You’re going to college, and you will be facing new challenges. Today’s college students face all the normal challenges of college life like studying, lesson comprehension, and even balancing your life outside of college with your school work. Here are seven pieces of college hardware every student needs in their “toolbelt”:
1. LAPTOP: A good laptop computer is an essential part of college life. Desktop computers get the job done, but have too many components, are bulky, and are more prone to breakdowns. Today’s laptops are so powerful that most IT degree students don’t need a desktop unless they are doing graphics or sound-intensive work. Most recommend a PC instead of a Mac for college use; while Macs have their place, PC laptops are more compatible with academic environments.Try these PCs:
2. SMARTPHONE: A smartphone is another must-have. A good smartphone can be used for checking your email on the run and for managing daily activities. Most smartphones run on 4G networks, and some can be used as a WiFi hotspot when your Internet is down. Here are some of our favorite Smartphones:
3. E-READER: Although there is something to be said for reading paper-and-ink books, their role in college life is rapidly diminishing. That means you will be using your laptop and other electronic devices to read journals, magazines, and other print media. An eReader serves this purpose quite nicely; they’re portable, small, light ,and have great battery life. Most good eReaders use electronic ink, which is readable even in the brightest conditions. You can use eReaders for both personal reading and school reading. Try these:
4. PRINTER: Printers aren’t as necessary as they used to be, as most modern printers can easily be shared by computers on the same network. Just as email has cut down on the amount of mail delivered by the post office, electronic delivery of documents and books has reduced the need for printers, paper and ink. Some courses still require that you submit hard copies of your assignments, so for that, you may want to buy a printer instead of finding one to share or borrow. Here are some printer recommendations:
5. VOICE RECORDER: If you attend lectures, you may find it hard to take notes and keep up with the instructor at the same time. For this, you’ll need a good voice recorder. Most are fully digital, meaning that you can easily transfer recordings to your computer. Try these:
6. CAMERA: Most cell phones have cameras, but even the ones with the highest megapixels yield only fair image quality, and their camera features tend to be limited. DSLR cameras yield the highest-quality images, but for most purposes, a regular digital camera will be sufficient. If you are a journalism or photography student, a camera are a must. Here are our picks:
7. PORTABLE DVD: Watching videos has become part of the college experience, so you may consider purchasing a portable DVD player. These work fairly well, and bypass some of the restrictions encountered when a PC needs third-party programs in order to play DVDs. Try these:
If you have more than one electronic gadget, you may notice that there is overlap in their functions. For example, your smartphone can be used as a camera, or your laptop can be used to play DVDs. In most cases, it’s better to have single-purpose electronics – they are more reliable and easy to use.
These are a few basic electronics degree students may need. Your needs may differ depending on your school’s policies and the program in which you are enrolled. If you have most or all of the items listed here, attending college will be much easier, and your leisure time may become more leisurely.