Prep with tech for the next (uni) step

The class of Covid are about to flee the nest and tech is going to play an even bigger part in their lives than ever before.

While this tech-savvy generation has grown up in front of a screen, freshers are bracing for a whole new uni experience. Online learning is set to rise, or dominate and students are being urged to social distance, keeping groups to the new rule of six.

So with coronavirus changing uni life, how can you get ahead in work and play?

From top note taking tech for those Zoom lectures, to piping hot coffee and the ultimate toastie maker, gen up on our top ten uni gadgets…

1. The smartpen

Symphony Smartpen
£119.99, uk.livescribe.com

Symphony by Livescribe is a clever little smartpen that can record audio, transcribes into 27 languages and allows you to send your handwritten notes or sketches straight to your phone using the Livescribe+ App. With many uni lectures on Zoom – and the fact it’s no longer sensible to swap notes at the end of tutorials – this magic little wand helps keep you organised on the go.

2. The keyboard

Jelly Comb foldable keyboard
£24.99, amazon.co.uk

If you don’t want to carry your laptop to lectures and don’t fancy sharing a keyboard, this lightweight Jelly Comb triple foldable keyboard can slip into your bag, connects with your phone (works with both Mac OS and Android) or your iPad/Windows/Android tablet and lets you type notes straight onto Google Docs, or transfer them onto your laptop when you get back to halls.

3. The toastie maker

Breville – the Ultimate Deep Fill Toastie Maker
£34.99, amazon.co.uk

Students have been making toasties for time eternal but now they can go deeper – and more experimental than ever before. This one boasts extra deep fill plates and a high hinge to prevents contents from leaking,

4. The lost key (or any stuff) finder

Tile Mate, Limited edition Pro-1 pack
£32.99, thetileapp.com

Attach this groovy bud to your keys, and if you can’t locate them, use the Tile Mate app to track them down, using its 400-ft Bluetooth range. It’s even easier than shouting ‘MUUUUUUM.’ But even better, if it’s your phone you’ve mislaid, use your Tile Mate App to ring it – even when it’s on silent mode. With replaceable batteries.

5. The Chromebook

Asus Chromebook Flip C434
£599, johnlewis.com

More students than ever are turning to Chromebooks for a lighter, cheaper and in this case, more adaptable, alternative to chunky laptops. You can use this one as a tablet, it has a handy touch screen and is portable for lectures. 14-inch hi-definition screen means it hits the sweet spot of price, performance and design,

6. The Mini Fridge

Russell Hobbs Table Top Cooler
£99, ao.com

If you want a snack or a beer, and campus is under Covid lock and key, just reach across the desk into this cool cube, with a 17 litre capacity (one bag of shopping), handy bottle storage for drinks and reversible door (so it won’t knock over that towering stack of textbooks). . .

7. The External Hard Drive

My Passport SSD, 2TB
£289.99, westerndigital.com

With more students using Chromebooks, you want your content stored on something physical – like this lightweight beaut with up to 2TB storage for work and other things like movies, photos, videos – cool styling and drop resistant up to 6.5 feet. It’s Mac and PC compatible and ready to use out of the box. 256GB drives start from £72.99.

8. The clever coffee cup

EMBER Travel Mug 2
400ml, £159.95, amazon.co.uk

In these Covid times, we don’t want our teenagers dropping in and out of coffee shops, and neither do we want their eyeballs popping with caffeine overdose. So here’s a rechargeable cup to keep coffee warm for hours, linked to a handy app which also tracks your caffeine intake. You can upload the information to Apple Health, along with heart rate and sleep data (to use it properly, you’ll need an Apple Watch).

9. The hand-held vac

Vax One Pwr Blade 3
£179.99, vax.co.uk

The terrifying thought of your teenager in charge of cleaning their own room can be eased by this 2-in-1 cordless vac which turns from a hand stick into a handheld at a click. Cleverly avoids the high-pitched whirring which drives other flatmates mad, and includes a 40-min run time and a three year guarantee.

10. The Multi-tasking charger station

Groov-e Aura
£44.99, groove-e.co.uk

Here’s a clever idea for a small student room: a 3-in-1 wireless charger, Bluetooth speaker and touch control LED light. Pop your phone on the charging base for juice, listen to your favourite tunes and adapt the three LED light settings to suit the mood.

Got any more tech tips? We want to hear from you.

Get in touch: [email protected]

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