Top Tech Essentials For Students

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Starting university soon? It’s a big change, but here at Laptop Outlet we’re here to help! Between buying pot and pans and trying to find recipes for stuff that’ll take no more than 10 minutes to cook, tech is another hurdle to climb over. In the comfort of your house everything is there, but what exactly do you need and what isn’t a necessity? We’re here to walk you through the top tech essentials for students!

Laptops

First and foremost, quite possibly the most important- a laptop! Having a budget and limited room in halls, this will be your go-to device for everything, whether it’s ordering cheap take-out, doing research, writing up essays, gaming or watching films. We suggest you look into your course requirements and avoid making any hasty decisions. If your course requires more power-consuming and demanding software (graphic design, film, digital art etc) we suggest you go for a powerful processor- perhaps an i7 Intel processor. Alongside this, you’ll probably need a device with a higher than usual RAM and storage space, and most definitely more advanced graphics. So check what your area of study requires. What do you need? If you like to game and watch films, look into a laptop that is an all-rounder- great for work and play purposes.

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Key points to consider before buying:

  • Preference (Brand, style, hybrid or laptop, touchscreen or not)
  • Course requirements (power-draining software?)
  • Study purposes only or entertainment too?
  • How much do you store on your laptop? How much storage space do you need?
  • Price, what’s your budget?
  • Portability, do you plan to travel with your laptop or work on the go?
  • Aesthetics, do you want something that looks good?
  • Student discount? Certain stores and brands do this. (Student Beans & Uni Days)
  • Check with your university to see if you’re eligible for funding or if you can be provided with a laptop during term time (e.g. low income household, disability allowance, grant).

 

Speakers

Part of the university experience is the social aspect. Whether it’s a chilled night with friends, getting ready for a night out, flat party or just jamming to your favourite tunes while cooking- a speaker is a must have. With loads to choose from, some are as cheap as a tenner! Depending on your needs pick something suited to your lifestyle.

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Key points to consider:

  • Portability? Do you want/need to take them out the house or not?
  • How loud you like to listen to music?
  • Price & brand
  • Do you need Bluetooth/wireless speakers?
  • Do you want a multi-functional speaker? Perhaps one with a radio?

Printer

Now this is an optional one. With tech advancement having been so great in the past decade, universities have jumped on the bandwagon of high-tech! So much of your work may be handed in electronically, so check with your course/module leader. If you’re a fan of typing up notes and printing them out when exam period hits, then consider investing in one. Or perhaps art and photography students might need to print pictures out? See if it’s an essential, if not don’t make the unnecessary purchase (that money could be used on cheap Chinese food!). Alongside this, all universities offer a printing service, it’s usually well priced; often 10p per A4 page.

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Key points to consider:

  • How large of a printer do you need? (A4 or larger?)
  • Price & brand
  • Wireless?
  • Do you have space for it?
  • Is it essential for your course or could you manage with university printing?
  • Photo printer so you stick them up in your room as decoration or to remember your favourite uni moments?

 

Smartphone

Other than the obvious purpose of communication, you’ll be surprised how much your smartphone can help with education. Listening to audiobook can save you a tonne of time and money; they’re cheaper than physical copies and you can get through an entire book so much quicker. Something for all your necessary apps, space to snap photos through freshers and music. You might even need to use your phone for quickly looking over notes before a big test or organising your time and writing up to-do lists. Keep up to date with social media, with university events, needing Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to connect with people; do you have a phone that can handle all of that?

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Key points to consider:

  • Price & brand
  • Storage – What you’ll use it for? (music, photos, notes, recording lectures, photography etc)
  • Social Media
  • Screen size – Will you be using it to read lecture notes on or simply as a means of communication?

 

Portable Charger

It may seem like something unnecessary but if you need your phone all day and are used to constantly being on it- that combined with a full day of lectures could leave you with a dead battery. Something small and mighty can provide you with that extra power your phone needs to get through the day. However, this item isn’t a must-have for everyone, but do grab it if you need it!

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Key points to consider:

  • Is it a necessity?
  • How long can your phone last?
  • Your lecture schedule- if you have time between classes you can easily charge in a coffee shop or back at your room.

 

USB

Believe it or not, this little guy might be your life saver at times. With last minute cramming and looming deadlines you can never anticipate when your laptop will crash, so saving your work on one of these little guys as you go along could prevent the loss of your essay on the Third Reich. If you’re working in the library, some students find online storage a hassle, so just save your work on this little guy and head on back to the flat, pop it in your laptop and resume work.

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Key points to consider:

  • How much storage you need.
  • Price & brand
  • Whether you think you need it or not, make sure you have one to be on the safe side!

 

Microsoft Office

A must-have for every student! Whether it’s essay writing or group presentation, this is a must have. Check with your university as they often offer this to students free or at a reduced price.

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Anti-Virus Software

As much as it may seem like a cost you’d rather avoid, this is absolutely essential. A virus could render your device obsolete and completely wreck it. Having had work and entertainment stored on your laptop, perhaps important passwords too, it’s absolutely vital you protect your device. Do you really want to lose your assignment 10 hours before a deadline? Alongside this, whilst Netflix is affordable, many choose to use the not so safe and legal websites to stream films and shows that come with a higher risk of such threats, so be prepared!

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So there you have it, our student tech essentials for university! We hope we’ve armed you with some good knowledge too. If you weren’t sure on what you needed, hopefully you know or have an idea now! We offer up to 15% off with Student Beans on selected student items, so check it out!

For more helpful guides, top picks and tech related news- visit our blog.

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