Technology

The Verge’s 2024 graduation gift guide: laptops, e-readers, and more

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

If your grad is about to move in with a roommate or partner, Glocusent’s LED Neck Reading Light is a particularly useful gift. With adjustable brightness and warmth settings, the wearable neck lamp can help them comfortably pore over textbooks late into the night. It’s also not insanely bright, or at least not enough that it’ll keep their roommate awake.
Price: $15.19+

Sony SRS-XB100 speaker

It may not look like it at first glance, but Sony’s cute XB100 speaker delivers some powerful sound for its size. Its rugged IP67 dust and water resistance rating makes it ideal for listening to music in the shower or on the quad, while built-in speakerphone functionality means you’ll never have to miss a call just because your phone is buried at the bottom of your bag.
Price: $48+

2022 Kindle

Heavy packs cause bad backs — take it from somebody who’s still dealing with back pain long after graduating from college. Luckily, Amazon’s entry-level Kindle allows you to carry an entire library’s worth of reading material in a device that weighs less than an iPhone. It also has a battery that’ll last you a good chunk of the quarter or however long it takes you to finish War and Peace, whichever comes first.
Price: $99.99

Hatch Restore 2

Early risers might be healthy, wealthy, and wise, but a lot of them are also extremely grumpy. Fortunately, the Hatch Restore 2 exists to make waking up early slightly less painful. TikTok’s favorite alarm clock offers a simulated sunrise and a set of peaceful alarms, not to mention a collection of meditations and white noise sounds that may even lull you to sleep early.
Price: $169.99+

13-inch MacBook Air (2024)

Many high school grads don’t have the budget for a new laptop, which is why gifting them one of the best is something they’ll (hopefully) appreciate for years to come. Apple’s M3-powered MacBook Air 13 deftly balances performance and battery life, culminating in a 13-inch machine that’s as suitable for streaming as it is banging out that first-year composition paper.
Price: $949.99+

Frank Herbert’s Dune Saga 3-Book Boxed Set

It’s unclear when the third Dune film will be released. However, for fans who can’t wait to return to Arrakis, gifting the first three books in Frank Herbert’s saga will likely satiate their curiosity. The paperback collection includes Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune, the third of which is a great offramp if you want to stop before things reaaaaally get weird.
Price: $16.28+

Withings ScanWatch Light

Most smartwatches offer plenty of neat tricks, but a sense of style? Fuhgeddaboudit. The Withings ScanWatch Light is the exception to the rule, though. The comfortable watch is fashionable enough that it won’t ruin your look at a party, yet it still offers the ability to track your steps, sleeping habits, menstrual cycle, and other important health metrics.
Price: $249.95+

Lovepop Black-Eyed Susan Bouquet

If you want to gift your grad a less traditional bouquet, Lovepop’s latest Black-Eyed Susan Bouquet could be a great alternative. The vibrant laser-cut flowers can add a pop of color to any new space and come packaged with a tuck-away card, which you can either fill out at home or personalize at checkout.
Price: $15

Eufy SmartTrack Card

Know someone who constantly “misplaces” the items that matter most? Eufy’s extra-loud SmartTrack Card is purpose-built to slip into wallets, helping you keep track of your driver’s license, credit cards, and other precious belongings. It doesn’t support Android, unfortunately, but it can tap into Apple’s vast Find My network should the need arise.
Price: $29.99

Govee RGBICW Smart Corner Floor Lamp

Desk lamps are boring. Thankfully, a versatile piece of decor like the last-gen RGBICW Smart Corner Floor Lamp can light up any living space with a collage of color. Govee’s svelte 4.6-foot floor lamp produces millions of hues while offering support for both Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing your grad to control their lighting with an app or their voice.
Price: $69.99+

Coup

College isn’t cheap these days, nor is going out on a college budget. Coup is, however, which makes the card game the perfect gift for grads looking to break the ice without ever leaving their dorm room. The poker-like game is a little Machiavellian and may lead to the occasional spat among friends, but hey, no one said running a fictional Italian city-state would be easy.
Price: $13.46+

Eufy RoboVac G30 Verge

It can be hard to find time to clean when you’re constantly burning the midnight oil on term papers… which is precisely why Eufy’s inexpensive G30 is a no-brainer. The basic robovac can map your home and packs an admirable 2,000Pa of suction power as well as support for Alexa and Google Assistant. The Verge configuration just includes a set of boundary strips for setting up keep-out zones.
Price: $149+

Asus ZenScreen MB166C monitor

Laptops are great for portability, but staring at spreadsheets and multitasking on a 13-inch display isn’t always easy. Asus’ collapsible ZenScreen MB166C makes adding a second 1080p monitor via USB-C a whole lot easier, allowing your grad to capitalize on an extra 15.6 inches of real estate at the local library, coffee shop, or wherever they work best.
Price: $119.99+

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

Every grad needs some sort of bag, regardless if their upcoming plans involve travel or further education. Thankfully, Cotopaxi’s suitcase-style Allpa 35L Travel Pack is built for five-day jaunts, with sturdy straps and a hip belt to offset the weight. It also offers burly anti-theft zippers, a padded laptop sleeve, and multiple compartments to keep things organized.
Price: $200

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

It can be next to impossible to achieve a sense of peace when you’ve got roommates everywhere you look — unless, that is, you own a pair of the QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds. Bose’s latest deliver rich sound and the best noise cancellation you can get in a pair of wireless earbuds, which makes them perfect for anyone who has trouble focusing in noisier environments.
Price: $299

Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box

Nobody wants to spend hours flipping through Netflix, especially after a long day at the office or library. That’s where the Onn streaming box comes in. The budget-friendly 4K puck comes with a handy voice remote, reliable performance, and Google’s terrific TV software built in, letting you parse through recommendations across more than one streaming service with Rotten Tomatoes scores at the ready.
Price: $19.88

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

They say breakfast is the most important part of the day, but c’mon, it’s hard to whip up something nutritious first thing in the morning. Dash’s Rapid Egg Cooker makes things eggs-tremely easy, though, allowing you to boil six eggs in under 15 minutes with less effort than it would take otherwise. The dishwasher-safe components leave less of a mess, too, which is always a plus.
Price: $16.99+

Keychron V1 mechanical keyboard

Your grad doesn’t need to be a mechanical keyboard enthusiast to appreciate the Keychron V1. The wired 75 percent board sports hot-swappable switches and programmable keys, which allows them to adjust it to better accommodate their needs and preferences. That makes it a useful tool for streamlining productivity, particularly when you throw in the slick south-facing RGB backlighting.
Price: $69+

Anker MagGo Magnetic Charging Station (8-in-1)

Chargers can easily turn into desk clutter, making it even harder to focus. Anker’s latest MagGo station keeps desks tidy with a pair of USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, and three AC outlets that allow for up to 67W of total power output. The 8-in-1 charger also features a Qi2-certified magnetic charging pad, which can deliver up to 15W of power to MagSafe-compatible phones.
Price: $74.99+

Oxo 3-Piece Pop Container Value Set

We’re aware that Oxo’s three-piece container set may not be the most exciting gift in the world, but chances are it will be one of the most utilized. The airtight stackable receptacles can keep everything in your pantry fresh — from cereal to sugar to coffee — while ensuring you always know when it’s time to hit your local Tarjay for a restock.
Price: $32.99

Xgimi Mogo 2 Pro projector

Chances are your grad is not going to live in the same place for long, which is why the Xgimi Mogo 2 Pro might make a better gift than a massive 4K TV. The Android TV projector / Bluetooth speaker can project images up to 200 inches in size, yet it’s still small enough that it will fit inside a backpack, so your grad can even take it with them on their summer travels.
Price: $447.48+

Tovala Smart Oven

Eventually, every student gets sick of eating frozen pizza and Top Ramen. With Tovala’s Smart Oven and its accompanying meal kit service, even grads who can’t cook can quickly whip up chicken fajita quesadillas, tandoori spiced chicken, and other delicious meals with just a click of a button and their smartphone. They can even prepare some store-bought groceries, too.
Price: $299.99

PB Swiss Tools PB 212LH-10 RB hex set

If your grad is moving out for the first time, some kind of tool set can come in handy. This chic color-coded key set from PB Swiss Tools offers nine L-shaped Allen wrenches measuring between 1.5mm to 10mm in size, letting them make basic bike repairs and assemble whatever dorm-friendly furniture they manage to find at their local Ikea.
Price: $63.50+

Meross Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini (MSS110)

Nowadays, there are so many smart devices on the market that it’s hard to pick just one to buy as a gift. Enter the Meross Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, a hub-less plug that gives grads an easy way to add smart features to the devices they already own. It’s great for basic devices such as lamps and fans, though it should work any device they prefer to turn on and off with their voice or phone.
Price: $19.99+

RTIC Soft Pack Cooler

If they plan on celebrating graduation on the road or at the beach, RTIC’s Soft Pack Cooler can keep the chilled La Croix flowing. The cooler’s insulated, waterproof design can keep drinks and other contents cold for up to two days with a little prep work, while a comfortable shoulder strap and end handles help ensure it’s never too difficult to lug from one hang to the next.
Price: $94.99+

2022 iPad

I wouldn’t classify many productivity machines as fun, but that’s the beauty of the iPad. Apple’s latest tablet features a speedy 14 Bionic chip and a large 10.9-inch screen, one that’s perfect for streaming shows, video chatting with friends back home, and even doodling. It also serves as a digital notebook, a planner, an ad hoc laptop, and even an e-reader when the textbooks inevitably come calling.
Price: $334+

Ikea’s Sösdala memo board with clips

An organized, attractive workspace can go a long way toward boosting productivity. Ikea’s Sösdala provides a simple way for your grad to cultivate a clutter-free workplace and mindset, with clips so they can pin important notes and reminders. It can also make their space feel more homey, allowing them to hang photos of loved ones, plants, and even string lights.
Price: $14.99

Belkin BoostCharge Plus 10K

Whether their post-grad plans involve school or travel, gifting your grad a portable power bank that’ll keep their smartphone topped off can prove useful in all kinds of situations. Belkin’s 10,000mAh BoostCharge Plus doesn’t just charge phones, either; the lightweight battery pack features integrated USB-C and Lightning cables that can deliver a combined 23W of power, rendering it suitable for all kinds of gadgets.
Price: $69.99

Fender Mustang Micro guitar amp

With Fender’s Mustang Micro, guitar players can silently practice (and record) new songs practically anywhere. The personal guitar amp lets you choose from 13 different amp models, including both clean and dirty tones, in addition to a variety of effects. More importantly, it supports Bluetooth, so your grad will never have to worry about disturbing roommates with their shoddy rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Price: $99.99+

Feel-Good Productivity

The key to success isn’t working hard but feeling good, at least according to Ali Abdaal. In Feel-Good Productivity, the Cambridge-educated doctor and well-known productivity expert makes a compelling argument against hustle culture based on the real-life success stories of Nobel-winning scientists, while offering actionable ways to overcome productivity killers by prioritizing joy.
Price: $20.30+

Avantree Dual Headphones Stand

Noise-canceling headphones are great, except when you’re not using them and they’re eating up desk space. Avantree’s sturdy 9.8-inch Dual Headphones Stand provides a simple solution to a simple problem, giving you a more elegant way to store two pairs of headphones alongside cables, coins, and other small items you prefer within arm’s reach.
Price: $19.99+

Nutribullet Pro 900

Coffee is great, but caffeine crashes can make pushing through an entire day of classes next to impossible. Smoothies are often a healthier alternative that can help your grad power through the day, and with the Nutribullet Pro, they’re just as effortless to whip up. The 900-watt blender also makes them easy to take on the go, thanks to an accompanying pair of 32-ounce cups.
Price: $99.87

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