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The 2018 Ars Technica Valentine’s Day gift guide

We, the unfeeling and tech-obsessed robots of Ars Technica, are usually not ones for love. We’re often extra involved with the internal workings of working methods, gaming consoles, and Web regulation than these of the human coronary heart. However we notice that love is a robust drug and that Valentine’s Day is a time for a lot of Ars readers to point out appreciation for his or her companions. It’s additionally, for higher or worse, a time to purchase issues.

So that will help you nerdy romantics, we’ve compiled a number of Ars-y suggestions that ought to do proper by your vital different. To be clear: Devices and love aren’t all the time a pure match. Don’t simply purchase one among this stuff and name it a day; take your associate out to dinner, purchase them chocolate, do one thing you each get pleasure from. Or mutually determine that Valentine’s Day is a commerce-manufactured, stereotype-reinforcing vacation and do nothing.

Regardless of the case, listed here are a number of ideas for treating your dorky lover.

Observe: Ars Technica could earn compensation for gross sales from hyperlinks on this submit via affiliate applications.

Jaybird X3

Jeff Dunn

There by no means appears to be a scarcity of people that might use a headphone improve, explicit with regards to pairs that’ll survive the fitness center. And with each telephone firm below the solar going insane and erasing the headphone jack, leaping on the Bluetooth bandwagon abruptly appears to be like sensible. In case your associate is going through this predicament, the Jaybird X3 ought to have them coated.

We examined the X3 towards a pair dozen wi-fi exercise headphones late final 12 months and located it to be one of the best all-around selection. It has a deeper, extra dynamic sound than most of its friends; it comes with an array of eartips and stays snugly in place all through exercises after you have the fitting match; and it may face up to a sweat drenching with out fear.

However the X3 shouldn’t be with out flaws: its battery system requires you to maintain monitor of a tiny proprietary clip-on charger, which is a ache within the neck, and by itself the headphone will get a just-okay seven hours of juice. Taken collectively, although, the X3 ought to make your associate’s exercise a bit extra satisfying.

Anker PowerCore+ 10050

Jeff Dunn

No one appears to be like at a conveyable battery and thinks “eternal love.” However no one needs to be left with a lifeless telephone, both, and that’s what a superb energy financial institution like Anker’s PowerCore+ 10050 prevents. It’s one among what looks like a trillion variants of this stuff, but it surely’s dependable, it holds an honest quantity of juice (rated at 10,500mAh), and, crucially, it’s sufficiently small to suit comfortably into any backpack or pocketbook.

This mannequin helps Qualcomm’s Fast Cost normal, and it’s certainly, uh, fast to cost newer Android telephones particularly. Anker is probably going the preferred of the hordes of Chinese language accent makers on Amazon, however you do get an 18-month guarantee if issues ever go dangerous. Once more, please don’t purchase this as your solely V-Day current. However as one piece of a bigger goodie bag, your associate ought to recognize the practicality. Seize an extra-long cable when you’re at it to show this into a bit themed set.


Ars Technica

Jaipur is a enjoyable and fast-paced card sport designed for 2 gamers. Within the newest replace to our final board sport purchaser’s information, we referred to as it an “wonderful tug-of-war that gives a shocking quantity of tense moments inside a small choice area.” The concept is to take or promote items from a central market and construct up a repository of tokens alongside the way in which. However there’s a continuing friction between promoting objects as quick as doable and making an attempt to promote explicit objects in chunks for bonus rewards. The ensuing mixture of talent and luck makes for a playful time for board game-loving . Every sport takes a few half hour, so it’s not a serious time sink, both.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Kyle Orland

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is likely one of the few video games we’d advocate to folks with any semblance of a relationship to gaming. It begins off with the texture of a “child’s first XCOM” however progressively compounds and twists that idea into one thing thrillingly kinetic and tense. It teaches honest-to-goodness techniques with out shedding a simplicity that retains every part in beginner gamers’ attain. Plus it’s lovable, in that fuzzy Nintendo method. Even the manic Rabbids characters might get a number of laughs if you happen to and your associate have children.

Anybody with a Change already is aware of to purchase Breath of the Wild and Tremendous Mario Odyssey by now; whereas Kingdom Battle appears to be like much more area of interest, it’s simply as simple to like. It’s price a shot in case your sweetheart might use a brand new sport.


Enlarge / A number of artists have made work impressed by Borne. This can be a woodcut of Mord, the large flying bear, created by Theo Ellsworth.

Theo Ellsworth

Actually, you possibly can fake this says “any e book you suppose the one you love will like.” For those who want a nudge to your avid reader, although, we discovered Jeff VanderMeer’s Borne to be one of many higher fantasy novels of 2017. It’s an oddly touching fairy story that manages to say one thing about bioscience, being a mother or father, and discovering which means in a mad, corrupted world. It additionally includes a flying bear the scale of a Walmart wreaking havoc in a post-apocalypse. Borne is at factors bizarre, difficult, and a bit disturbing, however in the end grounded in love. Sounds about proper.

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The 2018 Ars Technica Valentine’s Day gift guide


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