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…

09 Aug 2018


Buying a laptop for uni

1. Laptop

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.

5 questions to ask before buying a laptop for uni


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.

Seagate Portable Hard Drive

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

Find how much data storage your child will need for university


4. Headphones

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.

See our range of noise cancelling headphones for focused studying


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.

Beat Pill+

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+

Get the Beats Pill+ Bluetooth Wireless Speaker


6. TV

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.

Small TV

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.

Pick your favourite streaming device


8. Printers

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.

Epson Ecotank

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

See our range of wireless printers for your uni student


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.

Hoover Freedom

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

Get the Hoover Freedom Cordless Vacuum Cleaner


Kitchen tech

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

Take a look at the kitchen tech you need for your first-year student


Find the right tech to take to university