Back-to-school has changed a lot over the past few years, especially for college students. Gone are the days of notepads and pencils, now is the time of tablets and styluses. Incoming freshmen and their parents will soon be flocking to the stores for Tax-free weekend to stock up on all the back-to-school necessities (and probably a lot of unnecessary stuff too), in hopes of getting the year off to a great start.back-to-school Back-to-School Essentials for College Freshmen Part 1 ipad 820272 1920

In an effort to help point you in the right direction, we’ve put together a list of tech necessities for the classroom and the dorm room. In part one, we’ll cover the classroom, in part two, we’ll cover the dorm. You can also check out our post about essential tech accessories for back-to-school by clicking here

Laptops:
I know laptops can set you back a pretty penny, but having the right one can make all the difference and there are a lot of great back-to-school deals on them this time of year. There are so many different types of laptops and notebooks on the market, it’s hard to know where to start. Honestly, the best laptop is going to depend on what your student is going to be doing.back-to-school Back-to-School Essentials for College Freshmen Part 1 office 583839 1920

Macs and the Surface line (Microsoft) are really great creative computers. They have incredible displays, bigger processors, which means they work faster, and more memory, but they’re expensive. If your student is going into an art or visually oriented program, you might look at spending the money for one of these. 

For your basic word processing, internet researching, Facebooking machine, you should look to something more like a Chromebook. You can get Chromebooks for a few hundred bucks and they’ll help your student with their basic school needs, but these are pretty basic computers. For mine, I run google docs (which is a great FREE alternative to Office), its all based online so it doesn’t eat up storage on the computer.

Smartphones:
This is a tricky subject. You’ve got your die-hard apple people and your die-hard android people and they just don’t agree. Here’s the thing though, aside from a few things, they’re very similar. Android and Apple phones come in 32 and 64 gig models, most phones these days have a pretty decent camera, and you can find great apps for every phone. back-to-school Back-to-School Essentials for College Freshmen Part 1 iphone 410311 1280

If your student will be using a Mac computer, you might want to take into consideration the seamless sharing that comes with the Apple account. All of the Apple products sync with one another allowing access to notes, pictures, videos, apps and more. You can have the same seamless features on Androids and PCs, with Google apps, it really comes down the preference.

Best advise would be: Make sure you’re buying a water and shock resistant phone. College kids make questionable choices and phones are expensive. In part 2 of this post, we’ll talk about protecting your investment.

Tablets:
As much as people argue about which brand is better when it comes to phones and computers, the general consensus is that the Ipads have the market on tablets but they are the more expensive option. If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, here are a few good choices: back-to-school Back-to-School Essentials for College Freshmen Part 1 tablet 1910019 1920
For around $100 you can get an Amazon Fire or an LG G Pad. You’ll have access to apps available in the Amazon app store and Google play store. With the Google suite installed you’ll have access to the seamless experience much like you’d get with Apple. 

One more thing to add to your back-to-school shopping list, OneSupport. By giving them OneSupport, you’ll be giving them 100% U.S. based support that’s available 24/7. You can’t go with them when they go off to college, but you can send us!

Give us a call at 844-814-8776 or live chat with one of our agents, we’re always just a call or a click away.

Thanks to our special contributor Chris Eldridge