High-tech gift ideas for grads that won’t break the bank

(BPT) - Graduation season is here with high school and college grads eagerly awaiting commencement so they can start the next big chapter of life. This also means a lot of graduation celebrations for friends and family near and far. This year, show your support and go beyond the typical gift of a card and money. Instead, give graduates something they're guaranteed to use every day: technology.

Nearly $5 billion is spent on gifts to grads every year, according to a National Retail Federation Graduation Survey. Make your graduation gift stand out among the rest by choosing must-have technologies that will keep graduates wired and connected as they start a new adventure. Here are five tech ideas graduates are sure to love that won't break your gifting budget:

1. Connectivity

Staying connected is top of mind for any aged graduated, so giving a gift that keeps them wired is sure to be used often. Laptops from leading brands such as Toshiba, HP, Asus and Lenovo are portable solutions that make it easy to read textbooks online, type notes in class or video chat with friends and family. Staples EasyTech Total Support plans are a great way for students away from home to keep their tech items for both their new and old PCs protected.

Tablets are a must-have for many grads because they are lightweight, easy to carry in a bag or purse and they keep them connected everywhere, whether they're in their dorm or on a road trip. Wow your grad with a durable tablet like the Microsoft Surface Pro 2, Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Kindle Fire HD.

3. Multi-tasking

Today's grads are busy multi-taskers who demand a lot from their high-tech devices. That's why a smartphone is practically a necessity. As of January 2014, 58 percent of American adults have a smartphone, according to Pew Internet Project research. Let your grad join the adult world with the right smartphone featuring the newest operating system and apps from Samsung and other top brands.

4. Accessorize

Enhance any gift by adding a few in-demand tech accessories that make it easy for grads to stay wired. Portable phone chargers are great for keeping devices charged while out and about. A high-quality pair of headphones or ear buds will keep your grad rocking both day and night, and a nice tablet case protects critical mobile devices while showcasing each graduate's unique personality.

5. Practicality

Any gift you give should have a practical side to it - your grad is getting ready to start a new life chapter, after all. When you're unsure what they'd like, give a gift certificate to a favorite store. For example, Staples has all the essentials in one place, from dorm accessories to top technologies. This way, your special grad can select exactly what he or she wants and you can feel good about giving a helpful gift as a new adventure begins.

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