Accessories

Published on August 13th, 2018 | by Bibhuranjan

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Seven must have Gadgets and Accessories for the College Freshmen

Introduction

There’s always a sense of thrill, frustration and excitement when it’s time to pack up for college. Mostly it’s balancing the stuff that you need versus the stuff that you use regularly because reducing the amount of briefcases is always appreciated.

Here are 7 items that will surely make your college day more convenient:

  1. Backpack: This is probably the lifeblood of your college and getting it wrong is surely guaranteed to make your daily commutes more of a chore than convenient. So getting a backpack that adapts to multiple roles, takes in a lot of stuff and remains relatively easy to handle is a must.
    Here is where the Zero-G Predawn shines. Originally a Kickstarter, it is one of the best backpacks that you can get. It is primarily engineered to reduce the overall feel of the weight on your body but also packs in a ton of conveniently designed pouches and compartments so that you can neatly arrange your books, laptops and accessories. Retailing at a price of $249 U.S, it is a bit steep but if convenience and durability is the prime concern, this is one to check out.

    On the other end of the scale, if you are on a tighter budget Yourpek’s Extra Large Travel Backpack costs just $50 and has good space and many compartments to store all your goodies.
  2.  Rocketbook Notebooks: Thanks to developments in reducing carbon footprints and saving trees, there has been a slew of reusable notebooks that have launched recently. But the ones that I heartily recommend is the Wave Smart Notebook and the Everlast from Rocketbook. Both of them are completely reusable notebooks but function a bit differently in how they handle notes erasing. To remove notes off the Wave, simply pop it in a microwave for a few seconds and let the let the heat do the rest and for the Everlast you can simply wipe it off with a moist piece of cloth. Best of all, the notebooks natively supports a variety of cloud storage options like Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, Evernote, One Note, email, etc. which can be accessed via the Rocketbook App available in the App Store or the Playstore. It is a new way of saving notes and one that should save the environment as well.
  3. reMarkable Paper Tablet: Say you have some cash to spare and the Rocketbook isn’t your thing, the next best thing that you can do is go paperless altogether with the reMarkable e-INK tablet. It is the one stop solution for all your writing services if you don’t want to have lots of notebooks and still want to have that paper like feel while writing. You can read eBooks, write notes, highlight over notes and basically anything you’d do with a paper notebook. It has a very comfortable e-ink display which is remarkably similar to the brightness of paper and can last days at a stretch on a single charge. It is rather pricey though, retailing at $499 U.S, so it might not be for everyone.
  4. Laptop: Well it goes without saying but the laptop might be the single most useful and important device that you carry with you. From taking notes to preparing projects and using it for skype interviews, you do it all in your laptop and that’s precisely why it’s important to choose your laptop according to the work that you’ll be doing. There is no point in carrying a bulky or underpowered laptop that won’t be good for anything and at the same it should have at least some future proofing to sustain it throughout your semesters.
    So after much thought and consideration here are my 3 recommendations:

    1. MacBook Pro 13-inch (2018): Apple recently updated the MacBook line-up and all new 2018 MacBooks get updated specifications with  DDR4 RAM and 8th Gen Intel i5 processors alongside the new MacOS Mojave. Aesthetics wise, it retains the same basic design as the 2017 model, albeit with a quieter keyboard.
    2. HP Spectre X360: If you want a 2 in 1 convertible in a compact body, then the Spectre 360 is probably your best bet. It has a very  comfortable layout in both tablet and laptop mode and can be had with 8th Intel Generation i7 processors in the top end model. It also gets 512GB NVME SSD, which is expandable and has 2x Thunderbolt 3 Ports for hooking up an external GPU.
    3. MSI GS65 Stealth: If you have a bigger budget and need better performance, then then GS65 from MSI should be right up your shopping list. It is a slim gaming laptop and comes equipped with 8th Generation i7 Processors, 15 inch  144Hz screen and a GTX 1070 Max-Q. Best of all, it comes in a slim chassis and has loads of connectivity options.
  5. Grid IT Organiser: The average backpack has a multitude of smaller accessories like cables and chargers that can really cause a havoc if not arranged properly. Luckily most backpacks will have neat little pockets where you can arrange certain stuff but it still doesn’t solve the issue of organising cables. This is where Cocoon’s Grid IT Organiser shines. It is an inexpensive solution for arranging cables and accessories that can really make your life a lot easier. It consists of multiple elastic bands arranged such that you can roll cables or insert accessories into them snugly.
  6. Linedock: In a bid to reduce thickness and maintain minimalist aesthetics for your laptops, a few laptop manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to reducing the number of available ports (ahem Apple!) and firmly establishing that your problems could be solved with an expensive dongle (ahem Apple!!).
    But that might not necessarily be a bad thing as devices are becoming wireless and having no cables is always a plus. But in the off chance that you do have cables, you might want to have a peek at Linedock.

    This isn’t just a dock, it’s a 20000mAh battery pack, portable hard drive, SD card reader and display out. It can also be bought with inbuilt 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB NVMe SSD which resides inside the case. To top it off, it also acts like a heat dissipation unit from the laptop and the bigger 15 inch models also has dual fans blowing out warm air from the side of the case.
    Starting at $299 for the no storage variant, it is competitively priced considering the fact that individual components would basically add up to 3/4th of the price the unit.
  7. LG PH450UG: Most dorms don’t generally come equipped with a TV or projector. Say you want a secondary display or just want to watch a movie on a big screen. Well you’d generally be pretty much out of luck. Thankfully though, LG’s PH450UG is a genuinely awesome short throw projector that you can use to project images of up to 80 inches by just placing it 13 inches from the wall. It has a peak brightness of 450 nits, which is very adequate for casual movie watching. It also has an embedded battery that can last up to 2.5 hours according to LG on a single charge. It retails at around $650, which is definitely steep but it is a one of a kind product that has wide range of uses, definitely worth the price.

Conclusion

So there you have it, my essential picks for back to school accessories that you should definitely shortlist if you are heading for college this summer. Headphones and speakers have been excluded from this list, solely because they don’t matter as much and there are a lot of good options out there. Also it goes without saying but you should also consider pickling up a cheap data dumping storage solution like a portable hard drive, solely to back up your projects and work. With that said, hope this list helps you getting sorted for college.

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About the Author

Bibhuranjan

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech journalist and enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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