It’s time to get prepared for going back to school. Although the days when you could head to class with a knapsack and a pencil are long gone, students now have many more tech tools to help them learn better. The best advice when deciding what you need is to stick to the basics.
6 Must Have Tech Items for Back-to-School
Every college student needs a computer, and it needs to be portable. The MacBook Air is your best bet because it’s small, light, affordable and offers the capabilities most majors need. If you want to be even more thrifty, some new Chromebooks (like those from Acer and Dell) can give you nearly as much power. The only downside to these types of laptops is that they lack a lot of storage and the ability to run larger programs.
External Hard Drive
Have you ever stayed up all night to finish a report and just as you are nearly done, it suddenly and inexplicably disappears? Don’t let this happen to you. Back up everything — often. USB sticks are an acceptable solution, but they can get lost or corrupted much more easily than an external hard drive. Even terabyte-sized hard drives are affordable these days, so there is no reason to skimp on size. Use storage to keep all your movies, photos and school documents together in one secure location.
The iPad has become a must-have item for students. Its lightweight frame and large screen size makes it a perfect way for you to take notes while in class or during an informal group session when you don’t necessarily need the full size of a laptop. Plus, you can download some of your textbooks onto the iPad and save yourself the backache from carrying them around campus.
A wireless keyboard instantly turns your iPad into a more dynamic, powerful machine. Unfortunately, most wireless options don’t have a great battery life. You don’t want to lose your charge in the middle of an important lecture, so opt for the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 and never worry about buying expensive batteries again.
From e-books to PDF reports, you have to read a lot as a college student. While old-fashioned paper still gets the job done, the Amazon Kindle makes it much easier. Instead of carrying around heavy text books and printing out thousands of academic papers, load up your device before class begins and never again need the excuse that you forgot your book at home. While there are other options, like the Nook and Kobo, the Kindle is still the king due to its easy ability to connect to the biggest online marketplace.
Getting an education isn’t all about taking classes. The habits you form as a young adult will stay with you for life, so now is the time to get serious about your health. With all the pizza and chicken fingers on campus, it isn’t always easy to be healthy, but using a step counter can be a fun way to monitor your activity. FitBit is the leader in brand recognition, but other options, like the Garmin Vivofit or JawBone Up 2, come even cheaper while providing the same benefits.