When thinking about packing gadgets and devices required during university, you should think about those that will help you pursue the course and make your life easier. Most universities now have a blended mode of teaching, so you are likely to require technology to you when studying, taking notes during lectures, seminars and practicals. Moreover, many universities provide study materials, books, articles, journals, and courses online.
The most important item on the list for every student is a laptop. You can watch lectures, attend seminars, study online, do research, write assignments, practice coding, and even play games.
Which laptop should you buy? The most likely answer will depend on the brand you prefer and your budget. Don’t forget you can use university student discounts! If you are looking for an excellent laptop under £300 be sure to check out the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 or HP Chromebook 14.
Smartphones are essential at university. They allow you to keep in contact with your family and friends via messaging and video calls, which has been super important over lockdown. Smartphones come with many useful features, for example, the Gmail application allows students to get real-time emails from their university. GPS features help you to navigate around the university and your new city. Other educational applications would also be useful when studying and starting university.
Tablets are lightweight and easy to transport. For example, a Kindle is great for studying and even comes with a few free books. Buying books digitally helps to save money and reduce the amount of paper used, in turn, reducing the environmental impact. Since a Kindle is predominantly designed for reading there are fewer distractions from social media and gaming applications. Other useful tablets for students include an iPad, Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Google Pixel Slate. Getting a tablet that comes with, or is compatible with a pen is also recommended.
Microsoft Office (Office 365)
Students at eligible institutions can sign up for Office 365 Education for free, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools. It is important to learn how to use this software before you go to university, if you do not know how to. All these applications are so useful for taking notes, completing assignments, coursework and project presentations.
Headphones are a useful way to listen to music when you are studying in a public place such as the library. Investing in noise-canceling headphones is useful, as it allows you to block out any background noise, which could be distracting. Here are some of our recommended headphone options:
- Bose 700 Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (£250)
- Apple Airpods Pro – if you buy a Apple Macbook you can get a free pair of Airpods (£250)
- Apple Airpods (from £159)
- Bang & Olufsen BEOPLAY H4 2nd Gen (£250)
- Sony MDR-ZX110NA Noise Cancelling Headphones (£55)
A printer is useful to print study materials and notes, as it is easier to read from hard copies, compared to online documents. By purchasing a printer, students avoid a last-minute rush to the library. Comparatively, the cost of purchasing a printer will potentially save money in the long run. We recommend CANON PIXMA TS3355 All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer for only £39.99 or if you would like to splash the cash a little more, then be sure to check out the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 for £199.99.
The solar bag is a useful, budget-friendly piece of equipment that can help you at university. It allows you to charge your electronic devices anywhere and anytime, whilst using a renewable source of energy. Even though suitable for outdoors, there no guarantee of weather conditions built with portability and serves a wide range of needs.
Having a set of Bluetooth portable speakers means that you can listen to music wherever you go. You can listen to music with your friends, at a party, when you are studying, or even when you are just chilling out in your university room. Additionally, music can also help you to relax. If you are looking for an affordable, portable wireless speaker then we recommend the JBL GO 2 – it’s even waterproof which means there’s no problem if beer is spilt on it at a party! If you would like a more expensive, better sound quality speaker, then make sure you check out Bose’s SoundLink Mini II Special Edition.
Devices like a USB or an external hard disk are always good to use. It is good practice to back up all of your data, notes, assessment drafts, project works, and other important files. Make copies of your work and store them on the devices so that you can access your important documents even if your laptop crashes or breaks.