Customization key to giving Dad an iPad for Father's Day

Third generation Apple iPad (courtesy Apple Inc.)
Third generation Apple iPad (courtesy Apple Inc.)
Apple AV Adapter for iOS devices (courtesy Apple Inc.)
Apple AV Adapter for iOS devices (courtesy Apple Inc.)
Apple Camera Connection Kit for iOS devices (courtesy Apple Inc.)
Apple Camera Connection Kit for iOS devices (courtesy Apple Inc.)
HP OMNI 27 All-in-One Desktop PC (courtesy
HP OMNI 27 All-in-One Desktop PC (courtesy

Apple's iPad is the world's most popular tablet, and last month, the new iPad was cited by dozens of Mother's Day gift guides as what moms wanted most.

I can't say I disagree, but what about Dad? Wouldn't the average dad also be delighted to receive an iPad for Father's Day?

I think the key would be customization. Rather than let the old man unbox a factory-fresh iPad, perhaps not knowing what to do with it, you should pre-install apps that are sure to pique his interest.

Lord knows there are apps for everything: travel, sports, business, investing, health, fitness, fishing, golf, games, wine, magazines, newspapers, books, and on and on. There is something for every aspect of the male psyche.

A new iPad, loaded with apps designed to enhance the enjoyment of Dad's favorite past times will be a sure winner on Father's Day. Of this, I am confident.

After all, the new iPad has a Retina display, quad-core graphics, and a 5-megapixel camera with advanced optics for capturing photos and 1080p HD video. The new display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2 and has a million more pixels than an HDTV.

Apple's tablet can run almost all of the over 585,000 apps currently available from the App Store, including more than 200,000 native iPad apps and the new iBooks 2 app that will let Dad experience ebooks that are truly interactive.

The new iPad Wi-Fi models are available in black or white and start at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB model. Prices for Wi-Fi + Cellular models, available for use on either AT&T or Verizon wireless, sell for $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model, and $829 for the 64GB model. The iPad 2 is also available for $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model. For more information, visit

If Dad already has an iPad or an iPhone, Apple's AV Adapter is another great gift idea. It connects almost any iOS device to an HDTV or HDMI-compatible display (up to 1080p HD; movies play at up to 720p). The adapter mirrors movies, games, and even websites on the big screen. The unit sells for $39.00 and requires an HDMI cable (sold separately). For more information, visit

And if Dad is into digital photography and already owns an iOS device, Apple's Camera Connection Kit makes downloading photos and videos from a digital camera easy. The kit allows using a USB cable (not included) or an SD card reader to import photos and videos directly from your camera into your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone and sells for $29.00. For more information, visit

HP offers a cheaper alternative to the 27-inch iMac

Let's say you'd really like to own a 27-inch Apple iMac. For $1,699, you'll get a beautiful, all-in-one desktop PC with a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, a 27-inch screen with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 4GB memory, 1TB hard drive, a slot-loading 8x SuperDrive, two Thunderbolt ports (similar to USB 3.0), and more.

Not a bad deal, unless 1,700 bucks is more than you want to spend. HP, however, offers an attractive alternative.

The HP Omni 27 has a gorgeous brushed metal finish with an edge-to-edge glass screen. The unit is supposedly designed for media consumption, but maximum resolution (1920 x 1080) is less than the 27-inch iMac's and only integrated graphics are standard. All iMacs have AMD Radeon HD discrete graphics.

Still, there's a lot to like, starting with HP Beats Audio for a full, rich sound. Also standard is a wireless keyboard/mouse, HDMI-input jack, and a SuperMulti DVD burner.

The unit is powered by an Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5GHz 2nd generation processor, 8 GB memory, 1TB 7200 rpm HDD, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a 6-in-1 card reader slot, wired/wireless networking, and a free Norton Internet Security 15-month subscription.

An HP Omni 27 desktop PC with this configuration (Model HP Omni 27-1015t) is currently selling on the HP website for $1,099 (after instant rebate), including free standard shipping.

From three feet away, the HP Omni 27 delivers a video and audio experience that is similar to watching a big screen TV in a living room. It's not a bad computer, either, all for $500 less than the starting price of a 27-inch iMac.

You can even add a TV tuner with PVR and remote for 50 bucks. Other accessories and upgrades, including a Blu-ray DVD combo drive, are also available. For more information, visit