Earlier this week, we looked at the key gadgets you need to remember for your dorm room. Your computer, however, is so important when you’re away from home that it begs to have a whole list of accessories all for itself. And it’ll take you more than a mouse and a couple of cheap speakers to get you through the year. To be fully prepared for the school year ahead, you want to get these peripherals before you sit down to your first class:
External Hard DriveWD MyBook for years without a problem, and it works well for both Mac and PC. You can also back up your media wirelessly with the Seagate Wireless Plus drive, which can even stream media to your tablet or smartphone.
PrinterPlanOn PrintStick, will even print from your Android or BlackBerry smartphone (as well as from your computer). Or, you can go bigger and get an all-in-one that will let you scan, photocopy and even fax, if you ever still need to fax anyone. The Epson Expression Home XP-410 and Lexmark Interact S605 are good options.
USB KeyUSB bracelets, that will prevent you from leaving the USB keys behind after using them in a computer lab. If you’re looking for purely style, you can find your favourite pop culture character in the lineup of Mimoco flash drives.
External monitorASUS PA 248Q and the Dell UltraSharp U2412M are two 24” widescreen LED monitors that are well reviewed, and should serve you well beyond your years at school.
Portable powerWayfair.com, to the Powerbag, available through its website. Figure out which devices you’ll want to have charged up and look for a power solution that will last for as long as you’re out, and that’s compatible with all your mobile devices.
Nothing is worse than showing up at school, only to realize you can’t use some of your devices because you don’t have the right cables. Before you go, do an inventory of the peripherals and devices you’ll be using and make a list of what cords you’ll need. A basic list will include a USB cord for your mobile device(s), an Ethernet cable to connect online (even if your school supplies one, it may not be of the best quality), an HDMI cable (for connecting an external monitor) and a Firewire cord (for fast transfer of files between computers or from an external hard drive). You can find a lot of these cords on the cheap through online retailers such as Monoprice.com; at a lot of the big box electronics stores, you’ll be paying significantly more in markup.
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- Technology & Electronics