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2023 Holiday gift guides – For your home and family


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ARTICLE – Here is a selection of gift ideas that will make homeowners and their families happy.

BENQ GP100A projector

Black Friday 2023 will see some 85-inch TVs for less than $799. For the same amount of money, you can get a portable 120” display, and a wireless speaker with the help of the BENQ GP100A. This DLP-powered projector has an LED light source rated at 1000 lumens, ensuring years of maintenance-free enjoyment, even without dimming the lights. The BENQ GP100A has a 120W AC power adapter and has interfaces for HDMI (2.0b/HDCP2.3), USB type A (2.0), and USB type C (Display Port/ PD in 20V-2.25A to 5A/ PD out 5V-1.5A, 9V-1.5A, 12V-1.5A, 15V1.2A). These interfaces allow streaming from an Apple device or laptop using the HDMI adapter, playing back stored media on a USB drive, or streaming from a DP-enabled device such as an Android phone or a Nintendo Switch. The projector also has a 3.5 mm audio out for use in conjunction with a PA system.

The native HD resolution means that this projector can mirror an HD desktop with complete accuracy, ensuring that things that are generally hard to read on scale-down, like spreadsheet cells or technical diagrams, are displayed with full fidelity. The projector also has a low latency mode to enhance performance when using it with a gaming system.

For even greater flexibility, the BENQ GP100A comes with its own Android TV module. After installing the module, it can be set up very quickly if you already have a device that is set up and on the Android ecosystem. Once the Android TV module is installed, apps for all of the major streaming applications, Like Spotify, Netflix, Max, and Amazon can be installed so that the BENQ GP100A can stream content from these channels directly. Apps not directly supported by Android TV (Like Chrome) can be sideloaded using the USB port.

One of the great features of this projector is the sound. Most projectors I have reviewed have weak audio. The 2x 5W speakers and 10W subwoofer in this projector provide loud and vibrant sound. The interface to the speakers includes wireless sound in addition to Bluetooth sound. Another great feature is the autofocus and auto keystone. It is simple to set up the projector in about the right spot and let the machine ensure that the best possible picture is presented. This projector does not have a zoom feature, so the displayed image size depends on where it is positioned. A ten-foot distance yields about a 120 inch diagonal image. One of the drawbacks is that the included remote doesn’t have any gyroscopic control. However, the remote has a button to enable speech to “Hey Google,” and the interface to the remote is standard Bluetooth, so a gyroscope remote purchased separately should work just fine. I tested this with the EZ Cast Beam remote and it worked great.

Price: $799.99
Where to buy: Benq.com and Amazon

Dreo HM713S humidifier

Did you know that acoustic guitars still think they’re trees (-sweetwater.com)? Many people already know how important it is for your health to maintain optimal humidity during the dry winter months to help reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses, but don’t forget wooden musical instruments. They need humidified air, too! The Dreo HM713S humidifier is an excellent gift for anyone who suffers from dry air, including their instruments.

For musicians who own instruments made of wood, like an acoustic guitar, you might be concerned about drops in temperature and humidity. Humidity changes can adversely impact an acoustic guitar, especially if it is kept out on a stand or hung on a wall. The recommended humidity range for an acoustic guitar is 40-50% (-sweetwater.com). If the humidity drops below 40% for an extended period, it can lead to structural damage like cracks or internal supports that detach, which would be very expensive to repair. Similar problems can occur with any wood instrument, including pianos.

The Dreo HM713S humidifier can save your loved ones and their instruments from dry air. This humidifier has some excellent features, including setting your target humidity level within ±5% and connecting it to WiFi, thus allowing it to be controlled using an app (turn on or off, switch between warm or cool mist, set schedules, etc.). But it can also be controlled manually (turn on or off, alter the mist levels, change between warm or cool mist, turn on sleep mode, etc.).

It also has a large 6L tank, which allows it to run up to 60 hours, and you can switch between warm and cool mist at the touch of a button. It even has a tray to add drops of your favorite essential oils to make it an essential oils diffuser. Using the sleep mode turns off the LED lights on the front panel so you can sleep in a nice dark room. You can easily fill the tank by lifting the reservoir out of the humidifier using the handle.

Give your loved ones and their instruments the gift of good health this season!

Price: $89.99
Where to buy: Amazon

Turbro TS25 Smart Electric Fireplace Stove Heater

The Turbro TS25 Smart Electric Fireplace Stove Heater is a perfect gift to make the holidays warm and cozy. It is a 25″ freestanding fireplace stove that can heat up a room quickly and efficiently. The heater has a programmable heat range of 72°F to 82°F and can be used with or without heat, making it a versatile option for year-round use. The realistic dancing flames and crackling sound effects add ambiance and charm to any room, and the 3-sided panoramic design offers a view of the flames from the front and both sides. The heater is lightweight and portable, making it easy to move from room to room. It also has overheating protection and fan-forced heaters that quietly heat the room with minimal noise.

The Turbro TS25 Smart Electric Fireplace Stove Heater is available in black or ivory to complement your taste and home decor (I really like the ivory version). It is a perfect gift for anyone who wants to add warmth and coziness to their home during the holiday season.

Turbro is offering 20% sitewide discount until 11/30/2023 and a special 30% discount specifically for the TS25 Smart Heaters from 11/20 to 11/30/2023 when you order directly through their site.

Price: $209.99
Where to buy: turbro.com and Amazon

FOTILE ChefCubii Steam-Combi Oven

The FOTILE ChefCubii Oven is a compact 4-in-1 table-top oven designed to fit seamlessly into any kitchen, making it perfect for individuals or families who appreciate efficiency and versatility in their cooking appliances. With its multi-functionality, the ChefCubii Oven can steam, bake, air fry, and dehydrate. The sleek design and user-friendly controls make it a stylish and practical addition to any kitchen setup. Its space-saving nature is ideal for those with limited kitchen space or anyone looking to streamline their cooking process.

Although it’s small, it’s still big enough to fit a 10-inch pizza, 12 chicken wings, or six pieces of toast. Included with the FOTILE ChefCubii Oven are a grilling rack, baking tray, steam tray, oven mitt, and a humidity-controlled chip for dehydration.

By gifting the ChefCubii Oven, you’re not just giving an appliance; you’re offering the joy of culinary exploration and the convenience of a versatile cooking tool that suits a modern lifestyle. It’s a thoughtful and practical gift that combines functionality with style for the kitchen enthusiasts in your life.

Price: $399.99
Where to buy: Fotileglobal.com and Amazon

Chefman Tea Kettle

The Chefman Tea Kettle blends style and convenience with the pleasure of sipping warm beverages. Its polished stainless steel design not only adds a dash of sophistication to any kitchen but also makes boiling water a quick and efficient task. This electric kettle goes above and beyond by offering precise temperature control, ensuring that each cup of tea is brewed to perfection. It even has a built-in infuser for your loose leaf tea. Safety and convenience are prioritized with features like automatic shut-off and a cordless design. Whether this gift is for a true tea connoisseur or someone who wants to boil water in style, the Chefman Tea Kettle is a functional gift that could become a favorite kitchen gadget.

Price: $59.99
Where to buy: Chefman and Amazon

Lockly Smart Safe

Sometimes the best gift to give someone is something that will give them peace of mind.  We all have important documents, small items like jewelry, and even handguns.  A great gift for anyone who does not have a safe place to store them is the Lockly Smart Safe.  The Lockly Smart Safe is a WiFi-enabled safe that has a keypad, biometric fingerprint reader, and smartphone control all built-in.  It has an LED light that comes on automatically and a hydraulic hinge.  It is made of 2.5mm alloy steel with corrosion-resistant coating and fireproof interior inlays.  It comes with a mounting kit and a steel cable.   It has pockets built into the lid to store paper documents like your passports and birth certificates.  A physical set of keys is also included with the safe.  The safe has a working temperature from – 4 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  The interior of the safe is 2.5 inches tall, by 7 inches deep, and 10.1 inches wide.

Price: $359.99
Where to buy: Lockly.com and Amazon

DREO ChefMaker

I love my air fryer but wanted one that could do a little more. Enter the Dreo ChefMaker Combi Fryer. It sports 3 cooking modes, a 6 QT capacity, a cook probe, water tank, and it even has a grill basket! A downside to air fryer’s is that some leaner food such as fish and chicken breasts can get dried out. The Dreo ChefMaker uses a food probe and water tank to precisely control temperature and water input to keep food juicy on the inside but retain the awesome air fryer crispy exterior.

I tried the Chef mode which used the probe and water to cook a marinated pork loin. Over the 53 minute cook time I had to check it to make sure it was on because it was so quiet. During the cooking the Dreo ChefMaker slowly raised the temperature, spay misted some water in to achieve doneness, then pre-seared it, and finally browned the outside at the end with high heat. In my normal air fryer I usually over do it and it can be a little dry inside. The Dreo ChefMaker’s probe and mist cooked the loin perfectly. I really like that it retains all the moisture inside while still getting that nice air fryer crispiness on the outside.

With the probe and ability to mist water the Dreo Combi Fryer will indeed make a chef out of anyone. It’s super simple to use with the on screen instructions. The Dreo ChefMaker is WiFi capable and with an accompanying app it allows you to monitor the cooking process, receive push notifications when done, has video guided recipes, and you can store favorite recipes and cooking settings.

The Dreo ChefMaker Combi Fryer really ups the air fryer game and is currently on sale for $215.40 during Black Friday and would make a great upgrade to your current air fryer or the perfect gift for someone that hasn’t tried one yet.
Price: $215.40 during Black Friday, normally $359.
Where to buy: Amazon or Dreo website.

Lasko Smart Oscillating Tower Fan Powered by Aria

Here’s a really cool gift – literally! With a Lasko Smart Oscillating Tower Fan Powered by Aria, you can give someone the gift of comfort. Being warm is nice, but being too warm is not nice. That’s where a fan can make all the difference. The Lasko Smart Oscillating Tower Fan isn’t like an old school basic box fan. This fan has 5 speeds, 90˚ oscillation, and it’s smart! What does it mean to be a smart fan? It means that you can control the Lasko using your voice with your favorite digital assistant as long as it’s Google or Alexa 😉 You can also use the Aria app on your phone to turn it on/off, set a timer, and control the speed.

Price: $99.99
Where to buy: Walmart

Lockly Access Touch Pro Minimalistic Fingerprint Deadbolt


Over the past few years, I have probably reviewed 5 or 6 brands and types of door locks that boast various smart features and are designed for secure entry/exit with multiple ways to control access. This Lockly deadbolt lock with WiFi allows you to use biometric access via your fingerprint and it can store up to 99 fingerprints making it perfect for a household or a small business. Its weatherproof-IPX5 rating and ability to work from -4 degrees F to 151 degrees F make it usable indoors or outdoors. The installation is just like any conventional lock and the 9-volt battery that it uses for power lasts approximately 9 months with typical use. It is Smart Home ready and WiFi enabled so you can monitor and control access as well as check the door status using your voice through Alexa or Hey Google.

Even more amazing, you can replace the key without replacing the entire lock by using a standard re-key kit.

Original Price: $199.99
Discount: 11% MAIL-IN REBATE full-price-discount-rebate Good Through 11/22/23
Final Price: $177.99
Where to buy: Menards

Meatstick 4

Are you looking for a gift for the smoker (not that kind of smoker) in your life? Know someone who spends more time at the grill than with their family? Then the MeatStick 4 might be the perfect gift for them! This Bluetooth wireless meat thermometer means they can simply check their meat temperature from their phone wherever they would prefer to relax (within Bluetooth range – up to 140 feet). Also available is a WiFi extender so you can check the temperature from anywhere you can get internet, and there are models with the extender built in if you want to really treat your gift recipient. Checking that temp is as simple as opening the MeatStick app on Android or iOS (and even on an Apple Watch!).  The MeatStick 4 is dishwasher safe and rated for use in sous vide, deep fryers, grills, ovens, or pretty much anywhere you might want to cook meat. The storage case doubles as a charger powered by AA batteries (not included), which gives the MeatStick 4 up to 70 hours of battery life. Treat someone with the gift of poking far fewer holes in their meat this year!

Price: $94.99
Where to buy: MeatStick and Amazon

Dreo Solaris Slim H3 Space Heater

Nothing warms the hearts of a gift recipient more than something that warms the rest of their body!  The Dreo Solaris Slim H3 Space Heater is a feature packed space heater that is small, quiet but able  heat up your room to the temperature you set thanks to an adjustable thermostat with a big range (from 41 to 95 degrees).   It also has a remote control so you can heat your bedroom before you even climb out of bed.  Its form factor is a small 16 inch cylinder that is portable so you can carry it to whatever room you might be chilly in.  It is quieter than most of its competitors, it oscillates and it has tip over protection for safety.

Price: $74.99
Where to buy: Dreo and Amazon



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