The Best Gadgets and Gear for Students

By Tom Pritchard on at

It's September, which means a few things. The onset of autumn, kids heading back to school, football, and students packing up boxes and heading to university. Obviously two of those have happened, autumn is a couple of weeks off, but the students are just about ready to start collecting those degrees.

If you, or someone you know, is heading off to campus in the coming weeks, here's some of the gear you should get hold of.

Livescribe 3, £126

Note-taking is a big deal in lectures, and you'll want an easy way to digitise them. The Livescribe 3 smartpen instantly records your words as you write them, beaming them across to your phone for safe-keeping. The best part is that it doesn't require expensive pads or paper, you can print out compatible sheets with your home printer. It also has a built-in audio recorder for taking notes or recording what the lecturer is saying - automatically syncing the audio to what you're writing at any given time. [Buy it here]

1TB Portable Hard Drive, £44

Work is pretty much all done digitally these days, so you're going to need somewhere to keep them all. You'll need someway to transfer your files from home to the library, or a place to keep backups (because you can't always rely on the cloud). So get a portable hard drive. This one has 1TB of space and is USB 3.0, so it should have enough room to keep everything safe. [Buy it here]

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet, £90

You need a place to keep your textbooks, because screw those heavy paper versions. You also might need somewhere to do work quickly, watch videos, and play music. Amazon is a good source of cheap tablets that can handle all of that, provided you don't want a Full HD display. This has an 8-inch screen (1280 x 800 resolution),a 12-hour battery life, 16GB of internal storage, microSD expansion, and Amazon's Underground programme that offers access to thousands of free apps from the Amazon app store. [Buy it here]

Amazon Student

Amazon Prime is very handy, but £79 a year is a lot of money. Thankfully students can sign up to Amazon Student, which gives you six months of free access to everything Prime has to offer (minus the Kindle Owners' Lending Library). After that, the yearly subscription is half price for the remainder of your degree.

External Battery Pack, £23

If you're going to be out all day, you might not have enough juice to get through everything - especially if your phone is old or made by Apple. This one has 22,400 mAh of juice, and three USB ports to charge up all your different devices. It also has a torch, in case you ever need one that isn't on your phone. [Buy it here]

Creative Muvo Mini, £37

Every student needs a sound system, and you probably want something that can connect to all your devices and survive a few beer spillages/drunken antics. The Muvo Mini has loud sound, strong bass, IP66 water and dust protection, as well as Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. [Buy it here]

HP DeskJet 3630, £32

You can't rely on the library printers all the time, especially since they cost money and you might not be able to find yourself a seat. So make sure you have a printer at home, and this one is a solid choice. It's got a built-in printer, scanner, and photocopier, with support for USB and wireless connectivity. That way you can sort things from all of your devices quickly and easily. [Buy it here]

TP-LINK Archer C9 AC1900 Router, £95

This is a pricey one, but it's a small price to pay to make sure the broadband in your grim student flat is up to scratch. This one is faster and stronger than your ISP-supplied router, and if you alter the settings you can use it as a network access point if you're renting a pokey room in Halls. And it has a three year warranty, should it fuck up during the course of your studies. [Buy it here]

6 Way Surge Protected Extension Lead with 4x USB, £23

Power sockets can be something of a premium, especially if you need to plug in USB adaptors to charge up your devices. So get something to sort that out, with protection from any dodgy electrical systems. It has six sockets and four USB ports, making it perfect for plugging in all your things. Rotating the structure adjusts the cable, meaning you don't have to roll it up and tie it together, and each pair of sockets has a button to turn them off without affecting the whole system. [Buy it here]

Laptop Security Cable, £2

Working away from home? Chances are you'll be needing to pop away from your workstation every now and again. To avoid leaving your laptop unsecure, make sure it's locked up nice and safe. It's pretty self-explanatory, and a small price to pay for peace of mind. [Buy it here]

Tile Bluetooth Tracker, £20

If you're forever losing track of something, whether it's your keys, bag, or whatever. This little gizmo makes sure you can always keep tabs on it, letting you search for it by sound, seeing it's last known location on a map, or marking it as lost and getting notifications when it's found again. It all connects to your phone to make things nice and simple. [Buy it here]

Amazon Fire TV Stick, £35

Want to stream but don't want to spend a lot on a device to connect to your TV? Get a Fire TV Stick. It's got access to all the streaming channels you need, has a compatible smartphone app, and with some fiddling can even have Kodi installed. [Buy it here]

Featured image: Francisco Orsorio/Flickr