Every year as May approaches and I read about the graduates choosing colleges and looking for jobs, I think about what it would be like when my own kids graduate. No more thinking for me. This year, my oldest son is graduating from high school.
We went on a lot of college tours this year and my son and I have talked about some of the gadgets he may need next year. This is my sponsored round-up of tech products for graduates.
Tech Gift Guide for Graduates
All of these products are found at the Microsoft Store online or you can find a retail store near you. Before I get to the gift guide, the Microsoft Stores have free Summer Camps. I signed my kids up for a photo and video camp. I will be attending with them and I can’t wait to see what we learn.
Take note of the offers listed below in red.
I included both the Surface 2 & the new Pro 3 because it depends on how your graduate wants to use it. The Surface Pro 3 is a laptop with a 12′ display and you can install software on the desktop. You can buy a stylus to write your notes on the Surface Pro 3.
The Surface 2 is a tablet with a 10.6″ display. You can install apps that are available in the Windows App Store and it comes with Microsoft Office for RT. I received a Surface 2 from Microsoft and I use it a lot. I have a Type Cover 2 and I take it with me quite often because it’s light and goes easily from work to play.
You may want the Type Cover 2 or Surface Pro Type Cover to go along with the Surface if you want an external keyboard. They also protect the screen of the Surface and both are backlit to help see the keyboard.
If you buy the Surface Pro 3, get the Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition to go along with it. I have a similar mouse for my laptop and I like that it is very portable, but feels like a regular size mouse in my hand.
There will be a lot of late night paper writing in a college students future. With the Office 365 University edition, you get a 4-year subscription to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneDrive cloud storage and Skype PC-to-phone calling for up to 2 devices. I have my kids signed up with OneDrive already so they are never without their documents whether at school or home.
If your graduate prefers a laptop, I like the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga Touchscreen because it is very light at 3.5 lbs and gives you up to 8 hours of battery life. If you need a break from homework and studying, the display is Full HD (1920 x 1080) so movies are beautiful on the Yoga.
Graduation PC Offer: Get $100 toward the purchase of a PC $599 or more (through 6/30/14)
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has the best camera of any smart phone I’ve tried. The camera is a 41-megapixel camera.
I have tested it out while at a Microsoft Summit and the pictures were stunning. You could zoom in very close and the photos were still clear. There will be a lot of memories in the future of any graduate. With this gadget, they will always have a fantastic camera with them.
I would include the Nokia Camera Grip and Extra Battery if you buy the Lumia 1020. You definitely want to protect your investment and extra battery life is never a bad thing.
Graduates have a lot of stress with the changes that happen in their lives in a short time. They need some down time and the Xbox One with the Kinect is my favorite game system. There are a lot of fitness games for the Kinect so maybe your graduate can ward off the Freshman 15 too.
A good bluetooth stereo headset gets rid of all the wires when you are listening to music while running (or whatever your sport is.) It’s also nice if you like to listen to music while studying in the library because you don’t have to mess with all those wires all over the place.
The MINI JAMBOX is small enough that you can carry it in your backpack (or pocket) and then the party will be where you are with the music. It comes in many different colors, so you can find one that suits you.
We all hear about the Freshman 15 that new college student often put on because they are not sleeping much, eating junk and not getting enough exercise. Having the Fitbit Flex will show you how active you are and how much sleep you are getting. I’ve found that when I’m tracking exercise and sleep, I get more of both. This wristband is so lightweight, you hardly notice it is there
This is a small gadget, but an important one. I received this mini surge protector at a conference I went to a few years ago and I take it with me when I travel or am working away from my home. My kids have taken with them when they went on overnight trips for school. You can never have too many plugs or USB chargers.
The Mophie Juice Pack is perfect for those times when you are not near an outlet and you need to charge up your smart phone so you can record the lecture for your next class.
Skype credit is always a good thing for college students or for anyone just entering the job market. You can use it to call mobile or landline phones or get online at WiFi hotspots. Always good to have the option available.
Any gadgets you would add to the tech gift guide for grads?
Are you following the Microsoft Store?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the Microsoft Store. I chose the products myself to add to the gift guide. All opinions are my own.