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Sunday, April 14, 2024

19 Deals That Make Great Last-Minute Graduation Gifts

The class of 2021 had a weird senior year, but whether students just graduated high school or college, brighter days are ahead. The classic gift—Oh, the Places You'll Go!—should probably get an update to include such thrilling post-Covid locations as “the grocery store” or “a party.” 

We compiled a list of discounts on WIRED-recommended gear to help the grad you know and love with their future endeavors, from first apartment furnishings to distraction-reducing headphones. If none of these picks are working for you, here's a list of our favorite graduation gift ideas.

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Tech Deals for Grads

Roku Streaming Stick Plus for $39 ($10 off) at Amazon, Target: This is the best streaming stick for most people. Roku works with all major streaming services, and the plug-and-play setup is a piece of cake. If you really want to give a good present, you could also share your Netflix account with the recipient. After all, cutting the cord is unofficially the first step toward adulthood.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K for $40 ($10 off) at Amazon, Target: Fire TV Sticks are another good streaming device option, especially for those already entrenched in Amazon's ecosystem. The remote is easy to use, but the interface is more cluttered (and biased) than what you'll get with Roku.

Amazon Echo Show 5 Smart Display for $50 ($40 off) at Amazon, Target: It isn't our favorite smart display, but the compact Echo Show 5 is still handy to have on a kitchen counter or nightstand. It can keep recipes in view, show the weather, act as a digital frame, and more. The 2019 version of the Echo Show 8 is also on sale.

Amazon Smart Plug for $15 ($10 off): A smart plug is a simple way to control non-smart gadgets. You can plug in a lamp and remotely power it to give the appearance that you're home, or use the plug with an Alexa speaker (or the smartphone app) to turn off your box fan in the morning. This is one of our favorites. Select Amazon accounts may be able to use the coupon code PLUG to get it for $1, but your mileage may vary.

Apple iPad—10.2-inch, 2020—for $300 ($30 off): This discount happens frequently, but it's still the lowest price we tend to see. The new 2021 iPad versions will be released soon. However, 2020 models will be capable and powerful for years to come. The iPad is fantastic for work and play. For a slight upgrade, the iPad Air (2020) is also on sale. Our iPad buying guide can help you decide.

Apple MacBook Air—M1, 2020—for $949 ($50 off): Other iterations are also discounted. This is the best MacBook (9/10, WIRED Recommends). The battery lasts seemingly forever, the keyboard is great, and overall performance is exactly what most folks need.

Apple Watch Series 6 for $339 ($60 off): You may have to play around with the configurations to get this price—some colors and sizes are discounted, and others are out of stock. The Series 6 is the newest version of the Apple Watch. It's the best fitness tracker for iOS users and can be used as a personal safety device.

Garmin Venu SQ Fitness Watch for $150 ($50 off): Another of the best fitness trackers, Garmin's sleek, square smartwatch can also track things like sleep, menstrual cycles, and blood oxygen levels. The Music Edition is also discounted, though adding songs to it is clunky. Check our review for more details on both versions.

1More ColorBuds Wireless Earbuds for $70 ($30 off): Clip the on-page coupon to get the discount. This deal beats recent discounts by $10. We love these headphones; they sound great, they're comfortable, and they come in a wide array of colors.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Headphones for $278 ($72 off): These are the best wireless headphones (9/10, WIRED Recommends). The over-ear cups fit comfortably, and the noise cancelation is impressive. (So is the battery life.) The price regularly cycles between $278 and $350, so while this deal isn't rare, now is a better time to buy if you're in the market.

Beats Powerbeats (2020) Earbuds for $111 ($39 off): These are the best workout headphones. With 15 hours of battery life and baked-in sweat resistance, the earbuds stay put through strenuous runs and pair with both Apple and Android smartphones. Here's our full review.

Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000 mAh Power Bank for $15 ($3 off): This isn't the steepest discount, but portable chargers are popular grad gifts for good reason. Between phones, headphones, and wearables, a portable battery can keep gadgets charged up on the go. This one has a slim footprint and can charge most modern smartphones at least twice. (Here are our absolute favorite portable chargers, which includes a version of the PowerCore Slim with faster energy delivery.)

Home Deals for Grads

Casper Weighted Blanket for $161 ($18 off) at Casper, Target: This is one of the best weighted blankets. It strikes a good balance between looks, budget, and efficacy. Weighted blankets can help smoosh away anxiety. A general rule is to choose a blanket that weighs about 10 percent of the user's body weight.

Roborock S4 Max Robot Vacuum for $310 ($120 off): This is the best robot vacuum. It costs less than many other robotic vacs but still has smart navigation and a long battery life. This discount has been around for a couple of weeks, but it's still a match of the lowest price we've tracked.

Aura Carver Digital Frame for $179 ($20 off): This was $10 cheaper last week, but the current price isn't bad, and it's one of the best digital frames on the market. We have a fondness for digital frames. They make especially good gifts for long-distance friends and family members.

How to Cook book for $14 ($6 off): Learning to cook on your own is an essential part of adulting. This is one of the best cookbooks, and while it's geared toward beginners, more seasoned chefs can also learn from it. It's packed with recipes as well as techniques that teach home chefs basic culinary building blocks.

Need Computer Desk for $84 ($73 off): Clip the on-page coupon to save. This is featured in our home office buying guide because it's simple to assemble and super affordable. There are no bells or whistles, and it's made of particle board, but it would make a good gift for grads furnishing their first home.

Philips Sonicare Smart Toothbrush for $170 ($60 off): We included this in our graduation gift guide. The luxe toothbrush maps your mouth, providing real-time feedback to ensure every nook and cranny gets clean. The included tumbler doubles as a charger. Check our electric toothbrush buying guide for additional options.

Instant Pot Duo Plus 6-Quart Multi-Cooker for $100 ($20 off): This is not the best price in history for this popular Instant Pot model, but it is the best deal you'll find outside of major sales holidays. I, Louryn, own and love this multi-cooker. It's easy to use and speeds along the cooking process significantly. It's one of the only gadgets I keep on my counter. It might help ensure that the recipient eats more than just ramen and frozen pizza when living on their own.

Grad Deals Retailer Pages

If you still need to browse, here are a few places that might help. Be sure to check out our many buying guides for additional ideas.

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