Cash. That's what the graduating youth in your life wants as a gift this year. I hate to be crude, but I speak the truth.
But if you're a romantic and would like to buy a physical gift for that special grad anyway, you can't go wrong with technology. Giving gadgets will make you look far cooler than you actually are -- trust me. So here are my gift suggestions if you'd like to impress the Internet Generation graduate you love so dearly.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-D6500
You might be thinking, "A Blu-ray player? Really?" I'm typically not impressed by them either -- but Samsung's newest Blu-ray is a real head-turner.
It plays 2D and 3D video in high definition, and has built-in Wi-Fi so you can get online and watch streaming video through Netflix and Hulu. You can also search for your favorite videos through Samsung's new Smart Hub, which is the great video search feature that Google TV never really was (not yet, anyway).
If the graduate in question is college-bound, you'll want them to drive safely to their new university life. And Cobra iRadar is a great way to make sure that they do. It's a radar detector that pairs with an iPhone or Android phone to offer information about driving patterns.
You may think giving a young person a radar detector is like giving them an endorsement to speed. But that's not necessarily correct. The iRadar not only gives them a dashboard with their current speed and any potential speeding traps, it also occupies their phone by displaying this information, preventing them from doing other phone things while on the road -- like text messaging.
Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG and Bluetooth Speakers
We all know that the iPad and other tablet devices are great educational tools. If your favorite grad already has a tablet, why not get her some really useful accessories? The Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG doubles as a case and a keyboard. It pairs with a tablet over Bluetooth and lets you type out notes, emails, and more much faster than you could with an on-screen touchpad.
And if you want to watch movies or listen to music on your tablet, Logitech has made some great speakers that can play wirelessly from up to 50 feet away -- handy if you like to listen to Internet radio stations like Pandora.
Withings Body Scale (to keep the freshman 15 off)
This is great for the graduate who is heading to college or the workforce and would like to avoid the Freshman 15 or the office lunch-hour weight gain. The Withings Body Scale can track your weight and send it to you over your home Wi-Fi network.
Track your weight and body mass index (BMI) on Withings' smartphone app or online. You can even set up multiple accounts for others in your house whose weight goals you would like to track. My wife used it to track her pregnancy -- but that's a use most graduates will likely avoid while focusing on their education.
Toshiba Portege R830 Laptop
This laptop is a real looker. It's a high-end ultraportable Windows machine that is comparable to the MacBook Air. It weighs in at just over 3 pounds and is one of the thinnest and lightest systems that Toshiba has ever made. And as thin as it is, the Portege R830 still impressively makes room for a DVD drive.
And this is no netbook. It can function as a main PC since it comes with at least 500 gigabytes of storage. And it can stand up to the abuse of being carried from class to class with its durable anti-shock system. Which is good because, if you're not giving your favorite grad cash, they'll need a laptop that can last them through to their next graduation ceremony.