Father's Day gift ideas

Don't settle on buying dad a tie this Father's Day. Get him a geeky gift he'll appreciate.

Father's Day is June 20, 2010

Show your appreciation for dear ol’ dad with a present he can really use. In this slideshow are several gift ideas, starting at $10. Whether your father is hooked on his iPad, at work on projects on his Mac, or out on the town with his iPhone, these gifts are sure to make pa happy. Got a great gift idea? Tell your fellow readers about it in the comments section.

iPhone and iPad apps

If you're on a limited budget and your papa has an iPhone or iPad, there are a ton of affordable apps at the App Store. There are plenty of Father's Day-themed apps, as well as apps dad can use for his favorite hobbies. Visit our AppGuide for some suggestions.


Always leaving Post-It Notes on your father's computer? The Scratch-n-Scroll ($10) is a mousepad with a surface you can scribble notes on. Erase the surface by lifting the top sheet. The Scratch-n-Scroll works with any optical or ball mouse.

Exploded Tees

If your pa likes to tinker, he’ll love these t-shirts that feature “exploded” views of Mac hardware. There’s a shirt with an exploded Mac 128k ($19) for old-time Mac users, or get the exploded Phone ($20; pictured, upper right) or exploded Pad ($19; lower right) shirts. Posters are also available.

Ducti Classic Bi-Fold Wallet

A wallet seems like a Father’s Day cliché, but this is made of duct tape, the wonderstuff that can seemingly fix anything. The Ducti Classic Bi-Fold Wallet is just $20. Or, if you prefer, you can buy a roll of duct tape and make it yourself.

Gorillatorch Flare

This 100-lumen flashlight ($35) has legs like those found on the Gorillapod tripods. It can shine a bright red or white light using three AA batteries. With its flexible legs and magnetic feet, the Gorillapod Flare can shine in even the most awkward spaces.

Kensington Windshield/Vent Car Mount

You can attach this iPhone mount ($40) to a car windshield or air vent to bring your iPhone up to a better eye level. It also features an audio amplifiction system that boost the volume of the iPhone so driving instructions can be better heard.

NuForce NE-7M

Give your father a better iPhone listening expereince with a headset upgrade. For $50, the NuForce NE-7M features balanced sound quality that’s steps above the stock iPhone headset. Read our full review. We have more canalbud headset reviews, as well as a roundup of standard canalbud headphones (no mic).

Cocoon Harlem iPad/Netbook Sling

Got a father who loves his iPad? Get him a case to take good care of it. One of our favorites, the Cocoon Harlem iPad/Netbook Sling ($55), can hold an iPad and its accessories. Read our full review. Not his style? We have reviews of dozens and dozens of other iPad cases.

Luxa2 H4

The Luxa2 H4 ($60) is an impressive iPad stand that offers 360-degree rotation, 300-degree tilt, the flexibility to accommodate an iPad in a case, and an Apple-inspired design. Just make sure you have room on your desk, because all this versatility requires some bulk. Read our full review.


If dad spends a lot of time under the hood of the family car, he’ll appreciate CarMD ($99). It connects to a car’s Data Link Connector and collects diagnostic data you can use to find out if there’s a problem. Read our full review.

Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots

The Sierra Wireless Overdrive (left, $99 with two-year Sprint contract) and the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 (right, $100 with two-year Verizon contract) provide Wi-Fi Internet access while you’re out and about. A great tool if your dad is always on the road. Read our reviews for the Sierra Wireless Overdrive and the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200.

Logitech Performance Mouse MX

Built for bigger hands, the Logitech Performance Mouse MX ($100) is sturdy, comfortable, and has plenty of buttons. It also comes with a rechargable battery and the tracking works on almost any surface, including glass. It’s a terific mouse for dad to use everyday with his Mac. Read our full review.

Scott eVest Clothing

Too many gadgets and not enough pockets? Pop won’t have that problem with clothing from Scott eVest. The company designs clothes with electronics in mind, so garments, like the Tropical Jacket/Vest (left, $120) and the TEC Shirt (right, $80) safely secure your gear and even keep the cables out of the way.

iHome iP39

Does dad have exceptional culinary skills? The iHome iP39 ($100) makes for a great kitchen companion. This iPhone/iPod dock has a pair of timers that dad can use while slaving over a hot stove. And it’s designed with easy-to-clean controls and a dock that can slide in and out.

Kodak PlaySport

If dad seems to be constantly recording video of family events, give him a camcorder that can go just about anywhere. The Kodak PlaySport is waterproof (up to 10 feet deep) and also has electronic image stabilization. It records 1080p HD video on to SD cards, and has a 4X digital zoom.

Phosphor E Ink Digital Hour Clock Watch

Watches nowadays are more about fashion that function, so it helps to have a watch that’s unique, like the Phosphor E Ink Digital Hour Clock Watch ($195). It uses an E Ink electronic paper display and switches between a numeric display and a hour clock.

Buffalo Dualie

Help dad reduce the clutter on his desk with the Buffalo Dualie ($200). It’s a dock that allows you to connect a 500GB portable hard drive and an iPhone or iPod to your computer. Read our full review.

Olympus PEN E-PL1

The Olympus PEN E-PL1 is an interchangeable lens camera that offers the flexibility of a SLR, but the simplicity of a point-and-shoot. Dad won’t be able to blame bad shots on the camera anymore. Learn more about the PEN E-PL1.

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