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Modern conveniences for grads leaving home

CNET has picked Lenovo Smart Display as one

CNET has picked Lenovo Smart Display as one of the best gadgets for your first apartment. Credit: CBS Interactive

One of the things that commences after commencement is finding a new place to live. Grads moving into their first apartment will need some of the latest modern conveniences to make moving away from home easier. Here are four of CNET's top picks for tech gifts that any recent grad can put to good use.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: executive editor Rich Brown; senior editors Brian Bennett, Ry Crist and Laura K. Cucullu; and senior associate editor Andrew Gebhart. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit

Lenovo Smart Display 10

CNET rating

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD This great kitchen assistant has an elegant design and a high-resolution touchscreen. It multitasks well, responds quickly to 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.

THE COST $199.99 to $249.99

BOTTOM LINE If you'd like visual recipe help in the kitchen, it performs exceedingly well.

Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug

CNET rating

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD The new WeMo Mini is competitively priced and its 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 It doesn’t track energy usage like other smart plugs and the WeMo app is sluggish and glitchy.

THE COST $24.99 to $29.99

BOTTOM LINE It’s still one of the easiest smart home gadgets for us to recommend.

Bonavita Metropolitan 8-Cup coffee brewer

CNET rating

3.5 stars (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

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.

Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker

CNET rating

3.5 stars (very good)

THE GOOD The affordable Crock-Pot Express cooks quickly under pressure. It's a competent rice cooker, slow cooker and sauté station. Its controls are simple to use and it’s easy to clean.

THE BAD Its nonstick pot doesn't develop as much caramelization as the Instant Pot's stainless steel in sear mode.

THE COST $69.99 to $99.99

BOTTOM LINE Novice cooks will love the cooker’s simplicity.

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