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The Verge’s Graduation Gift Guide 2021

Great gift ideas for those graduating into college and adulthood

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Photo illustration by William Joel / The Verge

It’s been a hard year for everyone, but it’s been especially grueling for high school seniors. Having to deal with classes, exams, and college applications and choices is difficult at the best of times but having to do most — or all — of it remotely during a plague year will stress even the most laid-back of students. So it stands to reason that this year’s grads deserve some extra-special gifts to make up for it all.

This year, we’ve tried to put together a list of devices and other products that will make it easier for graduates to start on their new adventure: Macs, Chromebooks, and Windows PCs; earbuds and speakers; and stuff to help with cooking, gaming, and sleeping. Take a look and see if any of these are right for any graduates whom you may want to present with a congratulatory gift.

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Logitech G502 gaming mouse

The Logitech G502 Lightspeed is a great gaming mouse for discerning gamers who don’t want to compromise. It’s comfortable, feature-packed, and even though it’s wireless, it’s a fast and accurate performer that doesn’t feel at a disadvantage against opponents using wired mice. Price: ~$149

Galaxy Book Pro 360

Part PC, part powerful tablet, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is one of the sleekest 2-in-1 devices for grads. Paired with the S pen, creators can turn the Super AMOLED screen into a blank canvas. And for the grad on the go, the 20 hours on a single charge will ensure that whatever chapter is next in their life, they’ll be prepared. Price: $650

Logitech G733 Lightspeed wireless gaming headset

This lightweight, wireless gaming headset doesn’t take itself too seriously. It's comfortable with breathable ear cups, has good sound for the price, and the vertical strips of LEDs look sharp. Price: ~$125 to $130

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

This inexpensive joystick features 12 programmable buttons, an eight-way hat switch, and a nice hand grip for people who use their right hand while playing games. If you’re a relatively casual player of flight games, you can’t go wrong with this stick. Price: ~$52

Blue Snowball USB mic

The Blue Snowball microphone has become the go-to for a basic, inexpensive device that provides better audio for Zoom meetings and classes, shared streaming chats, and experiments with podcasting. Price: ~$46 to $50

Melitta single-cup pour-over coffee brewer

This is the perfect basic pour-over coffee maker for a dorm room. It's light, easy to clean, makes a fine cup of coffee, and features two big holes so you can tell how full your cup is and avoid spillover. And it is just as useful as the more expensive ceramic models. Price: ~$7 to $11

Snackeez snack cup

The Snackeez cup lets you simultaneously hold a 16-ounce drink and a snack. In between classes, you can watch your favorite streams while sipping on fruit punch and munching on pretzels. And this is the ideal cup for road trips. Price: ~$10

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1

The Instant Pot pressure cooker is the Swiss Army knife of the kitchen. With it, you can easily make a ton of different meals, or you can just use it to make batches of rice and broth. It's useful, and if you're short on space for appliances, it's well worth picking up. Price: ~$89

MacBook Air

The late-2020 MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s M1 processor, is the best laptop you can buy. The base model, which includes 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, is fast. In our testing, it handled intense photo- and video-editing workloads better than almost any Intel-powered laptop we’ve tried this year. Price: ~$950 to $1,000

Dell XPS 13

If you’re looking for a convertible laptop that does just about everything right, Dell’s latest XPS 13 2-in-1 features a sturdy and well-made chassis, a nearly bezel-free 16:10 touch display, and Intel’s newest 11th Gen processors. Price: ~$1,000

Chromebook Spin 713

Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 is hands-down the best Chromebook you can buy. It features a gorgeous 3:2 screen that rivals some more expensive competitors, an excellent keyboard, a comfortable and quiet feel, and nice backlighting. There’s even an HDMI port, and the 10th Gen Intel processors can handle a heavy load of tabs with no problem. Price: ~$699 to $969

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

If your grad is a gaming enthusiast, the Zephyrus G14 is an astonishingly powerful gaming laptop for a relatively low price. It pairs AMD’s new Ryzen 9 4900HS with an Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU and a 120HZ display, and it can run demanding games at their highest settings without a problem. Price: ~$1,350

Anker PowerWave charging stand

Quickly pop your phone onto an Anker charging stand while studying at your desk to keep it topped up with power throughout the day — plus, it just looks neat and tidy. If your phone supports wireless charging, then this is a cheap and simple way to get more functionality out of it. Price: ~$19

Big Bud Press jumpsuits

Colorful, 100-percent cotton, ethically manufactured jumpsuits that will let you let you look and feel great, so you can wear them while studying or while hanging out with friends. Price: ~$172

JadeYoga Harmony workout mat

The first year in college can be frightening, especially in these uncertain times. So if you know someone who is starting college (or going back after a year of remote learning), gift them this yoga mat to help bend and stretch their worries away (and get one for yourself, too). Price: ~$80

Collegiate face masks

If you want to send a message, don't put it on your tee — put it on your face mask! These masks let the world know which college team you root for, while keeping you (and those around you) safe from wandering viruses. Price: ~$5

Apple Watch SE

If you're looking to gift someone a smartwatch, Apple's Watch SE is a very compelling option. It’s more fully featured than the Series 3 and is likely to be supported with software updates for a longer time. It also comes at a way more accessible price than the flagship Series 6. Price: ~$269 to $279

1More ColorBuds true wireless earbuds

With the ColorBuds, the focus is on comfort — each bud weighs only 4.1 grams — and looks. Sound quality is also good for the price, with clarity, a wide soundstage, and fine nuance in general. (There’s still plenty of bass kick, though.) Price: ~$80

Sonos Roam portable speaker

The Roam is a truly portable Sonos speaker that supports hands-free voice commands, has Apple AirPlay 2, includes wireless charging, and features a rugged design that lets you use it practically anywhere. Price: ~$169 to 170


If you want a set of Apple's true wireless earbuds but can't afford the AirPod Pros, Apple’s entry-level AirPods are reliable and have a one-size-fits-most design. Price: ~$160

Bose Sleepbuds II

Whether you're sharing a dorm room or a small off-campus apartment, a roommate can make it hard to get enough sleep. The Bose Sleepbuds II can help by replacing noise with soothing sounds or music. Price: ~$249

Streaming music service premium subscription

Music can soothe a grad during frantic studying, help them keep their exercise routine, or accompany a celebration when something great happens. A subscription to a streaming music service lets them do it without ads. Price: ~$10 / month