The MacBook Pro with Retina Display, while expensive, is the best all-around MacBook Apple now makes, and its super-high-res screen makes images -- even simple text -- look beautifully clear. It's the ultimate laptop status symbol right now.
If dad is a technophobe and/or a luddite, a Chromebook may be the way to go. The simple browser-based OS makes it hard to screw things up too badly, and most of the basic tools he'll want -- e-mail, Netflix, news -- are all easily accessible.
Sure, the battery life isn't stellar, but the amazingly portable package that the Surface Pro offers up can't be beat. Add a comfortable Type Cover keyboard, and the Surface Pro becomes a supercharged iPad-sized PC capable of no-holds-barred Windows computing on the go. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus, a feature that may be making a bit of a comeback.