Acer Chromebook Spin 514 lifestyle

WiFi HiFi Holiday Gift Guide 2022: Gifts for Hybrid Workers

Whether you are OK with having to go back to the office or dread having to put on actual clothes (no more sweats) and commute to the office at least a few days per week, the hybrid work schedule has become the norm for some. If you know someone who is prepping to set-up a permanent, couple-days-a-week home office, help them out with these great gift ideas.

Kensington SD5780T Thunderbolt 4 Dual Docking Station with 96W Power

Kensington SD5780T

Designed to be used with the latest MacBooks, Surface devices, and other Thunderbolt 4-enabled laptops, this docking station expands the usefulness of a single Thunderbolt 4 port. It supports an 8K monitor or up to two 4K monitors, allowing you to connect a mouse, keyboard, and other USB devices at fast transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps. With a fixed 96W of power to charge the laptop and attached USB-C or USB4 accessories, and the 2.5Gbps Ethernet port helps eliminate bottlenecks between the laptop and the local network. The SD5780T is universally compatible with Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB, and USB-C devices running Windows (10 or later) or macOS (11 or later). It includes a one-metre Thunderbolt 4 cable for easy mounting and placement. Three Thunderbolt 4 ports support data, along with a dedicated HDMI 2.1 video port, high-resolution audio, four USB-A 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps) ports, one 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, one audio combo jack, and one UHS-II SD 4.0 card reader.

BenQ DesignVue 31.5-inch Ultra HD Monitor 

BenQ monitor

If you’re looking for a big desktop monitor for the home office that will make multitasking a breeze, check out the BenQ DesignVue 31.5-inch monitor. It offers ultra-HD 4K resolution with 10-bit support and 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. The 60Hz refresh rate and 5ms GTG response time means it will keep up with all your applications and windows. With multiple ports, you can connect plenty of peripherals as well. It comes on an adjustable stand that can tilt, swivel, and even rotate the monitor to portrait orientation if needed. $1,550

 Satechi Multiport Adapter

Satechi adapter

Featuring 2.5G Ethernet and next-gen USB-4 protocols, this multiport adapter provides all the ports needed to complete a work or home setup. The modernly designed 6-in-1 adapter features next-generation USB-4 protocols that provide upgraded bandwidth management and data transfer, allowing files to be accessed faster or consolidated into one device. The versatile Multiport Adapter also features USB-C 3.2 and USB-A data ports, an audio jack port, and an ultra-hi-res 8K HDMI output for stunning display – all via a single connection. Grab it for US$150.

Harman Kardon Soundsticks 4

Harman Kardon SoundSticks 4

This Bluetooth speaker system will be perfect for the home office. Selling for $420, it boasts a stunning, contemporary design that makes it a statement piece as much as it is a device to listen to high-res tunes. With a dome style and silhouette, it consists of two satellite speakers and a subwoofer, all of which are transparent to show the inner rippled surface. It’s not just about the look, though. Enjoy rich bass and room-filling sound from the four drivers and dome subwoofer while you work away: don’t forget to crank it up on your breaks.

Apple iPhone 14 Smartphone

Apple iPhone 14 and 14 Plus

Keep in touch with everyone back at the office whether you’re working at home or out with the kids (and pretending to work from home!) using a new iPhone 14. Equipped with a 6.1-inch screen that’s large enough for video calls along with new camera upgrades, the A15 Bionic chip and 5-core GPU will ensure you can keep on top of everything, no matter where you are. Made of aerospace aluminum, it boasts an updated internal design for better thermal performance along with a Super Retina XDR display with OLED technology that supports 1200 nits of peak HDR brightness, a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and Dolby Vision. There’s also a new durable Ceramic Shield front cover that protects the phones from common spills and accidents, as well as water and dust. The iPhone 14 is $45.79 a month for 24 months or $1,099 before trade-in.

Belkin Boost Charge Pro Dual USB-C GaN Wall Charger with PPS

Belkin Boost Charge

Available in both 65W and 45W versions, the new Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro Dual USB-C GaN Wall Charger with PPS is engineered with GaN, USB-C PD 3.0, and PPS charging technologies to deliver a fast and safe charge that won’t overheat or overcharge devices. It easily fits in a pocket or a bag, making it the ideal charger for traveling, at home, or keeping in your bag or briefcase to bring back and forth from the office to home and vice versa. The 65W option provides up to 65W of power when using a single port or up to 45W of power from the top port and up to 20W from the bottom port when using both. The 45W version provides up to 45W of power when using a single port or up to 25W from the top port and up to 20W from the bottom port when using both. They offer dual USB-C ports with fast-charging for two compatible devices at the same time. The USB-C PD 3.0 technology charges an iPhone 13 from 0-50% in 28 minutes and a Samsung Galaxy S21+ from 0-50% in 27 minutes, reports Belkin. Integrated GaN technology provides a high-power, efficient charge, while PPS technology dynamically delivers optimum power to compatible devices. The chargers are optimized for Apple, Samsung, Nintendo Switch and other compatible devices Pricing is $60 for the 45W version and US$50 for the 65W version, which ships to Canada from the website.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4

For those in the Android camp, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold is the perfect device to use at the office, at home, and on the go. It ships with Android 12L, a special version of Android created by Google for devices with larger screens, including foldable phones. The phone includes a new Taskbar that provides a PC-like layout with access to favourite and most recently used apps, perfect when working from home or even the local coffee shop. There are new swipe gestures, the ability to switch full-screen apps to pop-up windows, or even split the screen. In other words, it’s a multitasker’s dream. For productivity, you’ll get access to Google apps, including Chrome and Gmail, with support for drag-and-drop for copying and pasting links, photos, and other content from one app to another. Use Google Meet, and, through a partnership with Microsoft, Office and Outlook as well. It also works with Samsung’s S Pen. Equipped with a 7.6-inch main screen with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and less visible Under Display Camera (UDC), you can watch content hands free using Flex Mode or, for apps that aren’t optimized for this feature, use the new Flex Mode Touchpad to pause, rewind, and play videos, or zoom in and out of content while Flex mode is activated. With the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform and hyper-fast 5G30, along with a slimmer hinge, lighter weight, and narrower bezels, the wider screen enables easier one-handed interactions while using the Cover Screen. This version of the phone is also more durable with an Armor Aluminum frames and hinge cover along with exclusive Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the Cover Screen and rear glass. The Galaxy Z Fold4 and Standing Cover with Pen case comes in Graygreen, Moon Beige, and Phantom Black. The 256GB model is available for an MSRP of $2,270 and the 512GB model for $2,430.

House of Marley One Drop Wireless Charger

House of Marley One Drop wireless charger

You’ll want to keep your smartphone and other devices fully charged through the workday but also at your fingertips. The House of Marley One Drop wireless charger is not only small and easily fits on a desk, it’s also made using sustainable materials. Available for $100, it features a premium QI-certified pad that can power both Apple and Android phones as well as compatible earbuds. Simply place the item atop the surface and it will begin charging. The durable sides and a base are made from REGRIND Silicone, a unique material created by reclaiming and upcycling post-process silicone scraps that would otherwise go to waste. The charging pad itself, meanwhile, is crafted with CNC-milled bamboo. The wireless charger’s integrated REGRIND Silicone Cable Management strap helps keep everything organized on your tabletop or in your bag. Of course, you won’t get as quick a charge with the One Drop as you would with a hard-wired cable, particularly direct USB-C. To put this in perspective, after just over an hour, in my review, my phone charged about 25%, from 68% to 93%, so less than a half a percent per minute. But that goes for any wireless charger.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 360

Samsung Galaxy Book2

If they need to invest in their own computer for working from home, or don’t want to bring their office laptop back and forth, consider the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 360, a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet they can easily use at home and on the go. With a generous battery life and a universal fast charger that will provide a charge up to 40% in just half an hour, they can keep going all day. It boasts the 13th Gen Intel Evo-certified processor, Windows 11, and Samsung Knox for security. It’s easy to unlock with a fingerprint, perfect for when they pop into a meeting late because of traffic (hey, we’re all getting used to commuting again!) Equipped with a 13.3-inch touchscreen, go all out with the optional S Pen as well. It starts at $1,350.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Surface Laptop Go 2

A wonderful computer for hybrid workers, particularly those who travel often, is the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2. Starting at $740, it boasts a 12.4-inch touchscreen with swipe and pinch functions, large-sized keyboard, an 11th Gen Intel Core processor, and an all-day battery at up to an impressive 13.5 hours. As the lightest Surface laptop in the line-up, it also comes in cool colour options like Sage, Ice Blue, Sandstone, and Platinum. Choose from 4 or 8GB of RAM and enjoy Microsoft 356 pre-loaded apps along with a one-month trial to Microsoft 365 Family as well as a one-month trial to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Kensington SmartFit East Riser Go Adjustable Ergonomic Laptop Riser and Cooling Stand

Kensington laptop riser

For the perfect at-home set-up, you’ll want to make sure the laptop is at the right height to ensure you aren’t straining your neck or back or putting undue strain on muscles. Using a laptop riser like this one can ensure they always have a proper view of the screen while the laptop remains cool instead of literally sitting on their lap. It raises the screen’s height and increases air circulation so it doesn’t overheat. It works with laptops and tablets up to 14 inches in size. With anti-slip footpads, padded inserts, and a slim and foldable design, they can also take it with them to use at the coffee shop, communal workspaces, and wherever they decide to set up for the day. $30

Acer Chromebook Spin 514

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 lifestyle

If you just want a simple Chromebook to use at home, the Acer Chromebook 514 is a good option. Powered by the new AMD Ryzen 5000 C-series processors based on AMD’s Zen 3 architecture and AMD Radeon graphics, it comes equipped with a 14-inch Full HD multi-touch IPS display made with Corning Gorilla Glass to protect it from scratches and dings. Along with the display’s 100% sRGB colour range and ultra-narrow 6.1mm side bezels. It comes with a Full HD webcam with flare-reducing technology and dual microphones and two upward-facing speakers, perfect for video meetings. A camera shutter protects privacy when calls are done. The laptop features military-grade MIL-STD 810H durability along with aluminum top and bottom covers. The convertible design features 360-degree hinges so the touchscreen display can be used in four different modes: display mode for presenting, tablet mode for entertainment, clamshell mode for keyboard input, and tent mode for small spaces, like on an airplane or in a local coffee shop. The all-day 10-hour battery life means it will last a full work or school day. The Chromebook Spin 514 offers Wi-Fi 6 for reliable performance and connectivity, two USB Gen 2 Type-C ports, and optional HDMI for connecting to peripherals, charging devices and transferring data. Navigation is smooth and accurate using the durable Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad, says Acer, complemented by the optional backlit keyboard. It starts at US$580

Satechi 8K Ultra HD High-Speed HDMI 2.1 Cable

Satechi 8K Ultra HD high speed cables

The new 8K Ultra HD high speed HDMI 2.1 cable supports higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz, and more, ideal for creating content and streaming videos and games, says Satechi. The cable offers dynamic HDR, 12 Bit colour processing technology, and 48 Gbps bandwidth. Its specs also offer 3D visual effects with more ideal depth, brightness, detail, contrast, and wider colour gamut. The HDMI cable features premium braided nylon construction, which prevents breakage, along with a corrosion-resistant 24K gold-plated full metal connector that provides an uninterrupted viewing experience. US$30

ZTE Connect-Hub 5G Internet Gateway

ZTE Connect-Hub 5G

Available through Telus, the Connect-Hub provides simple and high-speed home Internet, without the need for wires. The Connect-Hub 5G is offered in two variations: an Indoor Unit and Outdoor Unit. The Indoor Unit can be placed on a flat surface inside the home and relocated as needed; while the Outdoor Unit optimizes connectivity, giving weaker signal areas a boost to improve indoor Wi-Fi. It features added protection to withstand the elements including an IP65 dust and waterproof rating, 6KV lightning protection, and the ability to withstand a wide range of temperatures and 5% to 95% humidity. The Connect-Hub 5G Indoor and Outdoor Units support 4G LTE, 5G SA and NSA modes, as well as Sub-6GHz and mm Wave. Advanced antenna technology and algorithms independently select the strongest network signal. An omnidirectional antenna creates a 360-degree dual-band Wi-Fi coverage area. The Indoor Unit supports up to 30 simultaneous Wi-Fi connections. The Connect-Hub 5G replaces your home Internet modem and router, providing high-speed Internet and connecting all your devices in one easy-to-use hub. It also provides advanced security including WPA and WPA2 Wi-Fi security, VPN, DMZ, and IP filtering. The Indoor Unit tackles heat dispensation without noisy fans. The chimney venting design dispels heat while the silent, built-in radiator and thermal phase change material work together to keep things cool, says ZTE.

Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-on Expandable Hardside Spinner

TravelPro Platinum Elite carry-on luggage

Available for US$370, the Travelpro Platinum Elite carry-on expandable hardside spinner is perfect for the hybrid worker who travels often. Available in five colour options, it meets carry-on regulations and comes with external USB-A and USB-C ports to charge your mobile devices on the go. There’s also a patent-pending external battery pocket to store a power bank (you’ll have to provide your own). The zippered 2-inch expansion will help you fit more for those trips when you want to bring along a few extras, like swim trunks or bathing suit for some after-meeting pool time at the hotel or a few formal outfits for evening dinners and outings. Plus, with weather being unpredictable, you’ll probably want to pack some layers. It’s sturdy, comfortable to roll around, and will make traveling a breeze, provided there are no delays, that is.

LG StanbyMe Private TV Screen

Woman on couch with LG StanbyME

I love the concept of this private TV screen that can roll along with you, no matter what you’re doing. Continuing watching a lecture or presentation while you whip up a latte in the kitchen, keep on top of a meeting while multitasking, and more. The screen swivels, too, so you can go from following a lecture to scrolling TikTok videos. For creative jobs, you can relax on the couch while working and simultaneously watching the morning news, or catching up on your fav guilty pleasure reality show on another screen without having to have a laptop on your legs. Get up to three hours of viewing per charge and a nice, gorgeous picture on the 27-inch screen. With adjustable height, you can have it at the right eye level whether you’re sitting or standing. And the kids can enjoy it after hours, too. $1,700