College is all about having the right tech. Whether you’re partying with friends or pulling an all nighter, the right laptop, phone, speakers, and even backpack can make a huge difference. Here’s my top five picks for what to bring back to school this year.
Keep it All Charged: Powerbag – $139
It’s back to school, so you’re gonna need a killer backpack. It’s not enough that the backpack simply looks good—if you’re loading up on tech this school year, you need two other things as well. One, a bag that’s designed to fit your gadgets, with pockets for your laptop, Kindle, phone, camera, and more. Second, a backpack that can charge your devices. The Powerbag has a battery built inside, and cabling that runs through the bag with ports to match everything you own. iPhone about to die? Plug it in to your Powerbag between classes. iPad about to die? Stick it in the bag and get a quick charge. This thing is a lifesaver, and it’s going to be the ultimate backpack at college this fall.
The Ultimate Laptop: MacBook Air – $949 and up
There are two kinds of laptops at college, Macs and everything else. The good news is, Macs are more affordable than ever. A few years ago, you’d be dropping more than two grand to get your hands on the Air, Apple’s lightest and sexiest laptop ever. Today? $949 with the educational discount for the 11″ model. Personally, I’d bump it up to the 13″ at $1,149. The extra screen space can be a luxury, especially during late nights rallies to finish term papers. Plus, you get a bigger hard drive for your music collection, and an SD slot so you can quickly load pictures and videos off your camera and straight into iPhoto. This is your college experience, you are taking tons of pictures, right? Right?
Capture Everything: Canon PowerShot S100 – $370
Yeah, the camera on your iPhone is awesome. Instagram is pretty sweet too. But if you really want to document your college experience, and I’m talking about great photos of dark parties without a flash, and non-wobbly videos of your rugby games, then you need to step it up to something better. The Canon PowerShot S100 isn’t just a killer pocket-sized camera, it’s also one of the best camcorders on the market. Professionals like YouTube sensation Casey Neistat swear by this guy because, unlike bulkier video cameras, the S100 can go anywhere and come back with great HD video.
Party on the Go: HMDX Jam – $50
All this tech is useless if you don’t get to enjoy it. Whether you’re rocking out at the beach or just kicking it on a roof, you need some tunes. The speakers on an iPhone are OK when you’re listening to a podcast at home, but in any kind of party situation you’re going to need something louder. Enter the HMDX Jam, a wireless portable speaker that packs a big punch. Connect your phone or mp3 player to the speaker via bluetooth and enjoy big sound from a little speaker. Or, go wired and plug the Jam straight into your phone—it’s a little clunkier, sure, but that will boost you from four to twelve hours of music on a single charge. Combined with a Powerbag for backup power, you’ll be rocking out all day.
Party On Your Head: SOL Republic Tracks HD – $129
Whether you’re studying at the library, headed to class, working at a coffee shop, or just chilling at home and don’t want to disturb your dorm-mate, a solid pair of headphones is a must. I think SOL Rebuplic’s cans are a perfect buy for the college student. They’re stylish, light, durable, and sound great. They’re closed-back headphones so you won’t disturb anyone even at loud volumes, come in your choice of 3 colors, and they aren’t totally blown out like some other headphone brands so you can sure people will ask where you got them. A slightly cheaper option are the regular (not HD) Tracks headphones, which can be found under $100 and sound similar.