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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.
Best Graduation Tech Gift IdeasThis coming Fall will be an exciting one for my sons. They have decided to start their first year of college in September. My older son took a little time off after high school and will commute 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 of 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 graduating from high school or college, this post is dedicated to providing you with great tech gift ideas for graduates of all ages.
Without further ado, here are my favorite tech gadget gift ideas for grads:
- Idea #1 – Amazon Echo Show
- Idea #2 – Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
- Idea #3 – Fire HD Tablet
- Idea #4 – Fire TV Cube
- Idea #5 – Rocketbook Notebook
- Idea #6 – Smart Coffee Maker/ Mug
- Idea #7 – eufy Robovac
- Idea #8 – Apple Airpods Pro
- Idea #9 – Apple Watch Ultra
- Bonus Idea: The Naked Roomate!
As we like to say in Boston, these are all “wicked smahtt” options that your new graduate is sure to love!
Idea #1 – Amazon Echo Show
One 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 the Echo Show 8. And for an even larger screen that also works with Alexa, check out the new wall-mounted Echo Show 15. All of these displays provide some nice video calling features so that your graduates who live away from home can video chat via Skype, Zoom, etc. with mom and dad.
You can check out an unboxing I did on my YouTube channel of the Echo Show 10 below.
Idea #2 – Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
Next on my 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.
Idea #3 – Fire HD Tablet
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.
Idea #4 – Fire TV Cube
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.
Idea #5 – Rocketbook Notebook
The Rocketbook Smart Pen and Pad is a digital note-taking system that combines the convenience of traditional pen and paper with the efficiency of modern technology. The pad contains specialized paper that is compatible with the pen, which allows you to write or draw on the pad as you would with a regular pen and paper.
However, unlike traditional paper, the Rocketbook pad can be connected to a mobile device or computer via Bluetooth and can convert your handwritten notes into digital files that can be saved, edited, and shared. This makes it an ideal tool for anyone who wants to take handwritten notes but also wants the convenience of digital organization and sharing.
Idea #6 – Smart Coffee Maker/ Mug
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 10 cups of coffee.
Idea #7 – eufy Robovac
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.
Idea #8 – Apple Airpods Pro
While 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.
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Idea #9 – Apple Watch Ultra
Whether 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.
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Bonus Idea: The Naked Roomate!
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!
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.
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If you enjoyed learning about some of the best tech graduate gifts for grads, you might also like some of our other articles:
- How to Connect Amazon Alexa to College Dorm Wi-Fi
- How To Make a Smart Dorm for Under $100 $50 $25
- The Year of Alexa! 17 Awesome Amazon Echo Device Gifts To Give & Get
- 17 Awesome Amazon Echo Device Gifts
- How to Use Echo Show in Home School
Tim Brennan, a tech blogger and host of the @TecTimmy YouTube channel, writes about smart homes at oneSmartcrib, home theaters at UniversalRemoteReviews, and AI in writing at Writeinteractive. He holds a Journalism degree from Northeastern University and has covered technology for three decades. He lives on the ocean in Nahant, Massachusetts.
Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for a fun take on all things tech.