Back to School Tech: Must-Haves

by | January 8, 2018

It’s the beginning of a new semester. Christmas has just passed and it’s time to press forward with the business of getting that USC degree. Once again you will be gracing the valley with your presence. So you have to be ready of course, you must have your tools. What’s a carpenter without a hammer, or a painter without brushes? In the same manner, we as students need to be ready to tackle all the demands of the upcoming semester, and voilà, this list of back to school tech must-haves was born.

An Affordable Laptop
Going to university without a laptop can be compared to trying to play piano with your hands tied behind your back. I know this struggle all too well, as in my first semester at main campus my laptop decided to give up the ghost. It was a struggle, the writing a 7-page book review on your smartphone type of struggle, and I wouldn’t wish it on even an enemy. Simply put, you’ll have a much easier time overall if you do have that laptop. As a student, you’ll be dealing with online courses, Moodle assignment portals and having to efficiently communicate with lecturers. Things that a laptop can make easy.
Students should focus on choosing a portable laptop (not too big or heavy), whether the operating system is right for you, and if the battery has enough juice to withstand a full day of use. Now you might think this would be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. A laptop doesn’t have to break the bank and send either you or your parents into the poorhouse.
Recommendation: Take a look at the Asus Vivobook E403. It’s a small, thin laptop, with build quality that gives that premium feel. It’s relatively powerful and can handle some light gaming all in a $400 USD package. Check it out here: http://goo.gl/FDjDhV

An Affordable Smartphone
In today’s modern classroom the smartphone has an increasingly prominent place. Smartphones play an important role in notetaking, organizing schedules, creating a study plan and even researching topics. Therefore, in choosing the right smartphone for you, you’ll want to pay attention to a couple things.
A decent camera is essential to student life as you’ll be taking pictures of anything ranging from lecture notes to pictures of the tour to Toco. Screen size is also of importance, as students are usually always on the go and might very well need to study on the go. A larger screen size can help make this a breeze. It should also have decent enough battery life to carry you throughout the day, as a dead phone is no more than an expensive paperweight.
It is possible to get yourself an affordable smartphone it might take a little looking around but it can be done.
Recommendation: Take a look at the Moto G5 16GB version, which is one of the most popular budget phones on the market right now. Sporting near stock Android 7.0 software, a rather capable 13MP camera and a 5-inch screen the Moto G5 just might be the phone for you. Check it out here: http://goo.gl/HjPKAN

A Power Bank
Let’s face it, we are all students and we have all had the experience of a smartphone going dead the very moment that we needed it the most. However, with a power bank that could be a thing of the past. A power bank of the right size could do wonders for you and put you at ease in those desperate times when you could have called a friend in Curepe to grab a couple Sauce Doubles for you. When it comes to power banks, it all comes down to what you are willing to pay. So finding a good balance between capacity and price is necessary.
Recommendation: Take a look at the Anker Power Core 10000, one of the most compact yet powerful power banks on the market at present. Anker promises at the most an average of 3 charges with a single charge. Check it out here: http://goo.gl/aGJup4

An External Hard Drive
As students, we need to always make sure that our documents are secured in a secondary location. Trust me on this you don’t need to experience the fear of wondering if you emailed that paper to yourself after your computer has let you down (God rest her soul). This is where an external hard drive steps in to save the day. All your media, whether movies, audio, files, projects, coding labs and regular labs can be stored on your external hard drive. And once you take care of it your data will be safe. Hard drives are usually quite reasonably priced and do not empty your wallet.
Recommendation: Take a look at the Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable Hard Drive. Offers a transfer rate up to 5GB/s and USB 3.0 all in a compact, smudge-resistant design. Check it out here: http://goo.gl/CS4NcA