CNET: The best graduation gifts for a first apartmentMay 22, 2019 2:46pm

May 21-- Commencement, of course, is not an end, but a beginning. And one of the things that commences after commencement is finding a new place to live. Which will need to be outfitted in some of the latest modern conveniences. Here, gift giver, is where you can pitch in. These are four of CNET's top picks for tech gifts that any recent grad can put to good use.

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Lenovo Smart Display 10

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/reviews/lenovo-smart-display-10-review/#ftag=CAD187281f

Price Link: https://www.cnet.com/products/lenovo-smart-display-10/prices/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The Lenovo Smart Display is a great kitchen assistant with an elegant design and a high-resolution touchscreen. It multitasks well, responds quickly to both touch and voice commands and offers a rich, personalized home screen and a customizable ambient mode.

The bad: The screen could do more when you play games or listen to music. You're limited to Google Duo for making voice calls. Scrolling through content with your voice can be tedious.

The cost: $199.99 to $249.99

The bottom line: If you'd like visual recipe help in the kitchen, the Lenovo Smart Display performs that task exceedingly well and everything else well enough that it deserves your consideration.

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Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/reviews/belkin-wemo-mini-wi-fi-smart-plug-review/#ftag=CAD187281f

Price Link: https://www.cnet.com/products/belkin-wemo-mini-wi-fi-smart-plug/prices/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: At $30 (or less), the new WeMo Mini is competitively priced, and the smaller design won't block adjacent outlets. Native compatibility with IFTTT, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and Amazon's Alexa make it one of the most well-connected smart plugs you can buy.

The bad: The WeMo Mini won't track energy usage like other smart plugs will. And, though you probably won't use it very much, the WeMo app is sluggish and glitchy at times.

The cost: $24.99 to $29.99

The bottom line: There's plenty of new competition out there, but the WeMo Mini is still one of the easiest smart home gadgets for us to recommend.

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Bonavita Metropolitan 8-Cup coffee brewer

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/reviews/bonavita-metropolitan-8-cup-brewer-review/#ftag=CAD187281f

Price Link: https://www.cnet.com/products/bonavita-metropolitan-8-cup-brewer/prices/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The Bonavita Metropolitan brews excellent coffee for a very reasonable price. It's simple to use, compact and easy to clean.

The bad: It doesn't have a thermal carafe. Coffee in its glass carafe cools quickly. Its body is all plastic.

The cost: $68.76 to $79.99

The bottom line: Buy the Bonavita Metropolitan coffee maker for its low price and excellent drip, but slow drinkers should save up for a thermal carafe model.

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Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/reviews/crock-pot-express-crock-multicooker-review/#ftag=CAD187281f

Price Link: https://www.cnet.com/products/crock-pot-express-crock-multicooker/prices/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The affordable Crock-Pot Express cooks food quickly under pressure. It's a competent rice cooker, slow cooker and saute station. Its controls are simple to use and is easy to clean.

The bad: Its non-stick pot doesn't develop as much caramelization as the Instant Pot's stainless steel in sear mode.

The cost: $69.99 to $99.99

The bottom line: Novice cooks will love the Crock-Pot Express' simplicity, but experienced home chefs should look to Instant Pot for more flavor.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Senior Editor Brian Bennett, Executive Editor Rich Brown, Senior Editor Ry Crist, Senior Associate Editor Andrew Gebhart and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.

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(c)2019 CNET Networks, Inc., a CBS Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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