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Be smart with student tech for an A-grade Uni life

Away to Uni you go. It means you have to pack up your home life, and stretch out into the ‘real world’. It can be a daunting step but there are things you can do to make it easier for yourself – and there are things you can take with you! Setting up with some great student tech for Uni is one way to make yourself feel confident about the task ahead.

In this article we’re going to look at some of the best tech for Uni life. Some of it will be the tech you might expect for a student (laptops, TVs and the like) but some of the things we’ll be talking about are smart devices designed to make your new environment that little bit more comfortable so you can concentrate on your studies… or your play! It’s time to go back to school!

Laptops (and peripherals)

This is, of course, going to be your primary device, your main bit of student tech, while you’re at Uni. It’s likely that you won’t want to take a complete desktop PC set-up with you – and the chances are you won’t really have the space for it in your digs anyway. So a laptop is the perfect piece of computing kit for you, because it’s space efficient and portable.

It’s not really a compromise or ‘second best’ either. There are many laptops available which are powerful enough to be more than adequate for your needs. There are plenty on the market which can handle not just your Uni work but also those late night gaming sessions or when you want to catch up on the best shows on streaming services. Bear in mind you’ll probably need to check on the Wi-Fi situation where you live – is it fast enough?

If you want to extend your laptop set-up slightly, and make the ‘home’ part of it just that bit more comfortable, you could think about investing in a full-sized keyboard, with a mouse and monitor which you can connect to the laptop. Remember to check the connection capabilities of your laptop – does it have the right ports for your peripherals. Or you could go for wireless versions.

Of course, you’re going to need to transport your laptop around with you, so take a look here at our selection of laptop bags and cases. Check out the review videos (just below) in which James runs through a selection of our favourite laptops…

Smart doorbell

If security is a bit of a concern, wherever your student accommodation (whether it’s in a halls-of-residence or a privately rented house, apartment or bedsitter) it will be worth investing in a smart video doorbell.

You’ll be able to keep track of visitors to your door through the doorbell’s camera, with the facility to grab still images or record video through the device’s accompanying app. If someone knocks at the door or rings the bell, you won’t even have to get up off the sofa to answer, as most smart doorbells have a built-in intercom system.

If you are thinking of fitting a smart video doorbell, it’s a straightforward enough process, but it does involve a bit of DIY work and you should be mindful of your contract with your landlord. Ask their permission, and get their answer ‘in writing’ if you can (email or text message would probably suffice). That way you should be covered when it comes to getting your deposit back!

Smart lights

Making sure you have control of the ambience of your environment is possible when you invest in either smart lights or smart plugs.

For instance, you could buy smart bulbs and control the lighting in your home from an app on your phone or with a remote control (provided when you buy the bulbs)! With these handy devices it’s not necessary to have a smart hub. You simply insert these bulbs into the light sockets of your home, as you would a ‘normal’ bulb, and connect them to your Wi-Fi.

As well as meaning you can switch the lights on and off from your smartphone (or tablet or other app-enabled device), smart bulbs can also be brightened or dimmed too. Think about that! You can switch the lights on or off, or create different moods in the room, all from the comfort of the sofa or your bed. Now that’s some smart student tech!

Smart plugs

They’re brilliant, these. Smart plugs can turn just about any device you have into a smart device. Smart plugs are, basically, remote control plugs. They plug directly into an electricity socket, the same way as a standard plug. Any appliance you then plug into the smart plug becomes smart and is controllable through your Wi-Fi.

  • Heater: Okay, so it’s not the 1970s anymore… but student digs still have a bit of a reputation for being cold during the winter. So you can counter that with a heater plugged into smart plug. Set it to come on before you wake, or if the temperature turns while you’re out and about, switch it on from your device and… hoorah! Return to a warm room!
  • Kettle: You can set it going in the morning when you’re still in bed, boiling away so that you can have a brew in your hand in seconds once you’ve finally thrown off the duvet).
  • TV: Set a timer on the app on your phone and your TV can switch itself off while you’re in golden slumbers, having fallen asleep in the middle of that extra episode you decided to watch of that show you’ve been caning.
  • Lamps: Set up an on-and-off system for the lamps in your student home so that they come on and switch off at intervals, giving the impression that someone is at home at all times. You and your housemates can go on that all-night bender without worrying about the security of your place.

The benefits for a student home populated with smart plugs are pretty obvious from just the few examples we’ve given.

TV

Although as a student you’ll probably find yourself in the comfort of your own room and chewing on toast while catching up on your streaming shows, there’s also every chance that your home will have a shared space in which there’s the option to put a TV.

Gone are the days of your Mum and Dad’s old portable TV being up to the job of keeping a student household entertained. With the quality of TV and gaming graphics being so high, it’s worth investing in something which means you’ll get the best experience possible. You could go for a 4K TV for those Ultra High Definition moments, or there’s always plain old HD – which is still great! You could opt for a smart TV so that you also have internet access through the television – or you could ‘go even bigger’ and get a 4K smart TV. You could even plug your laptop into it and use it as a giant monitor!

Whichever you decide to opt for, a good quality TV is a brilliant addition to your student digs, so that all those evenings in front of the gogglebox are as good as they can be! Check out Ebuyer’s range here.

Noise-cancelling headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones are a great idea for those who take public transport to Uni lectures, but still enjoy listening to music way too loud! But they’re also brilliant as a method of maintaining study concentration. You can lessen the impact of the outside world by investing in a pair of headphones. You could be revising with the sound of the ocean in your ears, or  chilling out with some electro beats at 4 in the morning. Either way, noise-cancelling headphones mean that you don’t impinge on anyone else’s personal space. And manners are important, right?

Smartwatch

You’ll probably want to keep yourself trim and looking tidy while you’re at Uni so this bit of student tech is a win! All those filters on your smartphone are one thing for your socials, but there’s no substitute for the real thing. So investing in a smartwatch / fitness band which tracks your health and fitness is a really wise move. Various models will help you to monitor daily activity and control workouts. Oh, and they also tell the time! Handy when you have lectures to get to, of course!

Other notable bits of student tech you should think about are:

Printer: Although most things, these days, are firmly in the digital realm, there is no real substitute for paper – particularly in education. But imagine being stuck in the library waiting in a queue of people to print your work out – work that has to be handed in right now! So, you should really invest in a printer for your student accommodation. There are plenty of decent models available – and some are even wireless, so you could print directly from your phone or tablet!

Power bank: When your student life depends heavily on so many gadgets, it can be hard to keep track of that’s charged up and what isn’t, and can it be chaotic when you need to plug everything in at once! Charging ‘on-the-go’ for your smartphone or tablet is made much easier when you have a portable power bank.

Portable Bluetooth Speaker: You just never know, as a student, when you’re going to need to switch from ‘probably need to work’ mode to ‘party’ mode. So it might be handy to have a Bluetooth speaker or even a soundbar stashed in your bag for those impromptu hangs. Most speakers have great batteries so you can just charge them up before chilling!

Laptop Cooling Pad: Sometimes forgotten, but actually pretty essential. Laptops can heat up if used excessively (and you’re going to be working so hard). Because your laptop will be in use all day in uni, a cooling pad or stand can help you avoid any overheating and damage.

External Hard Drive: All that uni work (and all those films you want to watch) need to be stored somewhere, and you’ll probably want to keep your laptop clear so that it maintains high performance. If you’re not comfortable with the cloud, or if you want even more back-up storage, get an external hard drive to keep all your important data safe. Don’t forget it can be connected to any device, so you can take your stuff with you wherever you go, with maximum convenience.

So that’s it. You’ve got uni in just a matter of weeks from now, and with this article you have a clearer idea of some of the great bits of student tech – and smart tech! – available from Ebuyer that you can take with you to make like that bit easier. The best of luck!

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