18 Must-have back to school gadgets for college » Gadget Flow

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Are you headed off to college in the fall? While the classes may be tough, your life shouldn’t be. Going to college requires a whole new type of back to school supplies. Rather than a few notebooks and pencil cases, you need to consider everything else that comes with life at college.

  • Where can I find the best school supplies? Check out or category with the best of the best school supplies curated by the Gadget Flow team for everyone from K-12 to college students.
  • Which gaming laptop should I buy for college? Gone are the days when gamers had to construct desktop monsters to enjoy the latest titles. Whether you enjoy Minecraft or Fortnite, these gaming laptops should help you defeat enemies and reach the next level.
  • Is there any smart stationery I need to see? Notebooks and pens are often overlooked in the world of tech. But smart stationery can help you get things done, archive your ideas and enjoy the simple act of writing.

When summer is in full swing, it’s the perfect time to figure out what you need for the upcoming school year. Going to college is so much different than the younger school years. You have to consider an entire lifestyle change in addition to the more difficult classes and coursework.

As such, your school supply list is abundantly different. No longer do you need to purchase textbook covers. Instead, you have to pay extortionate rates for them. Plus, you have to take into account getting to and from class whether you live on campus or off. And, don’t forget kitting out your dorm with all the necessities.

However, as tough as college may be, there are plenty of back to school gadgets that can make it a little easier.

Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook

The Everlast Notebook is a connected notebook which means it automatically syncs your writing with the cloud. All your notes will automatically sync with Google Drive, Dropbox, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, or any other service you need. It even works with your email. Working with Pilot FriXion pens, the ink takes just 15 seconds to dry. But, this smart notebook is actually reusable. Take all the notes you want and make all the doodles you need. Then, when you need more space, simply wipe the Everlast Notebook clean with a damp cloth. And with 36 pages, you have ample space to take notes for every class.

Moleskin Pen+ Ellipse Smart Pen

If you like to write on a variety of paper types, check out the Moleskin Pen+ Ellipse. This smart pen is incredibly intelligent. It works with Ncoded paper technology which lets the pen identify your writing. For example, as you write the date or time, it instantly recognizes it. Then, it syncs your notes chronologically all on its own. Incredibly, the Pen+ Ellipse tracks all of your strokes and updates the Moleskin Notes app in real-time. Offering endless creativity options, this smart pen will make it easy to keep track of all your notes.

Microsoft Surface Go Tablet

Looking for an on-the-go system but don’t want to shell out money for an iPad Pro? The Microsoft Surface Go is a fantastic tablet. It’s exceptionally slim at just 8.3mm thick. Plus, it also weighs only 1.5 lbs., meaning you can take it everywhere. It’ll fit into any bag, even if you’re tight on space. Of course, it’s a total powerhouse designed to keep up with your work. The beautiful PixelSense Display supports the Surface Pen. In fact, it sports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. This lets you be as precise as you need to bring all your creative designs to life. The Surface Go is complete with a 10-inch display to give you plenty of space for all thing work and play.

Kindle Built-In Front Light E-Reader

The research out is out there: staring at traditional devices day in and out isn’t great for us. It can cause fatigue in our eyes, putting strain on them. While you still need to get your work done, this Kindle is your best bet for your eyes. It has a built-in front light and a glare-free touchscreen that looks just like real paper. With the Kindle, you can power through chapter after chapter for your lit class without needing a break. Plus, with 4GB of storage, there’s more than enough room to download some book of your choice in addition to your required reading. Of course, it’s intuitively designed for one-handed reading with simple buttons to turn pages and navigate.

Innergie 60C USB-C Universal Laptop Adapter

With a cable for every device you own, it’s easy to end up with a tangled mess of tech accessories. To help you simplify your system, use the 60C USB-C adapter from Innergie. With a universal design, you can use it with any USB-C powered device. It has built-in prongs for plugging into any outlet and requires no fiddling. And, unlike your current laptop adapter, this one is impressively small. You can easily pack it in your bag or pocket, pulling it out whenever you need it. Plus, along with its compatibility with over 6,000 devices, the 60C Adapter can detect the output of your device to adequately deliver the right (and safe) amount of power.

mophie powerstation plus with Lightning connector Power Bank

Speaking of devices, college students are notorious for pulling all-nighters. Whether it’s for a party or for studying, you shouldn’t have to worry about your devices dying. Just add the mophie powerstation plus to your everyday carry. With a Lightning connector, it uses the same cable as your iPhone or iPad meaning you don’t have to lug another one around. Incredibly, it stores enough power to recharge your iPhone X 20 times over. You could go weeks without being near an outlet and still be just fine. Despite its power, this power bank is surprisingly compact so you can stash and store it anywhere.

Beats Solo3 Wireless Club Collection On-Ear Headphones

How else can you achieve the quintessential college experience unless you have a soundtrack for every part of your day? The Beats Solo3 Headphones can help you get there. The on-ear design is complete with ultra-comfortable ear cushions so they fit your ears perfectly. Plus, they come in four bold color option to help you add a pop of color to your style. With a 40-hour battery life, they can see you through your commute, your walk to class, and even your study sessions at the library. Amazingly, charging these headphones for just five minutes will give you a whopping four hours of playtime so you never have to sit around waiting.

Tile Pro Series Bluetooth Tracker Device

Even when you take away tuition prices, the cost of going to college is pretty pricing. Misplacing any of your devices, textbooks, or even your calculator can leave you high and dry when it comes to completing assignments. The Tile Pro Series is a powerful tracking device. Using Bluetooth, you can use the app to call the tracker to help you track down your stuff. Likewise, you can find your phone when you press the button on the tracker. If you’ve really misplaced your stuff, you can employ the Tile community to help you search. It will automatically ping nearby users if they come in proximity to your tracker. Small enough for just about anything you own, the Tile Pro is sure to help in those sticky situations.

Twelve South Journal CaddySack Luxury Leather Travel Tote

There’s one thing that you must learn when you go off to college: responsibility. To help you stay accountable, the Journal CaddySack Travel Tote will keep you organized. There’s a spot for all your cables, chargers, adapters, USB drives, and even your smart stylus. With a tweed interior, all your gear is safe and sound. The sleek leather design boasts high quality and equally high style. Plus, when fully zipped, the travel tote looks like a leather-bound novel. Thwarting thieves, the exterior will never reveal that you stash all your tech accessories inside.

SOLID GRAY Lightweight Hardshell Backpack

Gone are the days of boring canvas backpacks with your initials embroidered onto the front. Say hello to style and sophistication with the SOLID GRAY Backpack. Eye-catching and unlike any backpack you’ve ever seen, this bag has a stunning geometric hardshell design. The multi-faceted exterior catches the light around you, giving life to the panels. Plus, it’s totally customizable so you can create the perfect bag for your needs. Despite its beautiful design, this backpack is amazingly lightweight. Plus, its form is only mirrored by its function. You can choose the materials, options, accessories, and colors as you see fit. And, there’s room inside for all your books, your laptop, your tablet, and even your meal card.

Segway Ninebot KickScooter ES2 Upgraded Mobility Scooter

Why walk to class when you can take the Segway Ninebot KickScooter ES2? With an upgraded design, this mobility scooter propels you up to 15.5mph, making light of any cross-campus journey. Plus, with a range of 15.5 miles on a single charge, it works whether you live on campus or off. You’ll love being able to zip around all your walking classmates and arrive to class ahead of schedule. Complete with a 1.5W LED headlight, the KickScooter ES2 is perfect for getting home quickly after those night classes. With strong brakes and large wheels, it provides a comfortable journey even if you go off the beaten path.

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Smart Speaker

There are few things you can do to your dorm to make it better. With cinderblock walls, few niceties, and an RA doing random room checks, you’re better off using tech to spruce up your space. And, with the 3rd Gen Echo Dot, you can have the luxury of Alexa right in your dorm. This small yet mighty speaker is compact enough to fit on the edge of your desk or anywhere out of the way. Plus, Alexa is a profound resource that can help you finish writing your research paper. Unsure of a fact? Simply ask Alexa. When you’re not studying, the Echo Dot gives you full access to Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and so much more with just a command.

Philips Hue Go Portable Smart Light

Another way to customize your dorm without causing any damage is to put smart lights to use. The Philips Hue Go pairs with an app to give you access to millions of color options. This also includes countless shades of white light. No matter your mood, you can find a color to match. Totally wireless, the Hue Go has a three-hour battery life. It’s perfect for adding a bit of ambiance to your movie night. Or, use a blue shade to help keep yourself awake when it’s time to cram before a big test. If that wasn’t enough, the Hue Go works with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Assistant. All it takes is a single command to get the perfect lighting.

NETGEAR Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6 Router

How in the world are you supposed to research for your thesis, access multiple sources, stream your music, and download class notes? With the NETGEAR Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6 Router, of course. Powerful enough for a houseful of internet power users, this router provides a steady connection no matter what. You’ll never have to deal with buffering or lags. So, your roommate can laugh along to the latest YouTube crazy while you study the night away, all while streaming entertainment. With a two-antenna setup, it delivers the same high-speed internet access throughout your entire house.

Nintendo Switch Lite Handheld Gaming Console

No matter how intense your class schedule may be, you need to carve out some time to have fun. And, with the Nintendo Switch Lite, that can be just about anywhere. Small and compact, this on-the-go gaming console is made for handheld play. With over 2,000 games to choose from (and counting), the controllers are intuitively places so you can keep your hands firmly on the console. Plus, you can sync to other Switch devices wirelessly for multiplayer games. At a reasonable price point, playing video games on the go is a great way to unwind even with a hectic schedule.

Are you headed off to college this fall? Let us know which gadgets you have on your must-have list!

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in
tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox?
Subscribe now.

Madhurima Nag is the Head of Operations at Gadget Flow. She side-hustles as a digital marketing lecturer/speaker and loves to voice her opinion on marketing, crowdfunding and gadgets (of course!) in general.

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