Have a geeky Valentine's: 16 gift ideas for him and her


Chocolates, flowers and fancy dinners rule on Valentine's Day. But if your date is more gadget geek than foodie, Vincent Chang and Trevor Tan offer some gift ideas

For him

1. 1More triple driver in-ear headphones, $169

For the budding audiophile wary of overspending on audio products, 1More's triple driver in-ear headphones (above) offer unbeatable value.

At $169, these unimaginatively named headphones with three speaker drivers produce balanced and detailed sound comparable with more expensive sets.

1More says they are tuned by a Grammy-winning audio engineer to deliver an accurate listening experience.

If the budget allows, 1More has a quad-driver version of these headphones ($299) that also offer excellent sound at a much lower price point than its competitors.

2. Sonos One smart speaker, $329

Smart speakers are invading homes around the world, but the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, tend to focus more on being smart and less on being good-quality speakers.

The Sonos One smart speaker (above), however, combines the audio firm's expertise with Amazon's smarts.

While Amazon's smart assistant is not officially available in Singapore, your Valentine's techie skills should easily find a workaround that lets him command Alexa to play his Spotify playlists.

With its clean looks, the Sonos One will not clash with his living room. If there are other Sonos speakers, such as the PlayBar, the One will also work together with them.

3. LG gram 15, from $2,099 

The owner of the LG gram 15 (above) can travel light and still watch his favourite television shows in full high-definition on a biggish screen.

This ultra-portable laptop has a magnesium alloy body that weighs about 1.1kg, which is practically unheard of for a 15-inch model.

The latest model has been upgraded with a new Intel quad-core chip.

Despite its portability, the LG gram 15 has a 60 watt-hour battery that the manufacturer says should last all day.

4. Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset, $599 

When it comes to virtual reality (VR) headsets for PCs, Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are the biggest names in the game. However, the former is not available here, while the latter is pricy - at more than $1,000.

The good news is that Microsoft has its own mixed reality platform for VR apps. Compatible headsets have been produced by PC makers and Acer recently brought its version to the local market.

Boasting a maximum resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 pixels, Acer's VR goggles (above) are as capable as its competitors'.

While Microsoft's platform does not have as many apps as its rivals, the Acer headset works with more than 2,000 VR games, demos and apps from the Steam online store.

5. Shadow Of The Colossus, $45.90 (digital version), $49.90 (Blu-ray disc) 

Any gamer worth his salt would have played or heard of Shadow Of The Colossus. Published in 2005, this classic action-adventure game is arguably one of the best PlayStation 2 titles ever made.

If he had missed it then, he is in for a real treat because the game (above) has been recreated with modern-day graphics and runs at a stunning 4K resolution on the PlayStation 4 Pro.

The controls have also been updated to be less clunky. But more importantly, the story and the gameplay that made it great survived the reboot unscathed.

6. DJI Mavic Air, $1,299 

Spark his interest in aerial photography with market leader DJI's latest Mavic Air drone. Weighing just 430g, or approximately as much as a 10-inch tablet, the Mavic Air is DJI's most portable drone yet.

In addition to being lightweight, this compact drone can be folded up small enough to fit inside a jacket pocket. Even its remote control has removable thumbsticks for easy storage.

Its integrated 12-megapixel camera can shoot 4K videos at 30 frames per second while a 3-axis gimbal helps ensure videos and photos look smooth and clear.

Despite being almost half the weight of the larger Mavic Pro, its battery is good for about 21 minutes of flight time, which is only slightly shorter than the Pro's flight time of 27 minutes.

The photos are small and the quality is not as good as a desktop printer. Its main draw, however, is its portability. At under 200g, it weighs about as much as an average smartphone.

7. HP x360 Convertible 11-ab048TU, $619 

If you do not feel like shelling out two grand but would still like to get him a new laptop, the HP x360 Convertible 11-ab048TU (above) might just do the trick.

Do not expect luxury or top-grade specs from this budget machine, but it does come with some neat touches. With its 360-degree geared hinge, he can use this 11-inch touchscreen Windows 10 convertible laptop in four modes - getting work done in Laptop mode, watching movies in Stand mode, playing games in Tent mode and reading in Tablet mode.

Furthermore, the x360 can last up to 11 hours on a full charge.

8. Samsung Galaxy S8 Rose Pink, $1,148 

For those whose partners love pink, giving them the Samsung Galaxy S8 Rose Pink (above) is sure to set their hearts aflutter.

This stunning rose pink makes the handset stand out from the army of black phones out there and he still gets the beautiful S8 design with its 5.8-inch almost-bezelless display.

And with its water-and dust-resistant capabilities, you do not need to worry about replacing one when he drops it in the bathtub or beach.

For her

1. Fitbit Flex 2, $148 

She needs a good-looking fitness tracker for the National Steps Challenge. You need an easy-to-get Valentine's Day gift. Get the Fitbit Flex 2 (above).

This gadget looks more like an accessory than a fitness tracker and can track her all-day physical activities, such as steps taken, calories burnt and even the duration of her sleep.

Accompanying accessories include the bangle (from $139.95) and the pendant (from $129.95), that can house the Flex 2 module for that extra dose of glamour.

2. Sony a5000 Pink, $799 (16-50mm kit lens) 

Who says a mirrorless interchangeable camera needs to be in boring black?

The Sony a5000 Pink (above) looks stylish with its beautiful pink coat and it takes great photos too, thanks to its 20.1 APS-C CMOS image sensor.

Its 3-inch screen can also be tilted 180 degrees to face the front, allowing the user to take high-quality selfies easily.

In addition, the camera comes with the Soft Skin Effect that can smooth wrinkles in photos.

3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 Women's, $229 

For sporty women, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 are running shoes that look and feel great. This particular clear sky and vivid coral colour scheme (above) looks as cool on the treadmill as it does on the street.

It improves on its predecessors with re-configured flex grooves on the blown rubber outsole.

A breathable mesh upper with a moulded foam collar and a no-sew bootie fit offers an extra snug fit, while New Balance's Fresh Foam midsole technology provides advanced cushioning for long runs.

4. Fred Allure, $499 

Does your loved one spend a lot of time watching YouTube contouring tutorials on her mobile phone only to then sit in front of the mirror to try and recreate the look?

The Fred Allure smart mirror (above) might just save her some time.

The mirror has a little Android-powered screen built-in so that she can watch videos and cosmetic news while she is preening.

The Allure also comes with lighting that mimics natural sunlight in any room setting as well as a built-in selfie camera so the perfect shot can be taken before the make-up has a chance to smudge.

5. Dyson Supersonic Iron Red Limited Edition, $599 

With Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year just a couple of days apart this year, why not get a Valentine's gift that can also get her into the Chinese New Year spirit.

The Dyson Supersonic hairdryer now comes in a limited-edition colour that is perfect for Chinese NewYear - Iron red (above).

Colour aside, the Supersonic Iron Red is the same ultra-modern hairdryer that drew headlines when it launched, both for its unique design and hefty price tag.

6. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10, $499 

If you think your significant other might want a little more old-school Polaroid nostalgia from her instant camera, then the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 (right) is the way to go.

She can save her photos in the camera's internal memory (up to 50 photos) or on a microSD card. She can also choose to print a photo immediately or later.

Photos are printed on Instax instant film just like other Fujifilm Instax cameras, which means photos have that satisfying suspense of slowly taking shape on the film as you hold it.

7. HP Sprocket 2-in-1, $239 

In the age of digital photography, there is still something romantic about having a physical photo as a keepsake. So help her capture memorable moments in print instantly with the HP Sprocket 2-in-1 (above).

The device is basically a 5-megapixel camera slapped onto the back of HP's pocket photo printer. She will be able to print her snaps instantly or touch them up with a phone app before printing.

Alternatively, photos taken on smartphones can also be sent via Bluetooth to the Sprocket for printing.

8. The Complete SF Collection by Richard Morgan, $22.08 on Google Play Store (E-book) 

Is she a big science-fiction reader? Perhaps she has been binge-watching Netflix's latest prestige TV show, the cyberpunk noir thriller Altered Carbon that is adapted from a novel by Richard Morgan.

Set in a distant future where the rich attain immortality by switching bodies, Altered Carbon is the first of three novels with the protagonist Takeshi Kovacs. All three books are found in the Richard Morgan SF Collection e-book (above).

If she has already read them, an alternative is the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey.

This ongoing space opera - the seventh volume Persepolis Rising was released in December - has also been adapted into a TV show, with the third season expected some time this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2018, with the headline 'Have a geeky Valentine's'. Print Edition | Subscribe