Tech Talk: Gearing up for the new year


     It’s the start of a new school year and students are getting ready for the coming wave of classes, projects and due dates.

     Freshmen are scrambling to buy books, bags or excessive amounts of school supplies that they’ll forget they bought after the first month. However, there are a couple of tech items that are important to have as a new or returning student.

     First, you need a laptop. There are computers in the library and other places on campus, but it’s much easier and more secure to have your own laptop to keep your information saved on. There is also the benefit of being able to work on homework or projects during class. 

     Purchasing a compact laptop that you can use to take notes or type an essay on is perfect in most cases. Chromebooks that go for around $200 fit the bill, especially if you use a lot of Google’s services.

     It’s also important to remember that you’ll need some type of external storage to save and transfer bigger files between computers that you can’t save to the cloud.

     Having a small 32 GB SanDisk drive is perfect for small file transfers and some storage, but if you need more space for bigger projects, then a 2TB external hard drive by Seagate, Western Digital or Samsung should be more than enough space to last your entire time in college.

     A pair of noise-canceling headphones are best if you want to shut out the world and focus on your work. A pair of wireless earbuds that connect to your phone will allow you to easily listen to music or videos anywhere.

     Other devices that aren’t super important, but can make life easier, are a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. A small wireless mouse is more comfortable than using your laptop trackpad.

     If you use a tablet, pairing it with a wireless keyboard makes it easier to type any notes or papers you need. Probably the most helpful tech item you could invest in is a small power bank that will quickly charge your devices on the go.

     Instead of having to bring a plug and sit uncomfortably because of the awkward outlet placement, you can charge your phone from your pocket or bookbag while going through your day. Anker power banks come in a variety of sizes and are the most reliable brand. Even the smallest power bank can fully charge your phone two or three times.

     However, the most important device in your college life will likely be a coffee maker. A cheaper and easier way to have that late-night dose of caffeine when you’re trying to cram last minute for that test the next day and everything is closed. It’s the one device that’s ready to keep you running as you start your new school year.

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