Back-to-School Must Haves for College Students

That old summertime standard "No more pencils, no more books" can just as easily be applied to back-to-school these days, when school shopping lists are packed with gadgets. Tech is now part of almost every student's toolkit, all the way from pre-K to MBA. iPads and Kindles are at the top of the list, as are flash drives and things like the Amazon Fire TV Stick. What else does today's uber connected college student need? Here are just some of the must-haves making the rounds:

A Smarter Notebook
Taking notes by hand is smart. Being able to jot them down with a ballpoint pen and having them appear in your Evernote account is brilliant. The Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook is a classic Moleskine with a twist. Transfer notes from paper to pixels with Evernote's page camera, then organize, share and access notes from anywhere. Alternatively try Livescribe's Echo smartpen, which records lectures as you write and sends those notes to your phone or tablet.

A Backpack and Battery in One
The Tylt Energi Backpack + Battery has more than 1,450 cubic inches of space divided into dedicated laptop and tablet compartments plus two 1Amp USB ports and a 2.1Amp USB port so your stuff never dies on the fly. How? A rechargeable 10,400mAh battery that packs enough juice to let you charge your devices four times over. Going green and want long walks across the quad to count for something? Try the Bellino G- Tech Solar Backpack instead.

A Little Peace and Quiet
The dorm floor is loud. As is – surprisingly – the library. Cozy cafes have all the ambiance and all the distractions, too. QuietComfort noise cancelling headphones from BOSE can cut through all the noise to make study sessions more productive but the price tag is pretty hefty. Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC1 cans, on the other hand, are less than a hundred bucks and almost as effective.

A Workhorse Tablet
As laptops transformed the college experience once upon a time, tablets like the iPad Mini 3 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S are making textbooks obsolete. With one device, it's possible to bang out homework, do research, take notes, read the texts and then chill out after a hard day of making the grade. Considering the huge price difference between some textbooks and their ebook counterparts, the money spent on a new tablet can actually be money saved.

A Modern Traditional Interface
Tablets are everywhere at universities, particularly now that carriers like T-Mobile are giving away free wifi and other freebies like candy. But as easy as it is to Swype, sometimes it just makes more sense to type. That's where add-ons like the Epic Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard come into play. Thiss particular portable keyboard is extra portable because it's nothing more than light projected by a device that's about the size of a match box.

A Backup Plan
Dead gadgets don't have to mean D grades when you take out an insurance policy in the form of an external hard drive. Backing up homework, notes and projects is a no-brainer, and the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is a solid choice because it can be used with your mobile devices. On the other hand, if durability is something you need then check out the LaCie Rugged Mini USB 3.0 – rumor has it that even driving over it with a car won't decimate your data.

A Little Personality
From a MIMOCO character flash drive to Jabra’s Solemate speakers, there are so many ways to personalize a dorm room with tech. Maybe the HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset is just what you need to unwind after class. Or could be that Blue Goldie, the charger cord conquering fish friend for your iPhone, is making your dorm room neater.

Chances are that gadgets are on every college student's back-to-school shopping list, and the first day of class is approaching fast. The suggestions above are guaranteed to make it a great year.

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