The 7 Best Dorm-Friendly Gadgets for Heading Back to College

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Returning to or starting college can be daunting, but there are plenty of gadgets available to make life easier for students.

From cool essentials to handy technology, you can make dorm life more enjoyable by investing in some useful gadgets.

Here are the best dorm-friendly gadgets available today.

Premium pick

1. Jabra Elite 85h

8.60 / 10

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Whether you're studying in your dorm or taking a stroll to your class, the Jabra Elite 85h wireless headphones are a fine choice for blocking out noise and zoning into what matters. Boasting 40mm speakers, these headphones offer brilliant clarity and punchy bass tones, ideal for listening to music or making a call.

The Jabra Elite 85h features a one-touch voice assistant, so you can connect them up to your iOS or Android device with ease. Coupled with the Jabra Sound+ app, you can personalize your sound so it matches your surroundings. They're also a discreet option to receive directions if you're getting lost around campus or a new town.

These headphones take less than two hours to charge and offer up to 36 hours of battery life. Whatever the weather, you can enjoy the comfort of the Jabra Elite 85h, which are rain resistant, and store them in their handy case when you're done for the day. They're an expensive investment for college students, but worthwhile due to their durable and high-quality build.

Key Features

  • Automatically enables ANC or HearThrough
  • One-touch voice assistant
  • 40mm speakers

  • Brand: Jabra
  • Battery Life: 36 hours
  • Material: Fabric, leatherette, plastic
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes

  • Exceptional quality
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Long battery life

  • Expensive
Editors choice

2. Tile Mate

9.20 / 10

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The Tile Mate is an essential gadget for college students who own multiple accessories that would cause a nightmare if they were lost. It's easy to attach the Tile Mate to a key ring, backpack, or water bottle, so you'll never be without your much-needed items. Using the free iOS and Android app, you can track the items that are attached to the tracker, allowing you to find them quickly.

The large 200-foot range means that if you left your bag in class, you'll likely be able to locate it quickly from your smartphone. The app and Tile Mate support voice assistants, so you can use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to help find your lost items.

At an affordable cost, you can invest in a four-pack of Tile Mate that works out to be a lot cheaper than replacing your lost items. What's more, the Tile Mate is water-resistant, so if your items happen to land in water, you'll still be able to track them. Aside from being a drain on your phone's battery life, this Bluetooth tracker could be a serious life saver.

Key Features

  • Free app for iOS and Android
  • Works with voice assistants
  • Find your phone on silent

  • Brand: Tile
  • Material: Plastic
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Battery: Lithium
  • Range: 200ft
  • Water Resistance: Yes
  • Active Users: 1

  • Keeps your items safe
  • Easy to locate using the app
  • Long range

  • Drains phone battery
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The Rocketbook Smart Notebook is a unique approach to saving paper. Using a special pen and paper, this smart notebook allows you to write your notes and take a photo of them using a smartphone app. The images are saved to the cloud, allowing you to share them with others or save them for a later date.

If you're a college student and you prefer to use a pen and paper to make notes, the Rocketbook Smart Notebook could be the ideal solution. Some people find making notes easier to retain information; using this method, you can make notes while reusing the paper, saving you time and money in the long run.

At an affordable cost, the Rocketbook Smart Notebook is a worthy investment. Some users may find the paper strange to write on as it isn't standard paper. However, if you can get past the unusual feel, this notebook is a fantastic idea and you won't lose your notes as they'll be uploaded safely.

Key Features

  • Write and scan your notes
  • Share scribbles using the app
  • Reuse paper again and again

  • Brand: Rocketbook
  • Connectivity: N/A
  • Integrations: iOS, Android
  • Color: Deep Space Gray
  • Material: Plastic
  • Battery: N/A
  • Weight: 5.3oz
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Mount: N/A
  • Optical System: N/A
  • Aperture: N/A
  • Focal Length: N/A

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Affordable
  • Unique

  • Pen can smudge

The Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub is a useful gadget when you need additional USB slots. Using USB 3.0, you can achieve data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps, allowing you to move files from one device to another, quickly. Included is a generous 2-foot cable, ideal for desktop PCs and laptops. You can use the cable tie to ensure your desk remains tidy.

Weighing a mere 1.23oz, the Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub is incredibly lightweight. It's easy to take around with you, whether you're attending a college class or you need to transfer your data over to a friend's dorm room.

While the Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub doesn't offer any charging support, it's an affordable gadget for plugging in USB-powered devices, like your laptop, mouse, keyboard, desk fan, and more.

Key Features

  • 5Gbps data transfer speed
  • 2-foot cable
  • Damage-resistant cable

  • Brand: Anker
  • Connection: USB 3.0
  • Ports: 4

  • Expands existing USB slots
  • Suitable for multiple devices
  • Portable

The JBL FLIP 4 is a must-have gadget for college students who want to listen to music anywhere they go. From lively parties to music-focused study, this Bluetooth speaker is light, portable, and waterproof. If you really want to up the ante, you can connect more than 100 JBL Connect+ speakers for booming sound.

Whether you've got your friends round or you have more than one device with different music libraries, the JBL FLIP 4 allows up to 2 wireless connections from smartphones or tablets. Take in turn to listen to your favorite tunes and become the life and soul of the party.

Offering exceptional music quality, the JBL FLIP 4 is a little on the pricey side, given its size. However, if you're a music lover, the investment will be worthwhile, and you can take your music with you whatever the weather.

Key Features

  • IPX7 waterproof
  • Voice assistant integration
  • Wireless Bluetooth streaming

  • Brand: JBL
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Integrations: Voice assistant
  • Battery: Up to 12 hours
  • Water Resistance: Yes

  • Connects to multiple devices
  • Displays bass sound
  • Portable

  • Expensive

The WD Elements 2TB is an external hard drive that's easy to take around with you. It boasts USB 3.0 for higher data transfer speeds, allowing you to move important files onto your storage device, or free up space on your computer's hard drive. Using a standard USB connection, it's compatible with most devices including Windows and Mac.

Having a portable hard drive not only allows you to back up your data, but it also makes it easy to take your files and photos around with you. Whether you're returning home or visiting a friend's house, you can easily plug the WD Elements 2TB into their device, rather than lugging around a heavy laptop.

While the WD Elements 2TB doesn't offer password protection or hardware encryption like some other portable hard drives, it is extremely convenient.

Key Features

  • Compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
  • Supports Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7
  • Fast transfer rates

  • Brand: Western Digital
  • Capacity: 2TB
  • Power: USB
  • Speed: 5,400rpm
  • Connection: USB 2.0, USB 3.0
  • Portable: Yes

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Portable

  • No password protection

The iClever BK03 is a versatile Bluetooth keyboard that can easily be folded down when not in use. Featuring a long battery life of up to 40 days, the keyboard will go into standby mode when folded. Using Bluetooth, you can connect the keyboard to almost any Bluetooth-enabled device, including iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac.

If you're worried about damaging your standard keyboard in transit or simply don't want to lug around a big keyboard, the iClever BK03 is ideal. You can take it to a friend's house, take it to classes, or even use it at home with your smartphone. Better still, it doubles up as a stand if you need it to.

Because of its size, the iClever BK03 can take a while to get used to. It's not going to be the same as typing on a standard keyboard, but if you're looking for a small-sized foldable keyboard, this Bluetooth option is a solid choice.

Key Features

  • Compatible with a range of devices
  • Includes four silicone pads
  • Doubles up as a stand

  • Brand: iClever
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Backlight: No
  • Media Controls: No
  • Battery: Up to 40 days
  • Num Pad: No
  • Switch Type: N/A
  • Replaceable Keys: No

  • Wide Bluetooth connectivity
  • Easy to use
  • Portable


Q: What Gadgets Do Students Need?

There are plenty of gadgets that are useful for students. Aside from essentials like a laptop and backpack, there are other options that might come in handy. For example, an external hard drive for keeping your work safe, a Bluetooth speaker to enjoy music on the go, or a key fob that can track the location of your lost keys.

Q: Is It Better To Have A Tablet Or Laptop For College?

Tablets are incredibly lightweight and easy to work with, especially when you pair them up with a wireless keyboard and mouse. However, if you're working on a regular basis or need more storage, a laptop is a more powerful solution and one which will last a lot longer.

Q: Are Gadgets Easy To Replace?

Most gadgets come with a manufacturer's warranty that will cover you for a certain amount of time. In some cases, gadgets that contain batteries could easily be fixed by installing a replacement. However, more technically-complex gadgets might need the help of a professional, rather than tinkering with it yourself.

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