9 gadgets every student needs for school in 2019

Gadgets are the best part of going back to school.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Back to school season is here, and with it comes the somewhat frantic process of getting ready for school to start. Be it looking for a new laptop, inexpensive gadgets, or storage and flash-drives -- the number of products available can be intimidating.

Also: Weird gadgets that are actually really useful | Best laptops for students Best Chromebook laptops for school

Naturally, we can't forget about gadgets -- those technological wonders that bring a bit of fun or motivation or make routine daily tasks easier.

Below are nine gadgets we've rounded up that are sure to make any student happy.

Gadgets every student needs

Image: IKEA

A Sonos speaker from IKEA

Sonos and IKEA teamed up to create two attractive and affordable connected speakers that pack a punch. There are two different speakers: The $179 SYMFONISK table lamp and the $99 SYMFONISK Wi-Fi bookshelf. Both speakers will blend into a dorm room or apartment and can be controlled via a smartphone or computer. Both speakers also integrate with Apple's AirPlay 2 platform for iPhone and Mac users.

Image: Apple

A smartwatch for iPhone users for $399

The Apple Watch has slowly morphed from an iPhone accessory into a fitness and health device. Not only does it track workouts and encourage users to be more active, but it shows notifications for incoming calls, messages, and other alerts right on your wrist. Pair an Apple Watch with AirPods, and you have a pretty sweet workout setup. One potential drawback -- you have to have an iPhone to use it.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

A smartwatch for Android users for $180

Samsung recently announced the Galaxy Watch Active 2, but it's not set for release for a few more weeks. The original Galaxy Watch, however, is probably the best smartwatch available for Android users. It does it all -- notifications, fitness tracking, different watch faces, and apps. It has a sleek design and is affordably priced.

Image: Apple

The latest iPad Air for $499

The newest iPad Air has a lot of the same features as the more expensive, and more powerful, iPad Pro, but at a lower cost. It also supports the original Apple Pencil, making it a handy device to take notes during lectures.


A mobile breathalyzer For $99

It's part of college, no matter how much you may not want it to be: Where there are college students, there's sure to be a party. Help your student stay safe and make smart decisions with a breathalyzer that syncs to his or her phone.

For $99, the Mobile Pro model includes a feature that estimates when a user's BAC will reach 0.00%.

Image: Amazon

A colorful Echo Dot for $70

Forget the parental control aspect of this for a second, but the Echo Dot Kids Edition comes in some fun colors you can't get otherwise. You don't have to use the included FreeTime Unlimited plan if you go this route; you're essentially paying for the different color. How cool would the Rainbow Echo Dot look in a dorm room? Enough said.

Image: Apple

AirPods, because of course, for $199

Apple's AirPods have become a hit product, and rightfully so. The small, wireless earbuds work seamlessly with all Apple products and have decent sound. Apple updated the AirPods earlier this year to include "Hey Siri" functionality, and the case now includes wireless charging. You can get it without the wireless charging case and save yourself $40.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Buds for $130

Samsung's Galaxy Buds are primarily designed for Android users but work with any Bluetooth capable device. They offer long battery life, high sound quality, and can even read your notifications to you if you set up the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone.

Image: Mophie

A portable battery for $70

Keeping a phone or tablet charged can be a struggle, especially for a student always on the go. The Mophie Powerstation XXL is respectably priced, well designed, has a large capacity and offers a few different ports for charging various gadgets.

Last-minute back-to-school tech supplies for under $200

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