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The Best Technology For Life At University

If you’re preparing to head away from home to university for the first time, then it can be a daunting prospect.

Even if you’re in your second or third year, living on your own or in a shared house throws up a whole list of items you need to own.

But never fear. Here are some suggestions of the must-have kit that will keep uni students fed, watered and entertained. You might need a part-time job – or accommodating parents – to pay for it though.

» Windows 7 Ultrabook

Lugging a heavy laptop to lectures will soon drag you down. So if you can afford to splash out on a new computer, then an Ultrabook is perfect.

Thin and light, these machines run on the latest Windows operating system and pack all the power and specifications of a portable PC twice its weight. Generally they feature 13 inch screens but you will find some with 11in or 15in.

» TED app

The home of exciting ideas on the internet has apps for both iOS and Android. It’s packed with video and audio talks and demonstrations to get your brain ticking and the conversation flowing with fellow students on campus.

» MacBook Pro

Apple portable computers are pricey and can cost double that of a basic laptop. But many students love their ease of use, accessible features for design and creativity and let’s face it, the style statement they make while working away on one.

The newest models have the latest Intel i5 processors and plenty of RAM memory for multitasking. The 13in entry-level model also has a 500GB hard drive. If you want something more portable and as thin as an Ultrabook then consider the MacBook Air.

» Dropbox

With all those lectures, coursework and dissertations, you’ll need some online storage to keep files, research and notes.

There’s still no better place on the internet than Dropbox, which provides a free web-based account of 2GB and allows you to access it from apps on your smartphone or tablet too. Recommend Dropbox to friends and other students and you can earn up to 18GB extra when they open an account.

» Olympus Digital Voice Recorder

Although most smartphones can record audio, they’re not a real substitute if you need to tape hours upon hours of lectures.

This value-for-money Olympus dictaphone has space for 145 hours of tutor chat and can record conference-style while in a larger hall. It is also voice-activated so won’t waste battery when the Professor runs out of things to say. As if!

» iTunes U

If you own an iPhone or iPad and are still studying, then iTunes U is a must.

It features textbooks and other learning resources and lets you subscribe to online courses. You can also watch and listen to virtual lectures and take notes as they happen.

» Sandwich Toasters

It’s the staple of many a student diet and the humble toasted sandwich has ensured millions of students haven’t gone hungry.

This basic Proline version makes the traditional sort with sealed sides while this Cafe-style Breville allows you to impress a date with a Panini or Foccacia.

» George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine

Whether you’re cooking burgers or sausages, both meat and veggie options, this Health Grill ensures a meal that’s dripping in far less fat than a pizza takeaway or kebab.

You can also use it to make steak or chicken and this small version of the best-selling appliance is now at a bargain price.

» TuneIn Radio

When you’re burning the midnight oil trying to get to grips with your latest lesson, you’ll need some company. And this site and its apps give you access to radio stations across the whole of the world. You can choose music by different genres, tune in to talk stations or find the local station in the new town or city you’ve moved to in order to attend college or university.

There’s so much to listen to, don’t spend too long choosing – remember you’ve got work to do.

» Microwaves

All students need a microwave. It’s an indispensable purchase. Warm up ready-made meals, cook scrambled eggs, heat milk, the possibilities for feeding yourself with even the most basic microwave are endless.

This Eurolec model is as basic as can be with a small 17 litre capacity but crucially it has manual controls which shouldn’t confuse you when you return home hungry early on a Sunday morning after a late night out.

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