10 Must-Have Gadgets for College Life
Because every college student needs a karaoke microphone.
None of these techy gadgets are items that you necessarily need at college, but we can’t help but want them all anyway.
1: Instax Printer
If you're obsessed with taking photos on your smartphone, an Instax printer might just be the perfect dorm room essential. This portable, lightweight printer allows you to print Polaroid-style photos directly from your phone using Instax film as the "paper." The tiny prints can easily be hung around a dorm room or pinned to a bulletin board, and it’s so small you can even bring the printer with you to a party.
Fujifilm Instax Printer, fujifilm.com
2: Pocket Projector
You almost don’t need a TV if you have a pocket projector that you can easily hook up to your phone or laptop. You can use it to project movies or TV shows from Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime directly onto a blank wall in your dorm room.
Pocket Projector, brookstone.com
3: Laptop Lock
A laptop is one of the most important tools a college student has in their arsenal. A laptop lock will make sure you're covered whether you're in class, at the library or even sitting out on the quad.
Laptop Lock, kensington.com
4: Bladeless Fan
Dorms aren’t always known for having the best air conditioners. Depending on what part of the country you attend school, a good fan might be a necessity. And this 10-inch desk fan would work well in even the tiniest dorm room.
Desk Fan, dyson.com
5: Wireless Speaker
More and more, a good wireless speaker is becoming a necessity for dorm rooms. Those who like to study with music on in the background will appreciate this stylish yet efficient speaker.
Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker, bose.com
6: Karaoke Microphone
This mircrophone can easily plug into a phone or a laptop and works seamlessly with a variety of free, downloadable karaoke apps. It’s a must-have gadget for any college student who’s ever been caught singing in the shower.
iRig Karaoke Microphone, urbanoutfitters.com
7: Throwback Game Console
For the casual gamer who likes a bit of a retro flair, this Atari flashback console is perfect for parties or study breaks. It easily plugs into any TV and comes packed with 100 old-school Atari games like Space Invaders, Centipede, Asteroids and more. It’s light and portable, so it can easily be used in either a dorm room or a shared living space.
Atari Flashback Classic Game Console, urbanoutfitters.com
8: Walkie Talkies
Walkie talkies are a great solution for students who have friends in different rooms or on various floors of their dorm. Plus, it will save that phone bill.
Floureon Handheld Walkie Talkies, amazon.com
9: Wireless Headphones
Once you’ve tried wireless headphones, it’s hard to go back. These wireless bluetooth headphones come in a bunch of different colors and will quickly become your daily accessory.
Beats Solo2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, beatsbydre.com
10: Portable Phone Charger
For students with packed schedules, a portable phone charger is a great thing to always keep in tow. When you're running around from one class to another, there’s not always an accessible outlet to charge phones and tablets. A small, portable charger will keep you covered no matter how busy your day gets.
Mopower Portable Phone Charger, amazon.com
GRE, LSAT, GMAT … all these acronyms can strike fear into a student’s heart. BenchPrep is a system built to help you hone your scores (and settle your nerves) via interactive testing, games and strategy tips. It’s like a Princeton Review course, home version.
Clocky Alarm Clock
If you’ve ever pressed “snooze” in your sleep, you may benefit from this deceptively cute alarm clock. Press “snooze” and it jumps off your nightstand and starts whizzing around, beeping all the way until you chase it and shut it off (or your roommate forcibly wakes you).
StudyBlue Flash Cards
If you’ve ever nursed a cramped hand after cutting up a thousand tiny flash cards, here’s a more humane method. StudyBlue lets you create your flash cards online so you can access them anywhere and quiz yourself — plus browse other students’ cards and share your own.
Remember handheld voice recorders? This app turns your phone into a recorder (no more racing to jot notes as Professor Motormouth goes off on a tangent). Better yet, you can edit as you go, cutting out that random story about your professor’s cat.
You’ve got classes back-to-back, sports practice and work, and somehow, you also have to write a term paper. This dictation app lets you speak your ideas (or even whole paragraphs!) on the run, while it types them up for you.
You have one night to cram — er, prep — for your poli-sci exam, yet Facebook, eBay and YouTube beckon loudly. This free Mac app lets you shut down your favorite distracting sites so you can’t take a five-minute break that turns into a two-hour cat video spree.
When you’re on a student budget, there’s no reason to pay for things that you can get for free, like a landline telephone. Get on video or make regular calls via Skype, and you can turn any of your devices into a phone complete with group chat. Plus even if it storms, you don’t have to cancel study group.
Mophie Juice Pack
You’re using your phone to jot notes, record dictation and use apps — and when it’s time to actually make a call, your battery is inevitably near-dead. This smartphone battery case gives you a secret source for extra charge, so you’ll have power when you most need it.
Now that you’re on your own (kinda), you get the privilege of handling your own budget. And you have no idea how to do that. Mint takes care of the details, keeping you apprised of exactly how much you have and how much you owe.
Next time your roommate joins you for dinner and forgets her wallet, introduce her to Venmo. You can both send and receive money for free if you link a bank account or drop money into Venmo. (There’s a 3 percent fee for using a credit card.)
A whistle and pepper spray might sound like good ideas, but they can be hard to grab when you need them. The bSafe app turns your phone into a one-touch alarm that alerts loved ones and shares your location. There’s even a “Fake Call” button so you can abort a bad date less awkwardly.