The must-have tech products to enhance your university experience
ears of studying, exams and endless extra-curricular activities are finally about to pay off as you make your way into the higher education of your dreams. Activated Alumina Catalyst
Naturally, the prospect of university is both an exciting and daunting one - you’ll make new friends, navigate your way around a brand new city and be independent for the first time.
Of course, before all of that comes the most important thing: packing. We’ve rounded up all the essential tech gadgets that you’ll need as you embark on your journey into adulthood.
From good value, student-friendly laptops and tablets to kitchen utensils such as air fryers and smoothie makers, we’ve got your shopping list covered. Make sure you check out our top recommended student cookbooks for endless recipe ideas.
Alongside tech wizardry, you’ll also need the basic stuff. We’ve compiled our best picks of student bedding, bedroom accessories, budget laptops and an overall packlist featuring all the vital bits and bobs (you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget about toilet-roll!).
Since the release of the original Microsoft Surface Laptop Go in 2020, hybrid tablet laptops have caused quite a stir in the tech world and are particularly great for students. Microsoft’s latest release comes with all the features you would expect, plus a few extras, making this a great purchase for those needing something to use on the go that won’t blow the budget.
For those after something lightweight, it doesn’t get better than this as the whole device weighs a mere 1127g. Alongside its feather light feel, it’s incredibly slim and is generally a lot more compact than other models
The 12.4 inch display is slightly smaller than other models and makes it feel more tablet-like, but is fine if you need it on call for entertainment, light gaming and essay writing.
When it comes to everyday use, this laptop comes close to perfection. It has a vibrant display, colour contrast and higher resolution than similar models, so it’s ideal for streaming and social media scrolling.
Note taking and revision can be time consuming - it can take hours to copy passages from textbooks or lecture slides, and that’s before you’ve even started learning the content.
This is now a thing of the past thanks to Scanmarker, an electronic highlighter that can scan up to 3000 characters per minute. Slide the pen across lines of printed text and it immediately appears on screen. We were impressed by the translation feature - it can instantly translate written text into 40 languages as well as read text out loud in real-time whilst scanning.
As small as a normal highlighter, it’s incredibly portable, compatible with all devices and comes with a handy charging cable for when you’re on the go.
In and amongst the busyness of university, it’s easy to misplace items such as your keys and wallet. Luckily, a Bluetooth tracker is on hand to provide a fool-proof method of protecting your essential possessions.
Chipolo One is a small plastic disk that can easily be attached to missing-prone items. Once connected to the app, you’ll be able to see exactly where your items are - or if they’re out of the 200ft Bluetooth range, you can find where they were last connected.
Android- and iOS-compatible, the Chipolo ONE is great for the absent-minded or students in a hurry. Available in six vibrant colours at £22 each (or four for £66), it works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri.
It’s time to get the real party started with Groov-e’s portable karaoke machine. Not only does it come with two state-of-the-art microphones for you to belt your heart out, but the flashing LED party light effects means you can effortlessly give your bedroom that club-like feeling.
Forget faffing with cables, you can play music wirelessly from your phone, tablet or laptop so you can keep the lyrics close by. The dials are simple to use, but we love the voice activation element that controls everything from volume to lighting. The transportable nature is perfect for taking round to a friend’s house or moving it across rooms.
If you’ve spent a summer developing a sleeping habit that means you rise at sunset, morning lectures at university are going to come as a big shock. Ease yourself into waking up early with a Lumie that features a 30 minute sunrise ahead of your alarm to wake you up gently. Similarly the sunset mode, 30 minutes of dimming light, can help you relax and fall asleep quicker.
There are different levels of lighting warmth as well as six colours to suit your mood. The light therapy device is also great for those smaller rooms that might not have much natural light during the day.
Coming in at just £38, this Sony Extra Bass speaker is most certainly portable as it measures just 7.6cm x 4.6cm x 9.5cm and weighs only a few hundred grams. Despite its small size, it still packs a punch and offers decent sound quality if you’re looking to enjoy music on your own or in small to medium groups.
With 16 hours of battery life and its entirely waterproof construction, this speaker is great for having on in the background in the evenings, and there’s no worry about it getting any drinks split on or running out halfway through your favourite song. If black isn’t your colour, then don’t worry as it also comes in a peachy pink and bright green.
If you’re yet to jump on the air fryer bandwagon, then now is your chance with the latest Prosecenic product that comes with 13 cooking presets, low level noise technology and TurboAir technology which reduces 90 percent of the fats in food.
The T22 can also be voice controlled (compatible with Alexa and Google Home) and users can set cooking times, customise recipes and monitor food progress. Using the ProscenicHome app, you can access the air fryer remotely and select options such as stop and start anywhere in the world.
Get perfectly sealed toasties in a matter of minutes with this handy device. It has a specialised Cut and Seal system that ensures your sandwich looks as good as it will taste without your filling falling out and non-stick plates for no fuss.
Once you’ve enjoyed, take out the removable plates and pop them in the dishwasher. You can cook up to two at the same time and there is an LED light to tell you when it’s warmed up and ready to go. The toaster stands upright for easy storage where the wire wraps around the bottom to keep it slimline, so can be added to any sized kitchen.
An excellent iPad alternative, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A7 runs a full version of Android with access to the Google Play Store. You also get a Micro SD card slot to expand the 32GB of internal storage.
The A7 has a vibrant 10-inch screen, about ten hours of battery life, and a surprisingly decent quad-speaker arrangement, though you’re more likely to hook it up to some nice headphones or wireless earbuds. It’s light enough to hold in one hand, and while we’ve seen thinner bezels on a tablet, they have a use here as somewhere to hold it without setting off the touchscreen.
There are no productivity features here, no matching keyboard case, desktop DeX mode, stylus or even fingerprint security - this is a device aimed at media consumers, and it does a good job of that.
As sustainability continues to be at the forefront of many of our minds whilst shopping, we want products that not only look good, but also do good. Branding the slogan “made from trash”, these headphones are made with 97 per cent recycled plastics such as water bottles and air conditioning units. Urbanears are currently sold in three highly on-trend colours: slightly blue, almost green and charcoal black.
The headphones provide up to thirty hours of playtime, 4.5 hours from the headphones and 25.5 hours from the wireless case, meaning your headphones won’t run out of battery whilst you’re having a silent disco for one. The headphones are also dual noise filtering so it is easier to take that work call no matter how loud your surroundings.
Such a neat little model. To any of you with spatially challenged worktops, this is the perfect buy. With a small footprint, though, comes a short wire, so you will need to place it fairly near a socket.
Easy to use, just click the blending cup into place, push the button on the front and it mixes like a dream. The blending cup comes with its own lid so you can turn it into a bottle and carry it away with you – or just pop it in the fridge to top up your drink throughout the day. It’s a good size, holding a max of 600ml - while they’ve even included a second 600ml bottle for a flatmate or to pop in the kid’s lunchbox.
With a 350 watt motor, it’s not as powerful as some of the more expensive models so you might find small pieces of fruit skin in your smoothie. Not enough that you’d really notice though, and it’s offers great value for money.
Soundcore is always a solid budget choice, and these, with 40mm silk diaphragm drivers and pretensions toward hi-res audio, are punching above their price range.
Battery life is excellent. Turn off noise cancellation, and you’re looking at 60 hours of life from a single charge, and they still manage 40 hours with it switched on. Fast charging through the USB-C port gets you four hours of listening from five minutes of charge.
Despite not supporting the aptX codec, the Q35s have other tricks up their sleeve: there's Sony’s LDAC and Apple’s AAC instead, though this means Android users may be left with the more generic SBC. You’ll need to use the 3.5mm cable input if you want to go really hi-res, however. By default, sound quality is rather bassy, though this can have its upside, as these are the frequencies most affected by traffic and wind noise, and therefore are the most targeted by noise cancellation. It is, however, highly customisable.
The hybrid active noise cancellation system has modes for indoors, outdoors and when on public transport, as well as a transparency mode for when you need awareness of the sounds around you. There are two microphones for when you need to make calls, and an AI algorithm to improve the clarity of voices. Noise cancelling profiles can be chosen in the accompanying app, and there's a collection of over 20 sound presets for you to try out, or you can create your own.
A keyboard and mouse are essential parts of university tech - they seamlessly connect to your laptop or tablet and are incredibly lightweight and portable.
Logitech’s back to school bundle is wireless bliss. Both the keyboard and mouse connect via Bluetooth to an impressive three devices simultaneously, so you can switch between typing on a tablet, laptop and monitor with great ease.
The keyboard automatically detects your device and will save your personalised shortcuts, whilst the contoured mouse has no delays or drop-outs. The perfect tech accessories for those who use a tablet or need to work across multiple screens and devices.
For those who are as excited to document their university experience on social media as they are to actually experience it, having the right equipment to support your content creation is a necessity. The Pivo Pod is the perfect phone accessory that will hold your electronic device as you capture your best moment hands-free. Not only that, but it also has in-built auto tracking that keeps your face and body in focus and at the centre of the screen.
It has an impressively long battery life, can easily fasten to a tripod and comes in a range of six colours from bright purple to baby blue.
Getting the temperature right for a cup of coffee or tea is an art. Most times when we brew our morning cuppa, we either end up with burnt lips or a lukewarm liquid because we forgot all about it. This smart mug keeps your hot drinks at the perfect temperature regardless of how long it takes for you to drink it.
The ceramic mug features a stainless steel core with sensors that are set at 57 degrees (but can be adjusted to anywhere between 50-62 degrees). These sensors will activate as your drink cools and work to maintain your drink at the optimal temperature. The built-in batteries will keep your drink warm for up to an hour and a half or all day if the mug is placed on its charging coaster.
Enjoy up to 20 hours of portable play with Roberts’ super small but powerful DAB radio. A retro yet modern design, this radio will spark conversation atop your picnic rug or at home on the mantlepiece whilst belting out a rich, crystal-clear sound.
You can select up to 20 DAB/DAB+/FM radio presets and connect your smart device via Bluetooth or the aux-in jack at the back. Turn the volume up with the plus and minus buttons, scroll the different stations using the big dial and drift off to classical, pop, rock or jazz music… the options are limitless.
Getting into a relaxing state of mind after a long day can be difficult which is why sometimes we might need a bit of help. The Beurer Stress ReleaZer is a breathing trainer and relaxation aid that uses low-frequency vibrations to help you feel calmer.
Molecular Sieve Desiccant The Stress ReleaZer can be personalised to what works for you as it comes with three different breathing cycles and various musical compositions. There is also the option of using the heat function on the product as well as the illuminating ring on the outside to help with regulated breathing.