Great geeky gifts for grads

Consumer Reports

Nikon D7100

Nikon D7100

Know someone who's collecting a degree this year? All graduates deserve a reward for making it through school (and before they have to face the rather scary job market that awaits them). Here are some electronics suggestions that should put a smile on any grad's face.

MORE AT COnsumer Reports

A digital SLR and interchangeable lens.

For capturing important events (like, say, graduation), your favorite grad will want a really good camera. The Nikon D7100 (shown at right) is pricey at $1,400, but it has very good quality across the board, and its kit lens has a longer zoom than most: 18-105mm. And as a bonus, it can capture HD video too.

Wireless speakers
Wireless speakers

Headphones are great for private listening, but sometimes your grad may want to kick out the jams with friends. The Edifier iF335BT Bric, $100, delivers good sound in a highly portable package that's among the least expensive Bluetooth speakers we tested.

The speaker, which runs on six AA batteries, has an analog input for playing music from devices that lack Bluetooth, and the built-in microphone can be used for hands-free phone conversations when connected via Bluetooth.

(See also: 14 gifts NOT to buy grads)

Sennheiser CX-215

A set of headphones

The Roku 3 comes with its own purple earbuds, but our tester found them fairly poor-sounding compared to the ones he usually listens with.

A better—and quite affordable— headphones choice might be the Sennheiser CX-215 ($33).

These portable isolating ear-insert earphones deliver very good sound quality and come in five funky colors (blue, bronze, green, orange, and red), and the unusually contoured shells can be easily gripped to ensure a firm fit.

Roku 3

A streaming media player

A grad who's suddenly got a lot more leisure time will appreciate the Roku 3, $100. The streaming-media player offers more than 750 channels, a fast processor, and a new interface that's a joy to use. One unique new feature: a headphone jack is built right into the remote for private listening.

Note that if your grad is heavily invested in Apple's ecosystem and likes access to their iTunes (and iCloud) content, the Apple TV may be a better choice in streaming media players.

A tablet computer
A tablet computer

Finally, if your grad is using an older tablet—or, horrors, doesn't even have a tablet!—consider springing for a nice new one. The Apple iPad Mini, $330 for 16GB, is a great choice in smaller-screen tablets, with very good screen quality and long battery life.

And the new 16GB Samsung Galaxy Note 8, $400 (shown at left), got top marks in our most recent tests; it comes with a stylus, GPS, and memory card reader to expand its storage; but it runs around $70 more than the 16GB Mini.

Copyright © 2006-2013 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Man murdered wife's family and then killed her as she attended funeral service in 'evil plot'

      A man has been found guilty of executing an "evil plot" in which he killed his sister-in-law and father-in-law to lure his wife to their funerals, where he then murdered her. Samuel Velasco Gurrola, 41, conspired to kill his wife Ruth Sagredo and her family with the help of his two siblings in the US town of El Paso in Texas. As Ruth Sagredo joined her sister's funeral procession, Gurrola murdered her.

      International Business Times UK q
    • The Walking Dead: Negan's Victim Speaks Out on 'Messed-Up' Exit

      Warning: The following doesn’t just contain spoilers for the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead, it contains big ol’ bashed-in skull-shaped spoilers. So if you’ve yet to watch the episode — and think you’ll be able to bear to — proceed no further. Glenn’s death in Sunday’s Walking Dead premiere was meant to be — and […]
    • Israel's next Gaza war will be 'last' one: Lieberman

      Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that Israel's next war with Gaza militants would be their last "because we will completely destroy them," but added he remains committed to a two-state solution. Lieberman, speaking in an interview with Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, said however that he did not want another war in Gaza, which would be the fourth since 2008. The outspoken former foreign minister urged Palestinians to pressure Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, to "stop your crazy policies".

    • 745-Pound Woman Needs Gallbladder Surgery, Doctors Refuse

      Desperately in need of gall-bladder surgery, Katrina Randall, was rushed to the hospital on Friday. Her family hopes her latest trip leads to a life-saving procedure but there`s a catch - her family says doctors won`t operate because of her size. She weighs 740 pounds.

    • Saturday Night Live: Tom Hanks Exposes a Surprising Truth About Trump Supporters

      The final debate sketch wasn’t the only time Tom Hanks and Saturday Night Live decided to roast Donald Trump. S.N.L. hasn’t exactly been gentle on Trump supporters this election season. Or did you miss that fake ad last year where the show unflinchingly compared them to Nazis? So, knowing some biting political commentary is coming, it’s surprising to see Tom Hanks—who, earlier in the night, leaned into his gentle, “America’s Dad” persona—put on that red “Make America Great Again” cap for a “Black Jeopardy!” sketch. But, either way, it was good to see Hanks behind the old Jeopardy! podium where he made such a splash playing a dumbed down version of himself opposite Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek back

      HWD q
    • Police baffled by couple found dead next to untouched bags of Taco Bell — and not much else

      Cameron and Courtney Hulet were lying on their living room floor when a neighbor saw them. The neighbor didn’t think much of it. She heard moans and figured they were asleep. She closed the front door, which the couple had a habit of leaving open, David Uhl, manager of the southeast Michigan village of Dundee, told The Washington Post. It was Tuesday morning. The neighbor didn’t see the Hulets all day, she told authorities. She went back to check on them later that night. They were still lying next to each other. Taco Bell bags and drinks sat next to them on a table, untouched. The woman had a male friend check on them, Uhl said. Police were called to the apartment shortly before midnight on

      Washington Post q
    • Michael Crabtree touched his shoulder and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct

      Michael Crabtree is one unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from an automatic ejection after getting penalized for doing nothing wrong. Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree wasn’t able to avoid the penalty Sunday, even though he didn’t even do one. Crabtree celebrated a 2-yard touchdown pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars just before halftime by tossing the ball.

      SB Nation q
    • Bella Thorne looks like a live-action Jessica Rabbit in this incredible red dress

      Bella Thorne is a red-hot fashionista and we are totally obsessed with her latest look. The 19-year-old actress has a history of…

      Hello Giggles
    • The Best Weight-Loss Advice I Have Ever Received

      Seven health professionals reveal the advice that helped them win their pound-shedding battle.

      The Cheat Sheet q 18 min ago
    • These twin brothers dancing in a supermarket are going viral and it’s cause they’re amazing

      Dancing in public is pretty much a regular activity for us. But when we discovered these twin brothers with amazing moves busting a…

      Hello Giggles
    • ‘The Talking Dead’: ‘Walking Dead’ Cast Talk Shocking Character Deaths In Rainy Live Event

      NOTE: Spoilers about tonight’s The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere below. “We are such a close family… we do suffer for this show and it means a lot to us, and to feel that from [the audience] is kind of awesome,” said a visibly emotional Norman Reedus tonight on The Walking Dead aftershow The Talking Dead . He was talking about the family dynamic of the cast and crew and the symbiotic relationship with the show’s audience. But he could easily have been referring to the…

    • Top aide touts Donald Trump's 'drain the swamp' message

      That would've meant Trump running mate Mike Pence would've been term-limited out of office halfway through his 12-year tenure representing Indiana. "He was definitely living in the swamp," Conway said of Pence, who led fiscal conservative fights like opposing the bank bailout pushed by his own party's President George W. Bush. "Mike Pence would agree with Donald Trump on that: When you're there for too long, you need that fresh blood and new perspective," Conway said. "I wish there were more members like Mike Pence. If there were, we wouldn't need to have the conversation." Conway also attacked Clinton over her family foundation's acceptance of foreign contributions -- but Tapper pointed out

      CNN q
    • Clinton calls Trump a 'sore loser'

      By Luciana Lopez and Emily Stephenson CHARLOTTE, N.C./NAPLES, Fla. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a "sore loser" on Sunday because of his refusal at their debate last week to commit to accepting the results of the Nov. 8 election. Clinton, a former secretary of state, said Trump's comments were more consistent with what dictators in non-democratic countries might say about their opponents. "To say you won’t respect the results of the election, that is a direct threat to our democracy," Clinton told a rally at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

    • Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Support Son Jaden, Turn EMA Awards Red Carpet Into a Family Affair

      Jaden was honored with the Futures Award at the Environmental Media Association's 26th annual awards show.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • MarketWatch q
    • Dolphins' Landry 'sorry' for hit on Bills' Williams

      Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry apologized on Sunday for a high hit that sent Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams to hospital for tests. After a precautionary MRI exam, Williams, who was checked for head and neck injuries, was cleared to travel back from Miami to Buffalo with his team, but Landry could still be facing discipline from the NFL. "If I could take that hit back, I would," Landry said after the game.

    • 11 Things You Probably Didnt Know About Airplanes (11 photos)

      Planes have changed a lot since the days of the Wright Brothers (or, perhaps more accurately, Brazilian inventor Alberto Santos ). Those first wood-and-cloth contraptionsarean entirely different species thanthesleek Boeing Dreamliners of today. With the continual advancements in aerospace technology, it's hard to keep up with all the amazing things planes today are capable of doing (and withstanding). Below,11 things you didnt know about airplanes and air travel.

    • Jay Z Says He 'Misses The Old Kanye' Following West's Recent Rant

      Here’s something we all have in common with Jay Z: He misses the “old Kanye.” Roc-A-Fella co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke revealed as much following Kanye West’s surprising rant against his idol last week. Kanye blasted Jay for not personally visiting him after wife Kim Kardashian got robbed in Paris, for never setting up a playdate with their kids, and for Tidal politics preventing him from linking up with Drake, an Apple Music artist. “I was shocked to hear what Kanye said onstage,” Burke told Page Six at his Reasonable Doubt 20th anniversary pop-up shop on Saturday.

    • Emily Ratajkowski Cheers on the L.A. Dodgers in a Midriff-Baring Crop Top, Smooches Her Boyfriend in the Stands

      Who says you have to rock a billowing jersey to show your sportsmanship? Not Emily Ratajkowski, who showcased her toned physique as she cheered on the Los Angeles Dodgers at a baseball game in L.A. on Thursday. The model and actress took a minimalist approach to dressing for the sidelines and rocked a black pair of high-waist jeans with a long-sleeve white crop top that showcased her abs. She proudly put forth her support of the hometown team with a black cap that simply read "LA"

    • ‘Walking Dead’ Negan Victim Reveal Leaves Fans Devastated

      (Spoiler alert: Do not keep reading if you did not see the Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead”)

      The Wrap