Wrapped and Ready
Here’s something for everyone on your list: the audiophile, the gamer, the explorer, the athlete, and the at-home chef.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAMER
Serious video game players can appreciate the Samsung 49-inch Odyssey G9 Gaming Monitor. The screen’s 1000R curvature matches the curve of the human eye, which minimizes strain and allows for maximum story immersion. The Odyssey G9 also features Quantum Dot technology, which produces more vivid color. And through the company’s high-dynamic-range resolution technology and a refresh rate as fast as 240 Hz, the player experience becomes as realistic as the software company’s developers intended. $1,700; samsung.com
Sony will unveil the PlayStation 5 this holiday season, 25 years after the personal electronics company released the original console in the United States. Needless to say, a lot has changed in the last quarter of a century. The new console is lightning-quick thanks to an ultra-high-speed solid-state drive, and game play is remarkably fluid thanks to a frame rate that peaks at 120 frames per second. Graphics are also as lifelike as they’ve ever been—rays of light are individually simulated, for example, which creates lifelike shadows and reflections. $500; playstation.com
Unlike hi-fi systems that require the precise positioning of loudspeakers to deliver exceptional sound to pre-determined listening locations, the Lexicon SL-1 system is easy to adjust. Featuring two floor-standing loudspeakers—each equipped with 33 drivers arranged in 360-degree configurations—the SL-1 system uses a technology called beamsteering that directs sound waves in any direction via a mobile app. Each loudspeaker is also equipped with 46 amplifiers that can deliver up to 1,300 watts of continuous power. $40,000; lexicon.com
Don’t be fooled by the size of the Sonos Arc cinematic soundbar. The remarkably slim device features almost a dozen drivers to produce crisp, high-pitched notes, impressive bass, and dynamic midrange sound. When paired with a wirelessly connected subwoofer and a pair of rear surround speakers, the listening experience becomes quite immersive. A speech enhancement feature created in collaboration with Oscar-winning sound engineers clarifies dialogue spoken either too softly or muffled by on-screen action. From $800; sonos.com
The Panasonic LUMIX G100, a 4K mirrorless vlogging camera, allows users to shoot, transfer, edit, and upload in 4K and FHD video. The camera features a free-angle monitor that rotates 180 degrees and five-axis hybrid image stabilization for filming a walk-and-talk scene without any turbulence. The camera’s internal microphone is enhanced by face-recognition technology to produce clear audio, while a video selfie mode keeps both the user’s face and the background in focus.
Exploring ocean depths has never been easier thanks to the Chasing M2 ROV Professional Underwater Drone. Not only can the drone be deployed by a single person in three minutes, its lithium battery can support up to four hours of dive time. The M2 is powered by eight vectored thrusters, which means it can move in every direction, and its depth-lock mode allows the drone to hover accurately in any attitude. It dives as deep as 100 meters (328 feet) and operates in water as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also equipped with a 4K EIS image stabilization camera and two 2000-lumen LED lights. $2,700; chasing.com
Simply put, this off-road e-skateboard is a trailblazer—literally. Weighing just under 50 pounds, the all-terrain Cycleagle XCountryboard-4S can cruise over rocks, roots, potholes, and even up hills with a 30-percent incline. Made of hollow, aviation-grade aluminum with a carbon-fiber deck, the board can drive over almost any surface thanks to a multilink, independent suspension system and four brushless motors that create powerful torque on demand. Ten-inch, lightweight pneumatic tires enhance the smoothness of the ride. $3,700; cycleagle.com
Not all golf simulators are created equal and Virtual Golf 2 by TrackMan is proof. Utilizing a combination of radar and camera technology, the simulator marries the precision of TrackMan’s launch monitor with the lifelike aesthetic of high-end virtual golf. Play nearly 80 exceptional courses, including Irish gems such as Lahinch Golf Club, that have been mapped using LIDAR drone technology. Improved spin measurements—along with new algorithms for bounce, spin, and roll—make play even more realistic; and training modes allow players to work on their swings and track their improvement through data-driven feedback. From $50,000; trackmangolf.com
GEAR FOR THE GOURMAND
With the Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System, home chefs can better manage—and successfully execute—kitchen preparations. The system features a proprietary induction cooktop and cookware that is equipped with internal heat sensors, regulating the precise cooking temperature needed at every stage of the process. Via Bluetooth technology, the system relays this information to a smartphone app so you can follow along. More than 300 video-guided recipes are available, all of which tell cooks the exact moment when a specific task should be executed. From $400; hestancue.com
The act of sous-vide cooking produces delicious results. But using an immersion circulator and a water bath to create low, steady temperatures can sound intimidating. With the Mellow Smart Sous-Vide Machine, a built-in weight sensor ensures that the device knows exactly what to do once food is placed inside the water bath; and through a smartphone app and Wi-Fi connectivity, users can control the cooking process from anywhere. The app also solicits and stores user feedback after every meal, which allows the device to customize cooking times and temperatures to meet individual preferences. $150; cookmellow.com