The 12 best gadgets for students

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews

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Whether you’re heading to college or university soon or equipping someone who is, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tech to maximize learning and make the transition smooth. From taking notes in lectures to  developing good independent study habits, students who are on their own for the first time have a lot to think about. Get them started off on the right foot with these worthy tools.

1. Sony CD-PX440 Voice Recorder with Built-in USB

The 12 best gadgets for students

A 4-gigabyte capacity lets students store up to 1,043 hours of lectures, test-prep notes and more on this easily portable voice recorder.

Because it works with a pair of AA batteries, students can quickly find replacement power sources when needed. That shouldn’t happen often though, because this tech tool boasts a battery life of up to 96 hours. ($79.99)

2. Fitbit Aria 2 Smart Scale

Unlimited buffets at college dining halls and spending more time sitting than staying active are two things that could cause the dreaded freshman 15 weight gain. This Fitbit product helps users take a proactive approach to body mass. It’s an intelligent scale that measures weight, BMI and more, plus remembers settings for up to eight individuals. This device captures trends over time, too.

When used with the accompanying Fitbit app, the scale offers even more capabilities. People can use built-in technology to track exercise, log their food intake and see if they’re drinking enough water. ($129.95)

3. Cisco TelePresence PrecisionHD USB Camera

Although most of today’s laptops and smartphones have built-in, live video camera functionality, the equipment inside those products is not intended for intensive use and doesn’t give high-quality results.

Plus, today’s learning options are drastically different from past eras. Students commonly log into classrooms that exist in the cloud and learn alongside people from all over the world who are also using streaming camera technology.

This sleek option from Cisco delivers 720p video at 30 frames per second. It also has a manual tilt feature, so users can shift the camera up or down as needed. ($178.11)

4. Lumo Lift Posture Coach

Many people don’t realize how much they slouch on a typical day — until experiencing day-disrupting backaches. This wearable device pays attention to a student’s posture and vibrates when he or she starts to hunch over.

It also works with compatible smartphones, making it possible for people to set goals and get updates on their progress. After learning how to assume a more appropriate posture, students may not feel the effects of sitting in long lectures. ($79.99)

5. Sonic Alert SB300SS Sonic Boom Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock

Classes starting at 8 a.m. aren’t usually favorites of students who would rather sleep in than get up early. Some people enrolled in college even ignore the alarms set to rouse them from slumber. It’s virtually impossible to not notice this specialty alarm clock. The device has a 12-volt bed shaker attachment and a 113-decibel alarm with volume and tone adjustments. There is also a battery backup, so the clock maintains the correct time after a power outage. ($40 and up)

6. EzPro BrewGenie BG120 Smart Coffee Maker

Students who feel the stimulating effects of caffeine frequently admit they’d never make it through late-night cram sessions, meetings with professors during morning office hours, and those essential extracurricular activities without coffee. Thanks to this intelligent brewer, campus dwellers don’t have to resort to nearly flavorless cups of coffee from a nearby vending machine.

This appliance syncs with smartphones, letting you brew coffee while lying in bed. you can also set things up so that the coffee-making process begins at the same time each morning. Then, students and their roommates can wake up to the pleasant smell of fresh coffee. There is also a function that keeps the beverage warm for up to two hours. ($82)

7. Digiroot Precision Disc-Tip Stylus

This tool increases the usage options for any touch-screen device, such as a tablet or smartphone. Unlike most styluses, this one comes with a transparent disc attachment on the tip. It facilitates seeing the exact location of the writing instrument’s point, which gives better accuracy when performing precise tasks.

Users can rely on this stylus to highlight text, draw on virtual paper and more. It’s a great gift for someone who is environmentally conscious and does not want to waste paper, or wants to keep textbook pages free from marks to get more money when selling them. ($11.99 for a set with two styluses and several accessories)

8. Hidrate Spark 2.0 Water Bottle

With so many competing interests and responsibilities on campus, hydration can sometimes take a backseat to studying (or partying, as the case may be). But it’s so important. The Hidrate Spark 2.0 is an intelligent water bottle that syncs with a smartphone or smartwatch to tell the user when it’s time to drink. Available in several stylish colors, the Hidrate starts glowing when people need to hydrate. The accompanying app that shows you how much you drink over time. That feature keeps goal-oriented people motivated and makes it less likely they’ll stop trying to improve. ($54.95)

9. Spire Stone Stress Tracker

Many students may refer to their college years as some of the best times of their lives because of the new opportunities, friends and learning experiences. However, an educational setting can also be stressful. The Spire Stone Stress Tracker is advertised as the only wearable device proven to reduce stress.

It monitors your breathing and uses your breath characteristics to help you become less stressed, plus sleep better. Also, the device is extremely small, so it inconspicuously fits with any outfit. ($99)

10. Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim

It seems there’s an unwritten law stating that hard drive crashes happen the night before major deadlines. This backup drive offers two TB of storage and measures less than 10 millimeters thick. It also comes with 200 GB of storage from Microsoft OneDrive, perfect for students who prefer storing stuff in the cloud. ($87.99)

11. Logitech Slim Folio iPad Keyboard Case

iPads are common sights on college campuses, but the on-screen keyboards don’t make it easy to type efficiently. This Logitech keyboard creates the conditions needed for faster typing and protects the iPad at the same time. It even includes a full row of iOS keyboard shortcuts that let students change the input language or device volume without taking their fingers away from the keys. ($99.00)

12. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

Students live largely digital lives and store their pictures on tablets, smartphones, and in the cloud. However, it’s still nice to decorate dorm rooms and communal living areas with physical snapshots. The HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer makes that possible. It connects to a smartphone and creates 2×3 sticky-backed photos students can attach to the fronts of their notebooks or textbooks, the lids of their laptops and more. ($129.95)

The right gadgets can make college life more enjoyable for students, no matter what they’re studying.

This list is a strong starting point for parents who want to get their kids equipped for success, relatives looking for birthday gifts the recipients really want, and students who are in the mood to splurge.

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews

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