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Little things can get you while you’re in college. You arrive on campus, fresh and ready to go, but before you know it, you have a few weeks of a new semester ahead of you and you have a long list of little things you forgot to pack and need to buy as soon as possible. We at Engadget also know from experience that there are inconspicuous devices that can make your college life easier. To help you get into the game, we’ve put together the best school devices under $ 50 so you can buy the most important ones before you even step into campus.
Anchor PowerExtend Cube USB-C distribution strip
Basic wall sockets with two sockets just don’t cut them anymore now that we all have a small army of devices we rely on every day. Power strip like Anchor PowerExtend it will become a need of students as it provides them with more power options than what is standard in their dormitories. This cube has two USB-A ports, one 30-watt USB-C port and three AC outlets, giving you more ways to charge your laptop, phone, tablet, headphones and other devices. A five-foot cable is another advantage, as it prevents you from having to hug the library wall to get the job done. It also weighs only 9.2 ounces, so you can take it with you whenever you need your personal charging station.
Bionic wardrobe cabinet
Being organized is key to staying sane in school, and the same goes for your digital and physical basics. For the latter, Incase’s Bionic plugin organizer is just the right size to serve both as a pencil case and as “everything else”. It has a range of pen loops for those who prefer handmade notes, but it also has a bunch of pockets of different sizes that can easily hold things like your portable hard drive, extra phone charger, and even a compact wireless mouse. And unlike those cheap pencil cases you’ll find in the dollar store, this one is made from recycled ocean, which is the equivalent of seven plastic bottles.
Lention 4-in-1 USB-C hub
Your brand new laptop may shine fast and be extremely light, but it’s probably not in the port department. Such is the compromise that companies make when creating powerful thin and light machines, leaving us stuck to live the life of a dongle. But it doesn’t have to be so painful if you get the right adapter for your laptop. Lention’s 4-in-1 USB-C hub is a great option for students. It is compact, measuring 3 x 1.4 inches, and includes three USB-A ports and one USB-C port. This should allow you to connect accessories such as mice and keyboards, and even access files on your thumb while working on a group project. The USB-C port only charges, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – you can use it with a laptop power adapter and a USB-C device power cable while using the adapter at the same time.
As a student, there’s nothing worse than realizing that your iPhone is up to 2 percent on battery when you’re in the middle of sending an assignment online. The charging cable that came with your phone probably served you well, but if you have another, longer cable, you can power yourself in difficult situations even when the nearest outlet is across the room. We’ve been fans of Anker’s Powerline series for a long time, and that’s it 10-meter USB-C lightning cable worth investing. Not only is it MFi certified so it will work well with all Apple devices, but its length gives you much more flexibility than your standard three-foot cable does. It also supports fast charging if you have a suitably powerful adapter to use. And for those who don’t have an iPhone, Anker has 10-meter USB-C to C cable which should also serve your phones.
We are all familiar with the icy cold panic that breaks through us when you realize you have lost your keys, wallet, phone or other valuables. There are many gadgets that can help you find these items, but AirTags are probably best for those living in Apple’s ecosystem. Like most Apple accessories, setting up AirTags is as simple as setting up close to your iPhone and discovering how you want to attach them to your stuff (and you they don’t have to spend a lot of money for fancy keychains). After that, if you lose your belongings, you can force the AirTag to emit a loud sound over the phone. And if you’re still in Bluetooth range, Apple’s precision locating feature it can literally get you back to your stuff. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can skip AirTags and opt for one of them Tile’s numerous Bluetooth trackers to gain a similar experience.
SanDisk Dual Drive Go
While you may be used to storing tasks in the cloud, it can’t hurt if you have local backups as backups. SanDisk’s Dual Drive Go is a small thumb with both USB-C and USB-A connectors, so you can download and save important programs, files, photos and other documents from almost any device. It works with laptops, tablets and smartphones, and even has a companion app that can automatically back up your files so you always have the latest version on hand. We appreciate the dual USB connection, small device size and affordable price – you can get the 256GB model for only $ 30 to $ 40.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th generation)
The Echo Dot for a reason it’s Amazon’s most popular smart speaker – it’s small, sounds pretty good because of its size, and does a lot more than play music. Students will love the fact that it doesn’t take up too much space on their desks and they can ask Alex to play music from Spotify, Apple Music and others whenever they want to have an impromptu dance party in the dorm. And since it plugs into a wall outlet, they never have to remember to charge the Echo Dot like they would a portable speaker. Also, when the assignment keeps them going, students can turn to Alex for help. Do we suggest asking Alexa for answers to all the puzzles around homework? Not really … but the voice assistant’s answers could give them a good starting point for further research.
Tablet stand Anozer
Whether you are studying, attending a virtual course or watching a movie, it is crucial that you choose your device from a comfortable viewing angle. Anozer phone and tablet stand is a solid but modest solution – it is adjustable in height and angle, a metal weighted base with rubber feet helps it stay in place and can be folded flat so that it is easily portable. We also appreciate its silicone-coated backing and rubber hooks that prevent your phone or tablet from slipping and slipping. This must be available to anyone who primarily uses mobile devices to complete school assignments.
Manta sleeping mask
Sleeping can be hard to come by in college. Sometimes you may have to cram in late into the night to prepare for the exam, but other times you will be subjected to the whims of others as they revolve around your dormitory as if classes and projects simply don’t exist. When you need to turn off the world in hopes of catching a few ZZZs, Mantina sleeping mask could be a lifesaver We like adjustable eye cups that block out almost 100 percent of light, limiting visual distraction around you. The headband is also adjustable, you can tighten or loosen the mask to your liking. And if you need it, Manta sells different types of eye glasses that you can turn off whenever you want migraine relief or a a little more TLC for your skin. We also recommend filling out the “do not disturb” package with a good pair of earplugs which block sound interference when you try to sleep.
RAVPower 20.000mAh charger
It goes without saying that the portable way of charging the phone is crucial today. But a battery that can charge all your devices, including your laptop, is even better. RAVPower portable charger of 20,000mAh does just that – its 60W power allows it to write machines like the MacBook Pro from 0 to 60 percent in just one hour. And if your laptop is covered, it can quickly power your tablet, smartphone, headphones and other devices. Just before the publication of this article, RAVPower’s charger went up to $ 54, but even if it’s slightly more expensive than our original threshold, we still think it’s worth the investment.
USB desktop fan
It can be inevitably hot in the dormitories during the school year, and there are few things worse than sweating when you try to study. A device to aid air circulation is a necessity and this USB desktop fan is small and quiet enough to work in almost any environment. It doesn’t take up a lot of desk space, and its nearly 4-meter-long cable makes it easy to connect to a power source – probably your laptop, as it will probably be nearby during learning, but it can also be a USB adapter connected to an AC outlet or even a laptop battery pack. The fan also has three speeds, and the head can be tilted to direct air into your face or anywhere else you want.
Brita bottle filter
The environmental reasons for carrying a reusable water bottle are clear, and hydration is important for everyone – not just students. Brita’s it’s a good option because it’s made of BPA-free plastic, comes in capacities of 26 ounces and 36 ounces, has an airtight lid and uses a filter straw to make the water you drink, like the water you’d get from a larger Brita container. And no, you won’t have to spend too much on replaceable filters either. The company recommends changing the bottle filter every two months and a package of three filters you will only spend about $ 12.