Five most romantic geeky gifts for Valentine's Day

February 14, 2012
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader

Are you in love with a techie? Forget the flowers and candy. Here are five suggestions for sharing your love in a way they’ll really appreciate.

1. Reading can be quite romantic, whether your loved one is swept away by Jane Austen or swoons for Harlequin titles (lots of classics are free to download). And don’t think an e-book reader is less romantic than paper books: You could load it up with love poems before you gift it, for example. CR recommends several e-book readers, including the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader, currently our top-rated reader.

2. Many of us use our smart phones to take casual snapshots, but there are some features on point-and-shoot cameras you’re not going to find on a phone—yet, anyway. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 510HS, a CR-recommended camera, has a 12x zoom, for example—great for those long shots of your loved one running toward you through a field of daisies. The 510HS also takes very-good-quality pictures both indoors and out, has smile and blink detection, and features an image stabilizer, which comes in handy for the trembling hands of the lovelorn. Best of all for this particular holiday: It comes in red (also in black or silver).

3. What could say "love" louder than you, on your phone, calling the smart phone you gave to your loved one? The ultra-thin Motorola Droid Razr is a CR recommended Android phone with an 8-megapixel camera and superb 4.3-inch display that runs on Verizon’s LTE 4G network. The price has recently come down to $200 (from $300). And in addition to black or white, it’s now available in purple, which somehow seems a more loving color.

4. Let’s face it: You’ll win the heart of your true love more easily with a tablet computer than just about any other gadget. You can use it to compose a love letter, draw valentines, research romantic recipes for two, order champagne online… the possibilities are just about endless. CR’s top-rated tablet is the Apple iPad 2; or consider the Amazon Kindle Fire, a CR Best Buy at just $200.

5. Who needs to go out to the movies? Wouldn’t you rather stay home to watch "Casablanca" or "The Notebook"? Your romantic-movie choices will increase drastically with a new Blu-ray player that includes built-in Wi-Fi and Internet streaming services. The Samsung BD-D5700 is a CR top-rated player with all those features: It can access online content, including streaming movies from Blockbuster, Netflix, and Vudu, as well as Hulu Plus, YouTube, and Pandora Internet radio. And its DLNA-compliant, so it can pull in photos, movies, and music stored on a PC or other compatible device.

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