Millions of college and high school students are set to graduate this year, and graduation gifts are a time-honored tradition for recognizing years of hard work.
Whether you have a teen who’s putting high school behind them to move on to the next big stage in their life, or a twenty-something who’s moving into the workforce after years of college life, grad gifts are a great way to celebrate their achievement.
Short on ideas? No worries, we’ve put together a list of 10 high-tech gifts for 2017.
One of these is bound to please any graduate.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: Seed Turntable
You can’t go wrong with music-themed graduation gifts, and nothing is hotter right now than vinyl.
The Seed turntable is a great option for a first, high-quality system. It features a belt drive turntable integrated into a retro-look wooden speaker cabinet. Seed doesn’t just play records, it can stream music wirelessly from a phone using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and with a built-in amp, four drivers and a 70W output, there’s no additional gear required.
This compact, stylish all-in-one sound system is a Kickstarter, but it has tripled its funding goals and production units are shipping in August. I have a review unit sitting on my test bench right now, and it’s a pretty cool little number that gets a lot of looks.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: Apple Watch Nike+
Based on the Apple Watch Series 2, with custom Nike watch faces and bands, the Apple Watch Nike+ covers a lot of bases in one device: fitness, style and the latest in high tech accessories.
Starting at $369, it makes a great graduation gift. Order it online and Apple will gift wrap it and throw in a personalized card for an extra $5.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: Nomad Leather Charging Wallet
Wallets are one of those long-time, traditional graduation gifts.
Nomad puts a high-tech spin on the old standby with the Leather Charging Wallet. Crafted with premium Horween leather, Nomad integrated a high-quality 2400mAh Lithium battery and Lightning connector. So this wallet doesn’t just hold cash and plastic, it will recharge an iPhone.
And it just gets better-looking as the leather breaks in.
If you like the look of the Horween leather used in the wallet, Nomad also offers a replacement Apple Watch band made of the same material.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: Goal Zero Rock Out 2 Woolrich Edition
Goal Zero has a reputation for releasing state-of-the-art gear with amazing green cred. Solar power is a big part of its game, and all Goal Zero products are rugged and elegantly designed.
With the Rock Out 2 Woolrich Edition Wireless Speaker, Goal Zero gets stylish, too.
Made in partnership with Woolrich, this compact Bluetooth speaker is clad in traditional wool plaid. It’s affordable (just $69.99), weather resistant and makes a unique grad gift. Pair it with an optional Goal Zero portable solar panel, and your graduate can have a summer of streaming music while camping, on the beach or just sitting on the deck, without ever plugging into an electrical outlet.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: Amazon Echo Show
The latest in Amazon’s industry-leading Echo smart speaker line-up is a technology wonder thanks to thousands of Alexa skills. Your grad can use voice commands to do everything from hailing an Uber to controlling their smart lights. With its integrated display, the Echo Show adds the ability to browse products or even watch videos.
Amazon is now offering free internet voice calling between Echo devices (video calling is available with the Echo Show). Buy two — one for you, one as a graduation gift for them — and Amazon will knock of $100, while you can stay in touch with no worries about long distance bills.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: Nintendo Switch
It’s the hottest game console around, outselling both the Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One and Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) Playstation 4 in April. If you can find a store that has one in stock, any grad who’s into video games will be thrilled with a Switch.
The downside with game consoles in general as graduation gifts is the temptation to spend the summer holed up in the basement playing video games instead of getting outside — or searching for that first job.
On the plus side, since the Switch has a built-in display, they won’t be hogging your TV to play …
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: Gamevice iPhone Controller
If your grad is a gamer but the $299 Switch isn’t in the budget, Gamevice makes some really nice controllers for Apple devices that turn them into the next best thing.
I recently reviewed the $99 Gamevice for iPhone. It secures snugly onto the iPhone, turning it into a mobile gaming system complete with joysticks, D-Pad and buttons. Hundreds of iOS games — many of them free to play — are compatible with the controller.
With their iPhone or iPad and a Gamevice controller, your grad gets a serious iOS mobile gaming upgrade, plus a huge library of inexpensive games, all without breaking the bank. That’s a win for the gift recipient and the parents.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: DJI Mavic Pro Drone
At $999, the DJI Mavic Pro drone is the most expensive item on our list of 2017 high tech graduation gifts.
But it also might just be the coolest.
To start with, it’s a drone. And it’s from DJI, the undisputed leader in drone technology. But the Mavic Pro is a new approach for DJI, with a folding design that makes it much more portable than previous offerings.
Despite the compact size and reasonable (for a drone) price, the DJI Mavic Pro is equipped with a gimbal-mounted 4K camera, makes speeds of 40 mph, has a 4.3-mile range and goes 27 minutes on a charge.
It sounds like a cliché, but if they’re into high-tech gifts, this drone will help your graduate soar.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: 1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones
Older generations may prefer on-ear headphones, but kids tend to gravitate toward earbuds instead. They’re much less obvious and ideal for discretely wearing at school or at work.
If your graduate is a big music fan, the $199 Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones — that’s earbuds to you and me — from 1More are going to be a big hit.
Instead of a single multipurpose driver like the earbuds smartphone makers like to include as freebies, these 1More earbuds have four drivers for an incredible frequency range (you can read what I thought of them here).
On top of that, they have a durable Kevlar cable and 1More includes a huge variety of premium accessories, including a leather carry case and selection of nine ear tips for a perfect fit.
10 High-Tech Graduation Gifts: DreamWave Tremor Rugged Bluetooth Speaker
Bluetooth speakers make some of the best gifts for graduating students. A good Bluetooth speaker can become their stereo system in a first apartment, it can be used in place of a soundbar to boost the audio performance of a TV or game console and of course it’s perfect for music on the go.
The Tremor from DreamWave is a big, loud, tough Bluetooth speaker. It’s rugged enough to take anywhere –including the beach– it has a solid 18-hours of playtime (plus the ability to boost a smartphone battery) and it sounds good. Six drivers and 50W of power good.
The DreamWave Tremor is $299, but with its impressive audio performance and the ability to survive everything from rain to snow to a careless drop off the deck, it’s worth every penny. Your graduate will have it for years to come.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.