We survived the first year of university and the many new experiences it brought. We also learned a few things that came in handy when it comes to tech. Some are obvious while there are also some helpful tools that are useful for other reasons, making these real stand outs. Here are our top picks:
University residences often have access to a communal printer but unreliable WiFi or queuing for printing can sometimes be stressful during crunch time. Sharing amongst your immediate dorm roommates is a better solution which makes things more efficient and affordable.
While there are many options on the market the HP Tango Printer (spotted at Staples.ca) is a wireless photo and document all in one printer designed for home use. The inkjet prints out rich colours, copies and scans, connects easily to a variety of smartphones, laptops and tablets with the HP Smart App, Apple AirPrint and wireless direct printing.
You can also share documents and photos to your cloud. The printer also recognizes when it’s running low on ink and you can set up for automatic reordering via the app. Compact and slim design ideal for small spaces as well.
Computers today are can do so much more in their compact size. Today’s students need the flexibility of taking their laptops wherever they go – library, lecture halls, late night study sessions and they need the power. Most, if not all, projects and assignments from high school and upwards are now submitted online so it’s important to invest in a computer that can carry a student through at least four years.
Again, many options, but if you’re an Apple family, MacBook Pro has been a reliable laptop being compact, lightweight and offers intuitive programs to maximize their creativity and productivity. With the power of macOS and iOS, students can move information seamlessly between devices – AirDrop to share files from iPhone to Mac without WiFi. You can take a photo or scan a document with an iPhone and it will appear on the Mac using Continuity Camera. Also, helpful that Apple stores are often located nearby larger university towns for added technical support and free productivity and leisure workshops.
It’s great for non-school needs as well, like downtime to catch up on the latest Netflix series and for gamers. No need for a television in the room either. Quality of images and sound makes this an all-round ideal device to get them through the school year. For us parents we really love it also, specifically for FaceTime and iMessages.
There are times in the dorm room when roommates are partying while others are still studying. Handy to have noise cancelling headphones to help minimize the distractions. Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones power up instantly when you hold them near your iPhone (can also simultaneously connect to iPad, Mac, Apple Watch via Bluetooth.) You can also take calls and activate Siri on the go.
Battery life is up to 40 hours and there’s a built-in rechargeable battery (use a Micro-USB cable to charge up). This particular model comes with Fast Fuel — that is, a quick 5 minute charge that offers up to 3 hours of playback when you’re in a pinch.
Need help falling asleep? University life is stressful and after hours of studying it’s important to wind down the day with less stress. Standard dorm room lighting probably hasn’t changed for decades. Yes, proper lighting for studying is important for our eyes and for focus as is lighting for sleep. We like the Casper Glow Light in the bedroom to help wind down. The light emits a soft glow with a brightness that can be controlled with a simple twist.
The light charges on its base but you can also remove it and take it with you for those middle of the night visits to the bathroom. You can also schedule it (via app) to gradually wake you up in the morning as an alternative to an alarm clock.
Amazon Echo Show 5
This multi-purpose device recently came onto the market at an impressive price point. The Echo Show 5 is compact in size but mighty in what it can do. Helps keep lists, wakes you up, plays your favourite music, and can even access shows on Amazon Prime and YouTube. It can also help with top line news each day, find recipes or help place orders for much needed cleaning supplies all by voice command.
Need words of encouragement or want to settle a trivia bet? Alexa can help with all of that as well. Amazon account is required (check out the Student Prime account for even more benefits).
This handy little square device attaches to your keys, backpack and other belongings just in case you lose or misplace them (hey, frosh week is crazy!). Locate items via app on your mobile phone easily. Vice versa, if you’ve lost track of your phone, the Tile can help locate it by making it ring even when it’s on silent. The Tile can also be activated in “community find” mode so others using the app can also help search. Latest editions of the Tile Pro & Mate have replaceable batteries.
Other helpful tech:
- USB keys for backing up or quickly sharing documents
- Charging pads – just be sure to check compatibility with devices
- Xbox console for downtime – subscribe to Game Pass for unlimited access to hundreds of games
- Download meditation apps – Check out our top 7 picks here