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Best gadgets for students 2024

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From key finders to smart notepads, gadgets can be a real lifesaver for students at university. Read on to discover our top gadgets for students!

headphones and amazon kindle

Here at Save the Student, we're all about making life easier for students. But our excellent advice (if we do say so ourselves) can only take you so far – sometimes you need to bite the bullet and get a gadget to help you out.

Of course, most student budgets won't stretch to buying every gadget we've featured below, and some are by no means a necessary purchase. But if you've managed to save up a bit of cash, grabbing some of these bits of kit would represent a sound investment.

And to make sure we included the best of the best in this list, we even asked our Instagram followers what they consider to be the best gadgets for students, too. Give us a follow for more top tips and to get the hottest deals before anyone else!

Please note that as online prices often change, we have given approximate costs which were accurate at the time of writing.

12 best gadgets for university students

These are the very best gadgets for students:

  1. Rocketbook Everlast smart reusable notebook

    rocketbook reusable notepad

    Price: about £40

    Most students fall into one of two camps when it comes to taking notes at university – those who prefer to write them by hand and those who'd rather type them up.

    Well, thanks to the Rocketbook, you can now do both simultaneously. All you need to do is write in the Rocketbook using the special pen provided and then scan it all using the Rocketbook app.

    Your pages are then optimised and digitised, meaning you can search for specific words just like you would with typed text (assuming your handwriting isn't absolutely appalling, of course).

    You can then send your notes to any and all of the most popular platforms, including Google Drive, Evernote and Dropbox.

    Buy the Rocketbook Everlast »


  2. Anti-theft laptop bag with USB port

    laptop bag rucksack

    Price: about £35

    We know it's probably easier to just take your laptop to uni in a tote bag, but we'd say it's time to upgrade before your laptop suffers a career-ending injury.

    This highly-rated laptop bag comes equipped with a USB charging port to keep your phone powered up on the go, as well as the option to lock the main compartment with a passcode for added security.

    Throw in the fact that it's water-resistant, has anti-theft features and that it even comes with a free USB cable, all for around £35, and it's a bit of a no-brainer!

    Buy this laptop bag »


  3. Amazon Kindle

    amazon kindle on stack of books

    Credit: dean bertoncelj – Shutterstock

    Price: about £160

    Even if you're a die-hard fan of physical books, the pain of lugging university textbooks around every day might convert you.

    Before you invest in a Kindle, make sure you're actually able to get the crucial books you need for your course in eBook format. Most of the 'big name' textbooks will definitely be on there, but some obscure ones might not be (and remember that while you can sell old textbooks, you can't do the same with eBooks).

    The latest model of the Kindle Paperwhite comes with Bluetooth and a front-lit screen that has an adjustable warm light and, as is the case with most e-readers, the battery can last for weeks on a single charge.

    Buy an Amazon Kindle »


  4. External hard drive

    external hard drive 1tb

    Price: about £50

    Ok, so this one might not be the most exciting of gadgets, but it's super important to have a reliable backup of your work at university – especially when you get into your dissertation and several-thousand-word essays.

    The last thing you want is for your uni laptop to break (or get stolen) and to lose all of your work as a result. An external hard drive like this one from Western Digital can store a backup copy of pretty much your entire laptop (up to 1 terabyte, which should be plenty).

    Buy 1TB hard drive »


  5. Tribit noise-cancelling headphones

    tribit quietplus 72 headphones

    Price: about £30

    Noise-cancelling headphones are an absolute godsend when you're trying to block out the noise of the flat party upstairs, or when you're trying to get in the zone at the library.

    The crème de la crème are the Sony WH-1000XM4 but, coming in at £200 – £300, they're not exactly friendly to the student budget.

    Tribit's headphones are a great budget alternative and, as thousands of happy reviews confirm, they represent excellent value for money.

    Although the noise-cancelling capabilities aren't quite up to the levels you'd find at the top end of the market, at a fraction of the price, this isn't a surprise. And that's not to say they can't block noise out – they definitely do, and you'll notice just how well when you switch on the ANC (active noise-cancelling).

    The headphones fit over your ear, which we found made them a lot more comfortable to wear for long periods when compared to some on-ear headphones (especially if you wear glasses!).

    Buy these headphones »


  6. Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth speaker

    tribit x sound go bluetooth speaker

    Price: about £30

    Portable speakers are, without a doubt, up there with the very best gadgets for students.

    Pre-drinks, house parties, picnics in the park and watching movies on your laptop; having a good quality portable speaker will always come in handy.

    The Tribit XSound Go is small and affordable but packs a hell of a punch. The battery lasts for up to 10 hours (we didn't charge ours after receiving it and it powered through a few weeks of use while cooking dinner) and to top it all off, it's waterproof too.

    Buy the Tribit XSound Go »


  7. Xiaomi Mi Band 7

    xiaomi smart band

    Price: about £40

    If you're keen on staying fit and active at university, but you're less keen on forking out on an expensive gym membership, then a Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is a solid long-term investment.

    FitBit is undoubtedly the biggest name in the fitness tracker game, but at less than half the price and with most of the same functionality, the Mi Band is the ideal budget option.

    Like a FitBit, the Mi Band tracks your heart rate (including when you work out) to help you monitor changes and reach your goals.

    It can also use your heart rate to track your sleep patterns, allowing you to see how much deep sleep you're actually getting. After all, deep sleep is the part that counts!

    Buy a Xiaomi Mi Band 7 »


  8. Laptop tray with fans

    laptop tray with fans

    Price: about £30

    Prefer to get your essays written while sitting on the sofa (or in bed, we won't judge)? Then this cooling tray will be a serious help.

    It holds laptops up to a width of 17 inches, and the inbuilt fans ensure that your laptop is never at risk of overheating – a genuine danger if you place it on top of your duvet.

    Conveniently, the fans in the tray are significantly quieter than what's inside your laptop, so you're not just replacing one irritating noise with another.

    There are also two USB slots on the back of the tray, meaning this gadget not only makes up for the slot it uses on your laptop to power itself, but it actually adds a USB slot to your laptop. This is ideal if you're trying to charge your phone, use the tray and back stuff up to a memory stick.

    Buy a cooling laptop tray »


  9. Tile Mate key finder

    tile key pro

    Price: about £20

    If you're the kind of person who's always losing stuff – particularly your phone or keys – then this little device could be a lifesaver.

    Attach your Tile Mate keyring to your set of keys, and you can use the Tile Mate app to locate them if you happen to lose them. If they're in your room somewhere, but you just can't get your hands on them, you can use the app to make the Tile Mate ring.

    As we discovered when we tested the Tile Pro (pictured above, which has an extended battery life and longer Bluetooth range), these things are loud. If your Tile is anywhere near you when you activate the sound, there's no chance of it being too quiet.

    And best of all, if you've got your keys but can't find your phone, hitting the button on the Tile Mate keyring will make your phone ring – even when it's on silent. Genius.

    Buy a Tile Mate »


  10. Folding Bluetooth keyboard

    folding keyboard

    Price: about £30

    If you want to type up notes in your lectures but don't want to lug your laptop to and from uni every day, a folding Bluetooth keyboard could do just the trick.

    This model is super slim and lightweight (certainly a lot lighter than a laptop!) and can connect to your phone (Apple and Android) or your iPad/Windows/Android tablet.

    Once you've typed your notes, simply transfer them across to your laptop when you get home. Or you can cut out the middle man and type straight into Google Docs (one of our top apps for students), which can be accessed from your computer too.

    Buy a folding keyboard »


  11. WiFi range extender

    wifi range extender

    Price: about £40

    We've got some great student broadband deals on our site. But what use is super fast, super cheap broadband if it doesn't stretch across your whole house?

    All too often, the routers supplied by broadband companies aren't quite up to the job. And if they are, the issue instead is that it has to be located right in the corner of the house – bad news for anyone whose bedroom is on the opposite side.

    We've used this WiFi range extender from NETGEAR and can confirm that it does a great job of improving the WiFi signal around the house. It plugs straight into the wall, and although you might need to try a couple of different locations before finding the optimum position, you should notice the difference straight away.

    Buy this WiFi extender »


  12. Portable phone charger

    portable charger

    Price: about £25

    Remember when phone batteries used to last a whole day? Yeah, us neither.

    Because the thought of running out of battery scares us so much, and the very idea of using our phones less to preserve battery is frankly scandalous, a portable charger is up there as one of the most important gadgets for students.

    This power bank from Anchor is exceptionally well-reviewed and, despite weighing just 180g, claims to hold enough power for three full charges (depending on the phone).

    Buy a portable charger »


Want ALL of these gadgets but can't quite afford them? Sounds like you could do with some easy ways to make money quickly.

Jessica Murray

WRITTEN BY Jessica Murray

As an Editor of Save the Student, Jessica Murray has written extensively on student money news and money-saving tips. She was co-host of our podcast, No More Beans, and is now a journalist at the Guardian. Her tips and insights range from fun guides for freshers, to information for graduates entering the workplace.
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