Technology plays a large role on college campuses, both in the classroom and the dorm room. Many students arrive with a laptop or desktop computer, but there are many other technical essentials that will both make their semester easier and help them achieve higher marks. These top 10 essential tech gifts for college students will fulfill all their needs from the computer to their cell phone and dorm room. Each gift plays an integral role in college life and any student would appreciate these gifts, from freshmen to seniors.
1: Wireless Earbud Headphones
For any college student, headphones are a must-have. From listening to music or podcasts on the way to class, to tuning out library or roommate noise, there’s never a pair far from any student’s reach. Wireless earbud headphones are especially useful because they sync wirelessly with a phone, tablet, or computer, giving the student more freedom to move around during study sessions or even in a workout at the gym. The earbud style has a slim profile and tucks into any pocket or backpack, saving space and time throughout the day.
2: USB Storage Drive
Since high school, a USB storage drive has been a requirement for most classes. USB storage is helpful when students are working on a campus computer, at the library, or in a lab, and want an easy way to store their work. Some students will email the files to themselves, but that can get cumbersome, juggling drafts and a full inbox. A USB storage drive is compact and will be a constant in any backpack or tote bag. It’s a great tool for saving projects, moving between computers, and backing up necessary files in case of a computer crash.
3: Laptop Sleeve
For students that prefer to carry their laptop while on campus, a laptop sleeve in a must. Even a neoprene sleeve adds a layer of protection to the laptop, both from bumps in any bag and keeps it separate from all the other items being carried. Having a laptop sleeve gives the student freedom to use any bag, instead of only using those with a laptop compartment. This makes travel and packing much easier, and keeps the focus on whatever else they need to have or be prepared for that day.
4: External Hard Drive
Another essential tech gift for college students is an external hard drive. There’s nothing worse than a computer crashing in the middle of a semester, and an external hard drive will work as a place to back up the whole machine. This drive has plenty of storage for the whole year’s worth of assignments and projects, in addition to storing things like music, movies, and other large programs. Students may get by with a USB drive, but if their computer does crash during a semester and all the important information is already backed up on an external hard drive, they won’t have a problem using a campus computer and keeping up with their work while their machine gets repaired.
5: USB Mouse
A USB mouse may seem like an accessory and not an essential, but many college students don’t like or aren’t familiar with using the track pad, the laptop’s default mouse. Gifting a USB mouse gives the student an option to use something other than the track pad, providing a flexible and portable option. A USB mouse fits in the palm of your hand and can easily be packed in a laptop sleeve or backpack for traveling across campus or studying in a friend’s room.
Cell Phone Essentials
6: Backup Battery
A cell phone serves many purposes in college from connecting with friends to maintaining the day’s schedule and emails; students need their phones. A backup battery is a great gift because there isn’t always time to stop and charge a phone, and some students get too busy and forget to charge it at night. Backup batteries, either as a USB charger or a battery case, will provide your student with the charge they desire. These are great gifts because they can charge the phone or prolong the battery life while the student is in class, saving them from missing important deadlines.
7: Protective Case
Since cell phones are so useful and integral to any college student’s lifestyle, it’s important to protect the phone. A protective case, like those by the popular brand OtterBox, will keep the phone safe from scratches, dents, and dings that come with dropping it, or stashing it in a backpack. These cases are built tough and protect all sides of the phone, even the screen and the ports. It will add a little bulk to the phone but as a parent especially; it’s a great investment.
8: Google Chromecast
Tech extends into dorm room entertainment as well. A Google Chromecast is a USB device that plugs into the television, allowing students to use their phones to stream YouTube, Hulu, and other digital services. This is a dorm room essential because most students don’t pay for cable on campus and still want to enjoy their favorite shows. It’s a useful gift for a much-needed break after a stressful week, and gets them off the computer and into relaxation mode.
Another essential tech gift is a tablet. Tablets are great for playing games, checking email, and watching videos, providing students with a device to distance them from schoolwork without having to be on the computer constantly. It’s also great for video chatting, connecting with friends at other schools, and keeping up with family while they’re away.
Finally, the last essential tech gift is an inkjet printer. There are several options to print on campus, including the library, but many locations get busy and overrun around high-demand times like midterms and finals. Students will find that having a printer in their dorm room will save them a ton of time, especially in the morning. Being able to print papers and projects in their room will allow them to be better prepared for class the next day, and will give them more time to focus on work or find a few minutes to relax at the day’s end.