Best Mother’s Day Gifts 2021: 11 Last-Minute Tech Gift Ideas for Mom


Enlarge / The Garmin Lily is available in six traditional and sporty colorways.

Corey Gaskin / Ars Technica

Whereas we’d by no means begrudge you treating your mother to flowers, chocolate, or scented candles for Mom’s Day, we at Ars all the time have tech on the mind, so we’d be remiss to not extol the advantages a superb gadget can have on her every day life.

You’ll all the time know your mother’s tastes and pursuits higher than we do, in fact, but when she has room for a brand new piece of tech, we’ve rounded up a couple of helpful, hassle-free, last-minute Mom’s Day present concepts on your consideration beneath. Right here’s hoping they offer some thanks again to the lady who has put up along with your nonsense all these years.

Observe: Ars Technica might earn compensation for gross sales from hyperlinks on this put up by way of affiliate programs.

Apple Watch Sequence 6

New blue and red Apple Watch colors add some much needed flare to the Series 6, while blood oxygen and sleep monitoring level-up wellness capabilities.
Enlarge / New blue and pink Apple Watch colours add some a lot wanted flare to the Sequence 6, whereas blood oxygen and sleep monitoring level-up wellness capabilities.

Corey Gaskin

Apple Watch Series 6 product image

Apple Watch Sequence 6

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An Apple Watch is a timeless present… as long as you choose the correct era. They’re trendy (particularly in new colours), dependable, customizable, and do most every thing you could possibly ask of a smartwatch.

The Apple Watch Series 6 is the most recent, best-looking, and most well-equipped of all of them. Well being-minded mothers will respect options like blood oxygen monitoring, ECG readings, and all-day coronary heart price monitoring. It additionally options fall detection, which calls emergency providers within the occasion of a tough fall or if the emergency buttons are manually triggered. For each growing old and wholesome dad and mom, you possibly can consider an Apple Watch as a Life Alert pendant that additionally displays and tracks features of their well being and health.

Apple is evident, as all wearable producers are, that Apple Watches should not instruments for medical prognosis, although the sensors inside are FDA accepted and may also help maintain monitor of developments value talking to a physician about. It’s the form of well being monitoring that approaches the futuristic thought of getting a tool in or on you that tells you when one thing’s fallacious. Sleep monitoring on the watch is one other good instance, as this exhibits you developments fairly than any particular prognosis. And proper now, for the best diploma of well being monitoring, we do not advocate something decrease than the Sequence 6.

Different wearables have these sensors, too, however Apple Watches additional seal the take care of their wide-ranging help for varied apps and providers. If in case you have an lively mother who’s into working, swimming, browsing, climbing, meditation, or gardening (simply to call a couple of actions), there are devoted Apple Watch apps for all of these. Or in case your mother likes to maintain monitor of sure sports activities, exhibits, audiobooks, podcasts, or information, there are Apple Watch apps for all of that, too. Actually, no matter your mother’s into, there are apps for her to entry or interact with it on her wrist.

Oh, and she will be able to use a brand new Apple Watch to name or textual content you when she’s not by her telephone. What mother does not need extra communication from their children this Mom’s Day?
-Corey Gaskin

Garmin Lily

The Garmin Lily comes in six classic and sporty colorways.
Enlarge / The Garmin Lily is available in six traditional and sporty colorways.

Corey Gaskin / Ars Technica

Garmin Lily product image

Garmin Lily

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Garmin’s Lily health monitoring watch is a beautiful wearable that emulates a traditional timepiece aesthetic and is available in quite a lot of colorways for various tastes and events. These gadgets mimic jewellery greater than tech. The Classic Edition has leather-based straps and a stainless-steel bezel in bronze or one among two shades of gold, whereas the Sport Edition has an anodized aluminum bezel and silicone straps. In all, there are six kinds to select from—three of every version—and all of them are 5ATM water resistant and fashionably versatile, from informal to elegant.

Every has a metallic-looking dial with distinctive monochromatic patterns bolstering the refined seems. This masks a touchscreen beneath that presents data by way of a white gentle TFT LCD. It’s straightforward to learn, even within the solar, so it doesn’t matter what the scenario she will be able to learn textual content messages and different notifications on her wrist, be it from an iPhone or Android system.

Being a Garmin watch, there are additionally sensors for coronary heart price and blood oxygen monitoring you can spot verify, however in addition they inform easy-to-read mixture well being stats like stress ranges, irregular coronary heart price, health age, physique battery, and sleep monitoring. In-app, you can too monitor menstrual cycles.

GPS isn’t inbuilt, although, neither is music storage, so if leaving the telephone at residence for on-the-go mother adventures is necessary to her, then this is probably not the very best choose. In any other case, actions for power coaching, cardio, elliptical coaching, stair-stepping, yoga, Pilates, and breathwork can all be initiated and tracked proper on the watch.
-Corey Gaskin

Marshall Emberton

The Marshall Emberton portable Bluetooth speaker.
Enlarge / The Marshall Emberton transportable Bluetooth speaker.

Jeff Dunn

Marshall Emberton product image

Marshall Emberton

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In case your mother would respect a transportable speaker that may let her higher get pleasure from music or podcasts at residence, on the highway, within the bathe, or on the seaside, we just like the Marshall Emberton. For a compact (2.7×6.3×3.0 inches) and not-too-heavy (1.5 kilos) system, it packs spectacular audio high quality. In comparison with equally sized audio system now we have examined just like the UE Wonderboom 2 or Sony SRS-XB33, it presents a fuller, smoother, and extra pure sound, with a commendable stage of steadiness and width. And whereas no speaker this measurement can pump out really deep bass, the Emberton delivers a pleasant stage of punch with out ever distorting or blobbing up the positive particulars of any given monitor.

Moreover that, we dig the Emberton’s guitar-amp-inspired design, which features a useful battery-level indicator in addition to a easy one-button management scheme for adjusting quantity and playback. We discovered the battery itself to final roughly 10 hours per cost—although that may change relying on how loud you play—and the system recharges rapidly over USB-C. The entire thing has an IPX7 rating, too, that means it’s totally waterproof and could have no points surviving splashes from the bathe, pool, or kitchen sink.

That stated, the Emberton is costly for what it provides you. If you happen to’d prefer to present a inexpensive speaker, take into account Tribit’s XSound Go or StormBox Micro. Neither is as flashy trying or full sounding because the Emberton, however each are good worth and equally waterproof. We’ve recommended the former previously, whereas the latter is much more compact and has a built-in rubber strap that lets it snap onto backpacks, bike handlebars, and the like.
-Jeff Dunn

Jabra Elite 75t and Apple AirPods Professional

Jabra Elite 75t & Apple AirPods Pro product image

Jabra Elite 75t & Apple AirPods Professional

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If Mother want to get in on the “completely wi-fi” headphone development, take into account gifting the Jabra Elite 75t. They’re smaller and lighter than most different true wi-fi earbuds, with an in-ear design that stays safe and cozy within the ear over a number of hours. We’ve had few points pairing them with iOS, Android, Mac, or Home windows gadgets. They get roughly seven hours of battery life per cost, which is above-average for a real wi-fi pair, and their simply transportable charging case supplies one other 20+ hours on high of that. Their built-in microphone array does effectively to maintain your voice sounding clear throughout telephone calls, and so they’re IP55 rated, to allow them to face up to sweat or gentle rain whereas Mother is out and about.

Like most true wi-fi earbuds, the Elite 75t don’t sound wonderful, notably for the worth. They emphasize bass and treble out of the field, however a lot of individuals get pleasure from that form of sound. For what it’s, it’s extra enjoyable than fatiguing. A current replace to Jabra’s companion app added a helpful—if not world-beating—lively noise canceling mode as effectively. A one-button management scheme on every earbud makes it straightforward to pause songs, reply calls, and alter quantity. Plus, if one thing ever goes fallacious, Jabra covers the system with a two-year guarantee.

In case your mother solely makes use of Apple gadgets, although, we will additionally vouch for Apple’s AirPods Pro as an iOS-friendly different. They’re sometimes dearer than the Jabra pair, however they pair near-effortlessly with iPhones and iPads, and so they have a more practical noise-canceling mode for blocking out rowdy environments whereas working or exercising. In addition they have a extra balanced and impartial sound that could possibly be extra nice to sure tastes. That stated, they aren’t fairly as snug because the Elite 75t, they solely get about 5 hours of battery life per cost, and so they don’t have quantity controls constructed into the earpieces. However for iPhone homeowners who’d desire the only expertise attainable, the AirPods Professional do sufficient proper to be worthwhile.
-Jeff Dunn

A protecting or trendy Magsafe iPhone case

Apple’s new Magsafe chargers are a straightforward technique to relaxation your iPhone 12 (or prop it up) and provides it a decently fast cost. Higher but, the magnets and know-how inside allow you to entry that cost at full energy by way of Magsafe appropriate instances like these from OtterBox. Or, within the case of Apple’s magnetic leather-based pockets, you possibly can connect the pouch-like case to the again of your iPhone for a slim and helpful pockets resolution.

The world’s opening up once more, and we have discovered OtterBox’s Magsafe cases to offer substantial safety on adventures indoors and outdoor, whereas Apple’s Magsafe Leather Wallet makes touring gentle and straightforward. Each are available quite a lot of colours to match Mother’s model. Pair them with Zagg’s lifetime warrantied (i.e., limitless replacements, simply pay delivery) glass screen protectors, and each Mother and her telephone will probably be able to enter the world once more, supplied she’s vaccinated, in fact.
-Corey Gaskin

Apple Magsafe Accessories product image

Apple Magsafe Equipment

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Quick and stylish charging gear

In fact, you possibly can’t exit into the world with a useless telephone battery. That’s why we love these charging options beneath. All of them both make charging straightforward and stylish or fast and highly effective.

Belkin 3-in-1 Magsafe Charger

Belkin's 3-in-1 Magsafe charging stand is elegant, and capable, charging three Apple devices at once.
Enlarge / Belkin’s 3-in-1 Magsafe charging stand is elegant, and succesful, charging three Apple gadgets directly.

Corey Gaskin / Ars Technica

On the simple and stylish facet, now we have Belkin’s 3-in-1 Magsafe Wireless charger for all her iDevice necessities. Magsafe charging takes care of iPhone 12s, whereas the built-in Apple Watch charger sits subsequent to it, and beneath each lies a wi-fi charging pad for AirPods. All of these gadgets can cost at high speeds concurrently. It’s easy, smooth, and an ideal bedside companion that ensures she’ll always remember to cost or lose the chargers for any of those important iDevices.

Mophie All-in-One Moveable Powerstation

The portable Mophie All-in-one has a built in Apple Watch charger, wireless charging pad, and charging ports.
Enlarge / The transportable Mophie All-in-one has a inbuilt Apple Watch charger, wi-fi charging pad, and charging ports.

Corey Gaskin

For the proper on-the-go resolution, Mophie’s All-in-One Powerstation has built-in wi-fi charging (non-Magsafe), an embedded Apple Watch Charger, a USB-C PD port for top-speed 18W iPhone charging (or different gadgets), and a USB-A port for charging some other gadgets. With 8,000 mAh capability, you possibly can drop this in a purse and neglect about it for a few expenses.

Quick wall charging for a number of gadgets

Nekteck's 111W 5-Port desktop charger can charge most USB-C devices at or near maximum speeds.
Enlarge / Nekteck’s 111W 5-Port desktop charger can cost most USB-C gadgets at or close to most speeds.

Nekteck

Lastly, while you simply want the quickest attainable cost on your telephone, pill, and even sure laptops, Nekteck’s 111W USB-C Wall Charger Station is a good resolution that may cost as much as 5 gadgets directly.

Pumping 87W by way of USB-C PD, you possibly can cost laptops just like the Dell XPS 15, the most recent MacBook Execs, or an iPad Professional at or close to high velocity. On the similar time, you need to use the 4 12W USB-A ports (USB-IF licensed to stop frying gadgets) to cost any USB-charged gadgets, once more, concurrently. It’s an ideal possibility for the nightstand, desk, and even kitchen, the place you is perhaps charging quite a few gadgets directly.

Pair this with Anker’s PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning cable for a prolonged six toes of protected and quick iDevice charging or Nekteck’s USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 cables for protected and top-speed charging on USB-C or Thunderbolt gadgets, like iPads, Nintendo Switches, and ereaders.
-Corey Gaskin

Fast Charging Accessories product image

Quick Charging Equipment

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Logitech C920S HD Professional Webcam

Logitech's C920S HD Pro Webcam.
Enlarge / Logitech’s C920S HD Professional Webcam.

Logitech

Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam product image

Logitech C920S HD Professional Webcam

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The previous a number of months of Pandemic Dwelling has taught us, amongst many different issues, the significance of getting a superb webcam. In case your mother will probably be working remotely for the foreseeable future, or in the event you simply wish to up her video high quality throughout household chats, take into account upgrading her laptop computer’s grainy built-in digicam to the Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam.

The C920S is a couple of years previous at this level, but it surely nonetheless takes crisp 1080p video at a smooth-enough 30 frames per second, with a large sufficient 78-degree discipline of view for becoming a number of individuals into the body if wanted. It really works almost instantly after being plugged in (by way of a USB-A plug), and its folding design clips simply and securely onto a laptop computer or monitor with little fuss. Its autofocus is comparatively fast to right any blurring, its stereo mics maintain your voice sounding clear, and you may tilt the digicam up and all the way down to get a greater shot. It additionally comes with a nifty bodily “privateness shutter” that may block the digicam lens while you aren’t utilizing it. Whereas its image isn’t fairly as spectacular in darker rooms, it does an honest job at mechanically adjusting publicity when lighting is much less constant. It’s attainable to manually alter sure image settings by way of Logitech’s companion software program.

For many, although, the C920S ought to current a superb picture by default. It’s not essentially the most technically proficient webcam by any means—one thing like Logitech’s Brio steps as much as 4K video, whereas different good cameras just like the Logitech C922x Pro Stream or Razer Kiyo are higher suited to livestreaming video on-line. However for a primary webcam improve, the C920S nonetheless hits the candy spot between worth and efficiency. Importantly, we’ve additionally seen it come again into inventory after a yr of pandemic-fueled provide points. That stated, if that provide runs dry by the point you learn this, the three alternate options talked about above are all worthwhile for these keen to pay a bit additional.
-Jeff Dunn

Eufy Indoor Cam 2K

Eufy's Indoor Cam 2K.
Enlarge / Eufy’s Indoor Cam 2K.

Jeff Dunn

An excellent indoor safety digicam like Eufy’s Indoor Cam 2K may also help your mother control the home whereas she’s away. For $40, it supplies crisp 2K decision video that stays clear in the course of the day and evening, permitting her to see what the canine is doing, know when others have come residence, or just have peace of thoughts towards undesirable visitors.

Eufy’s companion app is simple to learn and can promptly ship alerts and seize video when it detects particular sounds (crying, for example) or movement. It enables you to customise how continuously the digicam will ship these alerts, set particular “exercise zones” that set off a notification when somebody wanders into them, or use the digicam’s built-in mic and speaker to speak with others in the home. You’ll be able to manually set off an alarm operate if wanted, whereas a nifty “Pet Command” characteristic can play an audio clip if a pet will get into a delegated space. The system will also be built-in with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant gadgets.

Any safety digicam carries some stage of privateness considerations, however the Indoor Cam 2K provides the choice to document video to the cloud—by way of Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video service or Eufy’s comparatively reasonably priced $3/month or $30/yr plans for 30 days of clips—or regionally to a microSD card. Solely the latter shops video clips at a higher-than-1080p decision, although. Both means, you would possibly wish to make sure that everybody else in the home is cool with you giving Mother this a lot energy forward of time.

The bodily {hardware} of the Indoor Cam 2K isn’t a lot to jot down residence about. It may stand to swivel a bit extra, it’s virtually solely plastic, and the digicam’s 125-degree discipline of view isn’t the widest we’ve seen. Even nonetheless, it delivers glorious efficiency and a great deal of helpful options for the cash, making it a superb worth for first-time homeowners of this sort of system.
-Jeff Dunn

A comfortable lap desk

Over a yr into a worldwide pandemic and we’ve all discovered the best way to be just a little comfier at residence, whether or not working, socializing, or simply passing the time. Many people have gotten inventive with how and the place we do these items, and the mattress or sofa is a tried-and-true cozy favourite.

That’s why we’re followers of those two lap desks: one which lies in your lap with a cushioned undercarriage, the LapGear Designer, and one other extra conventional type issue that stands by itself, the Ybj-ake Laptop Desk.

They each are available quite a lot of finishes (we advocate the black bamboo for the Ybj-ake, on account of decreased splinter incidence on this end), accommodate laptops as much as 17 inches, and have raised stoppers to maintain the laptop computer from sliding off at varied angles. Whereas the LapGear Designer’s angles rely on the angle of your lap, the Ybj-ake can lengthen its legs and lift its tabletop to varied angles like an easel.

Whichever you choose, it’ll be a pleasant change-up for Mother from the desk or kitchen desk that additionally protects her from extra laptop warmth.
-Corey Gaskin

Recommended Lap Desks product image

Really helpful Lap Desks

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Google Chromecast with Google TV

The Google Chromecast's home screen is well-spaced and aesthetically pleasing.
Enlarge / The Google Chromecast’s residence display screen is well-spaced and aesthetically pleasing.

Corey Gaskin

Google Chromecast with Google TV product image

Google Chromecast with Google TV

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In case your mother solely watches a few the preferred streaming providers—Netflix, Disney+, and many others.—she most likely received’t want a devoted media streamer, since many current TVs and cable containers have already got built-in help for such apps. But when your of us are chopping the wire or simply have extra eclectic tastes, the Google Chromecast with Google TV may make their TV viewing extra handy.

We lately discovered the most recent Chromecast to be the best of the various $50 streaming sticks available on the market, because of its wide-ranging app help, highly effective and correct search outcomes, straightforward setup, and easy distant. In comparison with competitors from Roku and Amazon, the Chromecast does a greater job of displaying the apps you utilize essentially the most, exhibits you’ve lately watched, and genuinely helpful suggestions for brand new content material you’re prone to get pleasure from. It does this on one display screen, pulling from varied streaming providers, and with a contemporary design that doesn’t look bland. It helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR and Dolby Atmos encompass sound for these with higher-end leisure setups (although not all providers make the most of these options), it masses apps and menus rapidly, and like all Chromecasts, it enables you to beam video straight from a cell system or laptop.

The flipside right here is that, with a view to get essentially the most out of the Chromecast’s glorious advice system, it’s important to share some stage of shopping data with Google. Numerous individuals already do that every time they use Google Chrome, in fact, however in the event you and your of us are particularly privacy-conscious, the comfort is probably not value it. The Apple TV 4K is healthier about not monitoring your viewing habits as extensively and now comes with a not-horrid remote, but it surely’s considerably dearer. For $50, the brand new Chromecast is a superb worth for anybody seeking to make a TV smarter.
-Jeff Dunn

LectroFan

The LectroFan white noise machine.
Enlarge / The LectroFan white noise machine.

Jeff Dunn

LectroFan product image

LectroFan

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In case your mother lives with a loud snorer or in an space the place exterior noise has been affecting her sleep, a superb white noise machine like the LectroFan may assist her drift off extra simply. We’ve discovered its fixed, random (i.e., not particular sounds of nature and the like, which may extra simply disturb one’s sleep), and electronically generated noise efficient at masking exterior sounds with out coming off as harsh. It has a large 30-step quantity vary and 10 white noise settings that take intention at totally different frequencies, which assist it work in each loud or comparatively quiet environment. There’s additionally a 60-minute timer that’ll shut the machine off mechanically over evening. All of that is set by way of a couple of easy controls on the entrance of the diminutive system.

To be clear, a white noise machine isn’t a magic cure-all for sleep troubles, and the science around its effectiveness isn’t particular. Sudden adjustments in sleep high quality are nonetheless finest mentioned with a medical skilled. There are smartphone apps that may produce comparable results, too, which can be useful on the go for the reason that LectroFan doesn’t run on battery energy. (Although many telephone audio system aren’t as full-sounding because the LectroFan.) But when your of us have been particularly coping with environmental components that forestall them from sleeping comfortably, sufficient individuals swear by all these machines that gifting a superb one is perhaps value a attempt.
-Jeff Dunn



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