15 Affordable College Graduation Gifts That They'll Love

Graduating from college is no easy feat. So, when shopping for the right graduation gift, you want to make sure you pick something that's both meaningful and practical. But who says you have to spend hundreds of dollars to show that you care? Here are some unique graduation gifts that'll have the grad in your life adulting like a boss.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Even though this is the cheapest smartphone in Samsung's lineup, the company cut practically no corners with its budget-friendly Galaxy S10e. In fact, the new mobile packs in everything we love about the pricier S10 and S10+, but in a smaller, more affordable package. That means you get the S10's speedy Snapdragon 855 processor and impressive wide-angle camera for $250 less. This phone also outshines Apple's similarly priced iPhone XR, thanks to the Samsung device's OLED display and microSD slot and the addition of a headphone jack. 

Anker Qi-Certified Ultraslim Wireless Charger

Ditch that rat's nest of proprietary cables once and for all with Anker's Qi-certified wireless charger. The ultraslim charger is compatible with most of today's flagship smartphones, from the iPhone X family to Samsung's latest Galaxy devices. Anker's charger can juice your devices 10% faster than traditional 5W chargers. Best of all, it works even while your phone's case is on.

Apple iPad Air 2019

The new iPad Air is like a hybrid of Apple's entire iPad family. Like the Pro models, it sports Cupertino's ultrafast A12 Bionic chip and offers Apple Pencil support. However, like the new iPad mini, it costs hundreds of dollars less than Apple's premium tablets. The iPad Air gets bonus points for housing the proprietary port needed to use Apple's Smart Keyboard. For that reason alone, it's our top tablet pick for grads of all ages. 

Instant Pot Duo 60 6-Quart 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

The perfect gift for busy college students, the Instant Pot Duo 60 lets you cook a variety of time-consuming meals without the hassle. It features 14 built-in smart programs that'll have you cooking everything from rice and stews to soup and chili. The 6-quart model is large enough to cook for a small party of friends, or you can use it to meal-prep for the week.

Jabra Move Wireless Stereo Headphones

For just $99, the Jabra Move Wireless headphones offer clear, balanced audio that you wouldn't expect from wireless headphones in this price range. Sure, they lack the luxury panache of a Bose or Beats, but these headphones are a great choice for music aficionados searching for lightweight cans that deliver solid audio. As a  bonus, they come in a variety of colors and can last for up to 12 hours on a single charge. 

Lenovo IdeaPad 730S

If the IdeaPad's superslim aluminum chassis doesn't wow you, its vivid display sure will. The 13-inch, 1080p panel can render minute details and covers 121 percent of the sRGB color gamut. In real-world terms, that means you'll get life-like, saturated colors, whether you're watching movies on Netflix or browsing through photos. The base model features a 1.8-GHz Core i7-8565U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SDD, all for $737.99 via coupon code "WEEKEND10". 

Sling TV

Cutting the cord doesn't require giving up your favorite TV shows. Especially now that Sling TV has dropped its already-modest pricing plans to an even lower $15 per month (for the first three months of service). You can buy gift cards for any amount, and students can sign up for the plan of their choice. Sling Orange, for instance, is a single-stream plan that offers 30 channels for $20 per month. Meanwhile, Sling Blue is a multistream service (up to three users can stream simultaneously) that offers 45 channels for $25 monthly. Alternatively, you can get both plans for $25 (for the first three months) or $40 per month thereafter. 

Anker PowerCore 20100

With the Anker PowerCore 20100, you never have to run out of juice again around campus, in class or at the coffee shop. The slim, portable battery has 4.8-amp output and the ability to charge two devices at once via its dual USB ports. Thanks to its 20,100-mAh battery, the PowerCore 20100 can charge an iPhone 8 up to seven times before requiring a recharge itself.

Fitbit Versa Smartwatch

The Fitbit Versa is a stylish smartwatch with advanced health-tracking features, a well-designed app and a price that won't make you cringe. Sure, it lacks onboard GPS — instead it piggybacks on your smartphone's GPS — but it's the closest you'll get to an Apple Watch at this price. It's also the only smartwatch to offer female-specific health-tracking capabilities, giving women the ability to log their period symptoms and gain insight into fertility or potential health conditions directly on the watch. It also offers a four-day battery life. Take that, Apple Watch. 

Bose SoundLink Micro

Bose's deceivingly small Bluetooth speaker produces the type of clear, crisp audio you'd expect from a speaker twice its size. The SoundLink Micro features a built-in mic for speakerphone calls and it's also IPX7-rated, which means you can drop this speaker in up to 3 feet of water without fear of damaging it. Thanks to the built-in strap, you can bring it on the road, whereas its rechargeable battery offers up to 6 hours of playtime.

NES Classic Edition

The NES Classic Edition is a fun retro console that comes preloaded with 30 classic games, including the Super Mario Bros. series, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mega Man 2 and Castlevania. It'll help you blast away the stresses of being an adult.

TCL 50-inch 4K Roku Smart TV

TCL's 50-inch 4K Roku Smart TV is a budget TV that doesn't act like one. For starters, it's built around Roku's operating system, which is our favorite streaming platform and which supports a wide range of channels, including Amazon Video, Hulu, Netflix and Vudu. This set also offers HDR support, which is rare for a TV in this price range. But most importantly, it delivers excellent picture quality that rivals that of TVs twice its price.

Roku Streaming Stick+

The Roku Streaming Stick+ turns your old TV into a smart one. The device plugs into your TV's HDMI port and gives you access to a staggering variety of channels, including the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video and Sling. If you have a 4K TV or plan on getting one, this is the streaming device you'll want to invest in. 

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini 

You don't have to own a home to take advantage of home automation. With gadgets like the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug, you can remotely control lights, coffee makers and just about any device you connect to the plug. You control devices via the accompanying app, and you can even schedule them to turn on/off remotely. Even better, if you own an Alexa speaker or Google Home speaker, you can control connected devices with the sound of your voice. 

Amazon Prime Student

Want all the benefits of Amazon Prime at half the cost? If you're actively enrolled in at least one course at a U.S. college, you're eligible to sign up for Amazon Prime Student. This service offers all the perks of a traditional Prime membership, sans the high cost. Your first six months are free, and afterward, you'll pay just $59 per year. Prime Student gives you access to free two-day shipping, unlimited movie streams, unlimited music streaming, unlimited photo storage and even exclusive deals at Whole Foods.

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor-in-chief at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets, appliances, and apparel. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. He's also always on the look out for the best coupon codes to use when shopping. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.