Don’t go back to university or college without first checking our list of must-have gears to make the best of your university and college life.
Make college and university years the best time of your life with the right gears and gadgets for education. Make sure you check out our list and create your own college and university checklist for the right gears to enhance your learning and play.
If you are a parent or grandparent, you can also use our list as a guide to get the right gift for your love ones going off to the university or college.
Top 28 Best Essential Tech for University and College
Here is our definitive students’ guide to packing some of the top new technology for education. We categorised our gear under the following headings. Click on the heading links to explore your options from major online retailer:
We list some of the best and favourite smartphones right now from Samsung, Huawei and OnePlus. The iPhone X was just announced, it will be a while before we can get our hands on one, still the price tag may be prohibitive for students.
Samsung Galaxy Note8 has the biggest 6.3-inch display. Launched in September 2017, the device has much needed dual rear camera, stylus and DeX station support for desktop PC like experience, imagine actually carrying a computer in your pocket.
As for Samsung Galaxy S8, since its launch in April 2017, there are now great bargains and deals to be had with amazing savings, just what a student needs.
If hefty price tags are not your thing, check out these premium yet good value flagship killers from Huawei and OnePlus.
Our favourite is the Microsoft Surface Pro 12.3-inch, a very versatile and capable tablet made even better with the optional keyboard and stylus. Microsoft would prefer that you call it a laptop PC, not a tablet, a change in their marketing strategy. On the opposite spectrum, is the smaller, slimmer and more portable Apple iPad Pro 10.5 with the optional Apple Pencil. For a bigger tablet from iPad, choose the iPad Pro 12.9-inch.
Big players like Microsoft and Apple are pushing solid performing laptops for the education sector. The Surface Laptop is Microsoft’s response to Apple’s MacBook Air. While we have not listed the Air here, we have the new MacBook 12-inch for those who prefer to be mobile and light. For those requiring more processing power from their laptop, there is MacBook Pro 13.
When you have all that kit, you want to keep them safe. These well padded and good value backpacks are a favourite and have room for up to 17-inch laptop. If you want extra protection for your laptop, put it in a soft sleeve then slip it into the dedicated and padded laptop compartment in the bag.
Mancro Water Resistant Backpack (up to 17-inch)
AmazonBasics Backpack (up to 17-inch)
For high performance external hard drive, it’s got to be one based on Solid State Drive (SSD). We recommend Samsung T5 Portable SSD with USB 3.1 support, not only is it fast but compact, durable and pocketable. If you are after more storage space than speed, choose the WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive with USB 3.0 support. Not only is it cheaper but the roomy 2TB space is enough for all your files. For even bigger portable storage, there is the Seagate Backup Plus with 5TB capacity if you do not mind the thickness of the device.
Seagate Backup Plus (1TB, 2TB, 4TB or 5TB)
Samsung T5 500GB Portable SSD (1TB, 2TB)
Flash drive is always handing for a way to swap files without relying on a connection. Granted that if two Macs or PCs are on the same network, there is an easier way over features like AirDrop. Still, the old fashion way means you can keep a separate backup copy in a thumb sized drive. There is even ultra compact versions that lets you extend the size of your laptop’s storage without jutting out too much. Obviously, the bigger the storage size, the more expensive the thumb drives.
This may just save your butt if you are burning the midnight old and rushing your last minute assignment, project paper or final report. A laser printer lets you churn out your assignments quickly without having to pay a hefty cost for printing at the reprographics department. Print volumes are almost always higher than the standard inkjet and if you have the money, you can splash out for a laser colour. In most cases, a laser monochrome will do just fine. When it comes to consumable, replacement toner cartridges while they may cost more, offers many times more pages per cartridge than compared to its ink counterpart.
While ink jet printers may be cheap to buy, maintaining it and replacing the ink cartridges is a whole different story. It is also not as fast as a laser printer and lacks the sharpness when used with cheap paper. It does however let you print in colour on high glass photo paper which the laser printer couldn’t.
If you are taking a creative course such as photography or art, then consider an inkjet printer. To keep the cost down, you can choose inkjet printers with refillable ink tanks. These look like your standard inkjet printer but come with separate ink tanks that lets you top up when ink is running low. This resolves the issue of unfinished ink in combined colour cartridges (typically 3 colours in one cartridge) and removes the print volume limitation. You can get from 4000 to 6500 pages or more.
Alarm Clock / Radio Clock
Don’t want to be late for class or lecture, drag yourself out of bed with one of these popular alarm clocks. There is no telling what you will miss if you don’t. It’s just part of being a student, managing your own time and life.
Mosche Sunrise Alarm Clock (with radio)
A great way to stay concentrate and not be disturbed by your room mate or just want to relax to your favourite tunes after a long day, one of these headphones should do the trick. Noise cancelling headphones are of course more expensive. Bluetooth wireless sets offer more freedom. We recommend one from either end of the price range.
Without compromising on sound quality, the best portable wireless Bluetooth speakers have to be the BOOM 2 from UE and SoundLink Revolve from Bose, both offering 360 degree omnidirectional sound, super long play time and water resistant design.
Here are some budget alternatives.
Then there is the crucial lighting for that all important assignment or studying for exam, burning the midnight old. The TaoTronics Desk Lamp has 4 Lighting Modes (cool white, strong white, mix of yellow and white and soft yellow) with 5-Level Dimmable LED Light plus, foldable design, swivel base and USB Charing Port.
Other Gears You May Consider