CNET Top 5
Tech Gifts for Grads 2012The best tech gifts for the new grad of discerning tech taste.
Graduation Day, a time to congratulate the young scholar and not with something dorky like dinner at the surf & turf place you like -- No, get Ã¯Â¿Â½em some tech and gift card at a food truck. I canÃ¯Â¿Â½t help with the latter, but I do have 5 great pieces of gear that wonÃ¯Â¿Â½t kill your budget nor have them turning and rolling their eyes after they Ã¯Â¿Â½thankÃ¯Â¿Â½ you. Here we go. #5 is so easy. The Roku LT streaming video box. This little guy streams full screen video over broadband to any TV and only costs about $50. WeÃ¯Â¿Â½ve loved this one for a long time. Netflix, Hulu lus, Amazon, HBO Go, Pandora and more - but no iTunes support, and itÃ¯Â¿Â½s best for streaming *services* not great for streaming the kidÃ¯Â¿Â½s own collection of pirated media. And itÃ¯Â¿Â½s Wi-Fi only, but that better not be a problem or the grab needs to back and repeat Tech 101. #4 Samsung Galaxy Note. 5This is the device that blurs the line between smartphone and tablet. 5.3-inch HD screen. Killer for media, looks a little foolish as a phone, but theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re not gonna make calls anyway, just text. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s 4G for great wireless data speed and has a excellent 8-megapixel camera. The size isnÃ¯Â¿Â½t for everyone, and abojt the cheapest we can find it right now is about $560 unlocked. #3 the 11-inch Apple MacBook Air. This is really the only laptop anyoneÃ¯Â¿Â½s talking about right now. Starting at a grand its super thin, instant on, huge battery life and much faster than last yearÃ¯Â¿Â½s model. And laptops are still a mainstay, even in the face of trendier smartphones and tablets. #2 Klipsch Image S4 earphones. Why do these rank so high in my list? Because you canÃ¯Â¿Â½t go wrong: Everyone needs good earphones, they work with whatever the grad already owns, have the highest score of anything on our list -- 9.0 -- and theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re only $70 street including the prestigious Klipsch name. This is great gifting. #1 choice is a tie: The newest Apple iPad or the Amazon Kindle Fire. I put them both in -- not everyone can come up with $500-$830 bucks for an iPad. ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s where the $200 Kindle comes in strong - no apologies needed. The iPad is the best tablet out there, but the Kindle Fire is different, not categorically worse. And a lot of students still donÃ¯Â¿Â½t have a tablet at all, but I can assure you they want one. Check our whole CNET guide at dadsandgrads.cnet.com. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Brian Cooley, thanks for watching.