10 must-have gadgets for every college student

Noelle Ike
August 7th, 2018

Story highlights

  • Managing all parts of college life can be tough, but tech products can be a big help
  • These 10 items aim to improve aspects of your daily life, from health to productivity

Starting college is a time of transition, which means there's a lot going on and to keep organized. Fortunately, there are many great tech products that aim to improve every aspect of our busy lives — these top 10 tech products on Amazon among them. So take advantage of your student email and register for an Amazon Prime Student account, if you haven't already (trust me it will save you loads of time and money), and have all these products sent straight to your new dorm room or apartment. Take it from me, a college student.

Note: The prices below reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.

1. Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker ($25.99; amazon.com)

Music is a necessary part of entertaining, which makes a good speaker a must-have item. There are plenty of options that can be too expensive or excessive for a dorm room or apartment, but the Anker Bluetooth Speaker is anything but that. For only $26.99, it's an Amazon's Choice product boasting a 4.6-star rating with over 11,900 reviews. Not only do people love the clear, balanced and loud sound, but other features, like its 24-hour battery life and easy Bluetooth connectivity, make it stand out in its price range.

2. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer ($129.95; amazon.com)

Photos are a great way to decorate your dorm room with old and new memories alike, and this portable photo printer is a dream for keeping track of all the memories you'll make in college. The printer connects to your phone and social media apps via Bluetooth, and through the HP Sprocket app, you can edit and print high quality photos anywhere and at any time. The product also comes with sticky backed paper so you can attach your images to any surface, from your walls to notebooks or your laptop.

3. Fitbit Alta ($99.95; amazon.com)

Maintaining healthy habits in college is a necessary part of the lifestyle change. Chances are you have unlimited access to a dining hall, and there will probably be late study nights that involve cups of noodles and peanut butter. Be proactive by investing in a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Alta. The Alta is a great option because it keeps track of all your activity and exercise, in addition to your sleep, so you can better understand how much (or little) you're actually sleeping. One of my favorite parts of the Alta as opposed to a more basic fitness tracker is that it connects to your phone via Bluetooth, so you can check incoming text messages in class without having to take your phone out.

4. Mosche Sunrise Alarm Clock ($22.88; amazon.com)

If loud, annoying alarm clocks aren't your thing, but you need something more than your phone alarm to wake you up for class, this Sunrise Alarm Clock could be a great option. It comes with six natural sounds and FM radio, so you can either wake up to the relaxing sounds of nature or your favorite radio station. There are also seven colors and 10 brightness settings, so you can tailor your morning experience to what makes you feel relaxed and well rested. The best part is that the clock can simulate a sunrise — 30 minutes before your alarm, the brightness will increase from zero to 100% — which the company claims helps wake you up gradually and gently.

5. Kindle Paperwhite — Certified Refurbished ($99.99; amazon.com)

Save yourself the struggle of hauling books around by buying an e-reader. It's a great way to ensure you can read wherever you are. I love the Kindle Paperwhite because it's sleek — I even forget I have it in my bag because it's so lightweight. Its built-in front light won't strain your eyes like your phone or tablet might, and it adjusts for reading in everything from a dark bedroom, while your roommate is sleeping, to an afternoon of studying outside in the sun. Another added bonus is that the battery life is awesome for a busy student since it can last for weeks on a single charge.

6. Mpow Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds ($34.99; amazon.com)

Quality earbuds are a must have when you're running from class to the gym to your student organization meetings. They're light and don't take up extra space. This option from Mpow includes several great features in addition to their sound quality and microphone. For instance, they come with a 15-hour battery life and a portable charging case, so you don't have to worry about your headphones losing power.

7. Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamp ($59.99; amazon.com)

I go to school in Illinois, and one of the hardest transitional adjustments for many students is how dark and cold it is during the winter. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, light therapy is one of the most widely used treatments, according to the American Psychological Association. These lamps mimic natural, outdoor light to make your body feel like it's getting more sun than it is. This is meant to counter symptoms of SAD, such as trouble sleeping or moodiness. If you would like to learn more about light therapy lamps, click here. This model from Circadian Optics is rated 4.3 stars on Amazon with over 500 reviews.

8. Anker PowerPack ($69.99; amazon.com)

If you haven't jumped on the Anker charging train, now's the time. I've had a few portable chargers, but none of them perform even closely to the way my Anker does. The PowerPack has everything you need for college, and for traveling in general, including a battery pack, a four-port USB charger and a micro USB cable. The 3-foot long cable is something I never knew I needed, but it's a game changer for charging in inconvenient places, like an airport. If the PowerPack seems more than you need, you can opt for the Anker PowerCore ($19.99; amazon.com).

9. Echo Dot ($49.99; amazon.com)

If you haven't already discovered them, Amazon Echo devices can help you stay organized. The Echo Dot is great for doing things like playing music or making calls, but it's the little things that can really make you more productive. Like setting reminders for yourself or checking your calendar before a busy day. It's even great for the not so academically oriented problems. The Echo Dot can connect to your smartphone to do things like order laundry detergent from Amazon, send flowers home in time for Mother's Day or check your bank account balance.

10. TaoTronics Dimmable LED Desk Lamp ($39.99; amazon.com)

Your dorm room might provide you with a desk lamp, but chances are it's not super high quality. As someone who needs bright, warm lighting in order to study, many libraries or study centers don't have the facilities needed for me to be my most productive. A great lamp can change that. This LED desk lamp comes with 18 adjustable settings for everything from reading, writing or relaxing. One of my favorite parts is that it includes a USB port so you can charge your phone while you work.