The Official Popular Science Guide To All The Gadgets You’ll Need In College

What's the best laptop? How can you avoid losing your papers to Microsoft Word's temper tantrums? The answers, and more, within.

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So, you’re heading off to college, eh? Well, congratulations on spending, on average, somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 a year! And when you’re dropping that much cash, you might as well get the right gear to help you make the most of your higher education.

This guide is mostly basics; for incoming students who have special needs (like, say, graphic designers, or hardcore gamers, or musicians), you’ll need different equipment. But you already know if you’ll need specialized stuff, so this guide is for those who don’t have special needs. If you’re not a photographer, we’ve got a good camera recommendation to get you started. If you’re not a gamer, we’ve got the laptop that’ll be the best for most people. And everything is recommended with an eye on price: we won’t recommend something that’s the best if there’s something that’s also great and half the price. You’re not a millionaire, after all; chances are you’re going to be broke for the next few years.

Also, drink lots of water.

white MacBook Air
person holding a white android smartphone
Black Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Sony NEX 3N Camera
two Jawbone Big Jambox speakers
Klipsch Image S4 wired earbuds
Satechi external battery and an iPhone
Kryptonite bike lock with keys
blue Herschel Heritage Backpack
Simplenote note-taking app interface
Google Drive Cloud Storage
GroupMe Chatting app interface
Chegg online textbook rentals interface