Laptop – The 11 inch Mac AirBook is a top pick as a powerhouse. For Windows enthusiasts check out the comparable Asus Zenbook.
Tablet – This will take some thought. For those looking for movies, tv-to-go, email, social media and e-reading a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet will work well. For serious gamers or those who want to get some work done, the newest iPad is a top choice. Also recommended is the Asus Prime which offers a keyboard dock for an additional $150 that adds not only a keyboard but a USB port and a second card reader. The dock also increases the 12-hour battery life to 18 hours. You’ll also need to take into account whether Wi-Fi only will work or if you need the 4G capability.
Smartphones – You can’t go wrong with an iPhone 4, Droid Razr or Samsung Galaxy II. Keep in mind that you’ll need not only a voice contract but a data contract. Shop around and find out which carriers will offer the most coverage in the area where your grad will be using his new phone. Having great coverage in New York City is useless if you’re at Kansas State.
Headphones – Even if you don’t want to break the bank on studio quality headphone, even $50 will get your grad a great sound. Best of all they will be far more comfortable than earbuds and can block out a noisy roommate.