Back to School 2011: 'What to buy your kid for college' guide

Back to School 2011: College is an investment, not just for those who go, but for parents too. Give your kid a helping hand with these tech essentials.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

You all knew it was coming...

Each year I throw together a different slant on the 'back to school' tech stories that make their way around the web. The truth is, as a recently graduated student -- unlike most other journalists, I know exactly what students will need at college.

But the main drawback is that students-to-be, or students ready for their second or third years, often can't afford the vast majority of technology on offer.

I'm a strong believer that for college and university, buying the tech to keep a student going should be a two-part arrangement: the parents get the bare essentials, and the student maintains the necessary levels of tech awesomeness over the course of the year.

Gallery In this gallery, you'll see 20 bits of tech to buy your college kid. Of course, it's a guide and you don't have to buy everything there is. There's no point in buying a netbook as well as a MacBook, for example. From fun to productive, subscriptions and tech for on-the-go, here are the essentials for your college kid to get started in their new home.

Click here to go to the gallery.

But as you wave off your son or daughter for the last time, crying and sobbing into your partners shoulder as you drive away for the last time -- not knowing the next time you will see them sober, you should feel proud that you contributed to their college life through means of college tuition and technology goods.

You -- yes, you -- are a good parent.

I've been through the university experience. I know exactly what the new student will need, or if they are going into their second or third years, what they will need for that too. I've been there. I've made stupid mistakes buying junk I didn't need. But I've also made investments throughout -- things that will last me for the whole time in college, without need for replacements.

I declare the back to school report open!

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