The holidays are approaching and it’s time to get your shopping on! Do you have any techie students in the family or friend circles? Even if they are not “techies”, the list below will help really improve their studying experience.
We all know school can be a mess, so it’s only fair we help the young (and not-so-young) ones with a bit of technology. After all, some of these tools really make a whole difference. Let’s jump into it.
A good eReader
Students usually have to read a lot, so gifting them an eReader would make total sense. You don’t want your techie students suffering from back problems after carrying all those heavy books, right?
We have put together a good list of the best eReaders for every budget. You can check that out, but if I had to choose I would say the regular Kindle reader offers the best bang for your buck. It’s simple and has a great build quality. It also gets amazing battery life.
I know it doesn’t have that integrated light for reading in the dark, but there is a simple and cheap solution for that too. I use a nice rechargeable light named the Lightwedge Verso Wrap Rechargeable Reading Light. I know… long name. It’s a great tool, though. You don’t even have to deal with batteries, as it is rechargeable via micro USB.
How about a handy smartphone?
We have created all kinds of tutorials for those looking to get a new smartphone. We have everything, from phones with the best battery life and cameras, to those with the best one-handed designs, dual-SIM capabilities and removable batteries. I think what really matters to students is finding a balance between functionality and price, though.
For the best deal, I would say a Moto G (2nd generation) is a great option. I will recommend this phone time and again, and I will back up my words with actions. I use a Moto G as an unlocked device for my travels. It’s super affordable at $180 off-contract and doesn’t sacrifice much. For more details on the device you can take a look at our hands-on coverage.
A tablet is always welcomed!
But don’t get them just any tablet. Get them a device that will make them more efficient and productive in their studies. For that you need a tablet that can take care of work time just as well as play time. Your student needs a Windows 8.1 tablet, which has mobile features as well as full desktop Windows functionality.
If you have the big bucks, you can always go for a Surface Pro 3, which starts at $799. Now, do remember this is a full on computer with great specs – it fully replaces a laptop.
If you want something much more humble, yet still as functional as a laptop, I always recommend the ASUS Transformer Book T100. Prices on this little tablet/keyboard bundle start at just about $270.
Great sound for downtime
Students have to work hard, but they must also balance it by playing hard. Your student will need some good tools for winding down at the end of the day. Get him some bluetooth speakers or a nice pair of wireless headphones.
If you are trying to keep your budget tight, my favorite options are the SuperTooth Disco 4 bluetooth speaker and the Kinivo BTH240 bluetooth headphones. You can check out the guides link above if you want something a bit more high-end.
Making the dorm (or room) smarter
What I would have given to have the technology we now have, when I was in school. I feel like we were cavemen. Either way, you can make your techie student very happy if you help him make his dorm, room, or whatever, smarter.
This means you will need products that can be easily taken anywhere. You can’t just install a bunch of equipment into your dorm room, right? My favorite smart accessories for the home or office include the Belkin WeMo Switch. It allows you to control your appliances with a smartphone app. This means you can turn off/on the lights from anywhere, you can set times, turn on the coffee maker and many other things. They even sell individual light bulbs now.
Now, if you want something more complex, with multi-color light bulbs and all the flash, you can invest more in a Phillips Hue bundle, which costs $199.
Bring on the wearables!
Last but not least, we would like to remind you your young students will be drowning in appointments, times, alarms, emails and more. Why not get hime a smart watch? One of our favorites just so happens to be the Pebble.
This device gives you notifications on all the important things without distracting you from your work. It’s simple, affordable and gets the job done very well. Battery life lasts for days, so students won’t have to worry about yet another device to charge every day. And if you want something that looks nicer, you can opt for a Pebble Steel.