What do you get for Mother’s Day for the daughter who is also the mother of a young family? She’s active, she’s harried, and she’s likely to be more connected than her mother or grandmother. Here are some of our suggestions:
Smaller Smartphone – iPhone SE – Bigger is not always better, so your daughter might appreciate a phone made for smaller hands. The iPhone SE, new from Apple, has the same power and performance as the latest but larger iPhone 6s. The SE is has a 4-inch Retina display, meaning the bead-blasted aluminum case can be smaller and lighter. The iPhone SE comes in 4 colors: silver, gold, space gray and rose gold. Unlocked 16GB version available for $520 on Amazon.com or monthly from your mobile carrier.
PC In A Purse – Lenovo Ideacentre Stick 300 – This is no larger than small-sized TV remote, but has Windows 10 Home built-in, with 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage space. It plugs into any monitor with an HDMI input and, if a mouse or keyboard is needed, there’s both a USB port and Bluetooth. The Stick gets on the Internet with Wi-Fi. Great for a mom who has a TV in the living room or kitchen she’d like to use as a PC as well. And it’s good for working moms who travel or need to give presentations and don’t want to lug a full laptop around. Available for $99 at Amazon.com.
Streaming Stick – Roku – Another option for cord-cutters or travelers, the Roku Streaming Stick is a pocket sized device your daughter can plug into a TV’s HDMI port – and power – attach to Wi-Fi, and dozens of streaming channels will be hers, both free and pay. While the device comes with its own remote, she’ll also be able to use her smartphone as a remote, as well as to sign into channels and send videos or photos to the TV screen. She can also listen in private with earbuds or a headphone plugged into to an Android or iOS device. Available for $49.99 at Amazon.com or direct from Roku.
Versatile Laptop/Tablet – Lenovo Yoga 700 – The Lenovo Yoga 700 is a light and thin ultraportable computer that can be used as either a laptop or a tablet. It features a 14″ HD touchscreen and backlit keyboard. We reviewed this model just a few months ago, and found it easy to use and at 3 1/2 pounds lighter than many competitors. Your daughter will be able to take it to work, use it at home, or both. Available for $890 at Amazon.com.
Navigation System – Garmin DriveSmart – You can buy an expensive navigation system built into your car, or use a variety of apps on your smartphone, but maybe she’ll be better off using the Garmin DriveSmart, a Personal Navigation Device with features you won’t find in many apps – or dashboards. The DriveSmart has the usual maps and driving directions, but also connects to smartphones to show text messages and allow voice commands. And it alerts for sharp curves, train crossings, speed changes, and other hazardous situations. Read our full review here. Available for $350 at Amazon.com.
Pro-sumer Hybrid Camera – Sony a6000 – Is she looking for a small but versatile camera for better picture-taking than with a smartphone? How about the Sony a6000, a full featured interchangeable lens camera with fast autofocus, and both an electronic viewfinder and a 3 inch screen. It can run fully automatic or use manual settings, has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, and a full range of available accessories: lenses, flash, video lights, and microphones. Available for about $600 on Amazon.com.
Bluetooth Earbuds – Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds – These earbuds are designed to do more than just let your daughter listen to music while she works out – they also take her pulse as measured in her ear and transmit that information, via Bluetooth, to a smartphone app. The app not only tracks her efforts, but can also deliver real time in-ear coaching messages. Available for about $145 at Amazon.com.
Bluetooth Speakers – JBL Pulse 2 – Maybe your daughter is way too young to have gone to any of Bill Graham’s famous music halls and their psychedelic light shows, but that doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy her music without a little LED light show from the JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth speaker. The 8 1/2″ high cylinder delivers music from any smartphone, plus allows her to answer calls with a built-in microphone. It’s splash-proof, too, for outdoor use. Available for $180 at Amazon.com.
Fitness Tracker – Fossil Q Dreamer – Will you be my Fossil Q? OK, sorry about the pun, but it’s just our way of saying how adorable this fitness tracker is. Not a plain black band or a fat-faced watch, the Fossil Q Dreamer looks like a bracelet but is actually a “wearable.” It functions both as an activity tracker and, linked to your daughter’s smartphone, will alert her about texts, emails, and more. There’s no screen, so she’ll need to look at her phone. Available for $95 on Amazon.com and also direct from Fossil in bands and colors for all gender identities.
Cold Drink System – Keurig Kold – Some like it hot, some not – The Keurig coffee and tea makers are everywhere these days: offices, home, waiting rooms – put in a pod, place your cup and it gets filled with a hot, fresh brewed drink. But what about a cold drink? That’s where a busy mom might like the Keurig Kold, which makes sodas, iced teas, sports drinks, even cocktail mixers (you add the alcohol) using a similar pod system. Available for about $200 on Amazon.com.
Juicer – Gourmia Masticating Slow Juicer – We’ve all been told to eat healthier, and for many that means “juicing” – squeezing the nutrients out of fresh fruit and veggies. But some plant matter just won’t work well in a standard juicer, so maybe your daughter would like the Gourmia GSJ-300 Masticating Slow Juicer, which will make liquid of just about anything: fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, even nuts. Available for about $180 on Amazon.com.
High Tech Toaster – Elextrolux Expressionist Toaster – Does your daughter like her bagels toasted on the inside, but just warmed on the outside? Well, then the Electrolux Expressionist Toaster may be just the thing for her. It not only makes regular toast with a precision timer and temperature sensor, but there’s also a “bagel button” so it browns just the sliced inside of a split bagel, while warming the rest. Oy, it even defrosts. Available for $80 at Amazon.com.
Fanny Pack – Large Pocket SPIbelt – They may not be “hip,” but fanny packs (or belt packs or hip sacks or waist packs…) are still pretty useful, and the Large Pocket SPIbelt could be what your daughter needs while exercising or just running errands (SPI stands for Small Personal Item). The pack expands to hold a large smartphone, headphones, keys, and more. Available for $23 at Amazon.com in black or with accent colors.
Trailblazing Shoes – Chacos Outcross – Take a hike with your daughter in these Chacos Outcross trail shoes, on land or in water. Lightweight and packable, these shoes lace up easily and feature a performance outsole. They’re closed enough for protection, yet open to drain water. Available in several colors for under $110 at Amazon.
HD Headphones – Cleer Wireless Headphones – This is a great set of wireless headphones for the mom who wants to take her music with her but doesn’t want to be weighed down with traditional heavy over-the-ear headphones. These sleek, aluminum housed phones are more substantial than earbuds and connect with her favorite music either through NFC or Bluetooth pairing. Available for $200 at Amazon.com.