Top Grad Gifts for 2016

By Phill Powell

June brings summer vacation for most students, but for a lucky few, it’s all about graduating from high school or college.

Graduation is a huge deal both for students and their parents, and one that’s steeped in gift-giving. We’ve canvassed the tech landscape and found fantastic graduation presents in a variety of prices.

SPEAKER: GOOGLE CHROMECAST AUDIO

Google_Chromecast_Audio
Plug and play anything. Google’s Chromecast Audio makes it happen.

Manufacturer: Google
Price: $35
There’s an explosion happening in remote speakers currently, and you can find them in many shapes and styles. But this is one of the coolest we’ve heard about.

With Google Chromecast Audio, you can turn any existing speaker into a Bluetooth-controlled one. That’s right – old boomboxes, stereo system speakers, whatever you’ve got. You plug the Chromecast Audio in via an auxiliary input. Then presto! You can make any speaker into a Bluetooth-controlled one that you can operate from your smartphone or tablet apps.

GAME SYSTEM: PLAYSTATION 4

PlayStation_4_and_controller
Sony’s PS4 stands tall among game consoles this graduation season.

Manufacturer: Sony
Price: $350
The PlayStation 4 still rules the roost among game consoles. Latest improvements to Sony’s flagship game system include a tweaked DualShock 4 controller, better system-exclusive games, the ability to upload clips to YouTube, and being able to play games during downloading.

It’s still got the powerful Octa-core processor but now it can be used with more entertainment options, such as PlayStation Now, a streaming service for renting Sony games. Some 36 million gamers have made the PS4 the king of consoles, and it’s the game box to beat.

CAMERA: CANON EOS REBEL SL1

Canon_EOS_Rebel_SL1
Loaded: The EOS Rebel SL1 is a memory machine supreme, and much more.

Manufacturer: Canon
Price: $499.99
Graduation is about celebrating past achievements and getting ready for new ones. So, it’s a key time for capturing memories. One of the greatest memory machines going is the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, which is equipped with a bunch of features that you wouldn’t expect in a camera this compact. The EOS Rebel SL1 shoots great snaps in dim lighting and when capturing fast action through its Full HD movie mode. (You can check those images on the 3-inch Clear View LCD monitor.)

At the camera’s core, you’ve got a Canon 18.0 megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon DIGIC 5 image processor. Available now in a complete kit that gives you an EF-S 18-55mm lens with the camera body, along with a camera battery & charger and more. Ready, aim…shoot!

ETC.: FLIC DO-ANYTHING BUTTON


A better question is, “What can’t the Flic Button do?

Manufacturer: Shortcut Labs
Price: $34
Some of the best tech devices are those that can perform multiple functions. And we’ve rarely seen a gizmo more versatile than the Flic Button. What do you want the Flic to do?

Here are some of the functions regularly assigned to the Flic Button: turning lights on/off, switching apps on and off, sending a personal distress signal, starting tunes or TV viewing, having a remote selfie button, triggering navigation directions, and the list goes on and on. Some 500 apps (!) can be used with the Flic Button, which works with iOS or Android.

WEARABLE TECH: APPLE WATCH

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Apple keeps coming up with cool new models and extra touches, like this Mickey Mouse Apple Watch.

Manufacturer: Apple
Price: $299-$17,000
It still remains the last word in wearable tech, and the inventive gang at Apple hasn’t stopped improving the Apple Watch since its introduction. Latest models that have caught our eye are the 38mm Stainless Steel Case with Link Bracelet ($949) and the 42mm Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Black Sport Band ($599).

Or you can be a real sport and spring for the 38mm 18-karat yellow gold case model Apple Watch, which will only set you back $17,000.

STREAMING SERVICE: NETFLIX

Netflix_gift
A Netflix subscription is the graduation gift that just keeps on giving…

Price: $8.99 per month
Netflix is still the best deal in entertainment – a true flood of programming choices for only $8.99 a month. And we’re talking all kinds of programming. The Netflix film library now has approximately 4,500 new and old movies, including many new films produced by Netflix (like Adam Sandler’s The Do-Over).

Then there’s the rich supply of TV series, again including many popular shows created by Netflix (Bloodline). And coming this September, Netflix’ big new deal goes into effect: All coming movies from Marvel, Pixar, LucasFilm and Walt Disney Animation Studios will be appearing exclusively on Netflix.

THE EXPANDING TECH MARKETPLACE

Technology now drives the global economy and that means incredible new products are constantly entering the tech marketplace.

Check this DMA blog for tech news of all type – including looks at the most impressive new products now being created!