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Tech graduation gifts 2016: What to buy for new high school and college graduates

Do you need an Apple Watch to go with that diploma?

Michael Short for Recode

Congratulations to the graduating classes of 2016. Quick, before you lose the cap and gown, now's your chance to score some free swag from your families!

If you have a new graduate in your life, you may be wondering how best to prepare them for off-campus life. On the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Recode's Kara Swisher and The Verge's Lauren Goode debate what tech products make good graduation gifts, plus what you should avoid.

For example, Lauren recommends the Sonos Play:1 or an Amazon Echo series speaker "for high school to college, because if you're going away and going to be living in a college dorm, it'd be pretty cool if you had an Amazon Echo with you. Although maybe your roommates wouldn't like the fact that there's an AI listening all the time."

The Amazon Echo Tap
Vjeran Pavic / Recode

But not every hot gadget is really worth buying for a new graduate. Lauren urged caution on buying a GoPro unless your grad is "doing some really awesome, adventurous stuff, or unless [they're] an aspiring filmmaker. ... You can attach it to a [boat] sail, and unless you happen to see a whale breaching in front of you that disrupts a kayak ..."

Vjeran Pavic

To hear the rest, as well as some gift suggestions sent in by our readers and listeners and what Kara and Lauren would say if they were giving commencement speeches, listen to Too Embarrassed to Ask in the audio player above, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn or Stitcher.

Thank you to Jay, Elliot, Mike, Eric, Brett, Ben, Katie and everyone else who sent in suggestions for techie graduation gifts. You can tweet your questions, comments and complaints about any tech topic to @LaurenGoode with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed. And be sure to follow Lauren, @KaraSwisher and @Recode to get alerted when we're looking for questions about a specific topic.

If you like this show, you should also check out our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
  • And finally, Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events such as the Code Conference, Recode Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara and Lauren. Tune in next Friday for another episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask!

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