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Using email as a means of file sharing is impractical and dangerous for those important items (you can easily lose it). While a basic flash drive can be purchased for a relatively low cost, there are some seriously awesome alternatives if you’re willing to shell out a little extra. Students who dabble in video or design should consider the Leef iBridge. It’s a two-pronged storage device designed to fit iPhones, iPads, and iPods on one end, and a typical USB port on the other. It’s curved like a hook and allows for a neat, easy fit, even for devices outfitted with clunky cases. With a device like this, all your files can travel freely between the classroom, laptop, and mobile device — all while living on the iBridge, which means saving precious hard drive space on each device. [$60; leefco.com]
External Hard Drive
Sometimes a flash drive just won’t cut it when working on bigger, more important projects. Or, maybe you’ve run out of Cloud storage. The next step: an external hard drive. You’ll be able to store more photos, music, and any other downloads you might need for a class project. Plus, it’ll take a load off your computer’s inner hard drive. We like this one from LaCie, which connects to WiFi so you can store files even when you’re on the go. [$180; amazon.com]
Unless you’re video editing or designing — tasks that require a desktop computer — a quality laptop is the right choice for school. The newest MacBook‘s weightlessness and compact design make it easy to cart across campus. It’s not the most affordable item of the group, but it should last you beyond graduation. [From $1,299; store.apple.com]
For tunes in the room, leave the big stereo system at home — and don’t rely on your laptop. A speaker with Bluetooth capabilities is a must-have for any college student. You’ll be able to take it anywhere you go, and forego the messiness of chords.
We recommend the Marshall Killburn for its great sound, long battery life, and retro design. [$300; marshallheadphones.com]
Forget those tiny Apple buds that come with anything you purchase from the Apple Store. Sure, they’re fine for running, but when it comes to quality sound, you can do better (and without spending a ton). Whether you’re walking around campus or just trying to drown out your roommate so you can study, invest in a pair that will last — and sound good. We suggest a set of over- or on-ear headphones, like these affordable, nice-sounding ones from UrbanEars. [$50; amazon.com]
At some point, you’re probably going to drop your phone. But that doesn’t have to be a big deal. Lifeproof has been around for a few years as a maker of trustworthy cases that can withstand being dropped, dunked in water, or left out in the elements without anything ever happening to your phone. If you care more about style, there are a handful of options out there, from J.Crew‘s classic leather cases, to Grovemade‘s wooden cases.
E-readers are solid thanks in large part to most textbooks being available for purchase online, and many times costing less. Not having to lug around big, heavy textbooks to and from class, or perhaps having to bring them along to an internship or job before a night class, makes having an E-reader worth it. Try the Kindle Fire. [$200; amazon.com]
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