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5 'must--have' gifts for 2012 grads

5:24 AM, May 16, 2012   |    comments
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ABC's Tech Contributor Andrea Smith (@abcandrea) has a round-up of today's latest gadgets for those ready to take on the world post-graduation.

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APPLE TV $99

Your grad is already living in an HD world and technology is doing its best to keep up. Apple has released the third generation of its Apple TV, bringing full 1080p HD and a new user interface to the tiny box that lets you stream video content from various sources.

For those apartment-hopping or possibly moving to a new city for a new job, there's really no reason to sign up for cable, or make a huge commitment when you can stream movies and TV shows from iTunes, Netflix, MLB.TV and other subscription services. YouTube is available, of course as well as the ability to stream your own HD videos from your mobile devices using AirPlay over your Wi-Fi network. In fact, the Apple TV makes a great companion for your iPad as it will send movies, music, photos and video games to the TV screen using Apple's AirPlay technology.

You'll need to buy an HDMI cable separately.

Logitech UE Air Speaker $399

Gone are the days of moving stereos and receivers and speakers, all your grad needs today is an AirPlay-enabled speaker and an iOS device and the music will flow. There are a few on the market but Logitech's UE Air Speaker with dual tweeters and woofers is so stylish and elegant, it will fit nicely on any bookshelf or table.

AirPlay speakers let you take advantage of Apple's ability to send uncompressed music from iTunes or an iPad/iPhone. You just need them both connected to your Wi-Fi network to get great-sounding audio that can fill a room. A built-in docking station lets you charge your device and play music at the same time. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 8GB $249

If you're looking for a budget-priced tablet, the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 for $249 is a great option. It has a 7-inch-screen, of course, front (VGA) and rear-facing (3MP) cameras and it's running Android's latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Unique to the new line of tablets is a built-in IR blaster that turns the tablet into a smart remote for your TV. The remote is powered by the Peel app, which, after learning which home entertainment products you use and who your provider is, provides a guide to help you find your favorite shows. For those who like to play along with a second screen, the Smart Remote also lets you share what you're watching with friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter.

The Galaxy Tab 2 is W-Fi only, which keeps costs down, so you'll have to provide your own connection now that you're off the wired campus. Though the tablet provides only 8 GB of storage, it does feature a slot for a MicroSD card to expand up to 32 GB. 

MARCHON EX 3D GLASSES $22-$75

If your grad is a movie buff, don't let them get caught with geeky movie theater 3D glasses. Stylish glasses make a great gift that can be used over and over.

Whether you choose the wear-over model, the kind that fits right over your prescription glasses, or clip-ons that do just that, you'll look great taking in a Real 3D movie or staying home to watch a passive 3DTV.

Marchon's glasses are made with patented curved-lens technology, which allows for a wider field of peripheral viewing, giving you optimal 3D viewing. They're Real 3D certified and compatible with most passive 3D technologies, such as TV's and gaming systems.

HD PENCAM - MINI 720P VIDEO CAMERA & RECORDER $99

Here's a high tech take on a tradition graduation gift. It's a pen, but it's also an HD video and audio recorder. So you can play James Bond, or take it with you to grad school to record notes and lectures. The Swann HD PenCam Mini 720p looks like an elegant ballpoint pen, with ribbed casing and gold trip, but it's also got a teeny lens that lets you shoot video or stills at the push of a button. For students wanting to devour every minute of a lecture, you can add a 16GB MicroSD card which Swann says will hold up to eight hours. Data is uploaded via USB to your computer, which is also how you recharge the pen. Ink refills come the old-fashioned way.

By Peter Martinez

ABC

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