As the imminent start of the school year looms on the horizon, the quest for the perfect tech equipment becomes an increasingly daunting task for students and parents alike. The combination of excitement and anxiety surrounding the back-to-school season is a universal experience, with the added pressure of finding the most suitable devices within a reasonable budget. The online marketplace, teeming with options, can make this pursuit a labyrinthine endeavor. Fear not, for we have undertaken the mission of curating an array of top-tier products, including PCs, tablets, smartphones, and essential accessories, designed to facilitate a seamless transition back to academia.
Navigating the Back-to-School Maze
The annual return to school represents an event of immense significance, both for students and their families. It entails not only a resurgence of academic rigor but also a financial commitment that often sparks trepidation. The need to procure the right tools for the educational journey is paramount, and in this era, technology reigns supreme. The modern student’s toolkit is incomplete without a reliable computing device, and the quest to find the perfect one can be overwhelming. To alleviate this burden, we have dedicated ourselves to evaluating and scrutinizing various PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other technological marvels throughout the year. Armed with this extensive knowledge, we aim to provide you with an unbiased assessment of the best products tailored to specific use cases. In this comprehensive guide, we present a meticulously selected range of products to ensure a seamless back-to-school experience.
The best laptop for student
For those who have surpassed the age of apprehension associated with the beginning of the school year, there is still much to gain from staying abreast of the latest in educational technology. A student’s primary interface with the school should ideally be both cost-effective and efficient. However, if budget constraints are not a concern, we invite you to explore our compilation of the best laptops of 2023. For those seeking a harmonious blend of performance and affordability, the following are some compelling options:
Honor MagicBook 14 AMD (2022): An Accessible Windows Laptop for students
Our top pick for laptops priced under $600 is the MagicBook 14, primarily due to its impressive performance. The MagicBook 14 is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, accompanied by 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256GB storage capacity. Additionally, it boasts a 56 Wh battery that conveniently charges through USB-C using the PowerDelivery standard. While it may not be the fastest ultraportable on the market, it offers an impressive battery life of 14 hours, ensuring usability in various locations without worrying about running out of power. The only significant drawback is its webcam, which unfortunately does not provide a good performance.
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Asus TUF Gaming A15 (TUF507N): Unleashing Immense Computing Power
Our endorsement of a gaming PC as a key component in a back-to-school lineup isn’t driven by cynicism. Quite the contrary, these machines often come well-equipped and are perfect for students seeking robust performance for tasks demanding resource-intensive software, such as 3D modeling or editing.
One of the models we highly recommend is the Asus TUF Gaming A15. This laptop boasts an impressive configuration featuring an AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS processor, 16 GB of high-speed DDR5 RAM, and notably, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card. This combination delivers a consistently impressive level of performance for everyday use. The 15.6-inch LCD panel is capable of rendering Full HD content with a rapid 144 Hz refresh rate. It’s a machine that expertly combines functionality and enjoyment, all at an affordable price point.
The best tablet for student
As education evolves in step with technological progress, mobility has become a cornerstone of the modern student’s toolkit. Tablets, with their versatility and portability, have become indispensable companions in the quest for knowledge. In our selection of tablets for the back-to-school season, we recommend the following options:
Apple iPad 9 (2021): Bridging the Gap Between Innovation and Affordability
If you’re in search of an affordable tablet for your back-to-school needs, you might be disappointed by the high prices of some of the models in our best iPad selection. However, for a budget-friendly option, the 2021 iPad 9 unquestionably earns our top recommendation for students.
Once again, Apple showcases its prowess with the iPad. Powered by the Apple A13 Bionic processor, it delivers impressive performance. Featuring a 10.4-inch Retina display and 64GB of storage, it’s a device that can be your daily companion. Priced at just $329, there are compelling reasons to consider making this purchase.
Xiaomi Pad 6: An Exemplar of Elegance and Functionality
Are you in search of an Android alternative? While Samsung is a well-known name in the industry, their tablets can sometimes strain the budget. Fortunately, there’s an affordable option in the form of the Xiaomi Pad 6.
In terms of specifications, this tablet is powered by a Snapdragon 870 processor built using the 7nm process, complemented by a minimum of 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Storage-wise, you get a generous 128GB. The device boasts an impressive 11-inch screen with a silky smooth 144Hz refresh rate. The measurements confirm a brightness of 522 cd/m2, making for a vivid display. With its capacious 8840mAh battery, you can count on using the tablet for a whole week before needing to recharge, and when you do, it supports fast charging via a 33W charger. With an attractive starting price of $399, it’s a high-quality device for everyday use.
For those looking to enhance their Xiaomi tablet experience, the brand also offers a stylus that’s fully compatible with the Mi Pad 6. Equipped with two physical buttons for note-taking and screen capture, this stylus conveniently charges by attaching it to one of the tablet’s magnetic strips. The stylus is available for $99, and it’s worth noting that a compatible keyboard is expected to be released in September.
A good affordable smartphone for student
Throughout the year, we conducted extensive testing on various smartphone models. Among these evaluations, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 4G emerges as a wise investment choice. While it may not claim the title of the best smartphone of 2023, it certainly stands out as an excellent option priced at less than $200.
The Redmi Note series has already established itself as a benchmark for delivering outstanding value for your money, and the new Note 12 series continues this tradition. It not only offers a comfortable grip but also boasts a remarkable display. Featuring a 120 Hz OLED panel spanning 6.67 inches, it unequivocally represents the best offering in its price range currently available in the market.
Beyond the screen, this Xiaomi smartphone presents a well-balanced set of technical specifications, including a substantial 5000 mAh battery that guarantees two full days of battery life. With 33W fast charging support, you can swiftly replenish your battery when needed. The internal hardware configuration also provides commendable daily performance. Lastly, its camera capabilities are good, though not exceptionally outstanding.
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Enhancing Productivity with PC Monitors
A conducive workspace is essential for maximizing productivity, and a reliable PC monitor can significantly augment the study environment. To help you establish an optimal work setup, we present the following choices:
Samsung Smart Monitor M7: Elevating Your Workspace with Smart Technology
Samsung’s Smart Monitor is a 32-inch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, offering excellent connectivity featuring three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and two HDMI 2.0 ports. What’s especially noteworthy is the inclusion of a multimedia remote control.
Moreover, it seamlessly integrates into the TizenOS ecosystem, providing access to services like Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV. This feature can provide some much-needed entertainment once your study sessions are completed. However, it’s worth noting that this premium functionality comes with a price tag of $399.
Huawei MateView SE (2022): A Blend of Aesthetics and Performance
In a more understated category, the Huawei MateView SE delivers impressive performance at an appealing price point. Its 23.8-inch display offers Full HD resolution, although it’s important to note that the peak brightness registers on the lower side at 220 cd/m². In terms of connectivity, it includes HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.1 options. Priced at under $200, it presents an enticing option for students seeking affordability without sacrificing quality.
Essential Accessories for a Seamless Academic Experience
A well-rounded back-to-school toolkit is not complete without essential accessories. To ensure that your tech setup is fully equipped, consider these must-haves:
Logitech MK470 Keyboard and Mouse Combo: A Seamless Typing and Navigation Experience
If you’re in the market for an excellent keyboard for office tasks, bundled with a mouse, Logitech’s package is a compelling choice. In terms of connectivity, it links to your PC using a USB receiver. Typing on the keyboard is a comfortable experience, although some might find the key travel a tad shorter than usual, necessitating a bit of adjustment. This keyboard also comes with a compact Logitech Pebble m350 mouse for added convenience.
SanDisk Ultra Fit Compact USB Flash Drive: Portable Storage for All Your Needs
The SanDisk Ultra Fit makes a rather straightforward claim: It’s an incredibly compact USB flash drive, scarcely larger than its USB-A connector. Nevertheless, it’s important to exercise caution regarding its storage because its design doesn’t provide complete protection. It offers a rather average read speed of 130 MB/s, but what stands out is its appealing price point.
Canon Pixma TS5351 Printer: Bringing Your Assignments and Projects to Life
Despite being an increasingly overlooked device, the best printers continue to serve a practical purpose in our daily lives. The Canon Pixma TS3531 is a commendable machine with a noteworthy feature: its space-saving design. This printer operates using just two cartridges—one for black and one for color. Additionally, it incorporates scanning capabilities and offers Wi-Fi connectivity for seamless everyday usage.
Netgear AirCard 797 4G Router: Staying Connected on the Go
Within our assortment of top-rated 4G routers, the Netgear AirCard 797 emerges as an appealing choice, particularly well-suited for young students. It provides a dependable internet connection compatible with the 4G LTE network. In terms of battery life, it impressively lasts for 11 hours without interruption, and its LCD screen facilitates direct management of settings.
Other things to prepare for the back-to-school
- E-reader: An e-reader is a great way for students to read textbooks and e-books without having to lug around heavy books. E-readers are also more portable than laptops and tablets, making them ideal for students who are always on the go. When choosing an e-reader, consider the screen size, display resolution, and battery life.
- Headphones: Headphones are a must-have for students who want to listen to music, watch videos, or take online classes without disturbing others. When choosing headphones, consider the student’s needs and budget. Some factors to consider include the type of headphones (wired or wireless), noise cancellation, and sound quality.
- External hard drive: An external hard drive is a great way to store files, photos, and videos. This can be especially helpful for students who need to back up their work or who need to carry around large files. When choosing an external hard drive, consider the capacity, portability, and price. Some factors to consider include the storage capacity, data transfer speed, and durability.
- Portable power bank: A portable power bank can be a lifesaver for students who are always on the go. It can be used to charge laptops, tablets, and smartphones, so students don’t have to worry about running out of battery power.
tech-related things that students might find helpful for back to school:
- Stylus: A stylus can be helpful for students who take notes on their tablets or e-readers. It can also be used for drawing, sketching, and annotating documents.
- Study apps: There are a number of study apps available that can help students stay organized, track their progress, and learn more effectively.
- Backpack: A good backpack is essential for carrying your laptop, books, and other belongings. Look for a backpack that is comfortable to wear and has enough compartments to keep everything organized.
- Laptop stand: A laptop stand can help to improve the ergonomics of your workspace and reduce neck and shoulder pain.
- USB hub: A USB hub can be helpful for students who need to connect multiple devices to their laptop. This can be especially helpful for students who use a lot of peripherals, such as external hard drives, printers, and cameras.
- Smartwatch: This can be in use to check notifications, make calls, and control music playback.
- Virtual reality headset: This can be a fun and educational way to learn about different topics.
- Digital whiteboard: This can be used for brainstorming, taking notes, and collaborating with others.
- Robotics kit: This can be a fun and challenging way to learn about engineering and programming.
- 3D printer: This can be used to create models, prototypes, and even custom objects.
These are just a few ideas, and the best tech gadgets for students will vary depending on their individual needs and preferences. When choosing tech gadgets for back to school, it is important to consider the following factors:
- The student’s budget
- The student’s needs (e.g., what will they be using the tech gadgets for?)
- The student’s preferences (e.g., do they prefer wired or wireless headphones?)
In the midst of the flurry of back-to-school preparations, the tech-savvy student or parent can rest assured that we are here to provide guidance and insights into the best tech options for a successful academic year. Whether you’re a student stepping into a new semester or a seasoned scholar looking to upgrade your tech devices, this comprehensive guide offers a curated selection of devices and accessories to ensure a smooth and productive return to the classroom. With the right tools at your disposal, you can embark on your educational journey with confidence, knowing that you are equipped for success in this ever-evolving digital age.