The Best Back-to-school Tech

back to school techGoing back to school? Today’s students need more supplies than ever before, and much of it is centered on technology. Here’s the best of the best to make your learning experience that much more effective:

The best computers

These latest laptops are designed to be the perfect companion for any student.

  • Acer Aspire M5-583P— It’s on the lower end of the price spectrum, and it comes with a cool touch screen and an extensive battery life (9 hours, which is longer than most laptops.)

  • Toshiba Satellite U845T— At a medium market price you get a lightweight laptop with all the basics (nothing fancy, but all the essentials are there). Toshiba also has a good reputation when it comes to hardware malfunctions, which is great if you want your computer to last.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X230— For years now, Lenovo has been a top brand among educational laptops and for good reason. This particular Lenovo device is medium-price, lightweight, and very powerful (another worthwhile mention is the Lenovo Yoga 11S, which folds into a tablet).

The best software programs

Sure, you probably already have Microsoft Office, but there are so many other programs that can really enhance your learning experience. Best of all, you can download free versions of most of them (though if you want more features, you will have to pay a fee).

  • Avast Free Antivirus— No matter what your friends may say, EVERY computer needs some form of antivirus software. Fortunately, this one is free and is updated regularly to make sure no harm comes to your device.

  • Dropbox— You’ll be surprised by how often this file sharing and storage software comes in handy. It’s particularly awesome for group projects, and if your hard drive starts getting backed up you can store extra files here.

  • Google Chrome— This internet browser has grown immensely in popularity, for the simple reason that it tends to freeze less than Internet Explorer, is more compatible than Safari and doesn’t annoyingly update its plugins as much as Firefox.

The best phones

Today’s Smartphones allow you to continue your learning experience no matter where you are— be on the bus, train or even just walking to class.

  • Galaxy Note 2— With an extra-large screen and built in features to help with math, English and making presentations, this is probably the best overall smartphone for students.

  • HTC One— There aren’t any extra educational features, but it does have a large screen and is very durable.

  • Xperia Z— It isn’t with every phone service provider in the U.S., but if you can get it, it’s worthwhile. The Xperia Z has a very long battery life, a decent-sized screen, and it is very durable.

The best apps

Just about every modern student would do well to invest in some apps. Make your life much more organized with apps like:

  • Evernote— This lets you take notes on your computer and then sync it up on your smartphone.

  • Mydictionary— With so many of us these day being used to shortening words for texting and tweets, Mydictionary can be a great tool for making sure that doesn’t happen when you’re writing papers.

  • Wonders of the Universe— This one isn’t directly helpful in most classes, but it is a great way to learn quick facts about science and the universe.

The author works for an online tutoring company and lives in San Francisco.

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