Your kid’s college and university years will be some of their most fulfilling—brimming with hard work, newfound independence and probably more than a little partying (let’s be real!). And whether they live at home or away, they’ll need the best tech for school to reach their full potential. From laptops and headphones to TVs and sandwich makers, here are 40 cool gadgets for post-secondary students to make the most of their time in the classroom and beyond.
For the essay whiz
The best tech for school includes an easy-to-use, reliable and affordable printer for all those assignments and research papers. Enter the Canon Pixma, which has Wi-Fi connectivity so students can wirelessly print letter-size (or smaller) documents from computers, smartphones and more.
For the smarty with a back-up plan
The Seagate Expansion is a sleek and portable external hard drive with 2 TB for storing massive amounts of school projects, movies, pictures and more. Students can use its lightning-fast USB 3.0 connection to make speedy backups of important computer files, too, to protect from crashes or data corruption. (For more class and dorm-room must-haves, print or Pin our handy back-to-school supplies checklist.)
For the work-anywhere student
For the lounger
Laptop keyboards are great, but sometimes your kid will want to stretch out their fingers and get a little distance from the screen. Easily paired to any desktop or laptop, this wireless keyboard has a spacious layout to allow cramp-free typing for those big projects. Plus, it’ll slide easily in their backpack when they’re on the go.
For the exercise enthusiast
For the work-hard, game-hard type
For the space saver
With its solid-state drive (read: fast!), Bluetooth connectivity and long battery life, this stylish Windows 10 laptop has everything needed to get through an entire degree’s worth of school assignments. At less than an inch thick, it will slip between the books in their backpack, and its 14-inch screen won’t take up too much desk space.
For the power-hungry
With a six-foot cord that makes working in the library, coffee shop or at home a total cinch, this power solution has three grounded outlets and two USB ports (hello to using all the cool gadgets at once!). It also has a handy device stand where a smartphone can sit while charging.
For the comfort craver
For the on-the-go streamer
This full-featured Android smartphone has a brilliant display for emails, texts and even movies and shows. Its world-class camera will capture all their campus memories, too. It also has an innovative PowerShare feature that students can use to charge other devices (even their best friend’s phone).
For the bookworm
A lightweight and slim e-reader that can go anywhere, the Kobo Clara’s natural print-like surface and six-inch screen are easy on the eyes in any lighting situation. It also has 8 GB of storage that can be packed full with textbooks, novels and more, making it one of the best tech gadgets for school.
For the tuned-in listener
For the (budget-conscious) music buff
You don’t have to spend a ton of cash on good noise-cancelling headphones, but your kid may be stuck contending with a cable. If that’s OK, these top-ranked Sonys block up to 95 per cent of outside noise and sound, which is great for music, podcasts or good-old peace and quiet.
For the ultra-organized
Wearables are the ultimate organization companions, and the Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch has Alexa built right in to do everything from setting assignment reminders to checking the weather. Your post-secondary student can also listen to music, get call and text notifications and track workouts, too. (For more options, see our roundup of the best Fitbits for different lifestyles and budgets.)
For the social butterfly
For the budding boss
For the movie maven
Dorm-room tech at its finest, this beautiful HD smart TV has the Roku platform built-in to give access to thousands of streaming channels and services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. If your kid wants a larger TV (and you have a bit more money to splurge!), we’ve got recommendations for the best TV sets 30-inches and above.
For the Apple devotee
Your kid can stream the latest shows and movies on Apple TV+, Netflix, Crave and more to their dorm room TV—and even ask Siri to do it for them. Playing video games via Apple Arcade is also a cinch, and they can connect with AirPlay to view their pictures and videos on the big screen.
For the big-audio lover
If your child loves to bring the noise, their TV’s sound just isn’t going to cut it for all their games, movies and shows. Luckily, the LG SK1 sound bar is inexpensive, compact and easy to set up. Most importantly, it delivers bigger bass and clear sound to any TV. Bluetooth connectivity allows students to stream music from their smartphones, too.
For the well-meaning slob
For the 24/7 jammer
For the downtime gamer
If they have a few minutes between classes or are in transit to their next destination, the Switch Lite is the perfect companion. It’s a pared-down version of the Switch and is built for a large range of Nintendo’s handheld games that can be played anytime, anywhere. (Need suggestions for what games to get them? Our roundup of the best Switch games can help you find ones they’ll love).
For the automation artist
For the photo pro
Remember cameras? They still have a purpose, especially for anyone looking to minimize their phone time. Your kid can keep their precious smartphone safe in their pocket and snap high-resolution (20-megapixel) photos of their friends and adventures that they can have blown up and printed to turn their school memories into art.
For the uber-stylish
A smartphone is an expensive investment (and of course, among the best tech for school), so it’s important to protect it. Kate Spade’s moulded, grippy, shock-resistant, hard-shell cases will not only guard against bumps and drops, but they’ll do it in style. They’re available for a wide range of iPhones and Android devices, too.
For the multitasker
Your kid will be able to stride to class with one hand on their coffee and the other texting and checking their email. This phone grip will keep fingers firmly under its pop-top, which easily collapses to get out of their way. It can also act as a stand for phones and tablets.
For the mover and shaker
Comfortable and rugged, the Kensington Campus backpack has enough space for all the essentials of school life, including a 15.6-inch laptop and a dedicated slot for a tablet. Plus, it has easily-accessible zippered storage compartments in the front for pens and cables, as well as a water-bottle pouch.
For the sleeping beauty
For the light traveller
Here’s one of those cool tech gadgets you never knew your kid needed. At home sitting on their desk, this charger is a mini AC plug tower with four USB ports for powering devices and charging speakers, phones and more. But when they’re on the move, its detachable power bank slips in a pocket for a top-up at school.
For the well-pressed
For the cooking newbie
Dorm-room cooking gadgets that save money on takeout are key, and your kid will love making home-cooked meals on the Ninja Foodi. It grills, air fries, roasts and bakes in a single countertop unit. For even healthier meals, pair this grill with a powerful juicer (we have five excellent recommendations to consider) to make delicious, antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetable smoothies.
For the bedtime reader
For the cavity prone
Whether your kid is nine or 19, convincing them to brush their teeth before bed is a struggle. Make the decision a no-brainer with this electric toothbrush designed to deep clean and loosen plaque between teeth with minimal effort. An automatic timer also acts as a helpful reminder to keep brushing for the recommended two minutes.
For the steamy sippers
For the not-so-organized
Most of us are a little forgetful when it comes to our keys, smartphones and even the TV remote control. But with the help of this handy doodad and its app, your kid will be able to find their most-misplaced items with a click of a button. They can even double-click the tracker or log in to the Tile website to make their phone ring when it’s on silent. Now that’s useful!
For the one-a-day coffee lover
Cute, stylishly designed and compact enough to fit on a crowded kitchen countertop or desk in a college dorm room, the K-Mini uses Keurig K-Cup pods for a perfect single cup (177 to 355 millilitres) of joe. The drip tray is removable to fit a standard travel mug, so your kid can even caffeinate on the go.
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