Though the fall semester is well underway, the admission process is still fresh in your mind. But after all, that’s said and done, you only paid 20 grand to attend class. Your tuition doesn’t cover your supplies, and it definitely doesn’t cover essential tech you need to succeed. For that, you’re stuck with BYOD. Not just your dad’s buzzword, BYOD policies have left the offices of the world to infiltrate campuses all around the globe. Standing for Bring Your Own Device, BYOD means how it sounds; you need to bring your own tech to class. Otherwise, you’ll spend your entire undergraduate career in the computer lab. If you’d rather be anywhere but that creepy room in the basement, check in with this list. These six gadgets will get you started on the right foot this semester.
1. A MacBook Pro
With 8th generation Intel Core i7 or i9 hexa-core processors and up to 32 GB of RAM, the MacBook Pro is an absolute workhorse. These kinds of specs will keep up with you through every class, assignment, and late-night study session. It also delivers unparalleled image quality, stacked as it is with AMD Radeon Pro 555X – 560X and Intel UHD Graphics 630. That makes the Pro a great addition to your semester even if you’re a graphic design or architecture student who works with photo editing or otherwise big programs. It also doesn’t hurt that Mac’s effortlessly sleek design will be a cool addition to your school days.
2. The Sony WH-1000XM2
Unless you’re in the library, there are few places on campus where you can find peace and quiet. You need to create your own bubble of silence with a set of sound-canceling headphones. The Sony WH-1000XM2 reaches the top of every “best of” list, claiming its rightful spot for its unrivaled ability to filter out noises you don’t want to hear.
It also comes equipped with practical features like its ambient noise mode that allows you to hear mid-to-high frequency tones (in other words, school announcements over the loudspeaker), and the Quick Attention mode that lets you stop the noise cancellation without removing the headphones. Though they may seem like a luxury item at first, you’ll come to appreciate them when you’ve realized just how loud and obnoxious your roommate can be when eating chips.
3. An iPhone X
Go big or go home, that’s a great philosophy to live your life by — and it’s also an excellent rule of thumb when shopping for your tech. Apple’s 10th-anniversary flagship is sitting as one of the top phones available right now. Though it also happens to be one of the most expensive, it’s worth the price tag when you consider how often you’ll be using your handset in and out of class. Don’t forget — your college experience is just as much about the relationships you make as the grades you earn. The iPhone X can help you stay on top of the group chat and never miss out on an epic party.
You can justify its price by protecting it with an iPhone X skin — a device-saving accessory that wraps around the iPhone. By protecting it from daily wear and tear, an iPhone skin can prolong your X’s life, so you can get your money’s worth. For extra protection without any added bulk, look to a company like DBrand that uses 3M vinyl in all their designs. When you check out these iPhone skins, you’ll see each one is a scratch-proof, water-resistant, and grime-free accessory. This 3M partnership also means you can find cool skins you can’t get anywhere else, making your choice in protection the coolest on campus.
4. The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme
Between class notes, group PowerPoints, and your essays, most of your classwork is done on your computer. It’s evidence of a paradigm shift in education — with students and professors alike moving away from analog teaching and learning tools to digital alternatives. While this makes a lot of your work easier, as you can access course materials, journals, and other resources from anywhere you get Wi-Fi, there is one drawback. There’s no paper copy backup in case you lose or damage your MacBook. Now that’s a true college horror story.
When you back up your files on the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme, you can avoid the heartache of losing a 20-page essay. It offers up to 2 TB of storage secured by with NFC (or Near Field Communication) encryption. As its name suggests, the MiniStation Extreme is ready to stand up to wear and tear, and it’s shock, dust, and water resistant — just like your iPhone wrap.
5. The HP Envy 5640
It doesn’t matter what your program is or where you study. The printer is every student’s nemesis. It has the ability to smell fear, and it uses its power to sniff out anxious students trying to print within minutes before their papers are due. Inevitably, something jams or the cyan ink is running low.
Whatever it is, these issues can delay or even postpone your printing job indefinitely. You can avoid dealing with a possessed printer by choosing one of the best ones on the market. The HP Envy 5640 is an e-all-in-one printer that produces stunning photos and clear texts from your iPhone or MacBook. It also relies on high-yield ink cartridges, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them often.
6. A Mophie Powerstation
The student experience may be digital, but few campuses have made the switch as readily as its undergraduates. Older schools especially are at a disadvantage with buildings from the turn of the century. These seminar rooms and lecture halls were made for a student body using pens and paper to take notes and submit papers — not a group of students typing on Macs and sending their essays as an attachment.
Until your school gets around to retrofitting these older buildings, there aren’t enough plugs for everyone. You can’t always win the lottery of sitting next to the only plug on your side of the room. The Mophie Powerstation is your alternative power source when you aren’t lucky. With a 22,000mAh capacity battery, it offers an additional 15 hours of life for your MacBook Pro.
Pens and paper aren’t quite obsolete, but they’re heading that way as more campuses rely on digital education tools. Now that BYOD is just another normal part of your college career, you might as well bring the best devices. These top-quality gadgets will help you achieve success at whatever you do!