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Gadgets

Best gifts for grads from $100 to $250

If you're looking to reward your graduate, then here are the best gifts from a new gaming console to the best wireless headphones

It's that time of year again where the sun comes out and it starts hailing mortarboards. In preparation we've compiled a list of the best gear we've reviewed that costs between $100 and $250. Whether you're looking to reward them with a new TV or a gaming console, there should be a piece of tech on this list to suit them.

Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Xbox One S All-Digital Edition ($250)

Microsoft

If your grad is a big gamer, the hottest ticket right now is this disc-free version of the Xbox One S. Sure, the original One S -- with a Blu-ray drive -- is basically the same price or less, but if you're buying for someone who thinks DVDs and game discs are as ancient as VHS tapes, the All-Digital edition (which includes 3 games) may well be the better gift.

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Read CNET's take

Arcade1UP Street Fighter 2 ($250)

Arcade1Up

There's nothing like a 3/4-size arcade machine to add distinction to a dorm room, plus there are no quarters required! Arcade1UP make a series of faithful arcade recreations of everything from Street Fighter to Galaga to Rampage.

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Read the Arcade1UP hands-on evaluation

Bose SoundLink Micro ($99)

Sarah Tew/CNET

If your grad is the sort who needs tunes in the great outdoors, the SoundLink Micro is an excellent buy. The waterproof Bose SoundLink Micro is a pocket-size Bluetooth speaker able to play louder and produce richer sound than competing micro-wireless speakers. 

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Read full review

TCL S325 series Roku TV ($200 for 43-inch)

Sarah Tew/CNET

The 43-inch S325 may not be 4K (at this size, you won't notice) but it includes the best-in-class Roku Smart TV operating system to please binge-happy TV addicts. It's a great starter TV that can migrate to the bedroom to eventually make way for a bigger, better set.

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Read full review

Vizio SB3621 soundbar ($135)

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's safe to say that every other device on this list pales in comparison with the value of this Vizio. Honest-to-goodness sound quality -- complete with a wireless subwoofer -- will have your grad thanking you every time they blast a movie. Your wallet will thank you for the price.

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Read full review

Sonos One ($199)

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you want to give your grad the gift of improved sound quality, or the ability to speak into thin air to ask for tunes, there can be only One. It works with Alexa or Google Assistant, it's compatible with AirPlay 2 streaming, too.

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Read full review

Asus RT-AC86U ($179)

If your graduate is a heavy Internet user then they may benefit from a better router. Our current favorite is the Asus RT-AC86U which offers trendy, gamer-friendly looks and excellent performance. 

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Read full review

Bose QuietComfort 25 ($180)

The Bose QuietComfort 25 is an excellent set of noise-canceling headphones, and they're absolutely essential if your grad is a commuter or just wants to block out ambient noises from the outside world. 

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Read full review

Apple AirPods (starts at $159)

Sarah Tew/CNET

With improved sound and better battery life, the updated AirPods are even better than the groundbreaking original. 

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Read full review