As you return to college, it’s important to consider what gear will help you excel in your studies. While building this list we kept practicality and utility in mind and included tech that will continue to be beneficial upon graduation and entrance into the workforce. Here are our top 5 essential gadgets for returning college students.
Number 5 – Kobo Elipsa E-Reader
The Kobo Elipsa is a hybrid of the popular Amazon Kindle e-reader and the reMarkable 2. The Elipsa can eliminate the need for paper textbooks, without sacrificing the utility of notetaking. The Elipsa is low on our list of essential gadgets because one can always go the more traditional route of pen and paper and save a lot of money. (We know college isn’t cheap!) However, where there is a bit of student aid left over after paying tuition, we believe this e-reader is a must-have for tech-savvy students who want to get the most out of their notetaking.
The Elipsa, similar to the reMarkable 2, has the ability to take handwritten notes and convert them directly into typed text. However, it has additional functionality beyond what the reMarkable 2 offers. For example, the Elipsa has access to Kobo’s book library where you can borrow books at no additional cost. Consider the Kobo Elipsa an investment that will still see plenty of utility even after graduation.
Buy it here.
Number 4 – Apple MacBook Air or Lenovo Yoga 7i Laptop
Like it or not, a solid laptop computer has become an essential tool for college students of all degree programs. This fact has only been amplified by the lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The real question is which laptop is the best pick? Number 4 on our list is a tie between the Apple MacBook Air and the Lenovo Yoga 7i.
This essentially comes down to dealer’s choice. Are you more of an Apple user, or would you prefer Windows? That is for you to decide, but either way, you can’t go wrong with these built-for-student models.
The Lenovo Yoga 7i is the less expensive option without sacrificing any power. It comes with an Intel i7 processer, up to 16 gigs of RAM, and 13 hours of battery life. The rest of the features are relatively standard, including an HD webcam. The Yoga also boasts a fingerprint scanner for easy access and the ability to convert it into a tablet. You can find out more here.
The MacBook Air is the entry-level Apple laptop. It is a bit more expensive than its Windows competitor; but if you absolutely need an Apple computer, this is a great place to start. You can get the MacBook Air with up to 16 gigs of memory and even a 2TB SSD. The new MacBooks also feature Apple’s M1 processor chip and a sleek, lightweight design. If you’re interested you can learn more here.
Number 3 – Logitech MX Anywhere Wireless Mouse
Now that you’ve picked out a reliable laptop, we recommend you get an equally reliable wireless mouse. While not wholly essential, as many laptops have decent trackpads, we think it can drastically improve productivity and performance. With efficiency in mind, we have selected the Logitech MX Anywhere Mouse for this entry.
This compact wireless mouse can be used over Bluetooth or with USB making it fantastic for both Windows and Apple computers. It is rechargeable, fast, and usable on nearly any surface. It is also very affordable when compared to similar devices on the market.
There isn’t much more to say besides check it out for yourself here.
If you would like a nice external keyboard to go with your fancy new mouse and laptop, check out our recommendation here along with some other great gadgets.
Number 2 – Razer Kiyo HD Webcam and Ring Light
It may seem like overkill to some since most laptops come equipped with a basic camera, but in our humble opinion, a solid webcam can make a huge difference for online school presentations and eventually online job interviews. It is important to remember the reason most of us go to school in the first place is to one day land our dream job. As such we want the gadgets on this list to be useful long after you stop taking classes.
With that out of the way, we selected the Razer Kiyo because it is a very reliable and versatile webcam that comes with a built-in ring-light allowing for ridiculously professional-looking video for Zoom calls or recordings. If you want to take your webcam to the next level go here.
Number 1 – Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker
For many students, caffeine may be an essential component of educational success. Be it late-night cram sessions or early morning exams, a strong cup of coffee could make all the difference.
Enter the Keurig K-Mini, a compact single-serve coffee maker that takes convenience to a new level. Its small size makes it ideal for dorm rooms and studio apartments. It comes in a range of color options and best of all it has a price tag that won’t break the bank!
If you don’t like coffee, the Keurig can also be used to make tea, hot cocoa, instant ramen, and more! If you are still not convinced, take a look for yourself here.
We hope this list of gadgets will be beneficial to you in your pursuit of higher education. If you would like more advice or just a cool place to do your homework, feel free to stop by TechFarms, the premier technology incubator and coworking space in Panama City Beach, Florida.