12 Must Have Tech Toys to Spend Your Savings On
Have you found a little extra cash in your pocket? Don't put it in the boring old bank; splurge on something cool, like the latest must-have tech gadget!
A little extra money in your pocket is a wonderful thing, especially when it's the result of getting a better deal on a necessity -- phone service, for example. Every month you get to pocket the savings, which can quickly add up to a tidy sum.
Ah, but what to do with such a windfall? You could save it, sure, but why not splurge on something cool? We've rounded up 12 extremely cool somethings, the must-have tech toys for anyone with a little spare cash.
1. 3D Robotics Solo
When you're ready to take to the skies in style, look no further than the 3D Robotics Solo drone ($999.95). It looks cool, like something from a military black-ops division. It flies like a champ for beginners and experts alike. And it's packed with advanced features, like programmable flight paths, multiple "follow-me" modes, and live streaming video directly to your phone (which mounts conveniently to the top of the included remote control). Just be sure to spring for the optional 3-axis gimbal so you can independently turn and point your GoPro as you fly.
Read more about the Solo and compare it to other drones on our product review sister site Techwalla.
2. ActiveOn CX Action Camera
Just because you want a GoPro (after all, you need one for the previously mentioned Solo drone) doesn't mean you have to spend a small fortune on one. Not when there are alternatives like the CX Action Camera, which for $120 gives you a GoPro-compatible design (meaning it should fit most mounts) and close-to-GoPro-caliber video recording. It even has a two-inch display and built-in Wi-Fi for remote operation via your Android or iOS device.
Read more about the CX Action camera and compare it to other action cams on our product review sister site Techwalla.
3. AKG Q701
Why should your eyes have all the fun? Anyone who seriously appreciates music should own a seriously good set of headphones, the kind that make you want to sit in your living room all day listening to your favorite playlists. The $212 AKG Q701 are those headphones. Endorsed by legendary producer Quincy Jones, the Q701s deliver glorious sound from a pair of over-the-ear cups, which are suspended from a self-adjusting headband. And you gotta love the industrial old-school design.
Get the scoop on the AKG Q701 and compare it to similar headphones on our product review sister site Techwalla.
4. Apple Watch
This is all about splurging, right? The Apple Watch is definitely not a cheap addition to your wrist (it starts at $349 and rises sharply from there), but if you own an iPhone, it's the best possible companion. Beautiful screen, smart notifications, plenty of fitness features, and a small but appealing selection of customizable watchfaces -- all this adds up to a splurge-worthy watch.
Our product review sister site Techwalla can show you a lot more about the Apple Watch, including comparisons to other smartwatches.
5. Crazybaby Mars
Why buy a Bluetooth speaker that just sits there? The Crazybaby Mars looks like your basic monolithic speaker tower, right up until the tweeter floats up from the top and hovers inches above like the world's coolest flying saucer. Oh, and automatically lands when it needs to recharge. And as if that wasn't enough, it plays music, too. At $329, the Mars isn't cheap -- but it's also too cool not to buy.
Wireless earphones are nothing new, except that they're usually not truly wireless: There's always a cord running from ear to ear. Not so with Earin's noise-isolating earbuds, which snug into each ear for a truly cord-free experience. Just as cool, the accompanying aluminum carrying case is also a mobile charger, meaning every time you pop out the earbuds, they're topped off and ready for listening. Geek bonus points: They remind us of what Lt Uhura wore at her communication station on Star Trek.
7. Google Chromecast Audio
Can a tech toy be cool and practical at the same time? It can if it's the $35 Chromecast Audio, a slick little gizmo that plugs into just about any speaker or stereo, effectively making it wireless. Now you can stream music from your phone. Even better, deploy multiple Chromecast Audios around your house for a multi-room sound system, not unlike what you'd get from a much pricier Sonos setup.
8. HP Spectre x2
If you've had your eye on a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet but didn't like the price tag, HP has engineered something very similar -- and in some ways better -- for a lower price. The $799.99 Spectre x2 is a 12-inch hybrid PC, meaning it's a Windows-powered tablet with an optional keyboard dock. Except here that keyboard is included, along with a Verizon-compatible mobile broadband antenna in case you need connectivity on the go. Oh, and if that's not enough, the Spectre is seriously sexy, too.
You can learn a lot more about the Spectre x2 (including comparisons to other models) at our sister product review site Techwalla.
9. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8
Before you buy an underpowered Amazon Fire or overpriced Apple iPad, consider the $169 Yoga Tab 3 8. This 8-inch Android tablet has a a number of cool tricks up its sleeve, including a 20-hour battery, a multi-mode kickstand, a 180-degree gesture-controlled rotating camera, and front-facing speakers. So if you're looking for a tablet that actually innovates, try this one.
Read more about the Yoga Tab 3 8 at Techwalla.
10. Micro 3D Printer
Proof positive that 3D printers don't have to be large, ugly, or expensive, the Micro 3D is a compact, colorful machine that starts at $349. How compact? It's right around seven inches square, so an easy fit on any desk. How colorful? Choose from a variety of shiny plastic hues, including orange, blue, and green. And the Micro 3D cleverly hides its filament spool inside its base, so it's not hard on the decor. Even better, the accompanying software makes printing Yoda heads (or any other small object you have in mind) a simple drag-and-drop process. This is a great way to dip your toe into 3D-printing waters.
11. Samsung Gear VR
Virtual reality is all the rage right now, and it's easy to see why. Or it will be, once you strap Samsung's $99 Gear VR to your head. In an instant you'll have access to virtual worlds, games, even a Netflix movie theater. A built-in touchpad makes menu navigation fairly easy, while adjustable lenses allow for comfortable viewing, even for those who wear glasses. The only wrinkle: the Gear VR works with only a limited number of Samsung phones.
If you want to learn more about the Gear VR check out what our sister product review site Techwalla has to say about it.
12. Sphero BB-8
Resistance is futile. Yes, that's a Star Trek quote, but it definitely applies to the adorable rolling robot from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Because it's impossible to resist the cuteness that is your very own BB-8 ($149.99). Controlled by your smartphone and equipped with the same free-moving magnetic head as the "real" thing, the little 'bot produces sound effects and augmented-reality videos (think Princess Leia and R2-D2) and can respond to voice commands.
Learn everything you could possibly want to know about the BB-8 at Techwalla.