Father's Day gifts that will knock the old man's socks off

Nikon COOLPIX AW100 waterproof and shockproof camera (image courtesy Nikon ©2012)
Nikon COOLPIX AW100 waterproof and shockproof camera (image courtesy Nikon ©2012)
Nikon COOLPIX S9300 16MP camera with 18x zoom lens (image courtesy Nikon ©2012)
Nikon COOLPIX S9300 16MP camera with 18x zoom lens (image courtesy Nikon ©2012)
ASUS G75VW-series 3D gaming notebook PC (image courtesy ASUS ©2012)
ASUS G75VW-series 3D gaming notebook PC (image courtesy ASUS ©2012)
ASUS G75VW-series 3D gaming notebook PC (image courtesy ASUS ©2012)
ASUS G75VW-series 3D gaming notebook PC (image courtesy ASUS ©2012)

Still stumped about what to get Dad for Father's Day? Forget about neckties, after shave, or "world's greatest dad" coffee mugs. Give the old man something that will knock his socks off!

The COOLPIX AW100 is Nikon's first waterproof, shockproof, and freeze-resistant compact digital camera. The camera is designed to withstand the severe conditions presented by outdoor activities such as swimming, diving, hiking or snow skiing. Its waterproof to approximately 10 meters (33 feet), able to survive being dropped approximately 1.5 meters (5 feet), and can withstand cold air temperatures as low as −10°C (14°F).

The camera combines a 16-megapixel, backside illumination CMOS image sensor with a NIKKOR 5x optical zoom lens to capture still images and record full-HD movies. Also included are GPS support, an electronic compass, and built-in world map display.

Operating a digital camera while wearing skiing gloves or maneuvering underwater can be challenging. Action Control to the rescue. This ingenious feature lets you to apply a variety of camera settings by simply pressing a large action button on the side of the camera and then shaking the camera.

A hybrid electronic vibration reduction (VR) system ensures blur-free images, even in low-light situations, and when underwater scene mode is enabled, white balance is automatically adjusted to prevent unnatural green or blue cast images.

While you're shooting, the camera's GPS and electronic compass not only acquire and record positional information, they provide an electronic compass, displaying a world map and P. O. I. (point of interest) information.

Full-HD movies (920 x 1080 pixels) with stereo sound can be recorded with one-button ease, and the optical zoom can be used while recording video, although the auto-focus recovery is a bit slow.

The camera also has an HS Movie feature that allows you to playback video in slow motion (1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 normal playback speed) or fast motion (two times faster than normal playback speed) when desired.

The Nikon COOLPIX AW100 comes in black, blue, or orange and lists for $349.95. For more information, visit NikonUSA.com.

Trip the low-light fantastic with the COOLPIX S9300

If Dad prefers shooting pictures in less hostile environments, consider the Nikon COOLPIX S9300, a great vacation camera whose 18x optical NIKKOR zoom lens utilizes thin optics and covers from wide-angle 25 mm to super-telephoto 450 mm (35-mm format equivalent). The camera has a three-inch, wide-viewing angle TFT LCD monitor.

The camera's backside illumination CMOS image sensor, which has an effective pixel count of 16.0-million pixels, excels at low-light photography. In Night Landscape mode, a series of images is captured and then combined into a single image so you can capture beautiful night landscapes shooting handheld. Additionally, the hybrid vibration reduction (VR) system reduces blur, even with shooting indoors or in dark places.

You can record full-HD movies (1920 x 1080 pixels) with stereo sound using the camera's optical zoom, and video recorded with the HS Movie function can be played back in slow motion at 1/2 or 1/4 the normal playback speed, or in fast motion at twice the normal playback speed.

The camera's built-in GPS and electronic compass acquire and record position information with shooting. An onboard point-of-interest (POI) database can be used to record names of places, and the camera even has a log function that tracks and records movement while the camera is off.

The Nikon COOLPIX S9300 lists for $349.85, but right now you can buy online it at the Nikon Store for only $299.95. I've also seen it elsewhere for under $265. For more information, visit NikonUSA.com.

ASUS unleashes a gaming powerhouse with 3D graphics

If Dad is into gaming -- or simply wants a desktop replacement laptop computer with power to spare -- why not treat him to the "Ultimate Fighting Machine?" I'm speaking of the ASUS G75VW-series, a new Republic of Gamers (ROG) offering that pulls out all the stops.

The begin, all models feature third generation ("Ivy Bridge") Intel Core i7 CPU and the latest NVIDIA enthusiast-level discreet graphics. The G75VW-series also provides two-second instant-on when equipped with a SSH (solid-state hybrid) or SSD (100% solid state hard drive), and RAID 0/1 support for multiple internal hard drives (up to 2TB each) is also standard.

The unit packs a wallop, but its unique, thermal design exhausts hot air (and fan noise) out two rear panel vents. Physical memory can be expanded up to a impressive 16 gigabytes, and a built-in subwoofer, complete with SonicMaster audio technology, ensures a rich and powerful sound.

On selected models, NVIDIA 3D Vision 2, including 3D Active Shutter and 3D LightBoost technology, lets you experience games, photos, and movies in full HD and true 3D, and the 17.3" LED back-lit display, enhanced by a matt finish, anti-glare screen, provides superb clarity, particularly in dark, gaming environments.

All models have a HD web camera, 3-in-1 card reader, three USB 3.0 ports (one sleep & charge), a Thunderbolt port, S/PDIF optical audio output, integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless, gigabit Ethernet jack, HDMI output, super-multi DVD, built-in microphone and speakers, including a built-in subwoofer, full-size keyboard with 101-key keypad, and an 8-cell battery. A Blu-Ray Combo DVD and Bluetooth are options.

Also standard is a comprehensive, global warranty, including a 30-day zero bright dot assurance, free two-way warranty-related shipping, and 24x7 tech support. One-year accidental damage protection, which covers accidental drops, spills, power surges and fire damage, is also part of the deal.

ASUS' gaming powerhouse weighs over 9 lbs. (not counting the two-pound brick-style AC power supply) and lists for $2,099 (with 3D) or $1,799 (without 3D). For more information, visit ASUS.com.