EV3 book. It’s called The Art of Lego Mindstorms EV3 Programming. The book, which was written by software engineer Terry Griffin, offers a beginner-friendly, in-depth guide to the EV3 language. The Art of Lego Mindstorms EV3 Programming (No Starch Press) is available now for $24.99 from Amazon.
Solid-Cordz sent me their Gold Plated HDMI Cable for review on my geek dad blog. I’ve been using the cable for about a week now and have not had any problems. The picture quality on my 1080 HD TV looks outstanding. The cable is well made and feels very durable. I don’t have a 4K resolution TV, but according to the product literature, the Solid-Cordz HDMI cable features 4K support. As advertised, the cable connectors are gold plated. The Solid-Cordz Gold Plated HDMI Cable comes in a set of two. The pair of 6′ HDMI cables are priced at $35 on Amazon (plus free shipping).
With a name like fireTV, you have a lot to live up to. It’s not perfect, but FireTV exceeded my expectations. By a lot. For those who don’t know, FireTV is Amazon’s device for connecting your HDTV to online content. The tiny box will stream movies, music, and photos to your TV. In addition, you can also play video games with FireTV. The box only measures 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.7″ (115 mm x 115 mm x 17.5 mm), so it hardly takes up any space. With Amazon Fire TV, you can stream movies and TV shows up to 1080p HD. The device also supports Dolby Digital Plus up to 7.1 via HDMI or optical out.
I’ve been test driving the Kindle Paperwhite for the past week. The device was sent to me by an Amazon representative for review on my geek dad blog. I love it. I really do. The Paperwhite is now my favorite gadget for reading. My previous favorite e-reader was the Nook Color. It’s a nice device, but it’s more of a mini-tablet than a e-reader because it’s a little too heavy and big for holding when you’re doing a lot of reading in one sitting. In comparison, the Kindle Paperwhite is light and I can easily hold it with one hand. In addition, I can easily flip the page back and forth just by tapping the page with my thumb instead of having to swipe.
Vtech recently sent me their cordless phone system for review on my geek dad blog. I know what you’re thinking — why would I want to review a cordless phone? They’ve been around for decades and are not exactly on the leading edge of technology. But the Vtech IS7121-2 is different. In fact, it’s the only phone system I know of that integrates a doorbell video system. The Vtech answering system is essentially a doorbell caller ID system that lets you see who is at the door. BTW, the system has a list price of $119.95.
For more than a week now, I’ve been playing with a Wi-Fi camera called the WatchBot. I received the device for review on my geek dad blog. Thanks to the many features of the camera, you can use the Watchbot for things like home security, checking in on your children, monitoring your baby, and communicating with your kids. The Watchbot includes a camera, DC power supply, wall mounting kit, alarm connection adaptor, network cable, set-up CD, and user guide. BTW, the power supply is designed for the UK, but a power adapter for the US was included with my unit. The Watchbot retails for $237.95.
CritterZone sent me their air naturalizer for review on my geek dad blog. The little gadget freshens indoor air without filters or chemicals. You gotta love that, right? The Air Naturalizer is easy to use — just plug it into a electrical outlet. I received a wall unit for review, but there is also a corded version and a travel pack that includes a car adapter and travel bag. The corded and wall unit versions cost $99 each. The travel pack is priced at $114.95. But you can a $10 discount on any of the units if you use the following promo code during check out: GEEKDAD
If you’re looking for a holiday gift for a LEGO lover, then you should consider the Beautiful LEGO book by Mike Doyle. It’s an awesome book that will be a great addition to your coffee table. Beautiful LEGO is filled with great LEGO ideas that will impress and inspire artists, builders, and fans of all ages. The book also includes information about the builders behind the beautiful Lego art. While the book is filled with stunning Lego creations, it’s not a how-to book. This is something to keep in mind if you’re actually looking for a how-to book. Beautiful LEGO (No Starch Press) is available now for $18.94 on Amazon.
If you’re looking for a book for a young Lego lover, then you should take a look at Cool Creations in 35 Pieces. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group sent the book to me for review on my geek dad blog. As the title implies, the book features Lego ideas that can be built with only 35 bricks. The book is intended for kids ages four to eight. Cool Creations in 35 Pieces is available now. The hardcover is currently priced at $9.78 on Amazon. The Kindle version is currently $8.81.
Digiarty Software sent me a promo code to review their software on my geek dad blog. The software is called WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe. The video tool enables users to convert between many mainstream video formats. The software has a ton of features and it’s easy to use. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is also very affordable. It’s priced at $49.95. However, the software is currently on sale for $35.95.