10 essentials for college students

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tech-spanfeller
BestReviews

If your laptop is five years or older, we definitely recommend an upgrade. It'll make schoolwork much easier and lower the chances of it crashing.

Knowledge-hungry young adults all over the country are gearing up for one of life's greatest adventures: college move-in day. With scattered moving boxes strewn about the house and half-finished to-do lists plaguing the mind, mapping out exactly what you'll need for college life can be overwhelming. Rather than spend hours researching which computer is going to work for years without crashing every week, or which backpack is big enough to store your personal items without looking like an oversized turtle shell, you can sit back and let BestReviews do the work for you. Not to worry, unlike your grumpy professors, we're here to help.

Here are 10 college essentials just waiting to make your new life less hectic:

For School

1. Laptop: One of the best laptops for college is Apple's 13.3 inch Macbook Air. Recognized for its supremely thin and lightweight design alongside a 12-hour battery life, this reliable computer is perfect for any on-the-go student. Those looking for a non-Apple option should check out Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, an extremely versatile and portable machine.

2. Backpack: This trendy North Face backpack easily stores all your school items while still allowing its users to keep their stylish reputation. If a North Face bag is out of the budget, here's an inexpensive pick from Jansport for those looking for a popular model.

3. Daily Planner: Not everyone is sold on a daily planner, but all students should be, especially unsuspecting college freshman whose every spare minute is about to be controlled by profs and friends. Here's our favorite academic planner for the highly organized, as well as a cheaper option for those wanting to save a few bucks.

4. Bike: Cars are expensive. But you still want the freedom to get around town and campus. Give your wallet a break by investing in a quality bicycle for local commutes and adventures. The Tommaso Imola is a solid choice for traveling men, while the Superbe City Bike offers women an excellent ride in diverse terrain.

For the Dorm

5. Coffee Maker: Coffee snobs everywhere will appreciate this exceedingly popular model from Cuisinart, but we'd be remiss if we forgot to mention the ever-convenient Keurig. No matter your preference, these caffeine machines will pull you through those midterm study sessions and inevitable all-nighters.

6. Compact Refrigerator: Owning a mini fridge is a rite of passage for every college student. So do yourself (or your kid) a favor and invest in the Danby Compact Refrigerator. Students needing a cheaper fridge can also check out this popular model from Haier.

7. Lap Desk: Before you know it, you're going to be dutifully completing the largest piles of homework you've ever seen. Every day. For four years. But not to worry! This trendy lap desk is here to make that homework just a little more bearable. Work from your comfy couch with this helpful model, or take this portable lapdesk to campus for lounging at your favorite study spot.

8. Desk Lamp: Balancing an all-night study session with a tired roommate can be difficult, especially if your mate is sensitive to light. Do your new friend a favor and purchase this versatile desk lamp for all your nighttime needs.

9. Throw Blanket: Every dorm needs a little work to make the space feel like home. If you shudder at the thought of bringing grammy's decade-old hand-quilted blanket to college, consider purchasing this luxurious, stylish throw for colder nights and cozy stress-relief.

10. Storage: Most dorms don't come equipped with full-sized closets, so it's always wise to purchase some form of storage for cleanliness and organization. For shoes, try this trusty over-the-door shoe rack. Anything else needing storage can be easily stowed away in these jumbo, underbed storage bags from Whitmor.

Jaime is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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