Like it or not, we spend more time looking at a screen than anything else. According to a recent
study, the average American spends over 7 hours every day looking at some sort of screen and
about half of that time is looking at a computer monitor. Frankly, that statistic surprises me since
most people spend the majority of their work hours looking at a computer or laptop screen.
Since we’re all looking at screens, it opens up a lot of possibilities when it comes to holiday gift
What better way to say “I care” than giving someone a tech gadget to make that time a little
easier? There are lots of options and here are some of my favorites:
Gunnar Optiks blue light filtering glasses.
I wasn’t a believer in these amber-colored lenses at
first after reading how the ophthalmology community is divided on whether they work or not.
The idea behind these glasses is that they block the white/blue light from a computer or smartphone screen to prevent eye strain. Eye doctors all agree the best way to ease eye strain is to give your eyes a break from looking at the screen for long periods of time.
After trying the Gunnar Optiks I truly believe they keep my eyes from being overexposed to the bright light and causing tiredness. Gunnar glasses have been a favorite of video gamers for years (those folks stare at a screen longer than most of us). I spend a lot of time writing and editing on a wide-screen monitor and blocking the blue light seems to make it easier to see the screen though I don’t recommend them for doing any color correction for video or graphics editing.
Gunnar has a pretty wide selection of styles for both business and gamers. A new line of glasses is a nod to Marvel movies and characters. They’re also available by prescription and in readers.
Anker 551-USB-2 for iPad.
Working on a 13″ laptop is fine for most things but sometimes you need a wider screen. This Anker hub for iPad extends the screen real estate and allows users to work on an iPad much like they would on a laptop. The hub serves as a dock that can be adjusted to eye level on a desktop. It can be powered with a separate USB-C charger and then plugged into an iPad’s USB-C port. Once connected, the hub keeps the iPad charged and serves as a hub for extra inputs. It has 2 standard USB slots and 2 other slots for SD cards. This allows users to move files to and from the iPad to external storage such as portable hard drives, flash drives, and SD cards. There’s also an HDMI output so you can use the iPad as a second
screen for a computer monitor or laptop. This ability allows users to work on a project on the
laptop while keeping another program open on the iPad screen.
New laptops are built to be thin and mobile.
The drawback is that today’s laptops do not have enough ports. Not long ago a laptop would have multiple USB ports, HDMI, headphones, and even DVD drives. Not anymore. Most only have a couple of USB-C connections with maybe one standard USB drive. A solution is a USB-C hub that lets you connect multiple devices to any laptop with just one port. There are many options including Anker’s 8-in-1 USB-C hub. It plugs into one of the USB-C ports on a laptop, iPad, or other tablet to add multiple USB ports, HDMI, standard and micro SD cards, Ethernet, and power delivery. These are great to have in a backpack for remote working.
All of these gadgets can easily be found on most retailer websites and most go on sale during