college tech essentials

Office Depot

10 back-to-school tech essentials to make college easier

Make undergrad life as painless as possible.


Jaime Carrillo

Dot Recs

Sponsored by Office Depot

With all the things you have to remember when you go to college, you’ll need to think smart to maximize your time. One key part of that is having the right back-to-school tech essentials on hand. Here are a few tips to make your learning experiences as painless as possible.

First, forget the “less is more” mentality. Invest a bit more cash into what you buy up front, especially your laptop. When it comes to tech, “more is more.” Cheaper tech isn’t worth it, and pricier models offer faster speeds, more memory, and less headaches.

Second, buy essentials before you need them. Your university years will likely be full of surprises and last-minute emergencies. To avoid this issue, get what you’ll need eventually now, so you can save yourself potentially stressful trips to the store.

Lastly and most importantly, count on Office Depot and OfficeMax to have all the latest tech to serve your needs.

We’ve curated some of the best tech for classroom, campus, and dorm life to make your college years as memorable as possible.

College tech essentials

1) SanDisk USB Drive 16 GB

Whether you’re working on your own computer, a friend’s, or on one at the library, you want to keep your precious documents and media safe. This USB drive fits in your pocket, so you can take it anywhere and have it ready at a moment’s notice.

Price: $5.99 (regularly $17.99)


2) Presto MyJo single cup coffee maker

There’s nothing more convenient than a K-Cup® pods coffee maker. The problem is, dorms aren’t known for their roominess. Thankfully, this tiny and totally analog coffee machine brews K-Cup® pods without the need to plug in. It even stows away in your backpack in case you need to prepare for caffeine emergencies.

Price: $18.19


3) HP Curved Monitor, 27-inch

You’ll need to make the most of your tiny dorm space. Instead of a desktop computer hogging up real estate, get a laptop and connect it to this beautiful LED screen. This will make those long hours of research and typing far more bearable. Even better: its curved design ensures it will look crystal clear from every angle it’s viewed at. It’s perfect for streaming media and gaming during your free time.

Price: $229.99 (regularly $299.99)


4) WD My Passport 4TB portable hard drive

Piles of files are going to be a constant in the four or more years to come. Sure, you’ll want to stockpile projects and reports for emergencies, but you’ll likely want space to store games, movies, and TV shows as well. When your laptop runs out of room, count on this portable hard drive to keep all your precious files safe and sound. You can even protect them with a password to keep prying eyes away.

Price: $109 (regularly $159)


5) Texas Instrument TI-84 Plus color graphing calculator

Who says calculators can’t also look chic? Math is inescapable whether your major is chemistry or communications, and you’ll eventually need a great calculator. This one comes with a high-resolution display with split-screen functionality. It will keep you covered from pre-algebra through calculus, and even a few science classes in between. And unlike older models, it will even fit in most pockets.

Price: $152.99


6) Microsoft Office Home student edition

No, it’s not sexy. But if you’re going to succeed in every class from Biology to Art History, you’ll need Microsoft Office. It’s ubiquitous because it’s so dependable. This subscription gives you a discounted rate on Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Make all your brilliant ideas come to life and wow the heck out of educators and fellow students alike. You can even save $20 on Office when you buy a new PC or Windows Tablet.

Price: $149


7) Holmes Tower Fan with remote

Nothing makes you and your tech sluggish like a sudden rise in the temperature. Thankfully, since you don’t need to cool down a huge area, this simple tower fan will be all you need to stay cool year round. On especially sluggish days, you can control this handy fan with a remote.

Price: $59.99


8) Ativa On-Ear Headphones

Comfortable headphones shouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars. Not only do the padded cushions ensure a proper fit, but there is also even an in-line microphone that lets you chat hands-free. You can even fold them up to store them in a desk drawer or backpack.

Price: $7.99


9) HP ENVY Wireless All-in-One photo printer

Instead of rushing to the library to print your latest report or project, sleep in knowing you have a print shop in your dorm room. This small printer is a total workhorse and will not only produce photo-quality prints but scan and even copy, all without any cumbersome wires. Bluetooth will connect this printer to your laptop, desktop, or even smartphone.

Price: $119.99


10) Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

You’ll never see a more flexible mouse. It’s so easy you only need to use a single finger to operate it. And don’t bother with a mousepad, its BlueTrack technology lets this baby work on any surface from glass to wood. Look ma, no wires! This mouse is totally wireless and even folds flat when you want to stow it away.

Price: $62.99


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