David Rancken’s 2016 Christmas Shopping Guide

Amazon Echo or Google Home

These two are fighting for supremacy as the first devices that can control your Internet connected home. They’re also just cool “toys” to keep you company. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. One is buy Amazon, so it connects nicely to your Amazon Prime account. Google handles direct questions better, if you’re looking for answers. It also plays audio from YouTube videos. Both play music throught their speakers. Amazon Echo gets a slight edge because it can do more.

NES Classic

80’s nostalgia for those people that never saw the original gaming system. It used to be a full sized system like your PS4 or XBOX One. Now, it’s been compressed so much that the entire system can fit in the palm of your hand. It comes pre-loaded with CLASSIC Nintendo games on the hard drive. This one is HOT. Me want.

Microsoft Surface Book

It’s only been a couple of years that Microsoft actually got into the PC Hardware business. Now, it’s into the full sized tablet computer world to compete with Apple’s MacBook Pro. I’ll admit it. I’m a PC guy, I always have been. Microsoft has finally nailed the proper laptop with the Surface Book.

Zungle Panther

These might be the coolest sunglasses ever, especially if you like to listen to your music and hate the cords, or in-ear earbuds. These sunglasses are brand new. They are also have speakers inside them. No one else can hear them, because the speakers react to the actual bones in your ears. The video looks amazing. They seem to work. I definitely have to get a pair of these. Wonder how good they are at keeping the sun out of your eyes.

Snapchat Spectacles

You can wear some kinda cool looking sunglasses with big black dots above the lenses. These are sunglasses that you can use to be stylish AND record the world around you to post on Snapchat. They record 10 second videos that get sent to your smartphone Snapchat app. You press the temple and you’re a regular filmmaker. James Bond would have used these a few films back. Now, they’re mainstream.


This is a pretty large category right. I got a taste of it in the last year or so when I got a free version of the Google Cardboard that’s based on BB-8 from Star Wars. Who can turn down THAT freebie? Google Cardboard is plenty fun for me. Just insert iPhone into the viewer and immerse yourself in the virtual reality realm. But the equipment is getting fancier and more expensive. There’s the Google Daydream viewer. PlayStation now has a VR component. There’s Oculus Rift and others on the market at this point. Pick one, have fun. You may never come back to the real world.

Prynt Case

People love taking pictures with their smartphones and those photos can last forever in the cloud in a digital state. Google Photos is a great way to save ALL your digital pictures for free. Get that app. That’s one.
There’s a new case for your smartphone that lets you print your pictures just like a Polaroid camera. You press the shuttler button to take the picture and the case prints your photo.

Jetpack MiFi

You never know when you’re going to be in an area with a public Wi-Fi that you don’t trust. OR if your data plan is near the end. Now you can carry a device that allows you to connect to the Internet. This MiFi lets you connect your devices in a secure fashion. It also lets you share your data among up to 15 different devices.


I have always been a PlayStation guy. I’ve had them from the original through the PS4 now. The other side has never held my interest. But this one could change my mind. XBOX One came out a couple of years back about the same time as the PlayStation 4. So many people had to decide which one would work best for them. I think I’m ready to get the new system for one main reason. It can play 4K Blu-Rays. These gaming systems tend to have some of the best Blu-Ray players around

Star Trek Communicator badge

Yes, I admit it. I’m a geek. I love science fiction. I have all the Star Treks and Star Wars on Blu-Ray. When the original Star Trek communicator came out at ThinkGeek, I bought one. Now, there’s another version at ThinkGeek and I want. It’s the Next Generation Com Badge. This isn’t the Original version. This badge attaches to your shirt, just like in TNG. It also connects to your smartphone. It’s totally hands free. You touch it to answer a call. And touch it again to hang up. Just like Star Trek TNG.

More from David Rancken

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