iRobot Roomba i3

WiFi HiFi Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Gifts for Families

We’re back with the WiFi HiFi holiday gift guides! Each week, we’ll release a new themed gift guides, chocked-full of great tech gift ideas for different people on your list. This week, we’re looking at great gifts for the whole family.

Sharp KC850U Plasmacluster Air Purifier

Sharp PC850U air purifier

Available for an MSRP of $600, the KC850U purifier uses Sharp’s Plasmacluster technology, which disperses positive and negative ions throughout the room, where they attach to pollutants and break them down at the molecular level. The ions then return to the air as invisible water vapour. The technology helps reduce dust, dander, pollen, mould, viruses, and bacteria, says Sharp. Ionizers use negative ions to make pollutants heavier so they fall from the air. Plasmacluster, by contrast, uses both positive and negative ions to pull pollutants apart.  The pollutants are pulled into a True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% per cent of particles as small as 0.3 microns. This purifier also has a temperature and humidity sensor to detect and adjust humidity. Its Library Quiet operations runs at a speed of 23-51 dB and it includes Instant On buttons for Clean Air, Air & Humidify, and Quick Clean modes. The Clean Sign Indicator shows the level of impurities in the air. Manual operation allows for choosing from three fan speeds as well as Pollen and Quick Clean modes. The machine is also Energy Star-qualified.

iRobot Roomba i3+ Robotic Vacuum

iRobot Roomba i3+ robot vacuum

iRobot’s latest robotic vacuum, the Roomba i3+, offers self-emptying capabilities with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal, sports a new look compared to its predecessors, and offers a three-stage cleaning system that uses dual multi-surface rubber brushes along with an edge-sweeping brush to navigate and clean near walls and in corners. It offers 10 times the power-lifting suction when compared to the Roomba 600 Series. You can now enjoy new personalization features as well with the iRobot Genius Home Intelligence that provides information like cleaning schedule recommendations based on your usual habits. $749 or buy it without the Clean Base for $499.

Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Multicooker

Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1

Every family could benefit from an Instant Pot multicooker, which is great for making all kinds of meals in a fraction of the time, making food that typically takes hours to slow cook much more quickly, baking cakes, making rice, making chili, or even homemade yogurt. There’s so much you can do. For those families that entertain a lot, it’s also useful as a secondary cooker for making side dishes while the oven is busy with turkeys and pies and will keep food warm for hours. The 6-quart size is ideal for most average-sized families. If it’s a really big family, however, or someone who loves make-ahead and freeze meals, and they have a kitchen large enough to accommodate it, consider an 8-quart. About $130 for the 6-quart, $195 for the 8-quart.

Instant Pod 2-in-1 Single Brew Coffee and Espresso Maker

Instant Pod

An interesting alternative to a Keurig or Nespresso, the Instant Pot fanatic on your list might love this coffee machine that works with K-cups for Keurig machines and Nespresso pods, providing the best of both worlds. You can also insert reusable pods with the coffee grounds of your choice to help cut down on plastic waste. Once a pod is inserted, you can choose from six different cup sizes, ranging from a single shot of espresso to a 12-ounce travel sized mug of coffee. The machine holds water in its removable reservoir that can accommodate up to 2 litres so you don’t have to refill it as often as with other machines. The slim design won’t take up much room on the counter and clean-up is simple. The auto shut-off feature will power it down after 30 minutes of inactivity to conserve energy.  Instant Brands has also released a new Instant Milk Frother accessory to complement the Instant Pod. US$119

Epson EcoTank ET-2760 All-in-One Supertank Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-2760

This line of printers appears on the holiday gift wish list for families every year and for good reason: you pay one upfront cost that’s higher than you’d pay for other printers, but then you don’t need to replace the ink for years. Rather than use ink cartridges, they include ink reservoirs that can hold enough ink to last for up to two years (trust me – it’s true!) depending on your printing habits – basically up to about 5,200 pages with this model. And it comes with a two-year supply in the box. Once you need more ink, a new set of bottles of comparable in price to standard ink cartridges. And a full set comes with the printer, so you can start printing right away. Approx. $380 but there are other models in the line to meet different needs.

Ninja Air Fryer

NInja Air Fryer

Air fryers are becoming a really popular small appliance for families because of their ability to make tradition fry foods in a healthier way, using little to no oil. This model holds 3.8L of food, from chicken wings to nuggets, French fries, fish – virtually any food you can imagine to feed a hungry family. It can cook from temperatures of 105-400 degrees Fahrenheit and includes a ceramic-coated non-stick basket and crisper plate that can fit up to 2 lbs. of French friends. It can also function as a dehydration for making healthy homemade snacks, beef jerky, and more. Approx. $180

Brookstone Smart Digital Photo Frame

Brookstone smart digital photo frame

Smart digital frames are enjoying a resurgence, and this one, which comes in 10.1″ or 14″ screen sizes, uses a fun PhotoShare technology that assigns a special e-mail address to each frame. Invite others by providing the frame’s address and they can upload photos to it as well. You can wake up to a new selection of photos every morning! Use slideshows and transitions, upload videos, and display the date, time, and current weather report when you want a break from the rotating images.

Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat

Nest finally updated its popular smart thermostat with its first new version in a decade. Controllable from anywhere using the Google Home app, it can monitor heating and cooling and help detect potential issues before they happen so you can take preventative measures. The revamped Nest Thermostat includes new features to help make greater savings possible. Quick Schedule, for example, which is accessible through the Home app, lets you set a custom temperature at different times and on different days. It also offers suggested pre-set temperatures. You can adjust the settings anytime from the app. With Savings Finder, Nest Thermostat constantly looks for small optimizations to help you save energy, doing things like proactively suggesting small tweaks to your schedule. You can accept or decline these in the Home app. It might suggest, for example, a small change to your sleep temperature to help aid sleep while saving you more on energy. Soli technology for motion sensing and your phone’s location work together to check if you’ve left the house and automatically sets the thermostat to an Eco temperature so you don’t waste energy when you’re not there. If your Nest Thermostat notices that something’s not right, it sends an alert via the Home app or e-mail.
You can install the Nest Thermostat in 30 minutes or less. It works in the majority of houses, and you can check if it works in your home before purchasing with our online Compatibility Checker. And in addition to the Home app, you can also control the thermostat with your voice using Google Assistant on your Nest speaker or display, or with Alexa on other smart devices. It comes in a variety of colours, including Snow, Charcoal, Sand, and Fog, and works with the optional Trim Kit, which is designed to cover any imperfections on the wall and is matched to Nest Thermostat colours. $180, Trim Kit is $20.

Nest Audio Smart Speaker

Nest Audio smart speakers
Nest Audio colours for every mood

Now with improved sound via improved treble and bass speaker drivers, the new compact Nest Audio is 75% louder and offers 50% stronger bass than the original Google Home. It’s covered in the same sustainable fabric that was first introduced with Nest Mini last year, and the enclosure (meaning the fabric, housing, foot, and a few smaller parts) is made from 70% recycled plastic.  Available in Chalk, Charcoal, Sand, Sky, and the new Sage colours, it’s $130.

Linksys Velop Tir-Band Mesh Routers

Linksys Velop AX4200
MX12600 Social Media Image

Now with Apple HomeKit support, these routers are ideal for families with large bandwidth needs to accommodate multiple connected devices in the home. And now it works within the HomeKit ecosystem. Using the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh router customers can manage secure access to their HomeKit-enabled accessories and define how each accessory is allowed to communicate inside the home and through the internet. With HomeKit support, Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh routers can firewall HomeKit accessories, preventing them from communicating with other Wi-Fi devices connected to the home network and untrusted services via the internet. 

Dyson Lightcycle Morph

Dyson Lightcycle Morph floor model

This intelligent light comes in two forms, desktop and floor, and the floor lamp is an ideal addition to the living room. It tracks the colour temperature and brightness of your local daylight and adapts.  And with four formats – task light, indirect light, feature light, ambient light – you can light your space for any occasion. The floor version is $1,200.

Oral-B iO Smart Electronic Toothbrush

Oral-B iO Smart toothbrush

Grab one of these for each member of the family to help them up their game when it comes to good dental hygiene. It features new artificial intelligence (AI) technology and digital interface and comes in four new colours as well (Black Onyx, White Alabaster, Violet Ametrine and Rose Quartz) so everyone in the family can have their own distinct brush. Built-in 3D tracking and AI recognition sees the toothbrush greet you each morning or evening, counts down two minutes while you brush, and shares a smiley face once you’ve successful completed the job on your pearly whites. It also provides personalized brushing encouragement in real time, with seven modes to help you achieve your goals, whether it’s to get whiter teeth, deal with teeth sensitivity, or maintain a good daily clean. The frictionless magnetic drive and pressure sensor ensure that you don’t brush too hard. $260 and up.

Amazon Echo Smart Speaker

Amazon Echo 2020

The newest version of the Echo smart speaker boasts a spherical design and fabric finish, and includes Dolby stereo sound and a built-in Zigbee Hub. It effectively combines the best of the previous generation with the best of the Echo Plus. A bright LED light ring is at the base, reflecting off surfaces for added visibility. Audio is improved thanks to a 3″ woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing that delivers stereo sound. As with Echo Studio, the new Echo automatically senses the acoustics of your space and fine-tunes audio playback. It will sell for $130 and come in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue.

Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool Purifiying and Humidifying Fan

Dyson purifier

Ideal for the distinct four seasons many provinces in Canada experience, this small appliance can both purify and add humidity to a room, all year ’round, capturing 99.97% of air pollutants as small as 0.3 microns and adding a new technology that features a high power UV-C light to kill waterborne bacteria in water. The humidifier/purifier is easy to clean: just press the deep clean cycle button, it will illuminate, and the LCD will direct you through the cleaning process, which includes placing the 3D Air-mesh evaporator on the water tank, filling the tank with water and a citric acid powder packet (which comes included), and activating the cycle. The device intelligently senses pollution and humidity levels and projects hygienically humidified and purified air around the room. Air Multiplier technology ensures it reaches every corner of the room. And, for the first in Dyson Pure machines, Jet Axis Control technology puts two jets at each side of the amplifier and independently controls them to provide direct cooling, oscillation mode, backwards airflow mode, and a new Breeze mode that mimics the feeling of refreshing breeze hitting your face outside. The lasers measure and detect ultrafine particles while a separate sensor detects the amount of VOCs like formaldehyde, benzene, and NO2. A third measures relative humidity and temperature. The LCD tracks this data in real time, and the data can also be viewed in the Dyson Link app. A HEPA filter captures 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, including allergens, bacteria, and pollen. Activated carbon, coated with Tris (Trishydroxymethylaminomethane) to increase absorption efficiency, removes gases like NO2 and Benzene. Use the Dyson Link app to control it, track indoor pollution, view temperature and humidity levels, and get maintenance support and troubleshooting. It comes in white/silver or black/nickel for $1,000 and includes a magnetic remote.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check back as this gift guide will be updated through to the end of 2020, and check out more gift suggestions in our other Holiday Gift Guides.

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