Jason A’s Top Gift Recommendations this Season [Holiday Gift Guide 2017]

What a year, what a year. I kid you not this year has gone by fast! This has a been a year of transition for me personally as I’ve changed primary jobs and just about crossed the one year mark as a first time home owner. The latter has provided many opportunities to explore new gadget news and wants, but definitely still got my hands on some cool gadgets this year. Each of us have our own list of recommendations, and below is my list of items I think you should totally pick up for yourself or your loved ones this year!


SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit

If you are looking to upgrade your home or apartment to a smart home, this is where you want to start. The Smart Things home monitoring kit, does way more than the name states. The home monitoring kit is just a easy way to get the main piece the hub (which will become the brains of your smart home) and a few sensors to start off. From there you can add tons of sensors as needed. From motion sensor, to open/close ones, to ones that detect water or when you left and came back to your home. The reason I choice SmartThings is both because of his robust line of products that work with it, but also because of the openness of the system. Smart Things has great community support and you’ll likely find someone who may have coded up something for a product that may not have official support yet.

The SmartThings monitoring kit normally goes for around $249.00, but this is the perfect time to find deals around. Right on smartthings.com they are offering $100 off currently and I’m sure there may be deals at other retailers this holiday season. SmartThings is at the hub of my smart home and I highly recommend the system! Check out our ongoing series Building a Smart Home to see the latest there!

SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit
Price: $249.00


EERO Home WiFi System (1 eero + 2 Beacons)

Keeping it still in the home, while having a smart home is great you need a great underpinning to this for it to be successfully. For years I’ve struggle in just a apartment with dead spots or poor connection the further I was away from the wifi modem. And now with a whole house to support, laying down the whole house wifi back end is highly important. Thank goodness this has been made simple by EERO. Think of EERO as having seamless, consistent, stable WiFi anywhere in your house. EERO is a mesh wifi system for your home. Think about how you job may have WiFi all over the office. This is done by places wireless access point through the office. With EERO this is the same deal. With the 1 eero + 2 Beacon system you connect the eero to your modem for the internet source, and then plug up the Beacons in other locations in your home. This creates a mesh through the home that seamlessly continues your WiFi coverage in the different areas you need it. No more dead spots!

I’ve used EERO when they launched their first generation product. Their second generation unit now has more power and tt’s the only WiFi access point of its size that’s tri-band, meaning it can broadcast on three wireless radio bands simultaneously. Along with two Ethernet ports, eero is perfect for media rooms or anywhere you have Ethernet wiring. The eero Beacon is a full-fledged access point with 30% better performance. Beacon plugs directly into any outlet and easily expands your system to cover every corner of your home. It also includes a handy and intelligent LED nightlight that adjusts brightness depending on the time of day. I currently have a combination of eero and eero Beacon units placed in my home, which allows me consistent high speed wifi in about 95% of my house. While now there are other players in the game I highly recommend the EERO system!

EERO Home WiFi System (1 eero + 2 Beacons)
Price: $349


ASTRO GAMING A20 Gaming Headset

Switching gears a little, I won’t be able to finish a guide without mentioning ASTRO GAMING’s latest headset to hit the scene. ASTRO GAMING is a personal favorite brand of mine and their latest offering in the A10 and A20 is exceptional. Taking their proven quality and bringing it down to a more accessible level was a great idea! Now while I do think the A10s are great, I’m a wireless guy so I’d have to recommend this year the A20s. Smaller package, great battery life, and signature ASTRO GAMING quality and sound all wrapped in an attractive price. I use the A20s via my Macbook Pro with remote play on my PS4 and I love them.

If you are looking to get your love one who is into gaming a fresh pair of gaming headsets this year, this is a good bet that won’t break the bank!

ASTRO GAMING A20 Gaming Headset
Price: $149.99


Google Pixel 2 XL

You didn’t think I wasn’t going to mention this one did you. Yes there has been a lot said most recently good and bad about the Pixel 2 series. However my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. I have used the originally faithfully up until this moment and was very please with replacing it with the new Pixel 2 XL. The only mild negative to the Pixel 2 XL was getting use to a slight larger/wider device. Beyond this the Pixel 2 XL has great software, a great camera, great performance and is a great successor for the Pixel line! The price might be a little on the high end, but hey if you are treating a love one go ahead they deserve it. Treating yourself? Go ahead you deserve it!

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL can be found right now on the Google store for the unlocked versions or if you are on Team Verizon, you can pick it up from one of their locations.!

Google Pixel 2 XL
Price: $849.00 starting


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA45

Now this one here….this one here is definitely for someone who has been 100% on the nice list or a supreme treat to yourself indeed. This is so fresh we don’t even have our review for it up yet, but I felt incline to include it on this gift guide. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 is at this time my favorite car review of the year! I wouldn’t really consider myself a Benz guy, but the GLA 45 was a true pleasure to drive. I had so much car driving this, I really gave it thought to just skipping town and being on the lam! I’m not even a fan of the color green, but the Kryptonite Green I had for my review car definitely grew on me. The Mercedes-Benz GLA45 was just magnanimous! The luxurious feel of the ride, the power that the AMG label is known for and provided. This compact SUV crossover does a leave a little ti be desire in turns of headroom and space, but it leans to the racing aspect of it. I had this car for a week and loved the automatic transmission convenience with still the feels of a manual car. If I was going to recommend a car this year, this would be the one.

This recommendation isn’t on the cheap side though. The Mercedes-Benz GLA45 starts out with a MSRP of $50,600. So whoever is getting this definitely should have no marks on the naughty list! We’ll have our full review soon and will talk about this more.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA45
Price: $50,600 MSRP