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.

Recommended for You

  • Trump’s campaign manager got called out at the final debate and it was probably the best part

    As if this election season wasn’t already ~messy~ enough, there’s even more messiness to behold. By now, you probably know that Trump’s campaign manager,…

    Hello Giggles
  • Girl Reportedly Died Taking an"Extreme Selfie"

    She allegedly sent the selfie to a friend right before falling.

  • Whoa: Has the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle just been solved?

    Stop and take a seat because the gravity of this news will probably pull you down anyway. According to The Science Channel,…

    Hello Giggles
  • Man died 'horror-movie' death from flesh-eating bacteria

    OCEAN CITY, Md. — On Sept. 11, Michael Funk was cleaning crab pots at his bayside condominium; four days later he was dead, the victim of flesh-eating bacteria. For Marcia Funk, his wife of 46 years, his death is compounded by what she called a lack of information here about the bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus. "I really feel they kept it quiet because it's a tourist resort," Marcia Funk said. "It's like something out of a horror movie." The bacteria, along with about a dozen others that are related, occurs naturally in areas of warm, brackish waters with low salinity. Most of the 80,000 people who become ill across the USA each year consume raw or under-cooked seafood, according to the Centers for

    USA Today q
  • Kim Kardashian: Apologize, Or I’ll Sue You For Calling My Robbery Fake

    Kim Kardashian‘s preparing to drop the legal hammer on a writer who published a story claiming the Paris robbery was a total sham … purley cooked up for publicity.

  • Woman Carrying Skull on Stick Leads Police to Human Remains

    Police in Sacramento say human remains were discovered after officers confronted a transient woman seen carrying a skull on a stick Wednesday.

  • Secret Nazi military base discovered on Arctic island

    A secret Nazi military base abandoned more than 70 years ago was recently rediscovered by Russian scientists, The Independent reported. The base, located in the Arctic island of Alexandra Land, served as a "tactical weather station" for the Nazis during World War II, when knowledge of the weather was vital to determining when to move troops, equipment, and ships. Because of the base's name — "Schatzgraber" or "Treasure Hunter" — some also think it was used for "the pursuit of ancient relics," The Independent reported. The base is believed to have been built in 1942, the year after Adolf Hitler invaded Russia. However, the Nazis stationed there were forced to abandon the post in 1944 after they

    The Week q
  • Hillary's Security Detail Hated Her So Much, They Laughed When She Fell and Broke Her Arm

    It's no secret that there is no love lost between Hillary Clinton and her security detail, but the intensity of their dislike for the woman who may become our next president is still a bit jarring. According to the New York Post, members of her diplomatic security detail while she was secretary of state hated her so much that they "privately snickered" after she fell down and broke her arm. The incident happened in the State Department basement in 2009, one of her former guards told the Post. Clinton, then 61, was on her way to meet President Obama when she took a tumble and ended up in the hospital with a shattered right elbow. “We sort of got the last laugh. It was kind of like payback: You’re

    Trending q
  • Dallas Cowboys Rookies Spend Nearly $55,000 On Dinner At Nick & Sam’s

    At some point in the season, the Dallas Cowboys’ newest players are hazed in a particularly expensive way — buying dinner for their undoubtedly hungry teammates. At this year’s “rookie dinner,” newcomers like quarterback Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott racked up a beyond massive bill at a Dallas steakhouse. A photo of a receipt detailing $50,341.65 in pricey steaks, shrimp cocktail, and caviar from Nick & Sam’s was reportedly posted to defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford’s Snapchat account on October 19, and was later posted to Twitter by a Cowboys fan site.

    Eater Dallas q
  • Amy Schumer’s Instagram post about the debate is the most accurate thing we’ve ever seen

    If it’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that Amy Schumer is a comedic angel sent from the heavens above. Girlfriend…

    Hello Giggles
  • Investigator Claims 'Ufo Wreckage' Is Evidence Aliens Visited The Earth 250,000 Years Ago

    The discovery of an ancient piece of aluminium is being hailed as evidence that aliens visited Earth 250,000 years ago. The mysterious hunk of metal was found in Romania during the 1970s, when the country was under communist rule. Now tests at a lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, have revealed that the strange fragment of metal is made up of 90 percent aluminium and is 250,000 years old. Aluminium was not produced by mankind until about 200 years ago, so the discovery of the large chunk that could be up to 250,000 years old is being held up as a sensational find. Gheorghe Cohal, the Deputy Director of the Romanian Ufologists Association, told local media: "Lab tests concluded it is an old UFO fragment

    Fox News q
  • These factors predict how likely you are to support Donald Trump

    There are clear demographic patterns in who does or doesn't like Donald Trump, according to a...

    Business Insider
  • U.S. has few good options for response to Philippines' Duterte

    By Yeganeh Torbati and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration has few good options and limited leverage as it struggles to craft a response to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's increasingly hostile rhetoric towards the United States and his warm embrace of China. For months, Washington has played down Duterte's anti-American insults and broadsides. Duterte's latest outburst, less than three weeks before the U.S. presidential election, casts further doubt on the seven-decade U.S.-Philippine alliance and threatens to further undermine President Barack Obama's faltering "pivot" to Asia as a counterbalance to China's growing assertiveness.

  • Kourtney Kardashian awkwardly 'blanks' TV hosts who ask about Kim

    Kourtney Kardashian had an awkward on-air moment Thursday morning when hosts of an Australian morning program asked how her sister Kim Kardashian is holding up after her robbery ordeal.   The questions was met with bizarre silence, while the reality TV star sat staring off camera, presumably listening to the panicked advice of her publicists.  SEE ALSO: Khloe Kardashian DGAF about Donald Trump calling her a 'piglet' Making matters worse, the connection was dropped. When producers got Kardashian back on the line post-ad break, she explained "we had a bad connection."   "I think she's totally blanking me on that question," said David Campbell, co-host of Today Extra , adding, "She could just say her sister is fine! I mean I think we just said that you know we're very concerned and we were onside and we hoped that everyone's fine, which I still do." According to The Herald Sun , Kourtney insisted that she be re-connected to the show’s host in order to address the question. Once connected, she discussed how the Kardashian klan was feeling after her sister was held at gunpoint during the Paris robbery.  "I think we're all really still shaken up and I just — you know, I think she has a big supportive family and I know that, like, all of the traumatic things that we've been through, you know, we get through them together as a family and that's what family is all about," she said.  While it might not be the most informative response ever uttered, it may have been worth it as an act of "saving face." What's a potential little white lie about a technical glitch between friends, anyway?   Many of us would love to use the old "we just had a bad connection" excuse to get out of conversations IRL, sometimes.   Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint in Paris

  • Report: Cavaliers in advanced discussions on trade for point guard

    The Cavaliers should be fine at point guard in games that matter. Kyrie Irving is an excellent starter. When Irving rests, LeBron James – in addition to his minutes at forward – can serve as primary ball-handler with an extra wing on the floor. But Cleveland wants to limit LeBron’s and Irving’s playing time to […]

    ProBasketballTalk q
  • Secret Service lets Vice President Joe Biden drive his ‘Vette, and he promptly does a burnout

    Presidents and vice presidents aren't allowed to drive while holding office. When the Secret Service let the VP drive his Corvette, instant burnout. Biden has only been given special permission to drive his own car three times in eight years.

    Digital Trends
  • Tiger Woods Takes Manhattan (8 photos)

    Tiger Woods was a busy man this week as he made the rounds in New York City to promote his new brand and celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the Tiger Woods Foundation. Here's a photographic look back at his spin around the Big Apple. 

  • Minnesota firefighter discovers teen son killed in car crash

    ADA, Minn. (AP) — A volunteer firefighter from northwestern Minnesota made a grim discovery at a car crash — his teenage son was the victim.

    Associated Press
  • EXCLUSIVE: Shania Twain Stuns at CMT Artists of the Year Event, Reveals How She Stays in Incredible Shape

    Shania Twain SLAYS in Nashville, and gets real with ET about her diet.

    Entertainment Tonight
  • U.S. warship challenges China's claims in South China Sea

    By Idrees Ali and Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Friday, drawing a warning from Chinese warships to leave the area. The U.S. action was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, U.S. officials said. The Chinese Defense Ministry called the move "illegal" and "provocative," saying that two Chinese warships had warned the U.S. destroyer to leave.