Valentine's Day, Engadget style

With less than a week until everyone's favorite made-up-holiday-of-love, we remembered it was time to start in on our annual scathing diatribe on gender constructs, identity, and politics. But we figured perhaps we might go a little more lighthearted this Valentine's day and hook you up with some gadgety suggestions for her, for him, or for the both of you. Sure, we'll admit up front that the way some of these gadgets are positioned to be a bit heteronormative, but if that or Vday itself bugs you a little, at least some of this stuff is good for a chortle. So, let's get started; you made her suffer through the Super Bowl and the shopping spree that it followed, so you better be prepared to ante up, son, Ladies first!


Now, if you're serious and want to buy her a laptop that isn't clad in shades of black, white or silver, your choices are pretty limited. Or are they? ColorWare offers PowerBooks and iBooks in over two dozen colors (including "Cotton Candy," pictured) at prices starting at about $1,600. Don't want to go Apple, or want a custom job? ColorWare can repaint just about any computer you've got (if you know how to make hers vanish undetected for a few days). The company also sells colorized iPods and accessories.

If it's a pink cellphone she's been hankering for, chances are she's expecting the RAZR. And, sure, you can go ahead and get it for her. But why not surprise her with one of these babies? The Nokia 6111 is a nice GSM slider with Bluetooth, EDGE, an FM radio, and a 1 megapixel camera, and you can pick up an unlocked pink version for about $350. If she'd prefer a clamshell, there's also a pink version of LG's C3300, which was apparently designed by a woman, for women (and don't even get us started on all the options available for the fashionphone inclined).

The Dopod 818 Pro smartphone is available in the US by special order from

eXpansys. It's an unlocked quad-band GSM unit from Hong Kong, and is identical to the HTC Prophet, which means it includes WiFi, EDGE, a 2 megapixel camera, and Bluetooth. It's a special order for $759, so you're really going to have to plead with eXpansys if you want this by Valentine's Day. Either that, or hop a plane to Hong Kong and pick one up on your own (or bring her with you for a romantic getaway).

We know as well as anyone that sometimes you just can't be around, but after the week stretch of sleeping on the couch we got last year from turning over a boyfriend-arm pillow to take our place during those long tradeshow trips we're always taking, we decied to go with something a little more subtle this time. The My Beating Heart haptic pillow reproduces the sound of a heartbeat when you hug it, which we understand can be quite relaxing -- so long as it's not the sound of a telltale heart, anyway.

There's at least one girlfriend-of-Engadget who's had her eyes on the WiFi-est of all bunnies, so we figured we'd pass on the good word about Nabaztag, the ambient information wireless wabbit (now with the ability to sing and talk). We're still looking for a spot to pick one of these up that doesn't require bot-translating a French e-tailer (Nabaztag isn't yet down with countries that aren't France or Japan), but love is a resourceful thing and we figure you'll find a way to make it happen if you're so inclined. Click on to get our picks for him and the both of ya'll.


We're not saying nothing about the actual practicality of Gillette's new "the mo' blades the betta'" Fusion razor, sporting an impressively facial hair assaulting 5 blades. The fact of the matter is, the Fusion is the only way you're going to get that many blades near your man's face without him getting suspicious, so we guess the only choice here is between the regular Fusion and the Fusion Power, which adds a bit of vibration to his already dangerous shaving experience -- your call, we're staying well away from this decision.

If you spent any time with your guy on Superbowl Sunday, you might have seen his eyes light up at the sight of Mobile ESPN, a new MVNO cellphone service from ESPN (using Sprint's network). It's a tad pricey, but all plans include unlimited nights and weekends, 100 text messages, 35MB of wireless data downloads, a handful of pre-loaded games, a one-year subscription to ESPN The Magazine, and a mess of special ESPN-centric features like an ESPN video player, text alerts for sports scores, personalized sports stats, ESPN Fantasy Manager, access to online ESPN news and commentary, and a few other things to make this the V-day present that the dreams of sports lovers are made of.

Even though you may be holding out until his birthday to pick him up a 360 (if he hasn't already snagged one for himself, that is), you may want to hold him over with some serious retro gaming in the mean time. Let him take it back to the day when he was a little thinner and his hair was quaffed with an Atari FlashBack 2.0, Engadget's pick for the quick n' easy no-fail way to bring a smile to his face while also subtly reminding him what a long way he's come from those more pimply pubescent years. Plus, not unlike the Fusion above, you'll be able to use it yourself when he's looking the other way.


If you're the kind of couple who just has to have everything his n' hers (hey, no judgments here), you may want to check out what we dug up for pairing off. Voodoo's got their Envy a:228 in pink and blue, packing Turions, 12.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800) displays, and they're even small and thin enough (4 pounds, 1-inch thick) that if one's feeling gentlemanly, he can carry hers in addition to his own.

Of course, if you're looking to pick up a pair of slightly more adventurous digital cameras and aren't necessarily looking for the tops in specs, Pentax has a pair of Optio WPis that'd complement your Voodoo lappies quite well. It's still the same chunky 6 megapixel shooter yu've come to know and love, but that paltry 2-inch screen is more than made up for by its waterproof body, which allows you to rather fancifully dunk your gear in your martinis while the two of you are out carousing next week.

Looking for a place to store all those images you took from the bottom of your cocktail with your Optio? LaCie's Skwarim external hard drives designed by Karim Rashid might be a good place to start, although the pink drive is only 30GB compared to the blue's 60GB. So depending on how secure with your masculinity you are, you may wind up showing her why you're a little bit of wonderful and swapping drives with her.

Looking for something a little more (gender) neutral? Well, let's just say that a digital picture frame (perhaps something along the lines of the Philips 7FF1AW) will take you far. Just load it up with your favorite couple-y pictures (and maybe a few of your sweetheart's friends, family, etc.), and you're good to go; simple and classic.