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Affordable Tech Gadgets for College Students

These days, back-to-school sales are more likely to feature discounted tablets than discounted No. 2 pencils. That’s good considering that high school and college students in particular will probably fill their brand new backpacks with more gadgets and fewer books. It adds up and can even become a real budget buster when different professors have different technology requirements.

From their point of view it makes sense. According to one Pew Research Center survey, a majority of teachers think that tech in the classroom and at home can make students better researchers and more independent learners. But when you’re the one shelling out the cash for a school supplies list a mile long, you need to make smart decisions.

College students already spend about $1,200 on books and supplies each year according to the College Board. Lucky for you it doesn’t take a Master’s Degree to find the gadgets that are as useful as they are affordable. Here are some top pics for affordable student tech gear that will take you from now until graduation day.

A Truly Affordable Tablet

Try the Galaxy Tab 3 from Samsung. You get a powerful multimedia device that fits in your hand and the smaller phablet version rings in at under $150 when you shop around. Besides free 50 GB worth of Dropbox Storage, there are other ways to save. Carrier T-Mobile offers some free 4G LTE data for tablet customers and has affordable rate plans that are perfect for college students.

GalaxyTab3

A Noise Canceling Solution

For under $60 you can snag Creative HN-900 noise cancellation headphones that will make studying that much easier thanks to decent noise cancellation and good balance. The best part – beside the student-friendly price tag – is that the thing most likely to break on over-the-ear headphones (the cable) is detachable so you can replace it without having to spring for new cans.

Headphones

A Backpack That Does Double Duty

Great backpacks don’t come cheap anyway so spend a little extra for one that does more than just hold books. The Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack will run you about $150 but will save you endless headaches thanks to its ability to charge phones, tablets, cameras, and other gadgets. It’s also light, waterproof and built to handle college life. Plus it’s an easy way to make your walk to class feel more productive.

BackPackSolar

A Portable Keyboard

Make that a very portable keyboard. The Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard connects wirelessly to laptops and most mobile devices to broadcast a full QWERTY layout that projects onto any flat surface. It is also small enough to stash in your pants pocket, which is why at about $99 it wins out over less expensive roll up keyboards and more expensive iPad case and keyboard combos.

PortableKeyBoard

A Backup Plan

Not the kind of backup plan that you turn to when you can’t hack it in your major but rather the kind you turn to when your laptop dies a hideous death. The WD My Passport 1TB portable external hard drive will set you back $60 but remember that the comfort of knowing your dissertation will still be there no matter what is priceless. It’s ultra compact, you can password lock it and it even automatically backs up software.

PortableStorage

A Better Way to Take Notes

Still recording lectures while you take notes (or not)? Why not do both? Livescribe’s Echo smartpen automatically records everything you hear or say while you’re writing on Livescribe’s paper. Tap your notes to replay the audio, send your notes to a mobile device, social profile or app, and never miss another word of the most essential courses in your discipline.

EchoSmartPen

So, there you have it! These affordable tech gadgets are for sure going to be a hit in the hallways this year at campuses around the world. Do you have a favorite gadget that you can’t live without?

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Jessica Oaks. She is a freelance journalist who loves covering technology news and the ways that technology can make life easier. Follow her on Twitter @TechyJessy.

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