7 Epic Back to School Gadgets

Written by Abby Nieten on August 27, 2012

Posted in Education

This post is a part of Formstack’s Back to School Campaign. From August 17-September 21, we’ll be sharing all things relating to higher ed, from how to survive your first semester of college to what cloud computing tools you should use as an educator. When it comes to all things campus, we’ve got you covered. Check out our campaign page for more information and enter to win a free semester of text books!

One of the most devastating changes that comes with growing up is the realization that your parents probably aren’t going to take you back-to-school clothes and backpack shopping anymore. Instead of pouting over the clothes and supplies you’ll have to buy yourself, see if you can talk your parents into investing in some neat, practical electronic gear for the fall semester. The electronics market changes faster than your weight during freshman year, but here are some cool tech gadgets for any college student:

  1. DBest London PS4001BT Speaker ($49.99): For a portable speaker that can fit in the palm of your hand, the DBest London PS4001BT can fill an entire room with solid sound. It connects with your music library via Bluetooth, meaning you can stream music from your computer, phone, iPod or any other capable device.
  2. iPhone 4S (varies by provider): Are you surprised to see Apple products on this list? You shouldn’t be. From managing your social life to organizing your to-do list, the iPhone 4S is one of the greatest ways to keep you from going crazy this semester. With access to the Apple app store, you can download tons of apps to help you stay organized (and maybe a few that will only aid in procrastination).  
  3. A not-so-average alarm clock: I know your phone has alarm capabilities, but where’s the fun in that? For co-eds who just can’t seem to get out of bed for their 9 a.m. class, the Clocky ($39.95) will make you get up. This alarm-on-wheels gives you one chance to hit the snooze button before rolling onto the floor and around your room. The only way you can stop that incessant beeping is to get up and chase it down. For a less, uhh, aggressive alarm clock, the Sony Dash ($64.88) is quite possibly the most high tech “alarm clock” ever. With Wifi capabilities, this alarm clock can stream Pandora, Flickr and several other web apps to your bedside.
  4. Apple Macbook Pro ($1199 to $2799): Yep, another Apple product. If you want to buy an Apple laptop for college, the Macbook Pro is a solid choice. The price varies depending on the screen size and storage capabilities you want, and Apple recently released a Macbook Pro with Retina Display – their most high resolution screen ever. Apple laptops are pricey, but they’re a good investment if you want a solid computer with impeccable battery life.
  5. Dell Inspiron 15R SE ($899): For a cheaper laptop option, the Dell Inspiron line is a solid PC choice. The Dell Inspiron 15R SE features 6 GB of RAM and 2GB of memory, as well as Waves Maxx Audio 4 – which basically means your music will sound awesome.
  6. Any personal e-reading device: To prevent 3/7 of this list being Apple products, I’m going to place the iPad under the larger “e-readers” blanket. With many colleges transitioning to digital textbook options, e-readers like the iPad and Amazon Kindle are truly an excellent investment for any college student. In addition, students can get a basic Kindle for $79, cheaper than some of your textbooks.
  7. Sony MDR-NC200D Noise-Canceling Headphones ($135): Sometimes, you will have floormates who think it’s a great idea to play cards in the hallway until the wee hours of the morning. Not that I know this from experience … Anyway, noise-canceling headphones are handy for situations when you just need to tune everything out. The Sony MDR-NC200D headphones are on the cheaper end of this product spectrum (good for our college student budget), but they are still a solid tech gadget for those times when you’ve just gotta study – or just don’t feel like listening to people.