Real estate

By Rafe Needleman

Gadget gift ideas

Tame the jungle
of remotes in the
living room with
this one to rule them
all: Logitech’s
“Harmony 650.’’’ Easy to
program, it’s compatible with
more than 270,000 devices, replacing eight remotes. Fancier versions are available, too. $79.99from Logitech and $53.99 at Best Buy, 100 Cambridgeside Place, Cambridge, 617-577-8866, and other Best Buy locations,

Replace that cheesy keyboard that came with your computer with one that’s infinitely more pleasing to type on. The “4 Professional” keyboard from Das Keyboard (available in PC and Mac layouts) has great mechanical key switches, media controls, and a volume knob, among other features. Pricing starts at $169 at

Make a sonic impact with the powerful “Phantom” wireless speaker by Devialet, which features new technology and an unusual design. You’ll get expensive but supremely clear sound from this device, which is compatible with a smartphone, laptop, and CD player. $1,990 at and at Blink High End, 129 Franklin St., Cambridge, 617-225-0700,


Sure, you’ve got a tool kit for home repair, but does it have the oddball tiny screwdriver you need to open your electronic gear? Probably not. The “64 Bit Driver Kit” by Fixit has them all, including hard-to-find Torx, Pentalobe, and tri-points — plus mini-sized flat-head and Phillips-head bits for your old-time-tech eyeglasses. $34.95 at

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Get started in home automation with the “Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit.”This hub makes your smartphone a controller for almost every kind of smart-home switch and sensor available. Bonus: You can also control it by speaking commands to the Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home. $249 at
and $241.18

Just ask and “Echo Dot,” a charming, hockey-puck-sized voice assistant, can read you the news, play music, time kitchen tasks, turn on lights (with smart-home switches), and tell your kids jokes . . . and, yes, order things from Amazon. $49.99 at

Eero’s elegant home WiFi system spreads a strong, reliable signal throughout even a large house. It features a super-simple setup as well as management and basic parental controls via a smartphone app. (Tip: Get a single pack for a small apartment.) $199 for one, up to $499 for a three-pack at and

The “Beddit 3 Sleep Tracker” grips your mattress with a nonslip fabric and knows when you’re sleeping. It knows when you’re awake. This clever sensor is completely automatic, sending data to your smartphone and analyzing sleep time, heart rate, snoring, respiration, and sleep depth. It can also wake you up at the optimal time. Great if you don’t want to wear a fitness bracelet in bed. $149cq at


This unobtrusive car computer, “Automatic Pro”cq from Automatic,cq plugs into your ride’s diagnostic socket and records how you use your car and where it is at all times. With its built-in 3G connection, data are securely uploaded to the cloud and can be accessed via your smartphone or computer. Forgot where you parked? This will tell you. Need to file an expense report? It integrates with popular expensing tools. Get in an accident? It will even call emergency services for you when it detects a serious one. $129.95cq at and $129.99cq at Best Buycq, 550 Arsenal St.cq, Watertown, 617-926-0142cq, and other Best Buy locations,

Rafe Needleman, who has been reviewing
technology products for more than 20 years,
can be reached at or on Twitter @rafe.