If you’re a first year university student right now, chances are you’ll be getting the swing of student life. Once alien concepts such as lectures, seminars, the student union and halls of residence won’t seem quite so unfamiliar to you now and you’ll be loving every bit of your new life.
As well as this, you’ll have hopefully invested in some decent tech for uni and will have a solid, reliable laptop, tablet or desktop to do your work on. If you’re still undecided on what to go for however, we’ve chosen two people living the student dream to talk a little bit ab0ut the gadgetry they use for university which will hopefully influence your decision.
Here’s a post from student blogger Kerrie McGiveron talking about the laptop and USB Drive she uses:
As a student I wouldn’t say I was gadget-obsessed, but I just like what I like. I am actually a self-confessed old school old-book lover. And by that I mean I love old second hand books, I love the smell and feel of them – I like running my fingers over the pages and breaking their spines.
However, we do live in the technological age and everything does seem to be more and more online or on screen.
We use less and less paper books and sheets and spend more time using our gadgets. It saves time, money and space – so it is easy to see why we do this. I have noticed that more and more of my resources for university are online and downloadable rather than being in books and anthologies. As my degree is in history, I have a lot of primary sources such as diary excerpts and maps to download and to refer to. Printing all of this information off would just be a nightmare. I have actually just started to get my head around this, so this blog is going to be about my use of technology and gadgets. Yes, I have moved on from everything being paper-based, and I am trying to download books information and read it on-screen instead of printing reams and reams of paper off and using up ink, time and expense. So here are my three essential gadgets that I use as a student. And of course, there is always a little room left for smelly old academic texts…
#1 My Toshiba Satellite Pro L380-17T Laptop
This is my pride and joy. I pretty much use this for everything. I watch films on this, read my texts on this, catch up with the news, write my essays, write my blogs…you name it, I do it on this.
The reason that I love my Toshiba laptop is because I treat it like my ‘base.’ I have a tablet that I use when I am away from my desk, but my laptop is my little hub.
It has a 13.3″ screen with LED backlight and has a multi-touch touch-pad. I don’t use a mouse anymore, but it took me a while to make the transition from mouse to pad – oh come on, leave me alone I’m not a spring chicken any more, and you know what they say about old dogs!
The battery lasts around 2 to 4 hours for what I do with it. When it comes to essay deadline day, I do tend to move it from my desk to somewhere more private. The laptop sits on what I call ‘my desk.’ In reality this is just a small table that it sits on nicely! If I am just working for a while I will leave the adaptor in, but I do like to be mobile with it – it is lightweight and easy to carry around.
The Techy Stuff
* Windows 8
* Intel Core i3-2375M Processor
* RAM – 2GB
* Storage 500GB
* Weight 1.86kg
* 13.3″ Screen
* Integrated webcam
#2 My Kingston DataTraveler 2GB USB Flash Drive
I have to be able to download all of my resources and keep them in one place. For this I use my Kingston USB. I put all of my university online resources into this memory stick so that I am not relying on the internet constantly to download all of the information. This way, I can take my work with me – and read the information from the screen wherever I am, without the need to be online.
I also use this device to keep photographs of the children on for when I need to get them printed – it’s just a really handy way to do it, and I love to use it for this.
The Techy Stuff
* Capacity – 2GB
* Interface Speed – USB 2.0, 480Mbps
* Pocket sized for convenience (as you can see from the photo I just keep mine handy on my key ring.)
I honestly don’t know where I would be without these two items. Even thinking back to when I was at college, our essays were handwritten, everything was on paper. But now all that has changed and I have changed too. Probably a little bit unwillingly, but we all have to move with the times. My laptop and USB make my life so much easier and I would be lost without them.
That’s not to say that I have stopped buying pre-loved old academic texts…
Here’s a link to our range of Toshiba Satellite Pro Laptops.
If you want to read more of Kerrie’s Posts, visit: www.wifemumstudentbum.com
Our second post is by University of Portsmouth Student, Kat Drury:
Going off to university is one of the next big steps in life for those who decide that is their chosen path and with this big step, comes a hell of a lot of work – let’s be honest the first year not so much. The first year is more about learning to hold your alcohol and whether you can make it through a lecture without a hangover. However, Priorities do change as the years go on… This year, my second year, it’s all about work, work, work (Kind of more what we should have expected when we signed up for this university stuff I guess…) I’m definitely not the most organised of people – although I honestly do try – so more often than not I have a list of things that need doing that’s as long as my arm, providing I don’t lose it… but to keep up with various sets of notes and to make sure I don’t then lose them, I tend to keep mine typed and then backed up online (I’ve lost them all in a great computer crash before and that was a nightmare. It definitely made revision so much harder….)
I spend my time taking notes/blogging/watching TV online on my lime green laptop (a woman’s description of a laptop right there^) and in all honestly it’s my pride and joy. I’ll admit I’m not the most techie type of person, but I do like to at least attempt to try and understand how things like my laptop work. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1545 whilst quite sadly seems to be obsolete, serves me perfectly. I understand what RAM is (mines only 3GB – but my laptop runs fairly fast so it isn’t like I need any more at the moment) and that my 64-bit operations system means that programmes that need more power to run have the ability to do so. My processor is a Pentium (R) Dual Core CPU that runs at 2.20 GHz and I have 500GB of hard drive memory, which seems to be filling up fairly quickly on account of all the work. (So much so I’m considering buying an external hard drive….) Quite sadly I don’t have Apple Mac OS X which looks beautiful and instead have Windows 7. I have had the chance to use Windows 8 on a fellow student’s laptop and in all honesty I found it one of the hardest things to wrap my head around – think I’ll be sticking with 7 for a little while longer.
I use my laptop multiple times a day and couldn’t really ask for more to make things easier for getting through my degree… except more hours in the day maybe a slightly longer battery life. Because at the end of the day, laptops don’t always have great battery life and they can have a horrible tendency of running out of power right at the critical moment of a lecture… And when I put mine in its case so it doesn’t get damaged on the move it can get quite heavy (My laptops getting somewhat old.) and I definitely don’t have the muscles for that! They do on the other hand have the ability to go everywhere (Nothing I love more than sitting in a coffee shop to do my work, especially if they have chocolate cake….) saving me time and effort because I can then write as the lecturer talks and don’t have to wait until later when I get back to the house like I would if I were being old fashioned and using a pen and paper.
I am continually being told that the boys I live with that their desktops are way better than my little laptop. To be fair they are all computer animation/computer games technology students so need their desktops to operate with enough power to fly to the moon and back so that they can do things such as render (they just tried to explain this to me and had to use Disney as an example….) The problem is, these sort of super-desktops (as well as the standard ones) can get very expensive very quickly. Which I know that laptops and tablets can be, but desktops can be so much more. Besides, even if my laptop isn’t perfect, at least I have the choice of working wherever I want, whenever I want rather than at the same desk looking at the same walls.
Going back to the avoiding taking notes, I have recently noticed that more and more students have begun to take tablets into lectures so that they can write up their notes as they go and never have to worry about losing then – that and they have the chance to play angry birds/candy crush when the lecture gets particularly dull. Now I think that tablets are a great plan and that they should be something that ever student should aim to have but it was recently pointed out they have several downsides… One being that writing essays is incredibly hard if you are relying on just the use of a tablet – especially when you have to write 1500 words and you’ve left it to the night before. Another, as said above, is that it is very very easy to get distracted, which means writing notes can get slightly pushed to the side if you’re stuck on a level of candy crush/having a really interesting conversation on Facebook. BUT the battery life on a tablet should exceed that of a laptop and they are a lot lot more compact and so fit into a handbag way better than either of the above. Plus they are nowhere near as heavy!
I know that different people find different things that suit them better than others but deep down I know that a laptop is the better option for me – as much as I’m desperate for a tablet of some description…
My flatmates have spoken…. It’s been decided that laptops are best for general students but computer-y type degrees need something more like the turbo-desktop although every student has access to a desktop and potentially even a laptop – even if they own neither – throughout their time at university; be it in the library, in the university buildings or occasionally through a generous flatmate computer games student (either that or you can bribe them with free drinks on the next available night out…). It’s not so much what you have, it’s how you choose to use it!
If you’re interested in our range of Dell Laptops , here’s a link!
And here’s a link to the rest of Kat’s Posts
So here’s two brilliant blog posts from two students who know what they like in terms of tech, hopefully these blogs will influence your decision if you’re still undecided on what the best tech is for you. Need further influence? Check out our Dabs Student Store for our range of student tech deals for when you’re at work, at home or on the go!