CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Laptops

Laptop, PC and tablet gifts for grads

Treat your grad (or yourself) to these great laptops and PC accessories.

Whether moving from high school to college or college to the real world (or its much more pleasant sibling, grad school), a new computer or tablet is a graduation gift that always hits. This list includes low-cost tools for note-taking and productivity, everyday laptops that will look sharp in class, at the office or in a coffee shop, and, of course, a big gaming monster for fun

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

Asus Chromebook C523, $250

Asus

Chromebooks are a good go-to for high-school or college students, or grads starting out on the road to a career, but the smaller versions we most often see aren't great for heavy-duty work. That's why we like this 15-inch model from Asus, one of the only bigger-screen Chromebooks you can buy. 

See at Amazon
Read more on CNET

North St. Weekender, $290

Sarah Tew/CNET

Made to order in Portland, Oregon, from tear- and abrasion-resistant Cordura with weatherproof zippers, the bag can be everything from a slim laptop backpack to a 28-liter carry-on. North St. also makes packing cubes to fit the bag, and compression straps inside and out keep everything as slim and secure as possible. 

See at Northside
See more great laptop bags

Apple iPad Mini, $399

A great tool for note-taking in class or catching up on reading, the smaller iPad Mini surprised everyone with a big refresh for 2019. Besides a new A12 processor, it also adds Apple Pencil support, so it'll work with Apple's excellent stylus. There's also a new bigger-screen iPad Air, but the current 9.7-inch plain old iPad is a great deal you can usually find on sale for $250

See at Best Buy
Read full review:

Dell XPS 13, $899 and up

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Dell XPS has long-been a go-to for anyone looking for a 13-inch, non-Apple laptop. The latest version fixes the irritating webcam placement, offers both 1080p and 4K touch screens, and comes in a couple of cool colors. Even with new CPU updates, it still starts at $899, which is impressive, considering the design. But, if you're giving one as a gift, at least jump up $100 to the Core i5 CPU option.

See at Dell
Read full review

Apple MacBook Air, $1,099 and up

Sarah Tew/CNET

There's a reason this is one of the most popular computers ever made. And now it's gotten a much-needed reboot, keeping the name, but changing just about everything else, both outside and in. With a slimmer body, better screen and new CPUs, this should be the default choice for many students and grads. One caveat, not everyone loves the new keyboard design. 

See at Best Buy
Read full review:

LG Gram 2-in-1, $1,499

Sarah Tew/CNET

The surprising winning brand in our recent tests of laptop battery life was LG's Gram line. These laptops are notable for two things: They are amazingly light, and they run a long, long time. This new 14-inch version adds another trick as well, it's a 2-in-1 hybrid, with a touchscreen that folds back 360 degrees, so you can use it as a laptop or tablet, making it doubly useful. 

See at Best Buy
Read full review:

Alienware Area-51m, $1949 and up

Sarah Tew/CNET

Treat yourself or your grad with the most powerful gaming laptop you can buy right now. With a sharp-looking new design, it gets away from the dorm-room-chic of most other gaming PCs, and you can also claim the desktop-class chip inside is really for high-res photo editing and 4K video production. 

See at Dell
Read full review