Valentine’s Day and shopper era do not precisely move hand in hand. Each and every couple is other, however if you are getting a liked one a present for the vacation, it must come from the guts. A brand new smartphone or transportable onerous power is sweet, however it does not all the time scream “romance.”
For the tech-obsessed robots at Ars Technica, although, excellent equipment will all the time win out in opposition to fickle ideas like “human feelings.” So as an alternative of posting a extra standard reward information, I made up our minds to have a good time this Valentine’s Day in a extra Arsian means: by means of asking my colleagues to indicate their hearts now not towards folks however towards the tech of their lives that they respect probably the most.
Right here are some things we adore.
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Apple iPad (9.7″)
I absolutely recognize that, conceptually, the iPad is dull. However within the 12 months since I despatched my previous iPad mini 2 to the massive closet within the sky, Apple’s 9.7-inch pill has simply grow to be the piece of tech I take advantage of maximum incessantly.
To peel again the curtain a bit of: Ars is a far flung operation, so all folks make money working from home. I have used this freedom to experiment with my workflow. As an alternative of sitting in entrance of a pc all day, I cut up my tasks between a Mac mini in my house place of job and the iPad in all places else. After I actually want to hunker down for one thing, the previous desktop-monitor-mechanical-keyboard triptych continues to be probably the most tough option to buckle down and do a undertaking.
When I am getting inevitably uninterested in being chained to a table, although, the iPad takes over for mild writing, be aware taking, and Internet surfing. Running a blog isn’t probably the most processor-intensive task, so the A9 chip and 2GB of RAM in my iPad continues to be masses for me to do the needful analysis and emailing on iOS. (I’ve the Fifth-gen style from 2017, to be transparent; closing 12 months’s successor is extra tough, and a 2019 style is predicted someday within the subsequent couple of months.)
If the rest, I in finding the enjoy of writing at the iPad to be much less distracting than at the desktop. Because the iPad can handiest show one or two apps at a time, it forces me to concentrate on what is at the display at any given second. I take advantage of the superb Endure and Ulysses apps for be aware taking and drafting up posts, respectively, and typing with this great Brydge keyboard turns the pill right into a pseudo clamshell.
What makes the iPad so precious comes after paintings, although. Internet surfing and YouTube staring at on its great-for-an-LCD show is extra relaxing than the usage of a smaller telephone display and not more unwieldy than plopping a pc on my legs. When my female friend takes keep watch over of the TV to observe This Is Us, I will be able to simply stir up YouTube TV and watch actually anything. (Love you, pricey!) Prior to mattress, the iPad turns into a sumptuous software for studying, the extraordinary informal recreation, and podcasts. For me, this 9.7-inch shape issue is the candy spot: the rest smaller would make paintings unattainable, whilst the rest larger can be too traumatic to hold round.
In different phrases, that is the nearest factor I’ve to a 24-hour machine—and for that, I adore it. That it value not up to $350 is only a sweetener.
—Jeff Dunn, Tech Author
Kind my closing identify and “Koss” into any seek engine, and you can most probably in finding me gushing concerning the corporate’s headphone line. I have been addicted to Koss’ wares since I were given my first dirt-cheap KSC-75s in November 2007, which I sought out as a result of I were given uninterested in ill-fitting earbuds once I become a bus commuter. Seems, the KSC-75s make use of the similar audio motive force as their inexpensive and regularly lauded Porta Professional headphones. The issues I need in transportable audio—together with cast frequency vary, distortion-free loudness, and an agreeably carved bass oomph (learn: now not Beats)—do not come inexpensive than the KSC-75s.
The Wisconsin corporate hasn’t let up relating to inexpensive, high quality choices, specifically within the Bluetooth technology. Koss’ comfy FitClips sequence—which leisure round your ear with a rubber, sweat-friendly grip—now features a Bluetooth style. If that quantity of rubber is not your cup of transportable tea, the BT190 line wedges throughout the ear with a grip not like anything available on the market. (I am a specifically sweaty health club rat, and Koss’ fitness-friendly merchandise have by no means confirmed slippery or uncomfortable right through my grossest duress.)
Very best of all, this 12-year love affair has been buoyed by means of an amazing customer-service promise of substitute cups and buds. Must transportable wear-and-tear result in an ear going silent or different problems, merely send the damaged pair and a test for more or less $7 to Koss HQ to get a substitute. I have spent perhaps $120 on Koss merchandise over the last decade, and I plan to proceed for any other 10 years. (However, whilst I’ve their consideration: are we able to please get the KSC-35s again? I like the ones issues.)
—Sam Machkovech, Tech Tradition Editor