As far as productivity and entertainment go, laptops continue to be the best bet for most people and specially new graduates getting into careers or continuing education.

New laptops today are great productivity tools as well as personal computing and entertainment devices that can create a plethora of content as well as access a wide variety of content for entertainment.

We’re seeing a range of thin and light convertibles, 2-in-1 hybrids as well as larger Ultrabooks that offer higher definition displays and that can take multi-touch input as well. We’re also seeing the second generation of Ultraportable notebooks like the Apple MacBook which offer the ultimate in portable computing while removing some connectivity out of the box. With Mac OS X El Capitan and Windows 10 having been improved in the past year, many of these PCs will offer the best versions of these respective operating system.

Other cool grad gifts include protective cases,  external Bluetooth keyboard/mouse as well as headphones. Here are five of the more outstanding laptops worth considering as grad gifts.

HP Spectre 2-1 13-4120CA I5-6200U/8GB/256GB/13.3T

10400491_3.jpgThe HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop is for anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice form for function. Sporting an HD touchscreen display that pivots a full 360 degrees, the Spectre x360 can be a fun loving tablet one minute and then a hard working laptop the next.

The 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM ensure fast, reliable performance.

2-in-1 devices along with Windows 10, provide some of the most versatile computing experiences available today and the HP Spectre x360 is one of the best examples of what users can expect in convertible devices.

Powered by a  2.3GHz 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of DDR3L RAM provides fast, reliable system speeds for multitasking and running several programs at simultaneously.

13.3-inch Full HD Radiance Infinity LED-backlit IPS touchscreen display features a resolution of 1920×1080 and also provides quick and responsive multi touch and pen input.


 HP Spectre x360 15.6- i5-6200U/8GB/512GB SSD/15.6″ FHD Touch x36010409613.jpg 

The HP Spectre x360 15.6″ convertible laptop, of course. Preloaded with Windows 10, it features a 6th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and a beautiful 15.6″ FHD IPS WLED-backlit touch display.

This is a full sized notebook that has a larger display as well as more screen real estate for users who need to work on multiple windows or apps simultaneously.

With a 2.3GHz 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U dual-core processor and 8GB RAM, this HP Spectre promises solid and reliable performance for effortless everyday computing and more for gaming or extensive applications.

With a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS Radiance Infinity WLED-backlit multitouch-enabled display with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 delivers crystal-clear visuals and vibrant colours, bringing all your photos, games, and movies to life

The advantage of a 15.6-inch notebook is that can be great for watching video, movies or streaming services as well, which makes it ideal for entertainment as well as productivity.

Dell XPS13 13.3″ Ultrabook – Silver (Intel Core i5-6200U 6th Gen / 128GB SSD / 8GB RAM / Windows 10)


One of the more outstanding 13-inch Ultrabooks is Dell’s 13-inch laptop houses all you need to stay productive on the go in an enclosure that’s closer to the size of an 11-inch device.

This slim laptop boasts a classy machined aluminum body in silver finish and strong Gorilla Glass screen. Being Dell, it is quite rugged and made to take the rigours of life on the road. 

XPS 13 preloaded with Windows 10 and features the industry’s only Full HD near-borderless InfinityEdge display, and 128GB SSD storage. For anyone who expects to move around, travel a fair bit or is going to relocate after graduation, this is one of the most portable and powerful solutions on the market today.

HP Spectre x360 13.3″ Touchscreen Convertible Laptop


The versatile HP Spectre x360 features a 2.3GHz Intel i5 dual-core processor with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive. 802.11ac WiFi keeps you connected, and USB 3.0 ports make it easy to expand and enjoy the widest variety of peripheral devices. The 13.3″ touchscreen supports Full HD 1080p resolution.

This convertible can be used primarily in notebook mode although it will do just as well in presentation mode or in tablet mode depending on what the user needs.

With fast and convenient USB 3.0 ports (3 of them) that let you connect a wide variety of peripheral devices or external storage; sync and charge your smartphone or tablet.

Apple 12-inch Retina MacBook


While it remains basically unchanged from last year’s model, Apple’s ultra-thin 12-inch Retina MacBook is now more powerful.

Apple has upgraded the processor with a newer Intel Skylake Core M processor. These processors consume the same power as the low-power Core M used in last year’s model, meaning that battery life shouldn’t be affected, but offer improved performance overall.

Also revised is the GPU which Apple says is 20 per cent better than the previous version thanks to a new Intel HD 515 GPU.

These are incremental upgrades on a device that’s not really expected to do much heavy lifting.

The Retina MacBook, however, is one of the most portable computers in the market and the only subnotebook that runs Mac OS El Capitan in this small a form factor.

Depending on a user’s needs or what sort of work they are doing, they will likely need to consider getting USB Type-C dongles and adaptors for the Retina MacBook in order to connect to power, expansion or peripherals since this still ships with a singular USB Type-C port which is also where it gets its power from.

These are the best examples of the types of laptops that encapsulate the range of possibilities in personal computing today and should be ideal gifts for graduates entering an exciting new phase in their personal and professional lives.

Gadjo Sevilla
Gadjo is a veteran journalist covering consumer technology, lifestyle and business. He has written for international newspapers, magazines and online publications. He is founder of Canadianreviewer.com as well as an avid photographer and travel enthusiast.