The Best Gadgets for Student Living

By Tom Pritchard on at

The kids are off back to school, but there are still other people heading off to fill their brains with facts in the hopes of getting a job someday. Students heading to university takes place over the course of many weeks, but it doesn't matter if you're if you;re still packing or if you've been there for a few weeks -- you're going to need a few gadgets to make life easier.

Here are a few essentials that any student flat or halls shouldn't be without.

Netgear N150 Wireless Access Point, £29

We all have multiple gadgets that need access to the internet, and not all of them can be plugged into an ethernet port. That's why we have the wonders of Wi-Fi. The problem is that not all student accommodation has Wi-Fi, and if it does the signal is usually rubbish. You also need to share with everyone else, which could be a security risk. So get one of these instead. It's an access point, not a router, so all you need to do is get it plugged into a working ethernet port and you're good to go. [Buy it here]

George Foreman Four Portion Grill, £22

Is this really a gadget? It's debatable, but I can speak from experience that this is a great piece of kit for students. If you can't cook, or you can't be dealing with the oven and frying pans, the George Foreman is your go-to product. It's great for cooking meat (except steak, obviously), making toasties, and cooking pretty much anything that'll actually stay on the grill. If it can't be done in the microwave, you can certainly get it cooked here. Plus it drains away a bunch of fat from your food, which is handy given how many takeaways you'll be eating. [Buy it here]

Toshiba 500GB Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive, £30

Hate to break it to you, but you're not going to be able to spend all your time on your own computer during your studies. Sometimes you'll have to use the computers on campus, and when that happens you need to be able to transfer your files. A portable external hard drive is ideal, because it means you don't have to rely on accessing cloud services and it means you have somewhere to keep backups. All you have to do is plug it into your USB port and you're good to go. [Buy it here]

EC Technology 22,400 mAh External Battery Pack, £24

Contrary to popular belief, students do spend quite a bit of time away from their bedrooms, whether that's sitting in lectures, going out drinking, or taking advantage of their new-found freedom and exploring the country. The problem is that home is where the phone charger is, and running out of juice isn't a problem. This one is nice and handy because it has enough power to charge each phone up several times, can charge three devices simultaneously, and fits comfortably inside your pocket. It even has a built in LED torch, which is very handy.[Buy it here]

Livescribe 3, £126

Studenting requires lots of writing to be done, whether it's planning out essays or writing up lecture notes. The problem with that is written notes aren't easily digitised, but what if you could have a digital backup of your words written out as you wrote them? That's what Livescribe does, keeping a digital copy of your words safe inside itself until you can sync it over to an iOS or Android device. [Buy it here]

Amazon Fire TV Stick, from £35

You don't really need live TV these days, thanks to the incredible number of streaming apps and catch-up services available. But you do need your laptop/tablet/computer for more important things sometimes, which is why a streaming stick is handy to own. Amazon's option plugs straight into your TV's HDMI port, and let's you access a variety of apps and games using the included remote or your phone. [Buy it here]

HP Deskjet 2540 All-in-One Printer, £30

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University still requires quite a bit of printing, and while you could rely on the library it is best to have one of your own. This is a nice compact one that has everything you need, printing, scanning, and photocopying -- all to stop you from having to deal with library printing fees. It's also wireless, so you can print from your computer, phone, and tablet. [Buy it here]

8 Way Surge Protected Extension Lead With 4 USB, £27

It doesn't matter where you study, extension cables are always at a premium in student accommodation. So you should definitely invest in an extension lead to make the most of it, and this one is a fine choice. Eight sockets should be enough for most of your electronics, and the inclusion of four USB ports means you have extra room to plug in your mobile devices as well. Plus it's surge protected, so you're not going to have your stuff being broken by excess power. [Buy it here]

Tesco Hudl 2, £99

There are a number of uses for tablets, many of which can also be done on a laptop or computer, but there are places where they excel. Books are one such place, and since you're going to have to do a lot of reading and research you should invest in a tablet -- lest you bust your back with heavy paperbacks. The Hudl 2 is a great option that doesn't cost a fortune, and with a Full HD display, microSD expansion, and Tesco-specific features that will keep you up to date on all the latest and best offers. So if you want something for the basics, this is ideal. [Buy it here]

Sony SRS-X11 Compact Bluetooth Speaker, £50

Whether it's for parties or personal use, every student could do with a speaker. This is a nice small option that also packs a powerful punch. It's got Bluetooth, NFC, and 3.5mm input, along with calling control so you don't actually have to pick up your phone to call your parents at the weekends. [Buy it here]

Featured image: University of Exeter/Flickr (modified)