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CNET: Great graduation gifts for under $100

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Published in Science & Technology News

2020 will be a graduation season like no other, with virtual commencement addresses, Zoom graduation parties and drive-in ceremonies with social distancing guidelines in effect. Suffice it to say, it's not going to be very fun or familiar. But that's why it's doubly important for you to step up with a good gift for anyone you know who's graduating under these surreal circumstances. Here are three of CNET's favorite picks that'll set you back less than a Benjamin. And all of these have been fully reviewed or anecdotally tested by CNET editors.

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Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2

CNET TAKE: Yes, you'd love to give your graduate a pair of AirPods Pro, or maybe the new Pixel Buds 2. But they cost upward of $250 and $180, respectively. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 true wireless headphones, however, deliver a good portion of the features found on those more expensive name brand models and still sneak into our under-$100 budget by a penny. They're available in black or white, offer USB-C and wireless charging, and they're great for making calls or listening to music.

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Google Nest Hub

CNET TAKE: No question, Amazon's Echo Show 8 is a fantastic smart display, and a great gift for anyone with an Alexa household. But some of us prefer the Google Nest Hub (https://www.cnet.com/reviews/google-nest-home-hub-with-google-assistant-the-best-smart-display-review/#ftag=CAD187281f). It's less likely to push Amazon products on the screen, the voice assistant is a bit more intuitive and there's no camera, so it feels more comfortable in the bedroom. Whichever you choose, however, seek out a sale: These are often on sale for $80, or even less.

 

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Fitbit Charge 3

CNET TAKE: The new Fitbit Charge 4 adds runner-friendly GPS, but with the older Fitbit Charge 3 (https://www.cnet.com/reviews/fitbit-charge-3-review/#ftag=CAD187281f) now on sale for $99, it's a slam-dunk choice for anyone seeking to give a basic fitness tracker without spending a bundle. The Charge 3 syncs with iPhone and Android phones, it's water-resistant, it supports notifications and its days-long battery life puts smartwatches to shame.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Executive Editor John Falcone, Copy Editor Jim Hoffman and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.

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