The 9 Best Gifts to Buy for College Students in 2018

They're sure to make a statement on campus with these tech gifts

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Stumped on what to get the college-aged person in your life? Whether it’s a going away gift, a birthday present or something clutch for the holidays, a well-placed gift can go a long way toward keeping students focused, on-task and firmly un-homesick. That’s why we put together this gift guide for the university gang, including everything from an all-purpose backpack to a laptop that does just about everything (except get them a 4.0, they'll have to do that on their own).

Our Top Picks

Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones edge out the crowded pack of over-the-ear headphones through deep, powerful sound (provided by proprietary Bose-engineered designs), a pillow-like headband and precise rotating ear pads, alongside an almost excessively long cable with inline remote. Factor that into pretty serious noise isolation, and these are the perfect “chilling in a dorm bed” headphones. There's a 20-hour battery life per charge (and 40 in wired mode) and they weigh just 10.9 ounces.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best headphones can help you find what you're looking for.

Acer R240HY Monitor

In a dorm room, space is limited. Most students won’t have room for both a computer monitor and a TV. That’s why the Acer R240HY is the perfect gift: It’s a computer monitor that’ll help with homework (you know, the reason they’re actually at school), but it’s also ideal for using as a TV when streaming movies. Why? Well, for starters, the super vibrant 1920 x 1080 resolution display will rival most HD sets. And the screen affords almost a full 180 degrees of viewing angles for those late nights crowding around flicks with friends.

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4
Apple 

College students have a lot on their plates, from meeting deadlines to managing their schedules to remembering to exercise, and the new Apple Watch Series 4 can offer the wrist-based assistant they didn’t know they needed. With a 30 percent larger display than past models, the Series 4 band comes in three aluminum or three stainless steel finishes, and the watch will also work with any of the previous bands.

For students who need to take a break from the books, the Breathe app offers guided deep breaths to assist with meditation or just winding down. Offering all of the same benefits and apps as its predecessors, the Series 4 boasts improved health features, including an ECG monitor which can help the wearer monitor their athletic performance — perfect for helping students remember not to neglect their wellbeing in the midst of midterms — while also alerting them about any heart abnormality, from a low heartbeat to an irregular rhythm. To ensure you can always get in contact with them, the LTE compatibility results in better cellular reception. 

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best smartwatches article.

Mophie Powerstation XL

Most people know about Mophie now through their Juice Pack line of battery cases. As a college kid, your phone is kind of like your sidekick, and even though the juice packs work great, the cases make your phone bit bulky. Tossing a Powerstation XL into their backpack will ensure that any student won’t suffer from dying phone syndrome. This particular rose gold model offers 10,000 mAh of power capacity, giving users up to five full charges, depending on the device.

Symphonize NRG 3.0 Earbuds

To go with the bigger phones up there, it’s a good idea to toss in something a little more compact, at a price point that you won’t lament if they’re left behind at class. The Symphonize NRG 3.0 buds are super unique, hand-crafted wood headphones with a tangle-free cable, goldplated jack and noise-isolated sound. They’re the perfect happy medium between earbuds that look cool, but are also universal enough to take on a run. Six pairs of custom fit silicone tips will provide optimal comfort, while the in-line microphone makes it easy to adjust volume, skip tracks, activate voice control and answer phone calls in a jiffy.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best earbuds can help you find what you're looking for.

Tile Mate

The thing about college is it’s a brand new experience for most students – the first time they’re stepping out on their own and almost certainly learning how easily they lose their important belongings. For a cool twenty bucks you can gift them the peace of mind to not lose their keys, wallet, etc. Just slip the Tile Mate onto a keyring, into a wallet, or into the back of a backpack and you’ll be able to cue up a GPS pinpoint of exactly where that thing is. Too bad it doesn’t remind them to call home every once in a while.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best key finders can help you find what you're looking for.

Vizio Crave Go Wireless Speaker

When space is at a premium in dorm rooms, you’ll need a small portable speaker that also packs a punch. But, so many of the bluetooth speakers out there are either overpriced or under-quality. The Crave treads a really nice line, offering up to 88 dB of sound and bass as low as 75 Hz. Plus, the thing connects via both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so no matter where they are on campus, they’ll definitely be able to connect and bump some tunes. Finally, the thing comes with plenty of app functionality, including Chromecast, built right in.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best bluetooth speakers can help you find what you're looking for.

A Spotify Subscription

A huge part of fitting in at school is what music you’re listening to, and what better gift to give a new student than, well, basically all of it? With access to tens of millions of songs, Spotify is the industry standard for streaming, and a premium subscription unlocks ad-free listening and the ability to download songs onto any device for offline use. It’s the perfect add-on to pretty much any gift on this list.

Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 Laptop

Laptops occupy a difficult tech landscape to navigate, and by many accounts, the Apple range dominates the student world. But $2,000 is a steep price to pay for the laptop, even if it is essential to students’ success. The Dell Inspiron 7000 gives students a tablet and a laptop in the same bundle. Here’s a quick rundown on the specs: an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256 GB solid state drive, and a convertible touchscreen with a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution. In other words, this thing is the perfect entertainment-meets-schoolwork machine at a pretty stomachable price.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best laptops for college students can help you find what you're looking for.