From the Royal Wedding to the World Cup, it’s fair to say that 2018 was a very eventful year. It was also a big year for tech, with the launch of SpaceX’s most powerful rocket to date, driverless cars making an appearance on our roads, and the unveiling of the world’s largest quantum computer. But what were the best tech gadgets for students from 2018?
Smarten up your home
It seems that 2018 was the year of smart assistants with Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod hitting the market. It is estimated that 10% of households in the UK own a smart assistant, bringing automation to our home. You no longer need to turn the lights off or set an alarm, as Alexa can do that for you. The opportunities with smart assistants are endless, and the market is competitive with every tech giant releasing their own smart speaker. But the second-generation Amazon Echo comes out on top on our list of best smart assistants for students. If you’re looking for an affordable device to smarten up your home, the Amazon Echo is the perfect choice.
Capture the moment
Most of us take all of our photos on our phones, but if you’re planning on taking your photography more seriously in 2019, you should probably get yourself a camera. Looking at what’s out there, there’s never been a better time to buy a camera as we are well and truly spoilt for choice – whatever your budget may be, there’s a perfect camera for everyone. If you like to have your photos printed and displayed across your bedroom walls for that homely feel, the Fujifilm Instax SQ6 is the perfect camera for you. Just point, shoot, and print to capture the moment before you enter POP! again after a long break over Christmas. With its functional yet stylish retro-themed designed, the Instax camera won’t overwhelm you with advanced features making taking great photos easier than ever.
Music to your ears
The long journey on the bus trying to make it to your 9am lecture would be much more painful without music, an audiobook, or your favourite true crime podcast. Many of us are now ditching the earphones that come free with our phones, and invest in better ones for a higher quality sound. If, understandably, you’re not quite willing to splash £159 on Apple AirPods, then you can invest in Beyerdynamic Byron BT wireless earphones instead for more than half the price. The sleek metal earphones come with an affordable price-tag and are ideal if you’ve unpackaged the new phone you got for Christmas only to realise there’s not audio jack in it. These wireless earphones mean that you’ll no longer have to spend five minutes untangling them after they’ve been in your pocket, which sounds pretty good to me.
You better watch out
Although smartwatches aren’t a new technology, companies like Apple, Samsung and Huawei have been working day and night in the last year to make smartwatches the mainstream. If you’re tired of having to search for your phone around the house and would rather have all the important information on the back of your hand (or wrist, more specifically), then the Apple Watch Series 3 is perfect for you. With a great OLED display and long battery life, the Apple Watch allows you to track your fitness, check your messages, and set your alarms without needing to reach for your phone. As it comes in different colours and with different wristbands, this gadget is the perfect everyday-wear accessory.
Stay on (lap)top of your work
Where would any of us be without our beloved laptops? It’s rare to walk into a lecture theatre and not see most students sat with their laptops in front of them ready to take notes. But, as good as you think your ‘oldie-but-goldie’ laptop may be, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. Buying a new laptop is usually a big investment so you have to be sure the one you buy is right for you. With great graphics, a powerful processor, and touch display, the Microsoft Surface Go is probably the best laptop out there for students. With the power of a desktop computer, but at the size of a tablet, this laptop is the best of both worlds in terms of performance and price. With its detachable keyboard, the Microsoft Surface Go allows you to slide it easily into your bag and run to your next lecture.