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3 essential bits of tech you’ll need for first year


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University is about to start, and amidst hopes and expectations, first-year students in particular can’t help but wonder “did we get everything we need for the start of the term?”

Unless you’re extremely old-fashioned and refuse anything with a screen, odds are you’ve thought of a more tech-friendly approach when it comes to taking notes and managing your schedules and assignments.

So, here for you are three essential bits of tech you’ll need for first year.  



Let’s start with the basics. You probably have a smartphone already and you probably know how to use it in order to do what you have to do.

Just to be overzealous tough, we believe your smartphone should have certain specific features when it comes to university life.

A good camera is essential. Most phones have a good back camera today, but the same can’t be said for the front – AKA selfie – camera.

The Sony Xperia XZ, iPhone 7 Plus and HTC 10 are the devices with a best camera-set overall at the time of writing, including a brilliant front-facing camera for your selfies.

Battery is very important, too. You don’t want to miss that call because your phone has just died. Right now, among the longest battery-life phones, the Lenovo P2, Motorola Moto Z Play and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are the winners hands down.



When it comes to laptops for university, there are three fundamental elements you need to consider to make your decision: weight, performance and battery life.

As for the weight, it’s either Apple or a Windows tablet/laptop hybrid. The first choice will probably be more expensive, but you’ll have a quality device and little worries on what to install on it.

Windows, on the other hand, can be a tricky operative system on tablets and laptops. However, if you’re willing to spend as much as on an Apple device, the Microsoft Surface is a gorgeous device, and it’s a tablet, too.

Going hand-in-hand with price, performance of a laptop is essential when processing images or working on video-editing. Both Apple and Windows top-gammas have customisable options upon purchase. Ideally, you should look for a device with at least 8 GB RAM and a quad-core processor.

Finally, battery life. At the moment of writing, the longest battery life laptops are the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 with an astonishing 17 hours and a half, followed by the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 - 13 hours and 39 minutes - and the Microsoft Surface Book with 12 hours and 29 minutes.


Cloud storage plan

It might not be your first thought when starting university, but in our interconnected world, it’s extremely important to have a copy of all your files – or at least the most important ones – available from any location and device.

Take notes on your phone, then get to the library’s PC and edit them. Print your documents from any device and have your photos and videos always with you.

Many cloud services offer a free basic-service already. Among the best, Microsoft's OneDrive is the obvious cloud storage service for Windows users because it's built into Windows 10. However, the basic account offers only 5GB of free storage.

The paid-for basic plan offers 50GB of storage for only £1.99 per month. And if you sign up for Office 365 Personal for £59.99 per year, you get 1TB of space.

Google Drive is my personal favourite. Upon signing up you’ll get 15GB of free space, shared across all of your Google services, including the automatic photo backup to Google+ from a smartphone.


Protect your tech

It goes without saying that, having chosen our tech gadgets, we must have spent a fortune already, so we are not probably thinking of spending some more on insurance.

However, truth is that accidents happen, and statistics are not in students’ favour. Let alone accidental falls and running under the rain, a research from The Complete University Guide has estimated that a third of UK’s students become victim of petty crime and that about 20% of student robberies occur in the first six weeks of the academic year.

Wanting to party and enjoying university to the fullest, you probably don’t want to have to keep your eyes open all the time.

Cover 4 Insurance provides a quality service at a pretty low price. They have laptop/mobile phone solutions, and gadget bundles with discounts for multiple items.

Without getting too technical, the company offers optional extensions with no age restrictions, (you can insure older items as well) where competitors will not insure if over 3 years old.

Also, they offer a no exclusion period (if you items break a moment after you signed the contract, they already protected ), while competitors often up to 30 days.

Ready to get you tech protected? Find out more here.

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