NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft (MSFT) may not be the most exciting tech company out there, but it does have a few exciting devices available. This list will highlight five great Valentine's Day gift ideas that come from Microsoft and its partners.
While a number of the things on this list come from Microsoft itself, a few come from partner companies. Nonetheless, Microsoft provides the platform for everything on this list.
Microsoft's third Xbox console really wants to be more than a video game console. The Xbox One features an HDMI-in port so you can watch TV without switching the input on the TV and control your cable box with Kinect voice commands. It also gives you access to services like Amazon (AMZN) Instant Video and Netflix (NFLX) like smaller set-top boxes.
Of course, the Xbox One also plays games. The games on the console look great, but many of them are also available on the Xbox 360. For the most part, the Xbox One is a $500 gift that promises a lot of potential for future games. Right now the price gets you prettier graphics, a new controller, and an improved Kinect.
Xbox Live Gold Subscription Card
There are plenty of great single-player games on the Xbox One and Xbox 360, but the consoles really shine when played online. The multiplayer costs $60 a year online, or the same price as a new copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts. An Xbox Live Gold subscription is even required to watch Netflix and Hulu Plus on the consoles, on top of the fees those services already charge.
An Xbox Live Gold subscription card is a good gift for any gamer with an Xbox One or Xbox 360. They may already have a subscription but it will at least save them some money the next time the subscription is set to renew.
Surface Pro 2
The Microsoft Surface Pro 2, as the name suggests, is Microsoft's second attempt at putting a full laptop into a tablet. The 11-inch tablet isn't for everyone, but it's a great gift for those who can work around its unique kickstand and lack of a permanently attached keyboard. With active stylus support, the Surface Pro 2 is particularly well suited for digital artists.
The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899, which is expensive for a tablet, but equally priced as similar laptops. This version of Microsoft's tablet competes more with Apple's (AAPL) MacBook Air than the iPad Air.
Lenovo Yoga Pro 2
The Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 is one of the best Windows 8 Ultrabooks available at present. Like many recent Windows devices, the Yoga Pro 2 tries to be a laptop and a tablet in one, and it works for this device. The unique 360-degree hinge makes it easy to use the device in any position. Holding a 13-inch tablet is a bit awkward, but it's always nice to have the option.
Lenovo starts pricing of the Yoga Pro 2 at $1000. Other models, including the 11-inch IdeaPad Yoga are available for less. The Yoga Pro 2 is the best of the line, but the others are almost as good and a bit more affordable.
Nokia Lumia 1020
The Nokia (NOK) Lumia 1020 is perhaps the most interesting Windows Phone on the market at the moment thanks to its gigantic 41MP camera. The phone is capable of producing photos that look like they come from a standalone camera, assuming you can hold it steady long enough. The app ecosystem isn't as strong as iOS or Android, but many of the most popular apps like Instagram and Vine are on Windows Phone 8 in some form. For some the excellent hardware might be enough to overlook the app situation.
The Lumia 1020 is available for $199 on a two-year contract with AT&T or $610 for the unlocked model.