2018’s Hottest tech gifts

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Ramsey Brown and Shayna Doi from Hawaii: Energized! share some of this year’s most popular electric gifts, break down how they work, the pricing, and how energy efficient they are. 

Instant Pot
•    Kitchen appliance, super popular, more than 28K reviews on Amazon (#1 most “wished for” item!)
•    Big thing is that it cooks things FAST – essentially a pressure cooker; cooks rice, beef stew, soups, kalbi in minutes
•    Price: Comes in 3 sizes: 3 qt, 6qt and 8 qt – retails between $70 – $125. Lots of good deals too. 
•    Energy use:  Essentially a pressure cooker, so really efficient method. Don’t have to leave on for hours, heat doesn’t escape out and make your kitchen all hot
•    Claim is that it replaces 7 appliances – I’m kind of wary about that, it’s designed to cook fast, so some reviews say it’s not that great at slow cooking

Nintendo Switch
•    Nintendo’s newest game – reminiscent of Game Boys!
•    2.5-6hrs battery life
•    Price: $299, plus the cost of games ($50-60), memory card ($30), a case ($20)
•    Energy use:  CPU and GPU in the Switch, which is based on the Nvidia Tegra X1 found in the Nvidia Shield console, will likely have a maximum power consumption of 15W (not taking the screen or other components into account). Compare that to the original PS4 and Xbox One and you’re looking at multiple times more.

Smart Home Assistants
•    If you haven’t seen an ad related to this, you might be living under a rock!
•    Newest way to “automate” your home – plays music, helps you look things up, make phone calls, control electronic devices (TV, thermostat, lights, etc.)
•    Price: $40 – $130, depending on brand & model. Amazon has 3 versions of Echo and Google has 2 versions of Google Home. Facebook also has Portal for video chat) released this month. 
•    Energy use: Surprisingly low, even though it’s always plugged in and listening
•    At max, 3 watts while in full use. 
Phillips Hue
•    All about quick, easy access! With the smartphone app, you can control anywhere the world. 
•    Bridge connects you to other home automation like Amazon Echo/Google Home
•    Can expand to infinite amt of Hue lights – comes in lots of different shapes/sizes
•    Instant turn on time. Dimmable. Of course it’s an LED, so it’s got a long life and is very energy efficient!
•    Price: Cheapest is $70 for starter kit (2 bulbs & bridge), $15-20 each additional bulb. Color lighting is added cost.
•    Energy use: 0.3 watts per bulb

iROBOT Roomba Vacuum
•    Vacuum that runs by itself. Smart enough to sense corners, obstacles. No pushing required.
•    Highest-end models do deep-cleaning, are integrated with phone app, or even self-emptying at the dock!
•    Price: $350 – $900
•    Energy use:  
•    Takes 3 hours to charge at 30 watts. Total cost to run it at 3x/wk is about $.13 a month. 
•    “Trickle charge” (5w) keeps battery topped off at all times. Total cost to keep it plugged in and charge 24/7/365 is $.34 a month or $4.08 a year in electricity.  
•    Energy Saving Mode: Reduce power by placing the Roomba on “Standby Mode” 

Please shop “green” and consider energy usage while shopping this season.

Please check out more episodes of Hawaii: Energized! at https://HawaiiEnergized.com.
 

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