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Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Best gifts for tech lovers



  A power user hoping desperately for a NAS this year can not help himself and has to tear himself into this beautifully wrapped gift.
Enlarge / A power user who desperately hopes for a NAS year can not help but has to tear himself into this beautifully wrapped gift.

Aurich / Thinkstock

After Ars has focused on gifts for the street and gifts for home, Ars's third installment in our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide goes another route. Since Ars is a site for people who are not hard at work on Tech, today gift ideas for "power users" – those who are more into modern tech and can not suppress it – are presented equipment.

Basically, these items seem to be tailor-made for the people in your life who may already be reading a website like Ars Technica. The protocol here is the same as our first two guides: we have been able to look back on a year of gadget testing and put together some things that we believe would make your loved one happy. Fair Warning: Since this guide is intended for people who demand high value and / or high performance, some of the following articles are somewhat expensive. But as always, you get what you pay for.

Note: Ars Technica may receive compensation for the sale of links to this item through affiliate programs.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +

  Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/770A5614-640x427.jpg "width =" 640 "height =" 427 "srcset =" https: // cdn.arstechnica .net / wp-content / uploads / 2018/03 / 770A5614-1280x855.jpg 2x
Enlarge / Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +.

Raspberry Pi Foundation

Oh, the things you can do with the Raspberry Pi. The most popular mini-computer of all is still an affordable gateway to a world of strange side projects and cluttered home improvement devices.

The latest version of the tiny Linux PC, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +, added a faster quad-core, 64-bit, 1.4-GHz Cortex-A53 processor, faster Ethernet support and more robust Dual-band Wi-Fi in addition to the usual audio jacks, Bluetooth 4.2 and the HDMI port. The basic motherboard costs $ 35. However, you should make sure your loved one has a microSD card, power adapter, heat sink, and HDMI replacement cable when you first become a Pi user. (You can get a bundle that contains all of this if you do not already have those parts.)

When all is done, there are a billion different things your lover can do with the Pi. A retro game console – without game limits! – is very popular, but it can also build its own intelligent speaker, a garage door opener, a flying quadcopter or another project with a good tutorial. The Model B + itself is not strong enough to be a great media streamer or full-fledged PC but it's technically capable of doing those things as well. Whatever the application, as long as the thought of a loved one is not enough to overcome the initial learning curve, the Pi tends to make fun of those who really love technology.

Mophie Powerstation AC

  Mophie's Powerstation AC battery. The actual AC port is located on top of the device. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/mophie-ac-battery-640x427.jpg "width =" 640 "height =" 427 "srcset =" https: / /cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/mophie-ac-battery-1280x853.jpg 2x
Enlarge / Mophie's Powerstation AC battery. The actual AC port is located on top of the device.

A portable battery is forever useful to those on the road, but most packs are designed for smartphones and tablets rather than larger laptops. If you buy for someone who travels frequently, a more robust battery like the Mophie Powerstation AC is strong enough to keep the notebook charged if they can not reach a power outlet.

The Powerstation AC provides enough space 22,000 mAh of juice and can deliver more than 100 watts of power through the built-in AC connector. This is the limit for thinner ultrabooks and strong enough to give many 15-inch laptops several hours. Whether it is possible or not to recharge a larger notebook depends on the size of the battery of this notebook, but should bring at least 70 to 80 percent of the way there, which is still strong compared to other batteries in this market ,

There is a USB-C port (30 W) for fast charging of smartphones and other USB-C devices as well as a USB-A port for charging older devices with 12 W. The USB-C PD makes refilling not as long as it could – even though, like most portable This mophie is also well developed: A rubber flap protects the AC port from potential deposits. Turning on AC power is as easy as pressing a small power button on the top of the device. I personally enjoy the fabric coating of the device. There's a two-year warranty on the chance that something will go wrong, and Mophie is a well-known, relatively trustworthy name in a dodgy market.

The Powerstation AC is not without defects. While not as loud as other AC packs, it still makes more noise than a conventional portable battery. Although many packs of the competition are much bulkier, the Powerstation AC is not exactly small: it is 7.5 inches tall and weighs 1.7 pounds. It should therefore be stowed in a backpack. Mophie could probably have added at least one more USB port. This battery is undeniably expensive for 22,000 mAh capacity. However, some of these problems are inevitable for an AC battery. For this particular application, the Powerstation AC is a powerful and sophisticated choice for frequent flyers or emergencies.

Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Lite

  A Unifi access point that is mounted on a wall to save space. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/JT3A5745x-640x427.jpg "width =" 640 "height =" 427 "srcset =" https: //cdn.arstechnica .net / wp -content / uploads / 2018/12 / JT3A5745x-1280x853.jpg 2x
Enlarge / An unifi access point mounted on a wall to save space.
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