Whether it’s taking home good grades or bringing home the bacon, there’s no shortage of amazing tech tools to get the job done.
For college students, some of these gadgets can help with studying or hanging out on campus or in a dorm room.
They are also ideal for working from home.
Whatever you come back to, these articles make the grade.
For students at home: A laptop is arguably the most important decision and there are several to choose from depending on your budget and needs.
For younger students and those on a tight budget, Chromebooks are ideal, like the ASUS CX1 Chromebook ($229), a 14-inch computer that runs on the sleek ChromeOS (operating system) and has an Intel Celeron processor and 8GB of system memory (R.A.M). If the 64GB of storage isn’t enough, there’s a micro SD slot on the side to add more.
Starting at $739, Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a portable and (relatively) affordable Windows 11 PC with a 12.4-inch PixelSense touchscreen display, full-size keyboard and large trackpad, HD webcam , 256GB of storage and a powerful 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor. Available in one of four styles, this compact laptop fits easily on small desks or can be thrown into a backpack to take with you to class for note-taking.
For those who prefer a Mac, the MacBook Air has been redesigned with M2 (starting at $1,499), both on the outside with a thinner design and on the inside – with even more performance thanks to the M2 chip). If you want to save some money, you can grab a MacBook Air with the M1 chip from last year (starting at $1,299).
The new MacBook Air features a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, a four-speaker sound system and up to 18 hours of battery life. Apple says students will receive a gift card worth up to $210, 20 percent off AppleCare+ (to protect their purchase), and one month of free Apple Music and Apple TV+, followed by a discounted monthly student plan.
For a bit of fun, students will feel the charm of the FujiFilm Instax Mini Link 2 Smartphone Printer ($129), a small and portable printer for creating tangible memories to line the edge of a desk or bedroom mirror. After installing the Mini Link app on your smartphone, go to one of your photos and press print to have the printer produce a high-quality two-by-three-inch photo. You can also add filters, frames, emojis and text.
For the dormitory: The right tech tools can help provide the comforts of home for students living at universities and colleges.
For example, while you might take a laptop or tablet with a keyboard to the classroom, a large monitor in your room gives you more space to work (for multitasking) and have fun and play after schoolwork is done.
The Xiaomi Mi 34-inch Ultrawide Curved Gaming Monitor (pronounced “shy-oh-me”) ($849), for example, looks amazing with its WQHD resolution (3440 x 1440 pixels), brightness up to 300 nits, and high 3000 sharp out: 1 contrast ratio (for darker blacks). It’s also built for fast gaming and movies with its 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync technology == both of which ensure the action is smooth, not jagged.
Adjustable in height and angle for optimal viewing comfort, this computer monitor is so wide (21:9 aspect ratio) that it feels like two monitors are side by side.
If hard work whets the appetite, consider the cheesy (and aqua-hued) Nostalgia BST3AQ Breakfast Station ($149). It is an ideal accessory for dorm rooms as a 3-in-1 toaster, oven, coffee maker and griddle.
That’s right, despite its small footprint, this multitasking machine has a four-cup coffee maker (including a glass carafe), a toaster that can hold up to four slices of bread, a 7-inch pizza, or a couple of muffins, bagels, or croissants and large non-stick grill plate. The oven tray, grate, crumb tray and griddle are removable for cleaning.
As you might see at many universities, it’s also trendy (and practical) to bring an iPad into class for note-taking and audio recording, perhaps paired with a Bluetooth keyboard or digital pen/stylus.
The new iPad Air (starting at $749) is super thin and light, powered by Apple’s own M1 chip. Rather than a proprietary Lightning connector, Apple has opted for a USB-C connector, making it compatible with many more accessories and allowing up to twice the transfer speed when connected to a Mac or PC.
Also home office technology: A few thoughts for those in a home office or hybrid office-home arrangement:
The LG Gram 2022 Edition (starting at $1,739) is a powerhouse of a PC, boasting a large 17-inch widescreen display (16:10), a built-in Alexa assistant, and an Intel Core i7 processor for incredible performance.
It’s an Intel Evo-certified laptop, which means it ticks all the boxes: instant boot times, fast processing and graphics speeds (and Wi-Fi speeds too), and multiple ports on the side. The exceptional battery lasts up to 25.5 hours between charges. And despite its large screen, keyboard and trackpad, the LG gram is extremely thin and light, making it easy to take around the home, to and from the office, or on a business trip.
If your home or dorm is noisy while trying to work, noise-cancelling earbuds are a good option. While you can spend several hundred for a pair, consider the Sony WF-C500 True Wireless In-Ear Headphones ($89), which come in multiple colors and offer great sound and battery life — especially for the price.
But for a pair with active noise-cancellation (ANC) – which introduces inverse sound waves that negate incoming noise – you’ll want to spend $100 more on the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 in-ear noise-cancelling truly wireless headphones (also in many colors available).
Finally, it’s important that your devices don’t fail before you do. Starting at $39, Anker offers wireless chargers to place your Qi (pronounced “chi”) compatible smartphones, tablets, and compatible earbuds on top. They look like small disks – suitable for a desk, table or kitchen counter – on which you can place your devices to charge.
There’s also the Anker PowerWave 4-in-1 wireless charging dock ($129) that lets you charge Apple Watches, iPads, and iPhones, along with its external USB Type-C port (which can handle up to 43 watts performance delivers).