Campus, dorm, and university life isn’t easy.
Being so well versed in technology and modern gadgets, we thought it would be a great idea to go over some tech that can help you on campus!
Now, just to preface, we’re not going to bother talking about the obvious gear like laptops or even tablets. We’re pretty sure you know what all that stuff is by now, and what you’re interested in. You don’t need us telling you what computer to buy. You’ll probably scoff at our choices anyway, we would.
Instead, we’re going to focus on some of the other technology out there, most of which you might not know about. This includes devices like smart home tech, wearables, business-related gear, and more.
If you already have yourself a smartphone and laptop for use on campus, then this is the right feature for you! If you don’t have one of those things, that is probably the best place to start, since a lot of these devices will interface with a smartphone – so you’ll need one.
Let’s dive in.
Best Support: Amazon Echo Dot
As a college student, you probably don’t have a lot of extra money to work with – or maybe you do – that’s not meant to be an insult at all. The Amazon Echo Dot is a great piece of tech for under $100, in fact, it’s only about $50.
It’s a small, voice-enabled speaker that employs Amazon’s Alexa AI. You can ask her questions, tell her to interact with other smart home gadgets, and even have her play music or media on a connected TV. For those times when you’re a little depressed, Alexa can even shoot out a few jokes for you.
Arguably, one of the most promising features for students is Alexa can tap into Google’s wide knowledge base to answer queries you may have. If you don’t have a lot of time to browse the web for answers, Alexa can be a huge help.
She’s not perfect mind you, there are some hiccups here and there, but a Dot is definitely worth the price and can make your college life a whole lot easier. Especially, if you equip your apartment or dorm with other smart home products – because Echo can be used to control them.
Best Audio Streaming: Google Chromecast Audio
Want something that can turn any old “dumb” audio system into a connected one? Take a look at Google’s Chromecast Audio device. It’s only $35, and it can be plugged into any stereo, boombox, or PC speakers with an aux port to tap into wireless streaming audio services.
Onboard there’s support for platforms like Pandora, Spotify, NPR, and iHeart Radio. There are a handful of apps that allow you to connect an iPhone or iPad, but if you have an Android you can send any audio to the little device.
It’s great for study sessions or impromptu gatherings with friends.
Best Accessory: BiolitePowerLight Mini
Sometimes you just need a little light in your life, and it just so happens that’s exactly what the BiolitePowerLight Mini can offer.
It’s a handy USB rechargeable light that includes an internal 1,350mAh battery. When it’s charged to full, it can provide up to 52 hours of light, and it even doubles as a portable battery pack for your phone or other mobile devices.
There are several lighting modes too: White lantern, red night vision, a red and white strobe, and a white point light.
It comes with a small clip so you can attach it to a bike, or you can carry it as a lantern or portable too.
Did we mention it’s only $50?
Best Smart Tech: Switchmate
In a dorm or apartment, you may not have the resources to install a smart light or even a smart bulb. That’s okay, we have you covered. The Switchmate is a $40 magnetic switch that snaps onto the screws used to fasten a switch plate to the wall.
Why would anyone need this?
With the smartphone app, you can turn off lights remotely, using Bluetooth. This makes it so you never have to get up out of bed to turn on or off your lights. If you come home late – tired, drunk, or some combination of the two – you don’t have to fumble in the dark for the switch.
Plus, it’s compatible with nearly any switch plate, so once you leave your dorm you can bring the device with you.
Best Beer Tech: Fizzics
There’s just something about store-bought beer that makes it different from draft. It’s missing a certain flavor, a certain oomph. Fizzics is a $170 countertop gadget that promises to boost the flavor of any store-bought beer, by making it taste like draft.
It’s great for craft drinkers who want to get a little more flavor out of their beer. If you decide to give it a try, you absolutely must try it with sweet flavored or lambic beers. We insist.
Best Wearable Tech: Fitbit Blaze
If you can afford an Apple Watch, go for that. Most of us, however, simply cannot. That’s okay because there are plenty of alternatives. Out of all the options, we chose the Fitbit Blaze, the company’s first smartwatch.
They are known for their fitness and health trackers, but the Blaze is something different. It’s a small touchscreen-enabled smartwatch that can display remote notifications and alerts from your phone. But it also has all the fitness and health support Fitbit devices are known for. Fitbit has a great mobile app too, that allows you to track a whole bunch of personal stats and achievements.
Plus, it starts at $199.95, slightly cheaper than the OG Apple Watch.