25 Great Gifts For Your Techie Graduate

Graduates Love Gadgets

Graduation season is here, and students across the country -- whether they are in high school or college -- are beginning to look forward to what next year will bring. But your graduating friends and family members want much more than just a diploma.

Whether it's a laptop to help with studying in the future, a smart wearable fitness tracker, or a digital photo album to keep record of fond memories of the past -- tech gadgets are perfect gifts for graduates.

CRN has compiled a list of the top 25 best gifts for your techie friends and family members -- with gifts ranging in price from a simple $6 gift for a friend to an $900 convertible tablet for a family member.

Surface Pro 4

Is your graduate headed off to college next year? If so, the Surface Pro 4 is potentially the best gift to help him or her stay productive at the library and in the classroom.

With the Surface Pro 4's Surface Pen, students can write notes and highlight research papers on the device's 12.3-inch touch-screen display. This Windows 10 tablet is super-light -- at 1.69 pounds students can slip it into their backpacks and run to class -- and contains a kickstand so that it can transform into a laptop.

The Surface Pro 4 is priced at $900 for the entry-level version with 128 GB of storage and an Intel Core m3 processor. The cover keyboard runs $130.

Asus Chromebook Flip

While the Asus Chromebook Flip lacks an in-package pen for note-taking, its 2-pound lightweight design and education-targeted Chrome operating system make it easy for students to use. The Chromebook Flip stays true to its name -- the display can be flipped behind the keyboard, transforming it into either a laptop or tablet.

The Chromebook Flip runs for 9 hours on one battery charge and contains 16 GB of local storage. But this device's light price tag -- $280 -- can make it worth the investment for your graduate.

Kensington Sling Bag

Whether they're off to college or starting a new job, graduates are going to need a bag to haul around all of their devices.

The Kensington Sling Bag is a good gift for graduates with iPads, Surface Pros and Nexus tablets. This over-the-shoulder messenger bag has an outside pocket for mobile phones and a softly-padded inside compartment for tablets, protecting them from bumps and scratches.

The $45 Sling Bag is compatible with all iPads (up to the iPad 4), Microsoft's Surface tablets, as well as the Nexus 10.

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

When they're not studying or working, graduates will be sitting back and relaxing -- and helping in that endeavor is ECOXBT's Bluetooth speaker. This $100 speaker is waterproof, making it immune to the shocks and spills of a hectic college environment. It's also Bluetooth-enabled, meaning that users can answer phone calls over the built-in speakerphone.

This black Bluetooth speaker features more than 10 hours of playtime and has a rechargeable battery.

Fitbit Charge

Help your graduate friend who is heading off to college avoid the ’freshman 15’ with the Fitbit Charge, a specialized activity- and sleep-tracking device that tracks steps, distance, calories burned and floors climbed in a day, and allows users to see call notifications on the device's display.

Fitbit Charge is for users who exercise daily. Users who like active daily fitness or performance fitness may prefer the Fitbit Charge HR or Fitbit Surge, respectively. Fitbit Charge, which is available in black, slate, blue or burgundy, can be purchased for $110 on Fitbit's website.

Roku 4

The Roku 4 is a good streaming device that offers a massive spectrum of video, music and gaming content -- and will help graduates heading off to college make new friends.

This player, which provides access to more than 2,500 channels on demand, as well as more than 300,000 movies and TV episodes, has advanced processing for smooth streaming at higher resolutions and new features like a lost remote finder. Roku 4 works with both 4K Ultra-HD TV and 1,080p full-HD TVs, and also contains features like voice search. The streaming device can be purchased on Roku's website for $120.


High-school graduates who are heading off to college can get a head start on summer reading with a brand new Kindle. The 6-inch Kindle contains a touch-screen display that is made to read like real paper, and features thousands of books for students to pick from, scroll through and highlight.

This $80 Kindle contains weeks of battery juice off one charge, helping students finish long books uninterrupted.

Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse

Do you have a friend graduating from college who will soon have a new job in the workplace? Help them get started with a Microsoft Sculpt Comfort mouse, a $40 Bluetooth mouse that easily pairs with a Windows PC or tablet without the annoying tangle of cords.

This mouse's BlueTrack technology works on any surface and provides quick and easy access to the Start Menu, Cortana (with certain devices), OneNote, and other Microsoft productivity tools. It is compatible with devices powered by Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.

Otterbox iPhone 6s Commuter Series Wallet

Whether they're running to class or taking the train to work, your graduate friends can protect their new iPhone 6s with Otterbox's Commuter Series Wallet Case.

This sleek polycarbonate shell casing offers Otterbox-certified protection to protect the phone from drops, dust and screen scratches. But the Otterbox case also has a dual built-in wallet for money, credit cards and licenses with precision-fit backing. The Otterbox Commuter Series Wallet Case comes in multiple colors including green and pink, and costs $40.

Smart Mug With Temperature Control

In the cold months of winter, the commute will be tough for your graduate friend with a new job. Make it a little easier with Tech Tools' stainless steel electric smart mug.

This $23 mug heats liquids to selected temperatures -- from 85 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit -- and alerts users when their ideal preset temperature has been reached on an LED indicator. A 12-volt auto adapter is included with the mug so that users can charge it up in their car on the way to work.

Aluratek Digital Photo Frame

Help your graduate remember the good times in college with an Aluratek digital photo frame. This 8-inch LCD frame has a high-quality wooden frame with easy-to-use controls. Users can put cherished photos of friends and family on slideshow mode from a connected USB flash drive or SD memory cards.

The digital photo frame is $50 with a one-year limited warranty.

SMS Audio Biosport Earbuds

These $149.95 specialized wired earbuds will help graduates either relax while they study or gear up for a long run.

The SMS Audio Biosport Earbuds, which were designed and developed in partnership with Intel, contain a built-in heart-rate monitor and removes noise signals caused by the body's motion during workouts. The headphones are sweat- and water-resistant so they will also work during downtime, and contain a 3.5 mm gold-plated audio jack that does not require charging.

A less-expensive option is SMS Audio's in-ear wired sport, a $79.95 earbud that lacks the fitness monitoring functions.


If your graduate friend is taking a gap year after high school or college to travel, make sure he or she has the CalypsoTag, a smart personalized travel companion. This leather device attaches to the user's bag and notifies the smartphone if someone tries to steal the luggage.

This $169 device uses technology developed by Chipolo, and contains a smart low-power Bluetooth 4.0 chip that has a range of about 200 feet, as well as a built-in battery that lasts up to six months. Users can connect the CalypsoTag with iOS devices running on versions 6.1.3 or newer with built-in Bluetooth 4.0, as well as Android devices with built-in Bluetooth 4.0.

GoPro Hero Session Camera

The $199 Hero Session GoPro camera is a great option for graduates who will spend the summer hiking or hanging out at the pool before they head off to college. This camera is the smallest and lightest GoPro model and has one-button control and a rugged, waterproof design, allowing the camera to work in up to 10 meters of water.

The device works with all mounts and includes intelligent battery use. The camera captures 8-megapixel single photos and can capture bursts of photos.

Galaxy S7

With a new college or career right around the corner, graduation may be the best time for family or friends to upgrade to a new phone. And Samsung's Galaxy S7 is a great choice. The 5.1-inch Android-powered Galaxy S7 features a new ’always-on’ display, meaning that graduates can take short, quick peeks at notifications on their phones -- during their new job or in college classes -- without having to turn off their phone when putting it back in their pockets.

The Galaxy S7 is also water- and dust-resistant, and contains 4 GB of RAM and a microSD card slot. Pricing for the device depends on carrier.

Apple Watch

Apple's sporty Apple Watch wearable device can help graduates in all aspects of their new life, from health and fitness features, to productivity messaging, and calendar tools. These features are accessible with Apple's personal assistant, Siri, all right from the user's wrist.

The smartwatch's least expensive version, a 38mm white sport-banded watch enclosed in a silver aluminum case, costs $300 from Apple's website. Apple also offers midrange models in the $500 range, all the way up to special edition high-end models that are in the $10,000 range. Meanwhile, if graduates already have an Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Dock is a $79 magnetic charging dock station.

TrackR Tracking Device

Starting a new life can be difficult. Help your graduating family member or friend stay organized with TrackR, a small, coin-size device that tracks valuable items. Graduates can put this little gadget on anything, from smartphones to keys, and if the items are misplaced they can then be located from the TrackR app, which causes the device to ring.

In addition, for those who easily lose their phones, the $30 TrackR contains a two-way ringer that allows users to find their phone from the device the TrackR is connected to. TrackR can find items within 100 feet through Bluetooth.

Firebox's Mighty Clutch

After graduating from college, graduates don't just work. Give your graduate friend the gift of a charged phone when she enjoys a night out with friends with the Mighty Clutch.

This $78 clutch is made from real leather and is available in three different finishes. On the inside, the clutch doubles as a charger with a built-in high-capacity battery that can recharge phones up to two times per charge. This clutch is also compatible with all microUSB smartphones and iPhones, and comes with an internal four-LED indicator so users will always know how much juice they have left.

Mr. Coffee Smart Coffee Maker

Graduates going to college will need coffee for long nights of studying -- while those graduating from college and entering the workforce will need it for the mornings. Either way, Mr. Coffee's WeMo 10-cup programmable coffee maker is a great gift for that caffeine-loving friend.

This device provides remote easy access for adjusting brew time and setting up a weekly automatic coffee schedule. The $149 coffee maker brews up to 205 degrees and features a double-walled, stainless steel thermal carafe. Using the free WeMo app on iOS or Android devices, users can easily and remotely set up their brew time if they are sleeping in or have an early meeting.

Nakamichi Wireless Headphones

While walking to a college course, your high-school graduate may want to listen to some tunes.The Nakamichi Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Headphones have soft ear cushions for comfortable listening, as well as built-in microphone technology so that users can make hands-free calls through their phones or tablets. The $35 wireless headphones also contain a USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery and 7 hours of uninterrupted listening.

Samsung Gear VR Set

Samsung's Gear virtual reality headset is the newest way to play games, and for a graduate with a Samsung smartphone, this less-than-$99 headset is perfect.

The Gear VR, which works with Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, and other select Galaxy models, allows users to look around at a panoramic view of Netflix videos or play games while immersed in a virtual world. With Samsung and Oculus' joint VR headset, users put their smartphones into the front of the set to enable access to apps.

Moment Case

Keep up with your graduate's life by giving him or her the Moment Case. This case turns phones into a better camera with a DSLR-like shutter button, as well as cinema mountable glass and a camera strap attachment (the strap itself is sold separately).

The $50 case, which comes in black, white or walnut, is compatible with the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and is perfect for capturing photos of new campuses, apartments and scenery.

Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer

Help your graduating friend or family member print out and frame numerous photos on their iPhone or Galaxy S6 by giving them the Polaroid ZIP Mobile Photo Printer. This small and slim device remotely connects to iOS and Android devices and prints out 2 x 3-inch photos in less than a minute from the device's camera roll, using Zink Zero Ink printing technology.

The $130 Polaroid ZIP Mobile Photo Printer can be purchased in an array of colors, including red, blue, black and white.

AmazonBasics Executive Stylus

High-school graduates might appreciate the AmazonBasics Executive Stylus. This $6 stylus works on touch-screen devices and enables college students to write on their tablet or phone and take notes during class.

This three-tip stylus is compatible with touch-screen devices like the Kindle Fire, iPad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and other tablets or smartphones.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1

With a price tag of just $199, the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 is a good pick to give graduates who love gaming.

This 8-inch tablet has 4K Ultra-HD ready video capabilities, as well as front-facing stereo speakers. The Nvidia Shield K1 packs a 192-core Nvidia Kepler GPU and quad-core CPU clocking 2.2GHz, meaning that the tablet is great for gaming performance and graphics. The tablet also features both front-facing and rear-facing speakers, as well as 2 GB of RAM and a 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display.