Electronics are on more students' back-to-school shopping list [Tulsa World, Okla.]By Robert Evatt, Tulsa World, Okla.McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Aug. 12-- Getting ready for school has always involved more gear than just books.
But in this increasingly digital age, an increasingly large chunk of back-to-school shopping involves all kinds of electronics and gizmos.
College students in particular tend to need the most new device because they're moving out and can no longer borrow their parents' laptop for a quick term paper.
The National Retail Federation's latest back-to-school survey indicated 54 percent of college students will buy a new computer, music player, smartphone or other device for school, up from 45.8 percent last year.
The average college student is slated to spend $216.40, though freshmen who are just moving out and getting started are likely to spend an average of $262.58, the NRF estimated.
There's a dizzying array of devices available, so we've compiled a list on page E5 of some of the more useful and interesting ones to help out budding scholars.
Don't head to college without finding out what kind of gadgets you'll need to succeed. From wireless printers and laptops to HDTVs and headphones, it's important to find out what works best for your school and your pocketbook. World Staff Writer Robert Evatt gives his insight below after speaking with Lucas Nickell, a computer sales associate at Best Buy Tulsa Hills, and Ike Barrett, assistant manager at Target Tulsa Hills.
$199 (Best Buy)
Living with a roommate requires some adjustment. If your roommate is busy studying or trying to sleep, it's bad form to blast out the Passion Pit album. Earbuds are nice, but traditional headphones are the best way to be polite without sacrificing sound quality. The Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones are new and upscale but are already becoming known for delivering great sound, Nickell said.
Samsung Galaxy Tab II 7.0
8GB, $249.99 (Best Buy)
Nickell said tablets are becoming more and more useful for college students. They can display e-textbooks, play music and video and even double as a work computer with optional keyboard attachments. iPads tend to be the top sellers, but Nickell said the Galaxy Tab II is a great alternative that's smaller and cheaper.
Netgear Wireless AC Gigabit wireless router
$199.99 (Best Buy)
Wireless devices still need to communicate with the outside world, so routers are absolutely necessary utilities. There's a range of choices out there, though Nickell said this model takes advantage of the new 802.11ac standard, which can push out data as fast as a gigabit per second. Many colleges boast top-of-the line Internal networks, so this Netgear router could be a great way to take advantage of them.
HP i5-3210M Laptop
$629.99 (Best Buy)
Laptops are still one of the most popular computers for college students due to their power, flexibility and easy portability, Nickell said. Very, very few are choosing traditional desktops anymore. Nowadays, students often choose laptops based on amenities like screen size or speaker quality. By those standards, Nickell said this HP laptop is a good choice.
Roku 2 XC
Roku boxes have become one of the more popular brands for streaming solutions. While many newer TVs and Blu-Ray players have streaming built in, small and inexpensive streaming devices can bring these capabilities to older TVs. Additionally, the Roku automatically works with a wide range of services beyond Netflix, so users aren't locked into just one.
Epson Stylus NX230 wireless printer
Portability and interconnectivity are two of the main features space-strapped college students are looking for, and this printer has them both, Barrett said. Rather than hike to a computer lab, students can use the Epson Stylus to print their work. Barrett said that because it links to computers wirelessly, he's heard of several college students getting one to share.
Samsung 22-inch 1080p 60hz LED HDTV
Students can easily watch a variety of media on tablets or laptops, but there's something to be said for size. HDTVs continue to get thinner, better and, most importantly, cheaper, so they're within reach of a wider range of budgets. This Samsung model offers a sharp 1080p display at a fair price, though Barrett said his store usually has sales on certain models on any given week.
TI-30X 11s scientific calculator
It would seem that scientific and graphing calculators would be obsolete in the age of smartphones, though Barrett said teachers still prefer the long-running Texas Instruments calculators because they ensure all students have the same functions and aren't finding a way to cheat. There's a range of increasingly complex TI calculators available, though Barrett said the TI-30X 11s is likely enough for all but dedicated math and science majors.
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447
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