Ryan and Ken

Ryan's Picks

Jabra UC VOICE 550 Duo Corded Headset – $48 – Amazon.com

Headsets are a dime a dozen these days, but this one is unique in that it focuses on the microphone quality rather than the headphones. Clearly, this is targeted at voice calls and communications, not movies or gaming. For some that will be a deal killer; for others looking for a good, mobile podcasting option or to talk to friends/family, I've found this one to be excellent.

STANLEY 68-012M All-In-One 6-Way Screwdriver – $5.50 – Amazon.com

Okay, look, I get it – it's just a normal screwdriver. But if you are like me, you just keep losing or temporarily misplacing the one you have. For our office, because we apparently have screwdriver-gnomes, I picked up three of these to make sure I always have one handy. Note, I have threatened everyone that I will be attaching them to desks soon if the problem is not resolved! 😉

From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars) – $22 – Amazon.com

For serious or casual Star Wars fans, this is a book with a twist. Compiled by forty different authors, this tells forty unique side stories that range from Aunt Beru to the monster in the trash compactor to the rebels left behind on Yavin. Definitely worth a read!

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made – $9.59 – Amazon.com

This is a topic I have always been interested in and though a very different read than the famous Doom book, this one goes into several different scenarios including Dragon Age, Stardew Valley, Destiny, and more!

Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum Keyboard – Amazon.com – $79

Using the custom Romer-G keys from Logitech, this gaming keyboard came out last year but has dropped in price quite a bit, and remains one of my favorites with access to multimedia controls as well as RGB lighting. Check out our review of the keyboard here!


Ken's Picks

This year, I've decided to take a different perspective on my Holiday Gift Guide picks. Instead of choosing TVs or cameras (seriously though, buy an LG OLED set, the sales are amazing currently!), I've decided to pick some low-cost items that have made my life better this year that I think other like-minded geeks will also enjoy.

Javelin Digital Instant Read Thermometer – Amazon.com – $25

For me, 2017 has been a year full of learning to cook well. One of the things I didn't realize the utility of until recently has been a high-quality, instead read thermometer. 

Instead of overcooking meat to ensure that it's done all the way through, I can now use the Javelin to gauge the perfect doneness accurately.

For $25, it's well worth the investment. Seriously, you can't even imagine how much you'll use one of these until you have one on hand at all times!

Planet Earth II (4K Blu-Ray) – $30 – Amazon.com

Let's say you or a friend took the wonderful advice of many and decided to pick up that new LG OLED TV during some holiday sales, and now you desperately need some content to display on it.

While it comes with the caveat of needing a 4K Blu-Ray Player (the Xbox One S is great for this, and can be found for less than $200 these days), the absolute best 4K HDR showpiece current available is Planet Earth II.

Just as everyone marveled at the 1080p imagery of the original Planet Earth, the BBC has done it again, providing the perfect demonstration content for your friends and family who have been asking you about this "4K" thing.

Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG Stainless Steel Mug – $26 – Amazon.com

Last but not least we have something for the coffee addicts like me, the Zojirushi Stainless Steel Travel mug. While the concept of a double-wall vacuum insulation mug for keeping your beverages hot or cold is nothing new, Zojirushi has perfected the idea with this product.

Not only do all of the parts easily separate and go back together for easy cleaning, but the latch design means that you can grab, open, and drink from the mug with one hand, which is infinitely useful when you are on the go. 

Make 2018 the year to stop going to Starbucks and start brewing high-quality coffee at home and bringing it with you instead!

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