Shopping for a college student usually means focusing on the basics. Students who are moving away from home need to cover the necessities before buying any extras. But once you have all the toiletries, furnishings, sheets, pillows, and shelving, what’s next? Some great tech products can help make a student’s dorm experience more comfortable and can help them thrive when it comes to academics. If you want to move beyond the dorm-room basics, but aren’t sure where to start, here are five amazing tech gifts for students who are heading to college this year.
Blackberry Curve – Yes, an iPhone or touchscreen Android device might be near the top of most students’ wish lists, but Blackberries are a good option. Yes, these phones have a serious, professional image, but they are also packed with useful features. The Curve has excellent battery life stats; it can be on stand-by for more than two weeks without charging. A muscular operating system and an app market that is filled with useful, not frivolous, tools, make this a good choice for students who are making the transition from high school into the adult world. Of course, the Curve still has all the connectivity that college kids desire: they can connect with Facebook and other social media sites, share pictures, download or stream music and even listen to live radio.
Ionic Air Purifiers – A small table-top air purifier costs less than $100, and can significantly improve the quality of a dorm-room’s air. These purifiers don’t rely on motors, so they are much quieter than fan-driven purifiers. They are very good at reducing the amounts of particles in the air. That means less smoke, dust, pet dander, and allergens will be floating around the room. This is an indispensable tool for students who have to deal with cleaning-averse roommates or who suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies.
Polaroid Tablet – These cheap but useful devices are a poor-man’s version of the iPad. They are not as muscular in terms of their operating system or speed, but they do offer android apps and 4 GB or 8 GB of drive space. If the student’s dorm room has wi-fi access, they can sit anywhere and stream movies or music, surf the internet, or chat. Polaroid tablets might lack a lot of the features that more powerful tablets have, but at $100, they are a great value for anyone who need a tablet for basic entertainment and social networking tasks. Polaroids even come with an HDMI jack so that you can connect the device to a TV and use it to stream movies.
Online entertainment gift cards – Why give DVDs or CDs when you can give students a gift card that can allow them to stream lots of entertainment for the price of a single DVD or CD. Hulu Plus and Netflix are both popular entertainment options with unlimited streaming for less than $10 per month (make sure that the student has a comparable device, especially for Hulu, which does not allow all content to be streamed through iPad apps or gaming systems). You can even get a little creative and buy a membership for less-popular sites like Mubi (which streams independent films).
Pocket camcorder or camera – Most smart-phones can take video and photos, but having a dedicated video device can make it easier for students to record the memories of this part of their early adult life. The JVC Picso Pocket Camcorder offers HD videos at 30 frames per second. It also has an 8 megapixel camera for stills. Image-stabilization software makes it possible to take high quality videos without shaking.
Any of these gifts would be a welcome addition to your student’s dorm room.