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Tablets and e-book readers for that special graduate (pictures)

Looking to reward a new graduate with something cool, high-tech, and useful? Of course you are, and tablets and e-book readers fit that bill almost perfectly. Here's a compilation of the most appropriate for your needs.

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Eric_Franklin.jpg
Eric Franklin
Eric Franklin led the CNET Tech team as Editorial Director. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, chauffeuring his kids around town, or absorbing every motivational book he can get his hands on.
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carnoy-headshot-2019-2
David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
Eric Franklin
David Carnoy
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1 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Google Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 remains the best small tablet around and, starting at $200 for 16GB of storage, it also pushes the limits on value.
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2 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Apple iPad Mini

The Mini's screen isn't anywhere near as sharp as the current-generation iPad's, but it's lighter and thinner, and has full access to Apple's world-beating App Store. This includes plenty of educational apps (whisper: and games).
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3 of 6 James Martin/CNET

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9

This is the Kindle Fire to get. Even more so now, given its recent price drop to $269. The Fire HD 8.9 has direct access to Amazon's considerable cache of books, movies, TV, shows, and music. It also has the most powerful, clearest-sounding speakers of any tablet.
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4 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Google Nexus 10

If you can afford to go a bit higher with your budget, the $399 Nexus 10 is the best full-size Android tablet. It also has the sharpest screen of any tablet on the market, and its recent updates have improved performance significantly.
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5 of 6 Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (with Special Offers)

The Paperwhite has that integrated light that Kindle aficionados have been waiting for. It also has a capacitive touch screen rather than the IR-based touch screen found on competing touch-screen models, plus the Paperwhite's screen is a higher-resolution 1,024x768-pixel display with 212 pixels per inch that can render text and images more crisply.
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6 of 6 Sarah Tew/CNET

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch

The Nook Simple Touch is a major advancement over the original Nook. In many ways, it's exactly the e-reader we've been waiting for and was hinted at when Sony licensed Neonode's infrared touch technology to finally solve the problem of trying to craft a touch-screen layer on top of an e-ink screen.

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