Sony Xperia Tablet 2
Are you a student of the tablet generation? This is a practical choice for class and field trips, being both slim and able to survive being submerged for up to half an hour. Use it with wet hands and it won’t complain. Just because it’s tough, though, doesn’t mean it’s dumb. There’s a 10.1-inch 1900x1200display and 2.3GHz quadcore processor. The only software installed is Android KitKat, but you can pick up the Office Mobile app for free and connect via Bluetooth to a keyboard for when touchscreen typing becomes tiresome. Not the most academic of devices, but solid enough for school and playtime.
£399 | Buy from Amazon now
Dell Venue 11 Pro
Dell’s Windows 8 hybrid is hefty and chunky due to its laptop parts, but it’s also ridiculously versatile. Use it in tablet mode and you’ve got a great notepad-cum sketchbook; add the keyboard (from £83) and it turns into a laptop for bashing out essays on the go; pop it into its dedicated dock (£115)and it’s a full-blown desktop, complete with HDMI and Ethernet ports. The cost adds up, yes, but it’s still three devices rolled into one. With a 2.4GHzquadcore processor, full-HD 10.8-inch screen, a 64GB solid state drive and full-fat Windows 8.1,it is an affordable option for uni-goers.
£328 | Buy now from Amazon
Apple iMac 21.5-inch
Apple’s iMacs reinvented the desktop, with a sleek and iconic design, but until now their price tags have been outside the realms of most grant cheques. Thankfully the latest incarnation comes in at just under £900.For that price you get a brilliantly bright screen, ideal for art and design students, as well as Apple’s iWork suite – the Cupertino firm’s answer to Microsoft Office –with it all running on a 1.4GHz dualcore i5 processor, Intel HD 5000 graphics and 8GB RAM, as well as a 500GB hard drive. With Thunderbolt, AC Wi-Fi and four USB ports, it’s well connected and powerful enough to get some serious work done.
£899 | Buy now from Amazon
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
Google’s Chromebooks aren’t known for their power, and this latest one is no different, with a 1.4GHZ Intel Celeron processor, 2GB memory and just 16GB of built-in storage. However, this makes it more suited to essay writing and web research than gaming or other time-wasting antics. This sleek number is Toshiba’s first stab at a Chrome-running laptop and its bargain price tag buys you a 13.3-inch, 1366x768 screen and a comfortable keyboard. No hybrid smarts or touchscreen frivolities here, but if you’re looking for a studious laptop at an affordable price, this is an able performer with a nine-hour battery life.
£230 | Buy now from Amazon
Lenovo Yoga Pro 2
Another hybrid, but this one does tricks. Instead of requiring add-ons, the Yoga bends and twists to convert between laptop, chunky tablet and propped-up screen for videos – it recognises what pose it’s in and offers appropriate apps. The 13.1-inch touchscreen is quad HD, which translates as a resolution of 3200x1800 and delivers defined text and great visuals for movies. You also get a 1.6GHz Core i5processor, full-fat Windows 8.1 and a 512GB solid state drive. It’s a strong spec and the orange hue helps it standout from the crowd, but at this price you could get a laptop and tablet.
£1,000 | Buy now from Amazon
Adobe Creative Cloud
Photoshop and Lightroom for just £8.78 a month? Can't say fairer than that. If you want more though you can nab the full Adobe suite and save an impressive £30 a month.
From £8.78 | Adobe
Wacom Bamboo Pad
This wireless (or wired if you get the cheaper version) touch pad is a great alternative to the mouse, giving your desktop PC a more laptop like feel. There's gesture support aplenty, a clickable button at the button and a handy stylus, the slips in the side, for drawing or even signing your name on a document.
£59.99 (wireless) £41.99 (wired) | Buy from Amazon now
Instead of having all your cables floating around your backpack, Knomo's Knomad gives each there own slot, so they're always easy to find. There's also a compartment for a tablet, both Mini and 10-inch versions are available and the powered version comes packing a sleek portable battery charger.
£119 (Knomad Mini Power) | Buy now from Amazon
Score a six-month free trial of Amazon's ever expending Prime service, then have it half price, a hardly wallet busting £39 a year, for the rest of your studies. But will you fit much studying in between box-set binges?
Free, then £39 a year | Amazon
If lugging your PS3 and large telly all the way to your miniscule uni halls is too much hassle, then investing in a PS Vita is a great choice. With a strong library of games – including everything from indie classics to AAA titles, a vibrant screen and sturdy feel, the Vita is the best portable games machine on the market and it’ll only get better once the PS4 is released.
Price: £169 | Buy now from Amazon
Water is good for you. That’s just science. This clever bottle takes regular tap water and filters it, giving you much cleaner tasting H2O. We love the design, the colourful tops and it comes in a variety of sizes to best match your bag.
Price: From £8.99 | Buy now from Amazon
Asus S400CA VivoBook
If you’re looking for a laptop that won’t break the bank, yet still offers a mix of high-end style and specs, this VivoBook from Asus is a strong pick. While Windows 8 might take a bit of time to get used to, navigating around the modern style interface with the VivoBook’s touchscreen is great, and the Intel Core i3 processor does a good job of handling everything you throw at it. There’s a 14-inch display, 4GB RAM, integrated graphics card and a decent sized 500GB hard-drive, more than enough for your vast collection of movies and TV shows.
Price: £440 | Buy now from Amazon
Ear-phones have always had one particularly annoying issue, those tangled cables when you pull them out your pocket. Jays has tried to combat this perennial issue by developing a tangle resistant, flat cable and pairing it with deep bass response to give the perfect mix of practicality and sound quality.
Price: £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’re heading back to school or university, most likely you’ll end up writing something, even if you really don’t want to. Do that writing in style with this unique Moleskine notebook which also features nifty stickers than can integrate your scrawls into an Evernote notebook.
Price: £16.90 | Buy now from Amazon
Spotify Premium NUS Plan
Packing light for uni is essential, so you might want to leave your 1,000 strong CD collection at home and switch to a streaming service for your music fix. Spotify Premium is our pick, and it’s great; unlimited listening, no pestering ads and best of all, you can download your feverishly crafted playlists to your smartphone. Normally costing a tenner a month, Spotify has struck a deal with the NUS to offer it for the bargain price of £4.99 if you’re an NUS extra cardholder. Now that’s what we call a good deal.
Price: £4.99 a month | Spotify
The Paperwhite display on this Kindle is great for reading in all conditions, whether it be day or night, thanks to front-lighting tech. It keeps the same design style as other Kindle models, though goes touchscreen only; bad luck if you’re a fan of page-turn buttons. It also ditches the speakers that powered the text-to-speech function, so that’s gone too. The high-res display is sharp and text looks great in all situations, plus as it’s a Kindle there’s access to all the Prime benefits, along with their vast store.
Microsoft Office 365 University
Microsoft Office is the backbone of any truly productive student’s application repertoire. Throughout education, whether you’re in college, sixth-form or heading off to university, Office will help you craft essays, devise presentations and keep a track of Excel spreadsheets. If you don’t already have Office on your PC or Mac, then this deal is a great way to get it. Included is the full suite of Office apps, which can be installed on 2 computers, you also get access to the mobile apps for working on-the-go and all your work is backed-up to SkyDrive.
Price: £59.99 for 4 years | Buy now from Amazon
MacBook Air 11 inch
Having seen a recent upgrade and price drop, the MacBook Air is now even more irresistible if you’re about to make the big step and start university. While it is not exactly budget, it’s a powerful machine that will handle the majority of tasks vital to your average student. Tucked inside the svelte aluminium chassis is a 1.3 GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, Intel HD graphics, 4 GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage - plenty for all your notes and essays. The battery life is fantastic too, coming in at a meaty 9 hours, enough for even the longest study session. As with all Apple computers, the MacBook Air is fully loaded with iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband so you can get a bit creative in your spare time.
Price: £849 | Buy now from Amazon
Nexus 7 (2013)
Google’s Nexus series of products has brought quality devices in at low price-points; the new Nexus 7 is no different. With a pin-sharp, updated 7-inch display, apps and games from Google Play look great, while the 16GB or 32GB storage options allow plenty of space for movies and TV shows you need to catch up on. It’s sleeker and slimmer than before, making it a perfect note taking tool in lessons and lecture as it’ll slip handily in your bag and the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor makes web browsing fast and smooth. If you’re looking for a bargain, does-everything tablet, then the Nexus 7 is a great choice.
Price £154 | Buy now from Amazon
Canon Ixus 255 HS
While it may look like any other Ixus camera Canon has produced in the last 10 years, the 255 HS is a real five-star treat. Pictures are detailed and virtually noise-free, the 10x zoom is useful and the addition of Wi-Fi ensures pictures are easily sharable. Sensor wise this dinky cam packs 12 million pixels and captures video at 1080p. A great all-rounder that will ensure your photos from the previous night look great on Facebook.
Price: £199 | Canon
Herschel Supply Pop Quiz backpack
This rucksack from American brand Herschel comes in a variety of swish colours and with a whole host of useful features to boot. There’s space for all your education essentials, including a laptop sleeve and a multitude of pockets for accessories. It’s also pretty darn stylish, making this a great bag for hauling your gear round campus.
Price: £69.96 | Buy now from Amazon