There’s a big day coming up on which you’re kinda obliged to buy gifts to thank a parent for raising you. Obviously, you want to buy them something cool and techy, since that’s pretty much what every person is looking for these days. For that special person in your life, irrespective of their gender, we’ve put together a list of the best tech gift ideas you could buy.
The list ranges from the best audio and video gear through to the best gadgets to help them keep an eye on their health. And whoever put the list together (and I’m sure they’re really cool) also threw in some tips on how to find cutting-edge gear for less. Especially since so many of last year’s flagship gadgets are still around as lower-cost options for 2022.
— Daniel Cooper
The biggest stories you might have missed
Microsoft’s making the dinky, dirt-cheap laptop a little easier to live with.
Microsoft has announced a second generation of its Surface Laptop Go, and we’ve got our hands on it for a sneak peek. The new base model costs $50 more than its predecessor, but it looks like the extra cash has gone on some much-needed upgrades. Crucially, Microsoft has added an 11th-generation Intel CPU and a new SSD, dropping the eMMC storage found on its predecessor. Those tweaks should improve performance well beyond the original, and the inclusion of a (slightly) better webcam and (slightly) better speakers are similarly pleasing. Sadly, Microsoft didn’t want to raise the price any higher, so you’re still left with a 1,536 x 1,024 PixelSense display, although for $600, can you really grouse too loudly?
This has good intentions, but the implementation will be interesting.
The European Union has, for years, been trying to tackle the problem of e-waste by enforcing a common charger standard for mobile devices. Now, the bloc has reached a deal to make USB-C the standard for all “small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.” Buyers will also be able to specify if they want a charger added when they purchase a new piece of gear, such as smartphones, tablets, earbuds, cameras, headphones, portable game consoles and speakers. Laptops, meanwhile, will be subject to the same rules, but not for a while yet. Of course, the ramifications of this are vast, so it’s incredibly important the EU nails the fine details, especially given the range of amperages – from 5W to 240W – one standard is expected to deliver.
It plans to start running passenger services in 2026.
Volocopter, the German makers of a would-be drone taxi of the future, has reached another milestone toward running passenger flights. The four-seater VTOL drone, the VoloConnect, has begun making test flights to prove the airworthiness of the prototype. Each trip has, so far, been fairly short, but engineers are confident the maneuvers and aerodynamics of the vehicle are solid. The company still expects to begin some limited passenger service by 2024, with the larger suburb-to-city VoloConnect due to start flying in 2026. We’ll believe it when we see it, ideally at a safe distance, or while riding our own preferred suburb-to-city mode of transport: a train.
Investors believe Gemini wasn’t adequately protecting user security.
Gemini, the Winklevoss Twins’ crypto exchange, was hacked back in February leading to the loss of $36 million worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Now, retirement savings firm IRA Financial Trust has sued the company, saying it failed to do enough to protect people’s cash. It alleges Gemini didn't put the proper safeguards in place initially and was slow to freeze accounts to prevent the mass withdrawal. It marks another bump in the road for the Winklevoss’ outfit, which recently laid off 10 percent of its staff after the value of crypto began to slide.