Top 10 Electronic Gadgets for College Students
By Aimee Hosler Dec 14, 2011
On the verge of device-overload? You may not need a dozen electronic gadgets to survive college, but the right tools can boost academic success (or at least make life a little less chaotic). The key is to know which ones are worth it, especially when you are on a student budget. These top 10 electronic gadgets for college students can be an excellent way for you to make a start.
10 must-have gadgets for college students
1. Smart pens
These digital pens allow you to take handwritten notes and download them to a computer. According to a study by the U.S. Air Force Academy's Institute for Information Technology Applications, students using these devices spend significantly less time managing their notes than students taking them the old fashioned way.
2. Small notebooks
According to Wall Street Journal's Smart Money, students often buy computers with far more memory and processing power than necessary. Ditch the bulky laptop: small notebooks are easier to transport, not to mention cheaper than many fully-loaded models. Students attending online colleges should be sure their picks still meet their schools' technical requirements.
Tablets are the ultimate alternative to traditional laptops and, like portable notebooks, are small and handy enough use on the go. These streamlined computers offer touch-screen accessibility to a variety of programs and applications, from recreational to educational.
4. Mobile Internet hotspots
Portable Wi-Fi devices like the Clear Spot 4G allow you to access the Web on the go while networking your computer with several other devices back home.These gadgets can be particularly helpful to busy students attending online colleges while working or tending to other obligations.
5. Digital cameras
College is a time to remember, so document all you can with a pocket camera or camcorder, devices that usually trump cell phones in terms of image or video quality.
Tired of lugging around a dozen books? Trade in your hefty required reading stash for a palm-sized e-reader. Already own a notebook, tablet or smartphone? Opt for an e-reader application instead.
There is a reason Texas's Abilene Christian University became the first college to offer all incoming freshman smartphones: when stocked with the right applications, these portable devices can become powerful, interactive learning tools.
Do your engineering classes conflict with your TV ritual? Downtime may not trump school, but it is important for stress management. Investing in a digital video recorder ensures you will never miss your favorite show again.
9. Voice-control alarm clocks
Ever crawled into bed after a late night of studying (ahem) only to realize you never set your alarm? With voice control alarm clocks, simply mumble a few words before crashing and you'll be good to go in the morning.
10. George Foreman grills
You don't have to go to culinary school to make a great meal, even in cramped dorms. These snazzy electric grills aren't sleek, portable networking devices, but they can make life easier when dinner rolls around.
Techies on a budget
Electronic gadgets can be worthwhile, but expensive investments. According to a Daily Finance report, today's students tend to spend more on gadgets than clothes. Fortunately, those willing to do a bit of research can usually get a good deal. A number of manufacturers offer student discounts--including Microsoft and Apple--and some cell phone providers offer special student rates on smartphones and data packages. Still can't swing a new iPad or notebook? Check your campus bookstore for special discounts or refurbished devices. Or check with outgoing seniors or online classifieds to see if you can get used items for less.