30 Jan Travel Holiday Gifts for the Home Office
What’s more important than home office productivity? A family. So if you’re lucky to have it, I encourage you to follow my example and just say no to your Thanksgiving shopping. This will reward stores that close Thursday with your business on Black Friday and beyond.
However, it’s hard not to get excited in the retail maelstrom that builds up around the holidays, surrounded by deals big, small and false. (For the latter, I think of any technology sold at CVS or Walgreens and what an industry executive recently told me, “An Android tablet with no name is AOL’s.
It’s also hard not to be typical this time of year, as if it weren’t for Santa, some defiant elf willing to hand out tech shopping tips to friends and family. Lord knows, I’ve been asked about suggestions, so here are some of mine for 2015.
Nerds’ Most Wanted
At the top of this year’s wish list is the Microsoft Surface Book , an outstanding 3, 3-pound laptop that resets its keyboard (and a second battery that gives it 15 hours of battery life) with the push of a button to become incredibly powerful. A 1.6-pound 13.5-inch Windows 10 tablet that’s expensive: $ 1,699 with a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage, and $ 2,699 for a Core i7 with doubled memory, storage, and discrete graphics, but almost flawlessly in both laptop and tablet modes.
Beyond the Surface Book, I am currently drooling over my desktop computer: the HP Envy 34 Curved All-in-One computer – a computer built into the back of a 34-inch monitor with a resolution of 3440 by 1440 pixels. It costs $ 1,800, with a Core i5 chip, so the desired Core i7 model will cost no more than $ 2,000. But think about how fun it would be to place application windows in a breathtaking panorama. Heck, think about how fun it would be to choose a Windows wallpaper.
If you’re not ready to spend money on a new computer, consider spending money on your most important piece of home office furniture: the chair that you spend eight or more hours a day in. I can be found on models on the Sit4Life site almost as often as on the PCMag and Computer Shopper sites. And while Herman Miller’s Aeron is the most famous name in ergonomic chairs, I recommend at least two more. These are Steel Leap, Handle and Ruthless Human Freedom. We will return to chair ergonomics in the next article.
This year was objectively difficult, whatever one may say. Making gifts makes you feel good. So here’s our third annual gift guide, chosen by all of our team members. We like to think that everyone here will find something for themselves – mainly food-related, with an abundance of smoked fish, because … we love it. We also have some (not food related! Ah!) Wild Cards.
So technically this thing – the wooden thing that the young gentleman in the photo above is standing on – is called the Learning Tower, but I just can’t bring myself to ever call it that. In my opinion, this is a “children’s cooking stool,” and in a way it is a game changer (if you have a child; otherwise useless).
The thing is, I love to cook and would be happy if my child loved it too. To set these wheels in motion, I began to put him on a counter next to the stove so that he would cook dinner with me. It worked, but it took all kinds of MacGyvering to make sure he wasn’t sticking his hand directly into the burner or pot. This stool allows him to stand at a “safe enough” distance from the stove and twirl the spatula until he gets bored, which, unfortunately, never happens. It’s not cheap, although I’m sure it does other things.
Another skillet that I love is the 15-inch carbon steel Lodge . A while ago, I “borrowed” one after one of the photo shoots from Mark’s cookbook (along with other £ 100 items that I stuffed into my gym bag). Off using it and at that point I got a super Grinch and decided not to give it up. Basically, this is now my frying pan (such a large area!), But it has the added benefit of being designed to be placed on the stove top. Since I received it, I haven’t fried chicken in anything else. One tip: if you plan on donating, donate it! (My mother-in-law was forced to buy hers.)
Quick re-frying: This is something that many of us do quite often towards the end of the year, and some of us are simply more competent at this than others. For example, I often put things in the oven and then forget that they are there. We had a holiday party for one year, and traditionally I jumped into the shower five minutes before everyone was supposed to come. Somewhere in the middle of the soap, my wife burst into the bathroom yelling, “Flames are coming out of the oven!” Apparently there was some ham. This situation (naked in the kitchen, stewed with fat from the ham) could have been avoided with the Chef Alarm, a really good thermometer with a sensor that you insert into everything you fry and that will beep when it reaches the temperature you set it to. If you have any Norman Rockwell holiday aspirations, this thing can really help you get through it.