10 must-have gadgets for every first-year student
See the essential gadgets to help your first-year’s transition from home to uni a smooth one…
A laptop is likely to be the most important purchase you’ll make. Having a portable computer means your child can write essays, do research and catch up with family members wherever they are. There’s a fantastic choice of affordable options, such as Chromebooks, if their degree doesn’t have specialist computing requirements.
Go for a device with a decent keyboard so typing up essays isn’t a slog. A 2-in-1 laptop that doubles as a tablet may be a good option for students who want to play games and watch videos when not studying.
2. Anti-virus software
The laptop you buy will need to be protected from cyber threats such as malware and phishing attacks. Anti-virus software will help to keep your child’s personal details safe when they’re banking and shopping online as well as writing essays.
For more help on keeping your uni student's computer safe, see how to protect your computer from viruses
3. External hard drive
Whether they’re studying politics or graphic design, they’ll need to be able to back up their hard work. That way – if their laptop dies – they still have access to essays, dissertations and coursework.
Take a look at the compact Seagate Backup Plus:
- Huge 4TB storage capacity for photos and documents
- USB powered – simply plug it into a laptop to save, transfer, stream and backup content
- All-metal chassis protects it from and knocks and bumps
- Compact size makes it easy to transport
When they're trying to get work done in the library or write up a 1,500-word essay in their halls, they’ll need a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to help them concentrate properly on the task in hand. They can also use them to listen back to lectures or play music while out on a run.
5. Wireless speaker
Wireless speakers will let them play out their favourite tunes in their room and around the house. And - being light and portable - they're easy to pack up at the end of term too.
The Beats Pill+ is a great option:
- Big sound from a compact-sized speaker – the same acoustic mechanics used in professional recording studios
- Pairs easily with smart devices – thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC
- Connect to another Pill+ for surround sound
- 12-hours of battery life from a single charge
- Smartphone low on battery? Give it a power boost from the Pill+
Whether using it to watch the footie or stream movies, a TV will be a welcome addition to any student room. Given the size of most dorms, however, it shouldn’t be too big. A 32 to 42-inch TV should be ample size.
7. Streaming device
A streaming device such as Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick may come in handy if your child wants to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime in their downtime. Plus they save on going out of pocket for an expensive smart TV.
Simply plug it in via an HDMI port in the TV and they can stream video content from their laptop or smartphone.
From dissertations to graphic design coursework, printing is a key part of uni life. Save them running down to the library and paying to print by investing in their own printer.
There are some great, cost-effective options out there – like the Epson Ecotank All-in-One Wireless Printer:
- Includes up to two-years’ free ink – enough for 7,500 colour pages
- Lets them print from a memory card for faster productivity
- Scans and photocopies, as well as prints
9. Vacuum cleaner
They may not be jumping for joy at the prospect of a new vacuum cleaner, but they'll thank you for buying it the first time a flatmate's parents are visiting.
Opt for something compact and affordable, like the Hoover Freedom Cordless Vacuum Cleaner:
- 25 minutes of vacuuming on one charge
- Cordless for ease of use
- Compact size for easy storage
- Includes 3 attachments – so they can clean everywhere from under the sofa to those cobwebs in the corner
10. Kitchen tech
They’ll need a kettle to make hot drinks and cuppa soups, and a toaster to knock up snacks morning, noon and night. A steam iron may also prove useful – and perhaps give them the hint that you don’t want them bringing their washing and ironing home every couple of weeks.
See what's best for their halls kitchen with these 5 gadgets no student kitchen should be without