9 Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads 2023 [High School & College]

In Recommendations by Tim Brennan

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Summary: In this post, I’m happy to introduce you to nine smart tech gadget gifts for grads [both high school and college]. These include some brilliant must-have gadget gift ideas for dorm life as well as apartment living.

tech-gifts-for-gradutes-e1558901956418-2685531This coming Fall will be an exciting one for my sons. Both of them have decided to start their first year of college in September. My older son took a little time off after high school and will be commuting to Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, MA. My younger is graduating next month and plans to live on campus at UMass Lowell. I’m super proud of both my kids.

With both of them “graduating” on to the next big step in their lives, I started thinking about what they would like for graduation presents.

Whether you know someone who is graduating from high school or college, this post is dedicated to providing you with some great tech gift ideas for graduates of all ages.

So what are some smart high-tech gifts for high school and college graduates? Here are nine great ideas:

As we like to say in Boston, these are all “wicked smahtt” options that your new graduate is sure to love!

Tech Grad Gift Idea #1 – Smart Speaker with a Screen

316lqo1xdil-_sl500_-5283678One of my favorite smart devices by a mile is the Amazon Echo Show 10 smart speaker with its vibrant 10.1-inch screen and premium sound. I use it for everything from managing my calendar and to-dos to weather to news to guided recipes and all of the other benefits of Alexa. The Show will help to keep your graduate organized every day. For a smaller version that also makes a wonderful alarm clock, check out the brand new Amazon Echo Show 5 or  Echo Show 8. And for an even larger screen that also works with Alexa, check out the Facebook Portal Plus (pictured above) or the new wall-mounted Echo Show 15. The Show 10, 15, and the Portal provide great video calling features so that your graduates who live away from home can Skype with mom and dad.

You can check out CNET’s review of the Facebook Portal below.

Facebook Portal Plus - Smart Video Calling 15.6” Touch Screen Display with Alexa - Black10
  • Easily video call with friends and family using your Messenger, WhatsApp or Zoom account, even if they don't have Portal.
  • Smart Camera automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in frame, so you can catch up hands-free.
  • Hear and be heard. Smart Sound enhances your voice while minimizing unwanted background noise.
  • Experience even more together. Join or host a group call of up to 50 people with Messenger Rooms.
  • Become some of your children's favorite storybook characters as you read along to well-loved tales with music, animation and immersive AR effects.
  • Listen to your favorite music and streaming apps like Spotify or Pandora, display your photos from Instagram and Facebook, broadcast with Facebook Live, and more
  • Work smarter from home with partners like Zoom and Workplace from Facebook. Connect with co-workers even if they’re remote.
  • See and do more with Alexa Built-in. Control your smart home, listen to your favorite music, watch the news, get the weather, set a timer and more.
  • Easily disable the camera and microphone, or block the camera lens with a single switch. All Portal video calls are encrypted.

Last update on 01/19/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Grad Gadget Gift Idea #2 – Smart Lights Starter Kit

Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads >

Next on our list of high-tech gifts for high school and college graduates is a smart bulb starter kit. While lightbulbs don’t really make for the sexiest gift, your graduate will appreciate how they make every day a little brighter, easier, and more colorful. The Phillips Hue White and Color Starter Kit comes with everything your graduate needs to replace dumb old bulbs with smarter ones. Set up is easy using the Phillips Hue app, and your graduate will be able to control the lights using from anywhere their smartphone, Alexa, or Google Assistant.

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 60W Equivalent LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit (4 A19 Bulbs and 1 Hub Compatible with Amazon Alexa Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant)10
  • Choose from 16 million colors and shades of white to turn your everyday lighting into an extraordinary experience. Control remotely with your smartphone or tablet, create custom scenes and unleash your creativity.
  • Voice control: Control your Philips Hue lights with your voice using Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant. Pair it for home automation with your existing Nest or Samsung SmartThings system.
  • To install, simply screw in the smart bulbs into your desired light location, download the Hue mobile app and pair your Hue bridge. Control smart-bulb-equipped lamps and overhead lights via the Philips Hue App. Ideal for your favorite ceiling fan lights, floor lamps, table lamps, pendant lights, and more throughout your home.
  • Easily expand your lighting system with accessories (sold separately), such as a Hue Dimmer Switch, Hue Tap, or Hue Motion Sensor.
  • Comes with 4 Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 60W Energy Star Certified LED Smart bulbs (able to fit most lamps, overhead lights, and 4-inch recessed cans), Philips Hue Bridge and three-year warrantee.

Last update on 01/20/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Grad Gadget Gift Idea #3 – Tablet PC with Alexa

Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads

For high school students graduating and heading to college or college grads entering the workforce, a tablet PC is a must. We like the Fire HD Tablet with Alexa. Why? It has a beautiful 10.1-inch screen, a quad-core processor [up to 1.8 GHz] with 2 GB of RAM, and up to 10 hours of battery life on a full charge. Go with the 64 GB of memory to ensure plenty of processing power for streaming and gameplay. With the Fire HD Tablet, you basically get an Echo Show on the go.

If your graduate prefers running Windows, the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet is worth a look. It does cost a good deal more, though.

Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black (Previous Generation - 7th)10
  • Brilliant 10.1" 1080p Full HD display (1920 x 1200), up to 1.8 GHZ quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM, and up to 10 hours of battery life.
  • Our largest display, now with over 2 million pixels, stereo speakers, Dolby Audio, and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi—perfect for watching Full HD video, playing games, reading magazines, and streaming content seamlessly
  • Use Alexa hands-free mode to pause videos, play music, open apps, show sports scores, display the weather, and more—just ask
  • Call or message almost anyone hands-free, or make video calls to family and friends with a Fire tablet, Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. Instantly connect to enabled Echo devices.
  • 32 or 64 GB internal storage expandable by up to 256 GB (using the microSD slot). Watch downloaded videos anywhere with a Prime membership, Netflix plan, or Showtime subscription.
  • Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle eBooks, magazines, Android apps, and games—including Netflix, Facebook, HBO, Spotify, and more
  • Prime members get unlimited access to over a thousand books and magazines, millions of songs, and thousands of movies and TV episodes—at no additional cost

Last update on 01/20/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads Idea #4 – Streaming Media Player


Whether your graduates is headed off to college or entering the workforce, they will need to combat life’s post-graduation stresses with a little downtime. One of my favorite ways to chill out is by binge-watching shows on Amazon Prime and Netflix. The Amazon FireTV Cube gives you access to all your favorite streaming services, plus you get to control the whole experience using your voice with Alexa. Just want to enable streaming on your TV real fast, check out the FireTV stick.

Fire TV Cube (1st Gen), hands-free with Alexa and 4K Ultra HD and 2nd Gen Alexa Voice Remote - Previous Generation10
  • Fire TV Cube is the first hands-free streaming media player with Alexa. From across the room, just ask Alexa to turn on the TV, dim the lights, and play what you want to watch.
  • With far-field voice recognition, eight microphones, and beamforming technology, Fire TV Cube hears you from any direction. Enjoy hands-free voice control of content—search, play, pause, fast forward, and more. Plus control the power and volume on your TV, soundbar, and A/V receiver as well as change live cable or satellite channels with just your voice.
  • Fire TV Cube has a built-in speaker that lets you check the weather, make and receive calls with compatible devices, control compatible smart home devices, and more—even with the TV off. Fire TV Cube is always getting smarter with new Alexa skills and voice functionality.
  • Experience true-to-life picture quality with access to vivid 4K Ultra HD up to 60 fps and HDR. Enjoy the audio clarity of Dolby Atmos on select Prime Video titles.
  • Experience tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills, plus millions of websites like Facebook and Reddit.
  • An Amazon Prime membership unlocks thousands of movies and TV episodes including "Thursday Night Football" and Amazon Originals like “The Big Sick” and “Sneaky Pete”.
  • Launch and control content with the Alexa Voice Remote. Watch favorites from Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, HBO, STARZ, SHOWTIME, and more, plus stream for free with Tubi, IMDb TV, and others.

Last update on 01/20/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tech Grad Gift Idea #5 – Smart Pen and Pad

Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads The Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set complete with smartpen & ruled smart notebook will let you graduate take notes like boss. The smartpen works with the notebook and the Moleskine Notes App to digitally save, manage, and store your handwritten notes. Great the high school graduate for taking notes in college classes or for the college grad for note-taking at meetings.

Thanks to Carlo from Unbox PH for the helpful video review.  Definitely an upgrade from your Smaug notebook..enjoy!

Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set Pen & Smart Notebook - Use with Moleskine Notes App for Digitally Storing Notes (Only Compatible with Moleskine Smart Notebooks) Packaging May Vary10
  • INCLUDES: Pen+ digital smart pen, Paper Tablet with ncoded paper in dotted layout to work with pen+, pen+ smart pen USB recharging cable, 1 pen tip ink refill, & user manual Designed with Code technology which allows the pen+ to capture each pen stroke
  • FROM PAGE TO SCREEN: Companion app seamlessly transfers what's written on the notebook page to your device, digitizing your analog notes & allowing you to notate, share, search, edit, & organize your vision The app is both Android & Apple compatible
  • MULTIMEDIA: Record audio to sync with your notes; flesh out your ideas & ensure that nothing gets lost in translation Explain, clarify, detail With the app you can have the picture & a thousand words more Can save in PDF, & upload to Google or Evernote
  • MOLESKINE VERSATILITY: In addition to the iconic notebook, the Moleskine family of products includes both digital & analog writing & lifestyle technology, including smart notebooks & apps, bags, notebooks, travel & digital accessories & writing tools
  • MOLESKINE QUALITY: We're dedicated to culture, travel, memory, imagination, & personal identity—both physical & digital We bring this commitment to our notebooks, bags, apps & smart pens & notebooks
  • French (Publication Language)

Last update on 01/20/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads Idea #6 – Smart Coffee Maker and Mug

Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads There is one thing that will surely help any high school or college grad be more successful in their studies and work—caffeine! Help your grad wake up and conquer the world (or at least their next physics exam or business meeting) with a smart coffee maker and mug. While there isn’t a coffee maker available with Alexa that we are comfortable recommending, any Keurig coffee maker is a smart choice. I own the Keurig K-Elite Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Maker. It has strength and temperature control and holds enough water to make about 10 cups of coffee. To keep coffee hot longer, check out the Ember Temperature Controlled Coffee Mug.

Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, With Iced Coffee Capability, Brushed Silver10
  • WHAT'S IN THE BOX: 1 water filter handle, and 1 filter to help ensure your beverages taste their absolute best
  • BREWS MULTIPLE CUP SIZES: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12oz Enjoy the most popular cup sizes. 16.5” High with bale open
  • STRONG BREW BUTTON: Increases the strength and bold taste of your coffee’s flavor
  • ICED SETTING: Brew hot over ice at the touch of a button for full-flavored, delicious iced coffee
  • HOT WATER ON DEMAND BUTTON: Perfect for instant soups or oatmeal
  • FAST & FRESH BREWED: Coffee made in minutes
  • LARGE 75oz WATER RESERVOIR: Allows you to brew 8 cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. Removable reservoir makes refilling easy
  • REMOVABLE DRIP TRAY: Accommodates travel mugs up to 7.2 inches tall and holds a full accidental brew for easy cleanup.BREWER MAINTENANCE REMINDER: Alerts you when it is time to descale your coffee maker. Descaling is an important process that removes built-up calcium deposits, ensuring the best-tasting brew possible
  • BREWER MAINTENANCE REMINDER: Alerts you when it is time to descale your coffee maker. Descaling is an important process that removes built-up calcium deposits, ensuring the best-tasting brew possible

Last update on 01/20/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tech Grad Gift Idea #7 – Robot Vacuum

For any graduate venturing out on his or her own, one thing is for sure: they are about to enter a very busy period of their life. One way you can help them save time and stay clean in the process is with a decent robot vacuum. These have gotten dramatically better over the past few years and prices have fallen to a point where they are a viable investment.

The eufy Robovac 15c with its “BoostIQ” technology and 100-minute runtime is a great buy. I have the 15C and I love it. I named mine buddy for your graduate can name theirs whatever they wish.  It does a great job on both hardwood floors as well as carpets in my apartment here. It even works with Amazon Alexa has smartphone app controls and is self-charging. I am super are impressed with how quietly the unit gobbles up dirt, dust, and pet hair. This is often “Amazon’s Choice” and it really is a super value for the money.

You can check out my unboxing of the 15C that I did on my YouTube channel below.

eufy by Anker, BoostIQ RoboVac 15C, Wi-Fi, Upgraded, Super-Thin, 1300Pa Strong Suction, Quiet, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Cleans Hard Floors to Medium-Pile Carpets (Black)10
  • All-New RoboVac Wi-Fi-equipped and re-engineered to be the slimmest* RoboVac (2 8'') but with increased suction to 1300Pa
  • BoostIQ Technology Automatically increases suction power within 1 5 seconds when extra vacuuming strength is needed to get the best clean
  • High-Capacity Li-ion Battery Delivers up to 100 minutes** of constant powerful suction
  • Premium Features Anti-scratch tempered glass-top cover for protection infrared-sensor for evading obstacles and drop-sensing tech to avoid falls Automatically recharges so it's always ready to clean
  • What You Get RoboVac 15C remote control (2 AAA batteries included) charging base AC power adapter cleaning tool extra set of high-performance filters 4 side brushes 5 cable ties welcome guide and our worry-free 12-month

Last update on 01/20/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gadget Grad Gift Idea #8 – Smarter Earbuds

Tech Gadget Gifts for GradsWhile you may find anyone who leaves earbuds in their ears for most of the day, annoying, this often happens with owners of Apple Airpod earbuds. And this is quite likely a gift that your graduate really wants. These are hugely popular with young people and have quickly overcome Dr Dre’s Beats as the ear candy of choice for casual listening, phone conversations, and working out. If you want to give a gift they will absolutely love and appreciate, Apple Airpods Earbuds is a great choice. Both my sons have these and love them. The latest model offers wireless charging so they can enjoy their favorite tunes and Podcasts on the go.

Related: Airpods vs Earpods: What’s the Better Fit For You?

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case10
  • Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of your ear canals or the headset is not worn properly in your ears, you may not obtain the correct sound qualities or call performance. Change the earbud tips to ones that fit more snugly in your ear
  • Universal fit that’s comfortable all day
  • Automatically on, automatically connected
  • Easy setup for all your Apple devices
  • Quick access to Siri by saying “Hey Siri”
  • Seamless switching between devices
  • Easily share audio between two sets of AirPods on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV
  • Seamless switching between Apple devices
  • Conveniently charge using a Qi-certified charger or the included Lightning cable
  • The Wireless Charging Case delivers more than 24 hours of battery life

Last update on 01/19/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tech Grad Gift Idea #9 – A Smart Watch

Tech Gadget Gifts for GradsWhether graduating from college or entering the workforce, your graduate will need to manage their time like never before.  So, last but not least on my list of high-tech gifts for high school and college graduates is a smartwatch.

In addition to keeping track of time, other benefits of a smartwatch include tracking your health metrics like heart rate, sleep, and overall fitness level. They can also use it to play music and do phone-free activities and even pay for that latte at Starbucks (I told you there would be lots of coffee).  For both male and female graduates, the Apple Watch Series 7  makes for an amazing gift they will be sure to love. I hear consistently from my tech friends that their Apple Watch is the favorite piece of tech that they own.

An interesting variety of stylish design choices include Gold Aluminum with Pink Sand Sport Band, Gold Aluminum with Pink Sand Sport Loop, Silver Aluminum with Seashell Sport Loop, Silver Aluminum with White Sport Band, Space Gray Aluminum with Black Sport Band, and Space Gray Aluminum with Black Sport Loop. Built-in GPS will help them find their way around campus or to the new office.

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band10
  • GPS
  • Over 30% larger display
  • Electrical and optical heart sensors
  • ECG app
  • Digital Crown with haptic feedback
  • 50% louder speaker
  • S4 SiP with faster 64-bit dual-core processor
  • Improved accelerometer and gyroscope for fall detection
  • Swim proof
  • watchOS 5

Last update on 01/20/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bonus Grad Gift Idea: The Naked Roommate

Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads

I think the title of this book, The Naked Roommate And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College is just hilarious. It’s currently the #1 Going to College book on the NY Times Bestseller List so it can’t be all that bad.  I think I am going to pick up a copy for both my sons.

Watch out for those naked roommates, graduates!

The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College (Essential College Life Survival Guide and Graduation Gift for Students, Banned Book)10
  • Cohen, Harlan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 560 Pages - 04/04/2017 (Publication Date) - Sourcebooks (Publisher)

Last update on 01/20/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tech Gadget Gifts for Grads – Your Turn

So what do you think about our top picks for the best high-tech gadget gifts for grads?

Do you know someone who is graduating this year?  Would you consider giving one of these products as a graduation present?

Is there a cooler present that you have in mind that I didn’t list here?

Please leave us a comment below and let us know.

Oh, and if you liked this article, would you mind giving a quick share using any of the social media buttons at the top of this page?  Thanks for your support!


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